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What Job Pays You the Most with a Ph.D. in Business?

by Christian Fisher

The job that pays you the most when you hold a Ph.D. in business depends on where you work. Some universities and corporations are front-runners when it comes to the salaries they pay their professors, researchers or leaders who have doctoral degrees in business. At the top, however, are hedge funds and private equity firms offering some of the highest-paying opportunities.

Teaching Your Way to the Top

In academia, having a Ph.D. in business could qualify you for a professorship at a research university or business school. Of all who held teaching positions in colleges and universities during the 2012 to 2013 academic year, tenured or tenure-track business professors were among the highest paid. The average business professor at a public institution earned $153,267, according to a 2013 survey by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources. In 2012, Harvard Business School paid its business professors the most, at $198,400, according to "Business Insider."

Advising Your Way to Affluence

Many of the highest-paid management consultants hold business doctorates. For example, as of 2013, at least 1,400 consultants working for McKinsey and Company hold doctorates. McKinsey also offered its Ph.D. consultants the second-highest management consultant compensation packages in 2013, to the tune of at least $192,000, according to a 2013 survey of top consulting firms by Management Consulted. The highest-paying firm in the survey was Boston Consulting Group, which offered at least $197,000 to newly hired consultants with advanced degrees.

Suiting up for the C-Suite

Applying your Ph.D. toward a climb to a top executive position in industries such as health care, energy or technology can earn you millions of dollars in total compensation per year. In 2012, the median starting salary among chief executive officers, chief operations officers and company presidents was $203,000, according to a 2013 survey by Michal Matejka of Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business.

Flying High for High Finance

Your Ph.D. could help you land a lucrative job as an investment professional at a hedge fund. Just an average, entry-level analyst’s salary at a hedge fund was $335,000 in 2013, according to the 2014 Glocap Hedge Fund Compensation Report. A doctorate could help you get into a hedge fund as a researcher, a position that can command $2 to $3 million on the low end and climb into the tens of millions for senior research positions, according to Executive Recruiter Steve Potter, in a 2011 interview with "Business Insider."

About the Author

A writer since 1995, Christian Fisher is an author specializing in personal empowerment and professional success. From 2000 to 2005, he wrote true stories of human triumph for "Woman's World" magazine. Since 2004, he has also helped launch businesses including a music licensing company and a music school.

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