Using existing research, knowledge and theories to develop solutions to workplace issues is what Capella’s online Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program prepares graduates to do, no matter the industry they choose to work in after completion.

And with eight specializations to pick from, there’s a path for every professional ready to take the next step and move into a leadership role in industries such as government, nonprofit, military, health care, human resources, and accounting.

To better understand opportunities that DBA graduates may have, we spoke to two professionals who are students in Capella’s online DBA program. They told us about their experiences and how the program enhanced their very different career paths.


From Marine Corps to an Online DBA

Michael Taft* spent twenty years in the United States Marine Corps as cryogenics technician and retired from active duty in 2004. Through the years, he was promoted to team lead, career field manager, supervisor, and deputy program manager in this department.

“By the time I retired from active duty and transitioned to the Department of Navy as a civilian employee, I had a both my BS and an MA degree,” Taft says. “But as the responsibilities of each new position continued to increase, I felt the need to continue my education.”

He recently made the decision to attend Capella online, working toward a Doctor of Business Administration degree with a focus on strategy and innovation. “My interest in the strategic management of my organization was a key factor influencing my decision to focus my studies on the strategy and innovation specialty,” he says.


Digging into HR with a DBA

Tara Hines-McCoy* worked in human resources for over a decade and also spent a few years as an adjunct professor. After gaining experience in the field, she was prompted to return to school to earn her DBA through Capella’s online program.

“I originally started on the PhD track in Organizational Psychology but quickly realized that the focus area did not provide the in-depth HR strategic business approach I was seeking,” Hines-McCoy explains. “A close friend was in the DBA program and encouraged me to take a look at the curriculum because of the HR specialization. The rest is history!”


Career Advancement

Since enrolling in Capella’s DBA program, both Taft and Hines-McCoy feel better equipped to succeed in their respective fields.

“I have expanded my view of challenges and opportunities,” Taft says. “I now have the foundational knowledge to support a higher level of innovation and strategic work.” He also credits his participation in the DBA program with the promotion he received last year.

Hines-McCoy gained new insight into business metrics and their impact on organizations, thanks to her DBA program experience. “Having the ability to connect the dots down to any level within the organization helps me shift my thinking from a tactical approach to a strategic and visionary one,” she mentions.


Advantages of Online Studies

When asked about his experience with Capella’s online DBA program, Taft says the format allows him to balance career and home life with coursework. “I never expected the program to be easy, but by planning ahead, staying on task, and getting great support from the teaching and administrative staff, my goals are obtainable,” he explains.

Capella’s DBA program fit similarly into Hines-McCoy’s life, thanks to accessible instructors and the residencies that allowed her to build accountability with other students. “All of the program components contribute to my success as a student,” she says.


Considering going back to school for a doctoral degree? A Doctor of Business Administration degree from Capella University may provide the career path flexibility you’re seeking. Capella offers eight specializations within the program so you can earn the degree that best fits your career path.


*Actual Capella graduate who agreed to appear in promotional materials for Capella.
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