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Do I need a PhD to be a manager

By Vision Reporter

Added 1st April 2008 03:00 AM

HOW relevant is a PhD degree in management? Do managers in finance, audit, procurement, human resources, administration, operations, etc (those employed in a non-academic setting) require PhD degrees in Business Administration or any relevant subject area?

HOW relevant is a PhD degree in management? Do managers in finance, audit, procurement, human resources, administration, operations, etc (those employed in a non-academic setting) require PhD degrees in Business Administration or any relevant subject area?

CAREER GUIDANCE

Dear Jamesa,
HOW relevant is a PhD degree in management? Do managers in finance, audit, procurement, human resources, administration, operations, etc (those employed in a non-academic setting) require PhD degrees in Business Administration or any relevant subject area? Please advise me.
Catherine

Dear Catherine,
In Uganda’s educational setting, an undergraduate degree lays the foundation from which an individual acquires knowledge. At masters level, the education stretches beyond broad knowledge to specific skills that the individual masters in a specific discipline.
Ideal learning at a masters degree level requires a combination of undergraduate theory and work experience. Emphasis is put more on practical skills, than theory.
At PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) level, the individual is expected to carry out advanced supervised research that can generate new knowledge.

According to Francis Eboyu, a lecturer at the Department of Organisational and Social Psychology, Makerere University, the research experience at PhD level gives an individual ideal skills for research.

Candidates who complete PhD degrees typically embark on academic careers as lecturers. Others join research organisations and consulting firms that tap their research skills and knowledge generation.

There is nothing wrong with advanced university degrees. However, in a society in which academic credentials open career doors, you should not forget that employers see beyond academic qualifications. A PhD is good, but not a necessary tool for practice.

Since management is practical, skills acquired at undergraduate and masters degree level are relevant. You must have noticed that the most competitive managerial jobs advertised in the media, require a masters degree.

However, effective management takes more than just an advanced university degree. Dr Daniel Goleman, a psychologist and international business consultant in Working With Emotional Intelligence, says managers require more people skills than intellectual skills.

This, he says, is ‘emotional intelligence’. It involves being sensitive and perceptive to other people’s emotions, and having the ability to facilitate improved performance based on this knowledge.
The modern workplace is characterised by open communication, team work and a mutual respect among employees and their supervisors.

Research has established that the best managers are not necessarily those with the highest qualifications, but those who can motivate their staff through team spirit.

Goleman says emotional intelligence is so essential in the corporate world that it decides who is hired, demoted, promoted or fired. In his analysis, a PhD qualification is good, but it might not make one a good manager or administrator if he or she lacks essential people skills. Academic qualification provides a good theoretical foundation, but good organisational leadership requires certain skills and abilities beyond the academic transcript.

In many organisations, an advanced university degree is desirable, but might not guarantee you a slot at the top of the corporate ladder.

Even when an organisation states a PhD degree as a cardinal requirement, they often consider the ‘person’ behind the degree.

Compiled by Jamesa Wagwau
Send your questions to jwagwau@newvision.co.ug

Do I need a PhD to be a manager

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