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Earn an Information Science Online PhD

Busy working professionals seeking to conduct advanced research in technological systems and the ways we use them or are affected by them might explore pursuing a Phd in

Informational Science. As an academic field, information science is interdisciplinary, focusing to an extent not only on the design and use of information systems, but also on the social context and impact they have on individuals and organizations. Doctoral study in this field may be challenging, as candidates typically conduct independent research along with advanced coursework. However, distance-learning has some potential benefits that might help you balance out the high level of commitment it takes to achieve a doctorate degree, so read on to explore your options, and find out how a PhD in Information Science Online might take your career to the next stage.

PhD in Information Science Online Programs - Essentials

Prospective candidates to a doctoral degree program should have a Masters degree in hand, and may need to secure approval from a faculty advisor in advance. You should also be prepared for a research-intensive program, with coursework, and possibly, laboratory work. Some programs have a qualifying exam component, and some PhD programs require a dissertation. Depending on the concentration you are focusing on, you may be expected to lead an undergraduate course in computer science.

How to choose an online PhD in Information Science Program

It is not uncommon for students at this level of academics, to know what they want to concentrate their research in. For some it might be to earn a PhD in Computer Science specifically, while others may prefer Library Science or Information Technology. Information Science, at this level, is likely going to provide research in multiple methodologies. For instance, you might study advanced topics in information science, behavioral and social sciences, management science, computer science, law, and public policy. Make sure you request plenty of information to ensure the curriculum addresses your goals. Take-away? PhDs are not all the same.

Which PhD in Information Science Online Is Right For Me?

Are you interested in studying and designing large-scale information systems, and combining concepts in social science with technical skills? A PhD in Information Science may suit you.

Are you interested primarily in technical foundations? If so, a PhD in Computer Science may be more appropriate.

Are you keen on the way information systems and business processes intersect? You may be more suited to a PhD in Information Technology

How It Works Online

Online learning is known for being convenient; with asynchronous course delivery, students are able to learn virtually anytime, anywhere, earning a degree with flexible study schedules and no need to relocate. Some of the potential advantages to distance-learning might include:

  • Earning the same degree as on-campus students
  • Studying from the same faculty as on-campus students
  • Access to online libraries, and student services
  • Keep in touch via email, web chat, web calls, online discussion boards, texts

Not all PhD in Information Science online programs are equal

Rule of thumb, contact the school to verify what their online format is all about. Meanwhile, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Your program may have residency requirements
  • You may need to schedule web chats or calls with your advisor
  • You may have a laboratory component that you will have to make arrangements for
  • You may have live-streaming webinars to attend
  • You may have to participate in online discussion boards, assistant-teach, or take part in an internship

Different types of Online PhD in Information Science Programs

Some of the options for online Doctorate degrees in Information Science might include A PhD in Information Science, or a PhD in Computer Science. Each of these programs is likely to have a different curriculum, and different intention.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Computer Science

Are you are looking for coursework that involves in-depth analysis and application of increasingly sophisticated theories and practices plus original research and computer lab work? If so, this is a research-intensive program, but the PhD in Computer Science may allow you to choose an area of concentration in topics such as:

  • Computers and networking
  • Bioinformatics
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Information systems
  • Computer software engineering
  • Computer graphics.

Be prepared for advanced lectures in specific topics in computer science information, but also to engage in practical application and directed research. Why? To prepare you for researching and writing a dissertation. Some of the topics you might find in your curriculum may include:

  • Network and information security
  • Foundations in algorithm design and analysis
  • Statistical research methods and computer science
  • Wireless network communications
  • Fundamentals of data mining
  • Advanced software engineering

PhD in Information Science Online

This is also a research-oriented program, although it has a different type of curriculum. Information Science is rather like a crossroads, where how people use information intersects with technology and business. You might expect courses that pull from such traditional disciplines as computer science, cognitive psychology, social science, cultural studies, and history. You might study topics such as:

  • Mathematical analysis
  • Computer modeling
  • Software system design
  • Experimental studies
  • Critical social evaluations

Potential concentrations might include:

  • Library and information science
  • Information behavior
  • Computer information systems

The PhD in Information Technology

IT involves the application of computer programs to solve business problems, so Information Technology professionals are considered the ‘users’ and builders. E-learners in this field are might study network and database design and are encouraged to fine-tune their critical thinking and leadership skills, especially at the doctoral level. Typically, it includes three concentrations:

  • Information Systems
  • Information Security
  • Software Engineering

The Workplace and Your Degree

Achieving a PhD in Information Science, or Computer Science is the necessary qualification if you aspire to work as a Computer and Information Research Science, or pursue a teaching career at the postsecondary level[i]. A PhD may also be useful if you desire to work as a professional librarian.[ii]

Take the Next Step to a PhD in Information Science Online

Considered a terminal degree, achieving a PhD in Information Science in Information Science may establish you as a thought leader and innovator in your field. Earning your doctorate degree online may enable you to balance your education with other commitments. Consider your options, then take the next step!

[i] bls .gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-and-information-research-scientists.htm |[ii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/librarians.htm