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Online Doctorate in Information Technology

If you’re looking to study at the highest levels of computer science, you may be interested in earning an online PhD in information technology. A quickly growing field,

computer science and information technology jobs are expected to increase at a higher-than-average rate between 2014 and 2024.i The positions in this field may involve computer research, network creation, programming and software design.i For all of the positions in the discipline, the median annual wage was $81,430, although this can vary greatly between the specific occupations within information technology.i If a high-level career in this field sounds like something you might want to pursue, keep reading for more on enrolling in an online PhD in IT program.

Specifics of Earning an Online PhD in Information Technology

One of the most common research doctorate degrees, the PhD, or Doctor of Philosophy, degree might be considered the highest level degree a student can earn in the United States education system.ii Considered a graduate degree, and a type of doctoral degree, a PhD might require four to six years of study beyond a bachelor’s degree to earn.iii 

Often, PhD degrees may be centered on a dissertation, or a large-scale research project conducted by the student with guidance from professors.ii A dissertation may be quite involved and, in order to graduate, students may have to present and defend it to a special committee.ii

Coursework to Earn an Online IT PhD

Since doctoral programs may often be tailored to the topic of a student’s dissertation, coursework and research subjects may vary greatly. You should contact the school itself to ask about their curriculum if you want a specific idea of what type of online phd programs in information technology you might be pursuing. However, if you’re curious about the types of classes you might encounter when researching information technology doctorate degrees, the following list provides some examples of course topics you might see:

  • Networking
  • System design
  • Programming
  • Software development
  • Database design
  • Research methods

Keep in mind that different programs may not offer all, or even any, of these classes, so be sure to check out the curriculums of programs you’re considering before enrolling.

Career Pursuits with a PhD in IT

Information technology is a wide field, and there may be a number of different careers you could pursue. While most of these occupations may not require a doctorate-level degree as entry-level education, some may.i One notable example of this is the computer and information research scientist.i These professionals may typically create new ways to use computers, plus they might study applications of computing in various fields from business to medicine.i If you’re someone that has analytical skills, plus skills in communication, critical thinking and logic, this may be a path you might be interested in pursuing.iv In 2015, the median annual wages for computer and information research scientists were $110,620.v

Getting Started

If you’re done reading and ready to start researching your options for earning an online PhD in Information Technology, get going right here on eLearners.com by checking out our sponsored listings. Once you find a program you think might be perfect for you, learn more by reaching out and requesting information from the school itself. Try to find out as much as possible before applying. Good luck!


[i] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm | [ii] www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/doctorate.doc | [iii] bls.gov/careeroutlook/2008/fall/art01.pdf | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-and-information-research-scientists.htm#tab-4 | [v] onetonline.org/link/summary/15-1111.00#WagesEmployment

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