Best Online Doctorate in Information Technology Programs

| TBS Staff

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The Best Online Doctorate in Information Technology Programs

An online Ph.D. in information technology prepares you for leadership roles in information technology with highly competitive salaries and exceptional job prospects. It can also open up an academic career path. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median computer and information systems manager over 44,000 new computer and information systems managers jobs will be created by 2026.

The Best Online Doctorate in Information Technology Programs

Colorado State University-Fort Collins true View School Profile $$$ Fort Collins, CO 69% Colorado State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded in 1870, CSU offers an online doctor of philosophy in systems engineering. Students complete 72 credits through both asynchronous and synchronous course delivery.

Students with a master's degree take 18 credits, while those without must take 21 credits to complete the program. Required courses include information technology and project management, foundations of systems engineering, and engineering risk analysis. Students without a master's degree also take 18 elective credits. From there, all students plan, research, write, and defend a dissertation.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 to qualify for admission. Students must also submit GRE scores.

Indiana State University true View School Profile $$ Terre Haute, IN 41% Indiana State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Serving over 13,500 students, ISU offers an online doctor of philosophy in technology management. Students complete 66 credits and can choose from areas of specialization such as construction, digital communication, or manufacturing.

Students plan their own course of study based on five competency areas. Learners complete any prerequisites to address any gaps in knowledge before moving on to technology core coursework, courses within the technical specialization, professional studies, and research core coursework.

Applicants must hold a master's degree to qualify for admission. Students must also submit GMAT or GRE scores and possess a minimum of three years of relevant work experience to apply.

University of the Cumberlands true View School Profile Williamsburg, KY 33% University of the Cumberlands is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

A private school serving around 18,000 students, Cumberlands offers an online doctor of philosophy in information technology. Students complete 60 credits, taking a deep dive into the challenges and advances in the field.

Required core courses include information governance, enterprise risk management, and information technology in the global economy. Students then move on to courses within four content areas: information systems security, information technology, digital forensics, and blockchain.

Applicants need a master's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.5 to qualify for admission. Students do not need to submit standardized test scores.

University of the Cumberlands is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Best Online Programs

Online Doctorate in Information Technology Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

Featured Online Doctorate in Information Technology Programs

Many schools offer online doctoral programs in information technology, so try to find a program with coursework that matches your professional goals.

An online Ph.D. program in information technology begins with foundational classes in subjects like principles of programming, enterprise database design and advanced software development. As you advance, you can specialize with electives like cloud computing, technology for mobile devices and project management. Some programs even offer formal specializations in areas like healthcare information technology and computer security.

To earn a Ph.D. in information technology online, you often must complete a research-based dissertation. To prepare for this graduation requirement, you would take courses in research design and advanced academic writing. You would also work closely with a faculty advisor who helps you choose a topic, collect data and interpret the results of your study. Once you finish writing your dissertation, you must defend your work before a faculty committee.

Some online Ph.D. in information technology programs feature a doctoral capstone project instead of a dissertation. Students in these programs apply research to practical problems in information technology, but they typically do not need to create this research themselves.

What Else Can I Expect from an Online Doctorate in Information Technology Program?

You can customize your online doctorate in information technology degree. While many programs offer similar foundational courses, you can specialize in a particular area by either choosing a formal concentration or selecting electives that align with your interests.

Online Doctoral Degree in Information Technology Concentrations

You would learn to protect your organization’s computer networks and systems. You may study how to use firewalls and encryption programs to secure sensitive information or explore cloud computing’s vulnerabilities. You would also examine the latest security standards and best practices in order to stay at the forefront of your field.

Concentration Careers: senior information security analyst, director of cyber security

Data plays an increasingly critical role in every business’s success. As a result, information technology professionals with expertise in data warehousing, data mining and information retrieval often have strong job prospects. If you concentrate in this area, then you can develop the necessary skills and knowledge for serving your organization’s data needs.

Concentration Careers: data engineer, director of data management

If you pursue a career in the healthcare field, then you can benefit from understanding how information systems support medical treatment and research. In this concentration, you would take courses in healthcare informatics, data analysis and the ethics of patient data policies.

Concentration Careers: director of clinical informatics, chief information officer

Curriculum for an Online Doctoral Degree in Information Technology

  • Fundamentals of Information Systems:
    If you pursue your online doctorate in information technology, then you explore the principles of computer hardware, software and networks. You learn how to create algorithms, express data and use basic programming languages to realize designs.
  • Computer Networking and Operating Systems:
    In this course, you would examine topics like file systems, configurations, administration, security, multitasking, interfacing and performance analysis. You would apply your theoretical learning by creating elements of information or communication infrastructure.
  • Systems Analysis and Design:
    This class helps prepares you to develop large-scale software systems. First, you would learn to use structured and object-oriented approaches; this would help you better understand a given system’s functional requirements.
  • Principles of Programming:
    Programming plays an indispensable role in information technology. In this course, you would gain practical experience with languages such as C++, Python and Java. You would also practice algorithmic thinking, precise coding and logical design.
  • Applied Research Methods:
    This course prepares you for a research-based dissertation by introducing you to the fundamental elements of collecting, analyzing and interpreting both quantitative and qualitative data. Students with prior graduate-level education may immediately move on to more advanced statistical analysis courses.

Careers with a Doctorate in Information Technology Careers

After earning your doctorate in information technology online, you are qualified for a wide variety of careers. You may choose to work in cybersecurity where you would safeguard your company’s computer networks and intellectual property. You could pursue a career in the healthcare industry where you would apply your expertise in database architecture to help treat patients and unlock cures for chronic diseases. Or, you may want to pass along your knowledge to the next generation by serving as a college or university professor.

true Computer or Information System Manager $139,220 12%

Computer or information systems managers direct their organization’s various computer-related activities. These activities include setting strategic departmental goals, hiring and training IT staff, and working with senior leadership to ensure that their company possesses the needed technology for effective performance. Many computer and information systems managers hold a graduate degree.

true Computer or Information Research Scientist $114,520 19%

Computer and information research scientists both invent new technologies and discover new uses for existing technologies. For example, the software and hardware that they design for robots may play a critical role in manufacturing, surgery or space exploration. Earning your doctor of information technology online can qualify you for many of these roles.

true Postsecondary Computer Science Teacher $76,000 15%

Postsecondary teachers instruct students and conduct research at colleges, universities and other institutions of higher education. They may also serve in administrative roles, such as an academic dean or the chair of a computer science department. Most of these jobs require a relevant doctoral degree.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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