Online Doctorate in IT Management
By BVS Staff
Although they are expected to become more plentiful, online doctorate in information technology and management degree programs are still relatively hard to find. Our editors, for instance, were able to find just over a dozen such programs as a starting point for this ranking of the ten best value online PhD technology management programs. We then applied the rating and ranking methodology below in order to make the final cuts. Note that in cases of a tie, we used tuition information from College Navigator to award the higher ranking to the more affordable school.
Rating and Ranking Methodology
* Under $20,000—1 point
* Under $15,000—2 points
* Under $10,000—3 points
* Content Customizations (e.g., Minors, Concentrations, Specializations, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option
* Format Customizations (e.g., Hybrid/Online, Full-time/Part-Time, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option
* 1 point awarded for each unique feature or program that "wowed" us
|Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, OH|
|California Intercontinental University Irvine, CA|
|Capella University Minneapolis, MN|
|Colorado Technical University Colorado Springs, CO|
|Indiana State University Terre Haute, IN|
|Liberty University Lynchburg, VA|
|Northcentral University San Diego, CA|
|University of Management and Technology Arlington, VA|
|University of the Cumberlands Williamsburg, KY|
Featured Online Programs
Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.
Earning an online doctorate in information technology management can be a significant step towards furthering your career. For working adults, the online format can provide a level of flexibility a traditional, on-campus program cannot. Online programs allow students who live far away from universities that offer a PhD in IT management to get the education they need without moving. Online degrees also tend to be more affordable than their traditional counterparts.
However, it can be difficult to know where to start. There are many factors to consider when choosing and applying to online PhD programs, such as formatting, content customization, and how to pay for your degree.
In this ranking, we highlight some of the best online PhD information technology management programs, as well as give you a few tips on what to look out for when deciding which programs are a good fit for you.
Formatting for Online PhD Technology Management Programs
An important thing to consider when choosing which online PhD technology management program is best for you is the format of the program. Even if several programs fall under the "online" category, their formatting can vary. The main formatting variations to look out for are hybrid vs. entirely online, part-time vs. full time, and synchronous vs. asynchronous. The best online doctorate in technology management programs allow students to customize the format based on their needs, but this isn't always an option.
It is not uncommon for an online doctoral program to require a residency or another similar face-to-face component. This can be an excellent opportunity to get the hands-on experience and peer interaction that might be missing from an online program. However, this requirement can also cause difficulties for some students. You should keep this in mind especially when applying to universities whose campuses are far away from your location. That said, there are some online PhD information technology programs that can be completed entirely online, so if an in-person requirement is a deal breaker for you, you should still have some options.
You should also look at the course load requirements for the programs in which you're interested. Most programs are flexible in this area, allowing students to study either part-time or full-time depending on their needs. However, some online doctorate in information technology management programs are very strict. Programs that use the cohort model are a good example of ones that strictly control the student's pace.
One more thing to keep in mind is whether coursework is delivered in an asynchronous format, a synchronous format, or a mixture of both. If a course is asynchronous, students can access lectures, assignments, and discussions at any time of day. If a course is synchronous, students must meet virtually at specific times of day for live lectures and discussions. Most online PhD technology management programs deliver course materials in a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous formats, with the synchronous component being scheduled in the evenings. This can be a great way to increase engagement and interactivity in an online program, but students with busy or unusual schedules may want to avoid heavily synchronous programs.
Content Customization for Online Doctorate in Technology Management Programs
Something many great online PhD technology management programs include is specialization options. The most common areas of specialization in IT management include manufacturing, construction, and digital communications. Some programs offer more unique concentrations, so if your desired career path is more niche, it's worth researching to see if a school provides a more relevant option. At this level of education, most students should be pursuing a relatively high degree of specialization. However, if you are looking for something more general, you still have options. For example, a program that's primarily a management program with a concentration in IT may be more suited to your needs.
Certifications for Online Doctorate in Information Technology Management Programs
Another thing to look out for when researching online PhD information technology management degrees is certification options. Many IT careers don't necessarily require any special certification, so a program not having much in the way of certification opportunities may not be a deal breaker for you. However, these additional credentials can make you more competitive in the job market.
Availability of Online PhD Technology Management Programs
One issue unique to online programs is availability. While all of the online PhD information technology degree programs listed in this ranking are available in most, if not all, states, occasionally you may find that a program you are interested in is not available in your location. This tends to not be as much of an issue in the field of IT compared to other areas of study, but you should make sure to research this before settling on a school.
Requirements for Online Doctorate in Technology Management Degrees
Another factor that will likely influence your choice of online PhD information technology management programs is each program's requirements for its applicants. Along with test scores, letters of recommendation, and a career goal statement, most programs also require prospective students to have a master's degree and work experience relevant to the field. That said, some schools have more stringent requirements than others. If you don't meet one program's standards, it is possible that you will meet another's. You will just have a smaller pool of online PhD technology management programs from which to choose. For example, one program we ranked does not require prospective students to have a master's degree. Instead, students earn their master's while working on their PhD.
Applying to Online Doctorate in Information Technology Management Programs
Once you have decided which online PhD technology management programs best meet your needs, you'll need to start applying to them. Just like their traditional format counterparts, most online doctoral programs are very selective and only accept a small number of students per admission period. This means that you will need to apply to multiple schools.
Knowing exactly how many programs to apply to can be tricky. You may be tempted to apply to every program on this ranking or any program that somewhat catches your interest in order to compensate for the low acceptance rates most PhD programs have. However, this may not be the best approach.
Firstly, applying to several schools can become costly. Application fees, transcript fees, postage, etc. can certainly add up. Secondly, applying to too many schools can decrease the overall quality of your applications, as you won't be able to put as much time into each one.
Lastly, you want to make sure that even your backup online PhD technology management programs are programs you would be happy with. Doctoral programs can be long, challenging, and expensive. You don't want to find yourself wasting time and money in a program that isn't meeting your needs or helping you achieve your career goals.
Paying for Your Online PhD Information Technology Management Degree
One of the biggest factors we consider when ranking programs is cost. Since we seek out the best value offerings, all of the online doctorate in information technology management programs in this ranking have a tuition under $20,000, and many even have a tuition under $10,000. Still, paying for your education can be a daunting task.
Paying for a graduate-level degree is similar to paying for a bachelor's or master's degree. Scholarships, grants, federal loans, and private loans are still options that you can mix and match to make up the cost of your tuition and other school expenses.
The best place to start is with the options that you won't have to pay back later: scholarships and grants. Most programs and schools offer their own scholarships, but you should also look into what scholarships are being offered by any professional organizations of which you are a part. Be sure to fill out your FAFSA to take advantage of any need-based government grants for which you are eligible.
One other option in this vein you may have when funding an online doctorate in technology management that is not typically available for undergraduate students is tuition assistance from your employer. While not every employer offers this, many companies are willing to invest in their employees' professional development. You are more likely to be able to take advantage of this if you are presently working in IT and plan to stay with your current employer for a while, so this may not be a feasible option if you're pursuing an online doctorate in technology management in order to change jobs.
When it comes to loans, the best place to start is federal loans. These tend to be less expensive overall compared to private loans and include perks that most private loans do not. Federal loans are available through the FAFSA as well, so they should be offered to you at the same time as the aforementioned government grants. While private loans may be an option for funding your online PhD in technology management program, they should be a last resort.
Careers for Graduates of Online PhD in Information Technology Degree Programs
As the name of the degree implies, most students who graduate from an online PhD technology management program go into upper-level IT management. Many become IT security managers, chief technology officers, IT strategy and management consultants, or vice presidents of information technology. Others work in universities as professors or researchers.
The job outlook for this field is very good. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth in IT management between 2016 and 2026 is projected to be 12%, which is higher than average. The median annual wage for the field as a whole was $135,800. However, individuals with advanced degrees such as online doctorate in technology management degrees may likely earn more. This makes a doctorate in the field a good investment, especially for individuals who want to move up in their current workplaces.
Frequently-Asked Questions for Students Interested in Online Doctorate Technology Management Programs
Starting an online PhD program is a significant commitment, so it's normal for prospective students to have many questions that need answering before they can begin working towards their online PhD information technology degree. Below, you'll find quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.
What specialization options are available for online PhD information technology management students?
As mentioned above, the specialization options available to students depend heavily on the school they choose to attend. However, the most common major areas of specialization for online PhD technology management programs are manufacturing, construction, and digital communications.
Is an online doctorate in information technology management equal to a traditional doctorate in information technology management?
Typically, yes. Most online programs are designed and taught by the same faculty who teach on campus. They also usually have the same curriculum as their on-campus counterparts, though small adjustments may be made to fit the format more precisely. Because the programs are nearly identical, whether or not the program was completed online is not typically noted on the student's transcripts, so potential employers won't know the difference unless you volunteer the information.
How long will it take to complete my online doctorate in technology management?
Typically, an online PhD in technology management program takes students between three and four years to complete. However, this timeframe will vary based on two main factors: the number of courses in each specific program and the student's pace. A student that studies full-time and takes on a more rigorous course load will be able to complete their degree more quickly than a student who takes classes on a part-time basis.
Is it possible to complete my online PhD information technology degree completely online?
Yes, but only a few programs allow you to do this. It is more common for a program to be delivered primarily online, but require students to make at least one visit to campus for a residency before they graduate. You should research your specific program to see what face-to-face components you can expect.
How much will an online PhD in technology management cost?
The programs listed in this ranking range in tuition costs from under $6,000 to about $17,000. As you can see, the price can vary greatly depending on the school. You can bring keep costs down with financial aid such as scholarships and grants, as detailed above.
Is it important for my online PhD in information technology degree program to be accredited?
Some type of accreditation is important to ensure that your education meets certain standards. However, unlike many other disciplines, there is not a specific organization that accredits most online PhD information technology degree programs. It is common for a university to be institutionally accredited, but have not had their online PhD technology management program be programmatically accredited. Programmatic accreditation is best because it reflects industry standards, but you should be fine as long as your school is institutionally accredited.
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