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Online Doctorate of Information Systems: Degree Program Overviews

Research online information systems doctoral degree programs. Find out what you can learn in these programs and what you'll need in order to participate in online learning to determine if it's right for you.

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Essential Information

Fully-online doctoral programs in information systems are rare to nonexistent, but hybrid programs that can be completed partially online are available. Alternatively, students may choose to pursue a doctorate program in computer science, which can typically be completed online, save for a residency requirement. These programs are typically research-intensive, and graduates may go on to teach at the university level. Completing the online coursework may require a webcam and video conferencing software. On-campus requirements typically involve a residency or internship.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a bachelor's degree together with work experience is typically the minimum educational requirement to work as a computer and information systems manager, although master's degrees are common in the field. Some computer and information systems managers pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Consider whether a doctoral degree program is necessary for the career path you intend to pursue.

Doctorate of Information Systems Degree

Students enrolled in online information systems doctorate learn to effectively research and communicate information systems issues. Some doctorates in information systems offer specializations in information science or information security. Prior to enrolling in the program, students should have a master's degree or post-baccalaureate training and experience in information systems. Students enrolled in an online doctorate program are required to complete core information systems courses, conduct research and write and defend a dissertation.

Information and Requirements

Online doctorate in information systems degree programs are typically hybrid programs. While students are allowed to complete the majority of their work online, students may be required to attend on-campus facilities throughout the program and meet a residency or internship requirement. New doctorate students may be requested to attend a program orientation held at the campus. Online features of the program include access to information systems course materials, interaction with teachers and fellow students, multimedia presentations and library services.

Students are required to own or have access to a computer with up-to-date hardware and software capabilities, high-speed Internet access and the most recent Web browsers. Web cameras, microphones, video conferencing software or other computer accessories may also be required. Students should contact their school of choice for a complete list of computer requirements.

Common Coursework

Online doctorate in information systems courses are geared heavily toward research and the collection and evaluation of data. Students take core courses, electives and courses in how to research.

Process of System Development

Students investigate the process of system development by considering a variety of topics. Topics may include models of system life-cycle, strategies of system development and implementation.

Computer Networking

An online computer networking course is designed to train students in the areas of broadband communication and advanced computer networks. Students examine Ethernet technology, network security, frameworks and wireless networks.

Privacy Issues

This course explores privacy with regard to computer security, the legal and ethical implications and information systems management. The course focuses on how privacy issues are taken into account during the management, deployment, selection and development of systems.

Research Methods

Students learn the fundamentals of choosing proper research techniques to gather and evaluate information. Students examine means of designing research projects and methods for collecting data, evaluating its worth and analyzing it.

Electronic Commerce

Students enrolled in an electronic commerce course learn to evaluate the impact of electronic commerce on organizations, systems and markets. Students receive background knowledge, which will allow them to understand research in e-commerce in the field of information systems.


Career Information

Graduates of a Ph.D. program in information systems generally teach at the university level or take an academic, industrial or governmental research position. Researchers work towards enlarging the theory and practice of information systems in business settings. A graduate may also take a leadership position in a software corporation like Microsoft or become a consultant.

While rarely available online, information systems doctorate programs can prepare students for positions as researchers, academics or leaders in large software corporations. Courses typically cover research methods, e-commerce and system development. Students looking for fully online programs may consider a doctorate in computer science program, which can offer coursework closely related to information systems programs.

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