Doctoral programs in IT cover a number of specialties, many of which are related to organizational leadership, global economics or international business. Entrants to these programs usually hold master's degrees in fields such as computer science, engineering or mathematics, however students with a bachelor's degree in information technology, or a related discipline, and passing qualifying exam scores may also enroll in some programs.
Program specializations may include information security, information systems and software engineering. Learners can study a variety of technology systems, including securities exchanges, supply chains, manufacturing networks, information processing systems and product development systems. The structure of an IT doctoral program generally varies with the institution. However, there are common components: a student must meet the course requirements, pass a comprehensive exam, engage in original research, write a dissertation about the research and defend his or her dissertation orally.
Doctoral Degree in Information Technology
The Ph.D. program generally requires students to have a strong background in calculus, statistics, probability, discrete structure, linear algebra and differential equations. The strongest applicants have a master's degree and an understanding of economics, statistics and programming. Applicants must have programming experience and knowledge of various languages, hardware systems and architectures.
Information technology involves computer hardware and software systems along with telecommunications and networking systems. The program endeavors to instill within students an understanding of rudimentary technologies and their connection to the organization and its economic survival. Some students complete course requirements during their master's degree programs. However, possible courses may include:
- IT research methods
- Dynamic and nonlinear programming
- Queuing models
- Parallel computation
- Data compression
- Architectures and algorithms of signal processing
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Graduates of information technology doctoral programs usually pursue careers as academics, high-level corporate researchers or technology specialists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), postsecondary computer science teachers are projected to see an above average job growth of 9% from 2014-2024. The median annual wages for computer science professors were $74,840 in May 2015.
Students interested in information technology and careers in academia or IT research may pursue a Ph.D. in information technology. The programs prepare students for careers as postsecondary instructors, corporate researchers and technology specialists.