Information systems are made up of many different components that gather, store, process, and deliver information throughout organizations. Information systems vary by the actions and needs of organizations, ranging from office information systems and transaction processing systems to management information systems and expert systems. To enter this highly technical field, prospective information systems professionals need to have the proper level of education and training prior to employment. At the doctoral level of study, students will take advanced courses in information systems and related topics, as well as complete many hours of dissertation research.
Why a Doctorate Degree?
A PhD is the pinnacle of academic achievement in information systems. Not only are doctoral candidates considered experts in their area of study, but they also make lasting contributions to the field by conducting many hours of original research. The knowledge, skillset, and endless commitment to a particular field make PhD holders invaluable job candidates. Whether you want to become a successful scholar or a manager at a large organization, the information systems PhD program could be a good fit for you.
Getting Into a Doctorate Degree Program
The path to a doctorate degree begins with a bachelor’s degree in information systems and other necessary prerequisites. To enroll in this advanced program, all applicants must have the following:
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
- Minimum required GPA
- Desired score on the GRE or GMAT
- Completion of prerequisite work
Inside an Information Systems Doctorate Degree Program
Depending on your school, course load, and pace in which you finish classes, most online PhD programs in information systems take about six years to complete. Throughout this time, students take classes in information systems principles, Java programming, computer networks-architectures, network management and security, enterprise database management, data analytics and methods, and systems analysis and design. They also spend several years completing a master’s degree, conducting original research, and writing a doctoral dissertation that details their findings.
Doctoral students usually specialize in a related subfield, such as management, computer science, information science, and business administration. Oftentimes, students focus on tried-and-true research areas or ones that pertain to their subfield. For example, if your PhD information systems program has a management focus, then some possible research areas could be technology policy, organizational behavior, information security and privacy, or data mining.
What’s Next for Information Systems Doctorate Degree Holders?
Graduates of the online PhD in information systems will be qualified to do a variety of jobs in academia, research, or industry. A direct path for many PhD holders is to become a college professor in information systems or another relevant subject. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of postsecondary teachers are expected to grow 17% by 2020. This occupational growth can be attributed to the rising enrollment at postsecondary institutions. Postsecondary teachers’ salaries depend on several factors, including the school, location, subject specialty, education, and experience. According to the 2012 BLS report, postsecondary teachers made an average annual salary of $77,500. Another career avenue for PhD grads is to become computer and information systems managers, who plan and oversee computer-related activities and IT goals for organizations. Employment of this occupation is expected to grow 18% by 2020 because more organizations are improving their IT systems and security measures. In addition to having an optimistic job outlook, computer and information systems managers also have favorable salaries. According to the 2012 BLS report, they made an average annual salary of $129,130.