IT/information systems professionals interested in increasing their earning potential and advancing their education to the highest level often ask, “What can I do with a Ph.D. in Information Systems?” This doctoral degree not only helps individuals stand out in a crowd of applicants but also puts them in positions to earn higher wages. Learn everything you need to know about the Ph.D. in information systems.
Related resource: Top 20 PhD in Management Information Systems Programs Online
What the PhD in Information Systems Entails
Depending on if the student chooses an online or on-campus program, the Ph.D. program requires anywhere from two to five years of study. Most information systems Ph.D. programs are theory-based programs that focus on teaching the students how to test established theories and learn to derive their own theories from what they’ve learned in the program. They generally participate in various discussion-based seminars as opposed to lectures, although some programs do include lectures as well.
They’re also given research papers to analyze and discuss with the class and their professors. Learning how to perform research is also a big part of the PhD in information systems program. Some of the programs offer concentrations in areas like cybersecurity, health care or analytics. In addition to courses and seminars, the program also requires students to complete a dissertation. Students may complete the following types of courses.
• Qualitative & Quantitative Research
• Machine Learning
• Large-Scale Data Analytics
• Information Security & Privacy
• Social and Policy Sciences
Careers with a PhD in Information Systems
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that computer and information scientists are expected to see job growth of 19% during the 2016-2026 decade. This higher-than-average growth will result in the creation of more than 33,000 new jobs by 2026. The 2018 median annual wage for computer and information systems workers was $118,370.
Graduates of the Ph.D. in information systems degree may find work in various positions. Listed with those positions are the average annual wage according to a 2019 PayScale wage report.
• Vice President of Information Technology – $149,389
• Applications Development Director – $139,053
• Chief Information Officer – $156,871
• Dean of Academic Affairs – $89,560
• Director of Systems Development – $108,571
Advantages of earning a PhD in Information Systems
Candidates wondering what they can do with a Ph.D. in information are often amazed at the possibilities and career opportunities that are open to them upon graduation, and this goes beyond just an increased earning potential and bragging rights. Here are some advantages to earning a Ph.D. in Information Systems.
• Financial Benefits – Increased wages are often the main reasons students and individuals decide to pursue a doctoral degree.
• Career Versatility – Graduates of the Ph.D. in Information Systems are qualified to work not just in computer and information systems but also other fields as well. They also have the option of working in research or academia.
• Leadership Benefits – Graduates of the Ph.D. program are better qualified for leadership positions.
• Personal Fulfillment – Most graduates feel a sense of personal fulfillment knowing they’ve taken their education to the highest level and are qualified to contribute highly to their field or job. It also provides them with satisfying bragging rights.
Making the decision to pursue this degree, or any doctoral degree for that matter is a big decision and one that involves a huge commitment. However, graduates of the Ph.D. in Information Systems are usually qualified for some of the most rewarding, challenging and lucrative positions in their chosen industry.