Online PhD in Industrial Technology

Online doctorate degrees in industrial technology are designed to teach students the management skills necessary for planning, designing and maintaining complex operations and technological systems. By mastering organizational theory, industrial processes and the testing of technology, online industrial technology PhD students are prepared to develop technological solutions to the challenges that arise in businesses and industries. Online doctoral programs in industrial technology take an average of four years to complete, during which students will take coursework in areas such as power technology and management operations. Once students complete their coursework, they take a comprehensive examination over everything they have learned, after which they embark on a dissertation. Dissertations are thorough research papers on a topic in the field of industrial technology that is both contemporary and relevant to current theory and practice. The culmination of all of this hard work is an online PhD in industrial technology and a strong basis in the planning and implementation of the technological equipment used by manufacturers and engineers. Industrial technology PhD holders go on to forge careers as leaders in industry, holding positions as production managers, engineers and cost estimators, among other similarly lucrative positions.

About Online PhD Programs in Industrial Technology

The coursework of online doctoral degrees in industrial technology instructs students beyond the field of manufacturing and technology, into the sphere of industrial management and organizational leadership. This prepares online PhD industrial technology students to make the complex decisions necessary for planning, researching and evaluating the technological processes and programs upon which industries and companies rely. Online doctorate programs in industrial technology provide related coursework over the internet. However, due to the hands-on experience necessary for earning an advanced degree in industrial technology, it is difficult to find an online program that offers a specific PhD degree in industrial technology. Many PhD degree programs require laboratory work and research that utilizes technology that can only be found on campus. Most related online PhD programs are in the field of information technology, rather than industrial technology. Degrees in information technology do have some crossover coursework with degrees in industrial technology, but they are not the same. This is indicated by the below coursework, which is derived from the University of Phoenix's Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership/Information Systems and Technology.

Year One:

  • Communication Strategies. This course helps students develop the advanced communication skills necessary not only for success as doctoral students, but also for leadership positions within manufacturing and industry.
  • Creative and Critical Thinking. As a foundational course in problem solving, this course prepares students to become innovative thinkers.
  • Foundations of Information Systems Management. This course provides an overview of management strategies, problem resolution and the analyzing of complex systems.

Year Two:

  • Constructive Meaning. In order to promote the development of a style leadership styles, this course will help learners to understand how they view and interact with the world, as well as the insights that such views provide about themselves.
  • Organizational Theory and Design. This course prepares students to analyze organizational theories and how they apply to the development of practice.
  • Management Philosophies. In this course, students will research management philosophies and explore how they have evolved and changed over time.

Year Three:

  • Knowledge Worker Information Systems. This course serves as an in depth study of the tools and systems employed in an effort to increase productivity and advancement.
  • Information Technology for Teams. As an exploration of the use of technology within team operations, this course offers insight into the analyzing and evaluating of team models.
  • Departmental Information Systems. This course will broaden students' abilities to employ and evaluate information technology from the small sphere of individuals and teams to whole departmental operations.

Year Four:

  • Research Sequence. Students will take coursework that prepares them to propose, write and defend their dissertations.

At the completion of coursework, students take a comprehensive examination over their studies. Comprehensive examinations in the field of industrial technology cover planning and design, organizational theory, and the evaluation of technology, as well as other relevant areas. After students pass the exam, they choose a dissertation topic and commence related research. Dissertations are thorough research projects that explore a subject in the field of industrial technology. Past industrial technology dissertations include Efficiency in Project Networks: The Role of Inter-Organizational Relationships in Project Implementation by T. Ahola and The Gender Dimension in Industrial Technology Faculty by Balasubramanian Kasi. New technologies – both within and outside of manufacturing and industry – are constantly being developed. As a result, many new potential dissertation topics are emerging.

Value and Criticisms of a PhD in Industrial Technology

Online PhD programs in industrial technology are an excellent choice for individuals interested in the design and implementation of technology to improve manufacturing and industrial developments. Students that are interested in establishing careers as leaders or engineers in the field of manufacturing could also benefit from an online doctorate in industrial technology. However, industrial technology programs area not recommended for individuals that are not interested in technological design, organizational structure or technological systems. While online PhD degrees in industrial technology would have the potential of providing a foundation for these areas, it is important for applicants to keep in mind that online programs focused specifically on industrial technology are difficult to find. This is due to the laboratory requirements found in industrial technology curricula. As the advanced degree requires a significant amount of hands-on experience with the relevant technology, in addition to the research and study of theories, PhDs in industrial technology are primarily offered as on-campus programs. However, there are some degrees that incorporate some exposure to the study industrial technology, like University of Phoenix's Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership/Information Systems and Technology and Walden's Information Systems Management PhD. For students that prefer an online curriculum, these programs may be a better option.

Application & Admission Requirements

Industrial technology PhD online applicants have backgrounds in manufacturing operations as well as the ability to problem-solve when operational challenges arise. Most online PhD programs in industrial technology require applicants to have completed a Masters degree in a related field, such as engineering or industry, prior to enrollment. Applicants are encouraged to maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average during their Masters education, as online doctoral programs in industrial technology will require the submission of transcripts as part of the application process. Experience with manufacturing technologies, organizational leadership and/or project management is also beneficial, as admission departments will review resumes and curricula vitae for relevant experience. Finally, it is important for applicants to have strong academic writing and research skills, as accredited industrial technology PhD programs online will require the utilization of both.

Career Options & Job Market

As top online industrial technology PhD graduates have developed leadership and research skills, in addition to having acquired significant experience with the design and implementation of manufacturing technology, there are many fields in which graduates can forge their careers. Graduates that hold an online PhD in industrial technology often establish careers as industrial engineers, positions that average an annual salary of $50,540. Though engineering as a field is not experiencing much growth, individuals that hold PhDs will have the upper edge over their peers. Online PhD industrial technology graduates can also establish themselves as production managers, which earn an average of $83,290 annually, or cost estimators, a career with a good outlook and a good salary. Other options include computer systems analysts and manufacturing engineers. Graduates that hold online industrial technology doctorates are prepared to help lead industries to success by keeping them on the frontlines of technological implementations and helping them to avoid problems associated with operation challenges.

Where to Find Information

How to Get Funding

Pursuing industrial technology doctorate degrees online is a more cost-efficient way of obtaining a PhD than pursuing on-campus programs. Nevertheless, education can still be expensive, and the higher the degree, the more expensive credit hours run. For instance, Walden charges $550 per credit hour for its information systems management program, while University of Phoenix charges $770 per credit hour for its management in organizational leadership/information systems and technology program. Neither tuition includes an application fee, registration fee, the costs of books, or the costs of required residential symposiums and related travel experiences. When one looks at the whole picture, it becomes apparent that education is not cheap. As a result, applying for financial aid is a very important part of the application process. There are a number of financial aid opportunities available to students that are seeking to obtain their online doctorate in industrial technology. The best opportunities will be found through students' universities. However, there are also outside opportunities for funding as well, some of which are listed below.

  • NASA Space Technology Research Fellowships . A fellowship program sponsored by NASA and open to graduate students in technology, engineering, and other areas of advanced study that are conducting research within the field of space technology.
  • SEARCA Graduate Scholarships. SEARCA Graduate Scholarships are open to students native to southeastern Asia enrolled in agriculture or related graduate programs, such as industrial technology.
  • AAUW American Fellowships. AAUW's American Fellowships offer financial support to university women who are completing dissertations or pursuing postdoctoral research.

Essential Advice

  • Research the online PhD degree alternatives to industrial technology programs to see if they will help you achieve your goals. If not, consider an on-campus PhD program that will meet your needs as a student.
  • Join a professional association to get access to professional development opportunities that will make your resume stand out.
  • Check your university's specific fellowship and grant opportunities. Many universities have financial aid options that are only open to enrolled students.
  • Don't be afraid to call admission departments to get more information on available programs. They are there to answer any questions you may have.