Online PhD in Computer Science in Enterprise Information Systems

Applicants to these programs should have a master's degree in a relevant subject (either pertaining to Information Technology or Business). If the applicant only has a master's degree, most online PhD programs allow the student to earn their master's in conjunction with the doctorate. For PhD candidates attending Colorado Technical University's Enterprise Information Systems program, classes are offered both online and on-campus, and a total of 96 credits are required in order to earn the degree. For PhD candidates attending Stevens Institute of Technology's Enterprise Systems program, 90 credits are necessary to complete the doctoral program, with 15 to 30 degrees going toward course work, and 30 to 40 going toward your dissertation. Within two years of admission, candidates must pass a written qualifying exam as well as an oral preliminary exam. Dissertations must be well-researched, innovative and worthy of publication. Top online PhD programs in Enterprise Information Systems incorporate coursework in security management, organizational performance, leadership responsibilities and research methods. The amalgamation of these subjects encourages students to think and to act strategically once they segue from class to career so that their acquired expertise improves workplace productivity and strengthens the field at-large.

About Online PhD Programs in Computer Science in Enterprise Information Systems

The curriculum of Colorado Technical University's Doctor of Computer Science in Enterprise Information Systems program takes roughly three years to complete and focuses on research and project developments while also providing courses in enterprise information systems management, implementation, concepts, and architecture. Research projects combine online study and on-campus sessions with faculty mentors. Program coursework covers portfolio management, global and e-business supply chain management, the design and implementation of enterprise information systems, IT services and operations management, and enterprise computing concepts. Upon completion of the first year, students can choose from the following areas of specialization in research and projects: strategy, structure, decision support and requirements engineering.

Year One:

  • Research and Writing. The first of several courses of its kind, students are expected to create and work on projects that will help demonstrate a mastery of an area in expertise within computer science. Throughout their doctoral study, students will be asked to revisit this course and their projects as they approach their dissertation proposals.
  • Qualitative Analysis. Another standard beginner's course which teaches students methods and techniques of qualitative analysis through research, case studies and theories.
  • Quantitative Analysis. Through simulation, modeling and testing, various complex computing applications are explored.

Year Two:

  • Business Intelligence. With an emphasis on decision making skills, students learn how to use data mining in order to perform trend analyses and manage knowledge within an enterprise.
  • Business Alignment and Strategy. In this course, students learn how to identify potential strategies and evaluate their potential business goals and vision, as well as different business models and how to properly introduce Information Technology into them.
  • Networking and Security. Students are asked to assess and discuss the different security concerns that accompany a business world that has become increasingly internet-dependent as well as some emerging issues and risk factors that can help in designing a secure information system.

Year Three:

  • Managing, Planning and Integrating Enterprise Information Systems This course explores the evolution and management of enterprise leadership, computing systems, information, infrastructure, application, security architecture, technology, processes, data, and people.
  • Enterprise Architecture Technology. Students examine concepts such as enterprise architecture modeling, model-driven architecture, component-oriented architecture, service-oriented architecture, collaborative development and cooperative engineering.
  • Enterprise Change, Innovation and Future. In this course, students will explore the use of metrics, leader's commitment, communications, and avoidance of change failures within individuals, teams and organizations.

In order to graduate, students must successfully defend a dissertation or a series of high-quality research papers ready for publication, known as the paper option. The paper option requires two research papers as well as a proposal for programmatic research, and at least one of the research papers must be an academic article. An example of one dissertation completed in this program is Usage Intention Framework Model: A Fuzzy Logic Interpretation of the Classical UTAUT Model.

Value and Criticisms of a PhD in Computer Science in Enterprise Information Systems

With an emphasis on research, technology and business principles, an online PhD in Computer Science with a concentration in Enterprise Information Systems will provide you with a well-rounded education for a field that continues to expand globally. A doctorate degree can increase your earning potential and can make you more appealing to employers. Large organizations are becoming increasingly dependent on individuals with a skill set in Enterprise Information Systems, as it helps them improve their online businesses and relationships with customers and clients. However, some employers may prefer job candidates who possess MBAs with concentrations in information systems instead. In many IT-related positions, work experience can substitute for formal education, so you may have to ask yourself if taking years out of the work force to prolong your study is more preferable to your career goals than actual hands-on work experience. Additional criticisms of online PhD programs include high tuition fees, which while still cheaper than PhD programs at traditional bricks-and-mortar institutions, can still be costly and increase any current student loan debt. Furthermore, while many schools offer programs in Enterprise Information Systems or variations of it, very few offer them exclusively over the internet.

Application & Admission Requirements

Though a master's degree in a relevant field is preferred, but Colorado Technical University applicants also have the option of completing a Master in Business Administration or Master of Science in Management while pursuing their PhD. Applicants must have an interview with an admission's advisor and submit a completed application, official post secondary transcripts, and an essay of 1,800 to 3,000 words that goes into depth about your interest and knowledge in Enterprise Information Systems. Undergraduate cumulative GPA must be 3.0 or more, and applicants must also submit a résumé that details a minimum of five years of relevant employment experience as well as your academic history. Letters of recommendation are not required. Like with all doctoral programs, plans of study must be approved by the Dean of Management or Director of Education.

Career Options & Job Market

Different career paths for graduates of online PhD programs in Computer Science in Enterprise Information Systems include: database manager or administrator; information systems director; systems analyst; and technology consultant. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of database and systems administrators is expected to increase by 30 percent, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Job prospects should be excellent as more companies rely heavily on information technology and the internet to conduct business and store and share information. In 2008, the middle fifty percent of Enterprise Information Systems employees earned between $51,690 and $84,110, with the lowest ten percent earning less than $41,000 and the highest ten percent earning more than $104,070. Even with these impressive salaries, work hours can be long. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 14 percent of database administrators reported working more than 50 hours per week in 2008.

Where to Find Information

How to Get Funding

Online tuition rates will be cheaper than they would be at a traditional bricks-and-mortar school. Financial aid is available for students pursuing an online PhD in Computer Science with a concentration in Enterprise Information Systems. Colorado Technical University offers financial assistance in the form of grants, federal Stafford loans and private student loans. Avoid private student loans if possible. Fellowship and scholarship opportunities are also available for minorities.

Essential Advice

  • Weigh your options and do the research. You'll need to know for sure whether an additional degree will increase your earning potential more than a bachelor's or master's degree in a similar field would.
  • Try to obtain a scholarship, fellowship or grant. Studying at a PhD level is costly, and you may not be able to predict how many years it will take you to complete it.
  • Talk to current PhD candidates and graduates about course load, time management, what admission materials they submitted, and so on. This is the best way to learn if the program is right for you.
  • Check the school's credentials. Once you find a program, make sure it is accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.