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Online PhD in Information Technology

As technology advances at a rapid pace, a PhD in Information Technology program could prepare you to shape the future of IT. More than a pathway to earning the highest credential in your field, a doctorate program offers the chance to take a deep dive into the IT industry’s challenges and opportunities. That could mean gaining deep knowledge of how machine learning solves business problems, using analytics to plan for growing IT needs, responding to evolving cyber security threats, and much more.


What is a Doctor in Information Technology Degree?

A Doctor of Information Technology (DIT) is a professional doctoral degree that focuses on applying IT research to real-world situations. It is often slightly different from a PhD in Information Technology program, which seeks to expand the IT field’s existing body of knowledge. 

True, problem-solving in the evolving world of technology plays a central role in both programs. However, PhD programs often emphasize creating new theories, solutions, and best practices to inform the IT field. A DIT program, on the other hand, focuses on solving real-life challenges in industries like business or healthcare. 

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DIT vs. PhD in Information Technology

Which program is right for you? At University of the Cumberlands, you don’t have to make that choice. Our PhD in Information Technology program blends the best of both a DIT and PhD. Our practitioner-aimed PhD program blends research with reality-based problem-solving. 

In a more general sense, it’s important to recognize that PhD and DIT programs have more similarities than differences. Either a PhD or a DIT could prepare you to conduct research, teach, or help businesses achieve their IT goals. 

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What Careers Can You Do with a PhD in Information Technology?

With a PhD in Information Technology, you can build on your existing IT knowledge and experience to shape the future of technology. The computer and information technology field is projected to grow 13 percent between 2021 and 2030, opening up more than half a million new roles. In particular, experts in cloud computing, big data, and cyber security may be in demand. A PhD could help you prepare for new opportunities in these areas.

One growing IT career path is computer and information research scientist, a role projected to see 22 percent more jobs by 2030. Computer scientists conduct research to solve problems in areas like business, science, and healthcare. They make breakthroughs in disciplines such as:

  • Robotics
  • Programming 
  • Machine learning
  • Cloud computing
  • Network technology
  • Information security

Earning a PhD may also be critical if you plan to pursue a postsecondary teaching career path. Finally, some doctorate degree-holders go on to lead technology initiatives in organizations, serve as business consultants, or even become entrepreneurs. 

Ultimately, pursuing your PhD in Information Technology offers the license to follow your scholarly interests and make discoveries that could potentially change the industry—and the world. While many students have an idea of where they hope the program will take them, it’s also important to stay open to evolving possibilities. What you can achieve may surprise you!

To learn about more careers, click here to view a career infographic. 

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Is a PhD in Information Technology Worth It?

Earning a PhD in Information Technology could be the ultimate leg of your educational journey, preparing you to make vital contributions to the IT field. Some potential benefits of pursuing your PhD at University of the Cumberlands include:

  • Expanded career opportunities. When you earn your PhD at University of the Cumberlands, you could prepare to advance your career, pursue IT leadership roles, or teach the next generation of IT professionals in an academic setting. Whether you’re interested in diving into big data, optimizing business networks, enhancing security with blockchain technology, or something else entirely, earning your PhD could propel you to the next level.
  • Salary growth. In 2021, doctorate degree-holders earned about $18,205 more in annual median wages than those with a master’s degree. They also earned about $30,680 more than those with a bachelor’s degree. In short, earning your PhD could pay off.
  • Flexible learning. Potentially earn your PhD without leaving your current career. The PhD in Information Technology degree program at University of the Cumberlands can be completed online and on your own schedule. So, you can advance your career goals in a convenient format that fits your life.

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Curriculum and Degree Requirements

The PhD in Information Technology online degree program from University of the Cumberlands is designed to help you take your IT career to new heights. The program is comprised of the following 60 required credit hours which include professional research courses, content specialty courses and a dissertation.

The dissertation is the capstone experience in the PhD program of Information Technology. A dissertation is a research-based project that may use a wide range of statistical, quantitative, and qualitative methods. However, in the University’s practitioner-focused program, the dissertation is conceived as a reality-based project in which the candidate engages in authentic professional problem-solving to extend best practices in the field.

Our fully online curriculum focuses on predictive analytics, enhancing your credentials and giving you the tools you need to be your company’s IT expert in cybercrime security, big data, and smart technology. You’ll explore information governance, technology for a global economy, enterprise risk management, data science, big data, and more. You’ll also gain a comprehensive understanding of emerging threats to IT infrastructure and systems, plus identify countermeasures to keep cyberattacks at bay. 

Our online curriculum is unique, because it’s designed for practitioners. You will study the theories, strategies, and tactics necessary to lead in today’s global technology management field. Besides engaging in research with a focus on professional problem-solving, you will learn how to:

  • Use predictive analytics
  • Employ big data analytics
  • Empower smart cities
  • Make data-driven decisions
  • Identify cyber threats
  • Improve connectivity
  • And much more

The program requires 18 credit hours of core courses like Information Governance, Enterprise Risk Management, and Information Technology in a Global Economy and 18 hours in one of five content specialty areas:

  • Blockchain
  • Cyber Engineering
  • Digital Forensics
  • Information Securities
  • Information Technology

Finally, you will engage in 24 credit hours of professional research, working toward a dissertation. The dissertation serves as the capstone of your PhD. It consists of a reality-based project and gives you the chance to engage in authentic professional problem-solving with the goal of expanding best practices in the IT field. 

Click here for Course Details

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Costs for programs of study at University of the Cumberlands are competitive and affordable. Click here to view tuition rates and fees.

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Admission Requirements

University of the Cumberlands has established qualitative and quantitative requirements for admission of students whose education preparation evidences the potential for a high-level performance. 

Admission to our University is very competitive as well as selective and we review each application by the same standards.

  • Application and Application Fee
  • Submit official transcripts from all applicable colleges/universities attended; must be received directly from the issuing college or university.
  • Doctoral degree admission requires a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale from the conferred master’s degree as well as in any subsequent graduate study. Admission to a Doctoral degree requires a master’s degree or higher from a US Department of Education recognized accredited institution, in a field related to the doctoral degree of application.
  • Any international course work completed must have official transcript evaluations completed and submitted to the University by the evaluation firm. Evaluations MUST include GPA for admission.
    Approved Evaluation Firms are:
    • World Education Services (WES)
    • Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE)
    • International Education Research Foundation (IERF)
    • Educational Perspectives (EP)
    • SpanTran
  • Documentation of language fluency for non-native speakers of English, such as a score report from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the 8 International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or a report from Duolingo. This requirement is waived for students who have completed bachelor’s or master’s level coursework in the U.S. at an accredited institution. The minimum acceptable TOEFL or IELTS scores for admission are: 
    • Paper-based TOEFL (PBT) - 550 
    • Internet-based TOEFL (IBT) - 79 
    • IELTS - 6
    • Duolingo - 100

All admissions materials should be submitted to Graduate Admissions:

All admissions materials should be submitted to:
University of the Cumberlands
Graduate & Online Admissions
649 S. 10th Street
Williamsburg, KY 40769

Phone: 606.539.4390
Tollfree: 800.343.1609

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Transfer Credit Policy

For a Doctoral program, a maximum of eighteen semester hours earned beyond the master’s degree used for admissions purposes may be accepted. Transfer credits must be in courses equivalent to courses in the program. All transfer credits must be approved by the Program Director and the Registrar and have been earned within the last five years. Grades for any transfer credits accepted into the program do not count in the program GPA.

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Click here to view University of the Cumberlands' accreditation information. 

In addition to the overall institutional accreditation statement above, UC has been named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) by the National Security (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). There are just over 200 universities nationwide with CAE-CD designation, and only two other universities in Kentucky included in this elite group.

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Click here to view a list of the information technology faculty. 

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Admissions Office

Contact Us

Phone: 606.539.4390
Tollfree: 855.791.7199

Visit Us In Person

649 S. 10th Street Suite C
Williamsburg, KY 40769