E-Commerce Ph.D. Degree Programs

A Ph.D. program in information systems with a concentration in electronic commerce, or e-commerce, can prepare students with a bachelor's or master's degree, computer skills and business skills a means for career advancement. Keep reading to see common classes you'll take, program prerequisites, online availability, and possible career options. Schools offering E-Business Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Doctoral E-Commerce Program?

Doctoral degree programs focusing solely on e-commerce are rare, but there are several Ph.D. programs that include e-commerce as an area of study. You may want to consider the e-commerce components of programs in business administration, information systems and information technology. Some programs allow you to create an individualized plan of study with your adviser so that you can focus on the areas of greatest interest and most direct application to your career goals.

Common CoursesStatistics, research methods, design, microeconomics
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree, GRE or GMAT test results
Online Availability Hybrid availability.
Possible Careers Computer systems designer, IT department manager, database administrator
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 11% growth (for computer support specialists)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Will I Take

Course topics vary depending on the program. A business administration program includes studies in research methods, business entrepreneurship and management strategies. A Ph.D. in Information Systems or Information Technology features courses such as statistics, microeconomics, research methods, design and analysis of systems, virtual communities and network security. You may wish to specifically look for instruction in electronic commerce, Web design, marketing, online auctioning and e-commerce management.

Are There Any Prerequisites?

In order to pursue a doctorate in e-commerce, you must first hold a bachelor's degree. Your specific major doesn't always matter, but a degree in business or information technology can be beneficial. Although a master's degree isn't required for all programs, many doctoral degree programs recommend that you already hold a graduate degree. You also must take the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), depending on the requirements of the school that you're interested in. An application packet often requires letters of recommendation, and you may need to participate in an interview before you can be accepted to a program.

Are Online Programs Available?

Because doctoral degree candidates usually work closely with an advisory committee and sometimes create individualized programs of study, online Ph.D. programs are difficult to find. However, there are a few online programs in information systems that include training in e-commerce; potential students should ensure that their school is accredited to confer online degrees. There are also hybrid doctoral programs that include some online courses, while also requiring on-campus attendance.

What Could I Do with This Degree?

Training in e-commerce can lead to a career designing and creating efficient and appealing websites. There are also job possibilities in developing and implementing online marketing plans, which is a necessity in electronic commerce. If computer systems are your expertise, you may be interested in a job in programming, Web development or database administration. Companies utilizing electronic commerce also need people to analyze sales data, page visits and e-commerce trends. The extensive training that a doctoral program provides would also allow you to work as a webmaster, protecting websites from viruses and hackers, ensuring they are running appropriately and fixing problems as they arise.

As Ph.D.-holder, you could teach courses at a college or university. Depending on the emphasis of the doctoral program you complete, you may be qualified to teach e-commerce courses, classes in information systems or courses covering a variety of business topics. Most doctoral programs have a strong focus on research, which could prepare you for a career with a research facility, particularly with your computer skills.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2018, the industry, including computer systems design and similar positions, is one of the fastest growing in the nation (www.bls.gov). The median yearly salary for computer specialists as of 2018 was $53,470. Those working in computer systems analysis made $88,740, while the median income was $90,070 per year for database administrators.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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