CS/IT/IS/etc Doctorates

msbacemsbace Posts: 7Member ■■□□□□□□□□
Hi all! 

I have completed a Masters in CS and would like to continue the momentum towards a PhD. I am only looking for online degree programs, due to my...well, life.  I also prefer B&M schools.
My research has found the following programs:
University of Arkansas PhD in CIS 
Dakota State U's new PhD (formerly Dsc)
University of Rhode Island PhD in CS
DePaul University PhD in CIS
Wright State U PhD in CS 
Auburn U PhD in CE

Does anyone have any experience with these? Are there any others worth considering? 



Comments

  • victor.s.andreivictor.s.andrei Posts: 70Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    msbace said:
    Hi all! 

    I have completed a Masters in CS and would like to continue the momentum towards a PhD. I am only looking for online degree programs, due to my...well, life.  I also prefer B&M schools.
    My research has found the following programs:
    University of Arkansas PhD in CIS 
    Dakota State U's new PhD (formerly Dsc)
    University of Rhode Island PhD in CS
    DePaul University PhD in CIS
    Wright State U PhD in CS 
    Auburn U PhD in CE

    Does anyone have any experience with these? Are there any others worth considering?

    You only need a Ph.D. if you are planning to become a professor, since a Ph.D. is basically training to become one. Also, did you write a thesis in your master's program? Were any of your papers accepted by reputable conferences or journals (think, ACM, IEEE, USENIX - in this field)?
    Q4 '18 Certification Goals: Cisco ICND2; JNCIA-Junos; Linux+; Palo Alto ACE

    2018-2020 Learning Goals: non-degree courses in math (Idaho, Illinois NetMath, VCU) and CS/EE (CU Boulder, CSU)
    in preparation for an application to MS Math + CS/EE dual-master's degree program at a US state school TBD by Q4'21

    To be Jedi is to face the truth...and choose.
    Give off light...or darkness, Padawan.
    Be a candle...or the night.
    (Yoda)
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 2,939Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I have no comment about any of those programs. Are you simply looking to get a phd for the sake and pleasure of of the experience? Or is it for some career goal?

    From a career perspective, I'm not sure it would be particularly useful unless your goal is to focus your phd on a particular subject area that you want to be it. For example, at a previous role, one of the teams that I managed was data science. In that department, everyone had a phd because of the nature of the work and the department head had a phd and she tended to know other phd's. And I do know of a few phd's that work in security that do crypto work - but their phd's were in math and not CS or CIS. 

    Good luck and I hope you share your experience when you start.
  • victor.s.andreivictor.s.andrei Posts: 70Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    paul78 said:
    I have no comment about any of those programs. Are you simply looking to get a phd for the sake and pleasure of of the experience? Or is it for some career goal?
    I suppose that there is about as much pleasure in doing a Ph.D. as there is in climbing Mount Everest without oxygen.

    If the OP likes studying advanced topics, the OP is better off doing a second master's - or a combination of graduate certificates - or non-degree courses. That said, the sweet spot there is graduate certificates since they provide additional coursework with a credential but are not as intense as subsequent degrees.
    paul78 said:
    From a career perspective, I'm not sure it would be particularly useful unless your goal is to focus your phd on a particular subject area that you want to be it. For example, at a previous role, one of the teams that I managed was data science. In that department, everyone had a phd because of the nature of the work and the department head had a phd and she tended to know other phd's.
    That is correct. In fact, for most tech jobs, the Ph.D. has no impact in the best case and negative impact in the average or worst case. That said, as you pointed out, sometimes the nature of the work and the credentials of one's colleagues may necessitate a Ph.D. For example, if one gets a job designing and prototyping novel and experimental network protocols, then a Ph.D. is probably a good idea.

    Implementing those protocols - a M.S. should suffice. Anything else (senior engineer, senior architect, management) - a M.S. should suffice also.
    paul78 said:
    And I do know of a few phd's that work in security that do crypto work - but their phd's were in math and not CS or CIS.
    I have taken graduate level courses in cryptography. At that point, cryptography is all mathematics - of the hardcore, theoretical variety that is not for the faint of heart - and there may be a slight bias towards folks with a Ph.D. in Mathematics or Applied Mathematics, especially when combined with some relevant CS/EE theory - it helps to know about algorithms, data structures, architecture, digital logic - rather than merely folks with just a CS or EE Ph.D.
    Q4 '18 Certification Goals: Cisco ICND2; JNCIA-Junos; Linux+; Palo Alto ACE

    2018-2020 Learning Goals: non-degree courses in math (Idaho, Illinois NetMath, VCU) and CS/EE (CU Boulder, CSU)
    in preparation for an application to MS Math + CS/EE dual-master's degree program at a US state school TBD by Q4'21

    To be Jedi is to face the truth...and choose.
    Give off light...or darkness, Padawan.
    Be a candle...or the night.
    (Yoda)
  • msbacemsbace Posts: 7Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for your responses!

    I do not have any papers that have been published in an academic journal or conference.
    I have no career goals directly related to this pursuit. 
    This is simply something I need to do.



  • Danielm7Danielm7 Posts: 2,226Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    I'd have to agree with the others, as for actual value and job goals. If it's something you just feel like you want to do, then at least I hope it's being funded by someone else because unless you want to use it to become a professor I can't imagine you'll ever get the ROI from doing it. 

    What is your job / work history?
  • msbacemsbace Posts: 7Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    It will be self funded. 

    I promise, guys, this is something I've been working towards for quite some time. I totally understand why you'd be concerned about ROI, etc which I appreciate, but in my case that's all been sorted. 

    I've already reached most of my career goals, so there are no concerns about how a job would view my degree.  

    This is largely a matter of personal fulfillment, but it will help me in more ways that outweigh the costs. 

    That said, I do factor in cost, so for example, UALR looks like a good program and being half the cost of, like Auburn or DePaul, makes it even more attractive. I've just learned about URI and Wright State, so I'm still researching those programs. I would have not considered Dakota State before the PhD change, but now it is a candidate as well.

    I hear programs like DSU mentioned here a lot, so I was just hoping someone else had experience at one of these schools or any others I may have missed. 


  • paul78paul78 Posts: 2,939Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    msbace said:
    ... I've already reached most of my career goals, so there are no concerns about how a job would view my degree.  

    This is largely a matter of personal fulfillment, but it will help me in more ways that outweigh the costs...
    If you are doing it for the pleasure of the experience and personal fulfillment, I think that's great if you have the opportunity. Sorry I can't help with any suggestions. I hope you enjoy it. I would really love the opportunity to go back to school some day. I am hoping to be able to do that when I retire.

    I hope you share which program you choose when you do so.
  • msbacemsbace Posts: 7Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    paul78 said:
    If you are doing it for the pleasure of the experience and personal fulfillment, I think that's great if you have the opportunity. Sorry I can't help with any suggestions. I hope you enjoy it. I would really love the opportunity to go back to school some day. I am hoping to be able to do that when I retire.

    I hope you share which program you choose when you do so.
    Thanks! I'd be happy to! I have just recently learned of so many of these, and I'm sure there are more. 

    I've found it interesting that many programs that can be completed mostly by distance do not directly advertise as such...I'm guessing to evade the "online degree"/diploma mill stigma. I totally get that but it makes it really hard to discover all of my options. 

    I hope you do take the opportunity to go back to school if it is your wish. :)
  • victor.s.andreivictor.s.andrei Posts: 70Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    JDMurray said:
    My $0.02:

    If you want to enter a situation where a PhD is preferred or required (e.g., teacher, researcher, author) then go for it. If this is not the case, a PhD holder can experience the Mercedes-owner Effect, where you are marginalized or even shunned because of your shiny, expensive automobile (or post grad degree).

    During the hiring process, I've seen many a PhD's resume be automatically discarded because of stereotypes of PhD holders, such as the candidate:
    • will have inflated sense of self-worth,
    • will demand a very high salary and expenses,
    • will do no real work and expect to lead only personally-selected projects that are of dubious worth to business,
    • is only of use in an academic environment (i.e., worthless in the real business world)
    Just be aware of what doors a PhD opens and how it may close others. Another one of those damn, double-edged sword.
    I'm assuming here that this effect is primarily due to the Ph.D. - and the perception surrounding that title. Am I right?

    My understanding - based on what I was told by CS professors while I was at the University of Virginia as an undergrad, so it's "straight from the horse's mouth" if you will - is that the Ph.D. is generally only needed to become a professor at a four-year research institution. (There are some other places such as US government FFRDCs where a Ph.D. is beneficial, too. Think MITRE, Battelle, Lincoln Lab, RAND, and so forth.)

    What I have gathered since then is that, one, a M.S. is sufficient to teach at a two-year, junior, or community college; two, a master's degree of some sort is generally needed to enter a management career track at many organizations; and, three, that the same intellectual feeling of earning a Ph.D. can be gotten without the risk of having the stigma of a Ph.D. on one's CV/resume by first earning a master's degree and then cherry-picking interesting coursework afterwards while volunteering with research groups at the local four-year research institution and while actively participating in professional societies in one's field.
    Q4 '18 Certification Goals: Cisco ICND2; JNCIA-Junos; Linux+; Palo Alto ACE

    2018-2020 Learning Goals: non-degree courses in math (Idaho, Illinois NetMath, VCU) and CS/EE (CU Boulder, CSU)
    in preparation for an application to MS Math + CS/EE dual-master's degree program at a US state school TBD by Q4'21

    To be Jedi is to face the truth...and choose.
    Give off light...or darkness, Padawan.
    Be a candle...or the night.
    (Yoda)
  • victor.s.andreivictor.s.andrei Posts: 70Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    msbace said:
    It will be self funded. 

    I promise, guys, this is something I've been working towards for quite some time. I totally understand why you'd be concerned about ROI, etc which I appreciate, but in my case that's all been sorted. 

    I've already reached most of my career goals, so there are no concerns about how a job would view my degree.  

    This is largely a matter of personal fulfillment, but it will help me in more ways that outweigh the costs. 

    That said, I do factor in cost, so for example, UALR looks like a good program and being half the cost of, like Auburn or DePaul, makes it even more attractive. I've just learned about URI and Wright State, so I'm still researching those programs. I would have not considered Dakota State before the PhD change, but now it is a candidate as well.

    I hear programs like DSU mentioned here a lot, so I was just hoping someone else had experience at one of these schools or any others I may have missed.
    If it's self-funded, fine, go for it. If it's for the sheer personal pleasure of having an extra piece of paper on the wall, that's perfectly fine - just go in with your eyes wide open that it's for the extra piece of paper on the wall, since you could very well have taken those funds and gotten the same effect by actually doing research - which you can do with a MS, by the way! - and cherry-picking interesting courses (much easier than dealing with online degree programs!) while volunteering with your local research university's various research groups.
    Q4 '18 Certification Goals: Cisco ICND2; JNCIA-Junos; Linux+; Palo Alto ACE

    2018-2020 Learning Goals: non-degree courses in math (Idaho, Illinois NetMath, VCU) and CS/EE (CU Boulder, CSU)
    in preparation for an application to MS Math + CS/EE dual-master's degree program at a US state school TBD by Q4'21

    To be Jedi is to face the truth...and choose.
    Give off light...or darkness, Padawan.
    Be a candle...or the night.
    (Yoda)
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,705Mod Mod
    OP seems to be my brother from another mother. I have zero need but want a terminal degree for no other reason than self-actualization. Should've never read Maslow I guess. Bro OP, feel free to PM me to exchange view points. 
  • msbacemsbace Posts: 7Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    @JDMurray

    As mentioned above, I do not have any career goals involving this pursuit. I will not ever be a candidate for a "tech job" in a manner that would lead to the situation you've described. This is purely for me.

    @cyberguypr : awesome! 



  • jdancerjdancer Posts: 478Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    If you are looking for a more of a practitioner's (really professional) doctorate degree in IT, there is Indiana State University's PhD in Information Management. This is an online program with some residency requirements.

    I have to admit, Dakota State University's PhD in Cyber Operations & Information Systems is quite interesting. Doesn't hurt it's online except for a 3 residency requirements. It's cool the PhD in IS has a concentration information security.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Posts: 3,898Mod Mod
    edited March 24
    Good luck with your endeavor, It's your time and you're free to do with it however you like :)


    Having said that...PhD is an apprenticeship in scientific research, so it's not really a step up from a Master's degree, it's a different degree. Where you do a PhD matters - A lot. Since PhD is all about learning how to do and publish research, you may want to find the best university you can. And I strongly recommend you do it full time. Full time PhD is a MINIMUM of 5 years of commitment.

    You might already know all of this, but in case you don't, that's what a PhD entails. a full time commitment to doing and publishing research. I know you are after a personal satisfaction, but I'd be very cautious of the amount of satisfaction you gonna get from doing an apprenticeship in research without the intention of pursuing a career in research. In IT, no one cares nor wants to know about a PhD (specially from a low ranked university), and it's does not add anything to your skills.


    Good luck and keep us posted about your progress.
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,228Admin Admin
    Ph.D. candidates are primarily expected to contribute new research and findings to their field. You will be evaluated for your ability to think about the modern topics within your field and synthesize new ideas as potential contributions to the field. As a Ph.D. candidate, you are more an inventor and discoverer than a learner.
  • CyberSecurityCyberSecurity Member Posts: 84Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    If you're set on B&M go for one of those. In the end a Ph.D. is a Ph.D. It basically shows that one knows how to conduct reserach appropriately and how to provide something back to society via "new data". Why not check out cost comparisons instead. University of the Cumberlands is the program I'm in and it's been a healthy amount of work so far. They have both B&M and Online opportunities available. Total cost for a Ph.D. in IT came out to seomting like 25K. If you transfer in courses that can drop down to 15-18k.  Most finish within the 2-3 year range. My way of thinking is that there is no reason to kill yourself getting a doctorate because that's how the past generations did it. Go the most efficient and least costly route because in the end a dissertation is a dissertation. Change the world after you've finished school.   :)
    Ph.D. IT [UC] - 50% complete
    M.S.C.I.A. [WGU] - Completed 6/2018
    B.S.I.T.M. [WGU] - Completed 4/2017
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,705Mod Mod
    Weird, I reached out to Cumberlands and they shot me down quickly saying that any transfer credit hours would be minimal and that they would need to be from a second masters.
  • Cuse0311Cuse0311 Member Posts: 42Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    edited April 5
    msbace said:
    Hi all! 

    I have completed a Masters in CS and would like to continue the momentum towards a PhD. I am only looking for online degree programs, due to my...well, life.  I also prefer B&M schools.
    My research has found the following programs:
    University of Arkansas PhD in CIS 
    Dakota State U's new PhD (formerly Dsc)
    University of Rhode Island PhD in CS
    DePaul University PhD in CIS
    Wright State U PhD in CS 
    Auburn U PhD in CE

    Does anyone have any experience with these? Are there any others worth considering? 



    You should check out Nova Southeastern University. They have a traditional PhD program as well as an online program with limited residency requirements.

    https://cec.nova.edu/doctoral/index.html
  • beadsbeads Posts: 1,437Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Yep! Just learn to avoid listing the credential on your resume outside of academic institutions. A Ph D. can really be the kiss of death in the corporate world. Still fun to have.

    -b/eads
  • Infosec_SamInfosec_Sam Posts: 122Admin Admin
    beads said:
    Yep! Just learn to avoid listing the credential on your resume outside of academic institutions. A Ph D. can really be the kiss of death in the corporate world. Still fun to have.

    -b/eads
    Is there really that big of a stigma around it? I guess I never really gave it much thought, but I've rarely ever seen a Ph D. outside of an academic setting.
  • beadsbeads Posts: 1,437Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Yeah, many organizations really see it as being too much academically for the role that someone with a 4 year degree is going to be doing next to you for the same amount of money. Add to that your co-workers will likewise treat you differently (usually poorly) when they find out from your LinkedIn profile, etc. Best to keep the Ph D. in academia or research where it belongs.

    Yes, I understand that many people from emerging markets tend to aspire to terminal studies as part of their culture of proving that they are successful as well. It is what it is. Have meet and worked with several Ph D.s in the corporate world and they always want to tell you how special they are until you pull the same card on them until you walk away from the conversation. (*Yawns*)

    - b/eads
  • Johnhe0414Johnhe0414 Junior Member USA, CAPosts: 71Registered Users ■■■□□□□□□□
    The only time I have seen someone with a Ph.D was one of our former Directors of IT.
    Current:  A+ | Network+ | Project+ |Security+
    Working on: Cysa+
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,228Admin Admin
    Research firms, such as The RAND Corp and Google, love to hire Ph.D's. Getting into a high-level administration position in educational institutions is often made easier by having a Ph.D.

    beads said:
    Just learn to avoid listing the credential on your resume outside of academic institutions. 

     Is it ethical to omit an earned degree from your resume? Many employers might not think so.
  • Danielm7Danielm7 Posts: 2,226Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    JDMurray said:
    Research firms, such as The RAND Corp and Google, love to hire Ph.D's. Getting into a high-level administration position in educational institutions is often made easier by having a Ph.D.

    beads said:
    Just learn to avoid listing the credential on your resume outside of academic institutions. 

     Is it ethical to omit an earned degree from your resume? Many employers might not think so.
    I'm not sure tailoring your resume to each job is an ethical question. We tell people to omit old unrelated jobs. If they asked in an interview "Do you have any post grad education?" Then lying about it would be unethical. But not listing it, I don't see that in the same category. 
  • EANxEANx Posts: 1,009Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    I would agree, I don't consider omitting experience, certification or degrees to be problematic. Just like I wouldn't expect someone to list every unexpired cert they've ever earned. Claiming qualifications you don't have is problematic, choosing not to list one, no.
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