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Best Online Doctorates in Software Engineering: Top PhD Programs, Career Paths, and Salary

Preeti Soni - June 07, 2022


Software engineering is a growing field with immense potential. Most of best jobs in America, such as data scientist, Java developer, or cloud engineer, require solid software engineering skills. With the best online PhD in Software Engineering, you can learn the most advanced skills and get a competitive salary.

An online PhD in Software Engineering allows you to learn essential skills while working a part-time or full-time job. This degree is advanced, flexible, and lets students study at their own pace. In this career guide, we will tell you how to pursue a software engineering PhD online. You will also learn about the highest-paying software engineering jobs.

Can You Get a PhD in Software Engineering Online?

Yes, you can get a PhD in Software Engineering online. Many universities offer flexible PhD programs for students and working professionals interested in online learning. Prospective students can design their program and make their study plan with the help of a university counselor.

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You can either get a PhD in Software Engineering or enroll in a PhD in Computer Science that offers a software engineering concentration. Most online PhD programs require students to complete the core coursework and work on independent research. Many universities also provide specialized online PhD programs in big data, information, and computer systems.

Is an Online PhD Respected?

Yes, an online PhD is respected. Students with an online software engineering PhD learn the exact same skills as an in-person student while gaining work experience. Some employers might even prefer these candidates. Like a traditional doctoral program, students enrolled in an online PhD have to work on intensive research and complete their dissertation.

As many as 200 accredited institutions offer online doctorate programs in the US. Hence, online PhDs are gaining popularity each year. Employers have also started focusing on hiring skill-based talent because of the growing demand for software engineers.

What Is the Best Online PhD Program in Software Engineering?

The best online PhD program in software engineering is offered by North Dakota State University. Admission to this program requires a solid understanding of high-level programming languages. Both bachelor’s and master’s graduates with a GPA of 3.25 or higher can enroll in this program.

Why North Dakota State University Has the Best Online PhD Program in Software Engineering

North Dakota State University (NDSU) has the best online PhD program in software engineering because students learn modern software development. This guarantees that their education covers in-demand skills. Further, NDSU is an R1 classified research institution, which means it offers top-of-the-line resources to its PhD students.

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Online PhD in Software Engineering Admission Requirements

The admission requirements for an online PhD in Software Engineering include a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited institution in software engineering or a related field. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is the standard minimum. Prospective students need to submit a statement of purpose or personal essay, letters of recommendation, and official transcripts.

Students may have to showcase work experience and demonstrate their ability before a committee to get admission into the program. Some programs might require students to submit a research proposal. Each program is different, so please review each school’s requirements carefully.

Online PhD in Software Engineering Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Computer Science or a related field from an accredited institution
  • Relevant work experience
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0
  • Resume
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal essays or statement of purpose

Best Online PhDs in Software Engineering: Top Degree Program Details

School Program Estimated Length
Aspen University Doctor of Science in Computer Science N/A
Auburn University PhD in Computer Science and Software Engineering 4 years
Colorado Technical University PhD in Computer Science 3 years
Dakota State University PhD in Information Systems 7 years
Mississippi State University Doctor of Philosophy in Computational Engineering 5 years
Nova Southeastern University Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science 3-6 years
Texas A&M University Online Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Engineering 3-6 years
The George Washington University PhD in Systems Engineering 4-6 years
University of Fairfax Doctorate in Software Development N/A
Wright State University PhD in Computer Science and Engineering N/A

Best Online PhDs in Software Engineering: Top University Programs to Get a PhD in Software Engineering Online

The top university programs to get a PhD in Software Engineering online enable students to get transferable skills. Such programs are highly flexible and offer excellent learning resources. To help you get started, we’ve created a list of the best online PhDs in Software Engineering. All of these programs are offered by accredited universities and offer quality education.

1

Aspen University

Denver, CO

Aspen University is home to 5,424 students. Established in 1987, the school is known for its accessible education and affordable programs. Aspen University offers online doctorates in education, technology, and nursing.

Doctor of Science in Computer Science

Aspen University offers a 20-course Doctor of Science in Computer Science. Students get to choose their own capstone course alongside their core curriculum. The program focuses on research, algorithm design, and risk analysis.

Doctor of Science in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission
  • Program Length: N/A
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition and Fees: $375/month

Doctor of Science in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • Completed application
  • Resume
  • Statement of goals
  • Computer science experience
  • Master’s degree transcripts

2

Auburn University

Auburn, AL

Auburn University is among the best 50 public universities in the country , according to US News & World Report. Founded in 1856, it is a public land-grant research institution located in Alabama. It has 15 colleges and schools that offer more than 150 majors. The university saw a total enrollment of 31,526 in the year 2021-22.

PhD in Computer Science and Software Engineering

Auburn University's PhD program teaches core computer science and software engineering subjects. PhD students can then choose a concentration in various fields, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, human-computer interaction, and data mining.

The program is open for both bachelor's and master's graduates and offers teaching and research assistantships. Though, bachelor's graduates would have to spend more time studying prerequisite courses along with the program.

PhD in Computer Science and Software Engineering  Overview

  • Accreditation: The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Program Length: 6-10 years
  • Acceptance Rate: 24%
  • Tuition and Fees: $630/credit

PhD in Computer Science and Software Engineering Admission Requirements

  • Online application form
  • Official university transcripts
  • Statement of purpose showcasing your interest in the program
  • Latest resume
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Upload GRE scores

3

Colorado Technical University

Colorado Springs, CO

Established in 1965, Colorado Technical University (CTU) is popular for offering tech-focused virtual undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The university offers more than 80-degree programs and concentrations. Students can study engineering, big data analytics, cyber security, business, and management.

PhD in Computer Science

CTU's PhD in Computer Science is a 100-credit hour program that teaches current computer science and information systems topics. Students gain strong research skills and understand research methods and design.

Students will also work on intensive research projects and explore high-level design issues. Students can choose to study one of the three concentrations, Big Data Analytics, Cyber Security, and Information Assurance.

PhD in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
  • Program Length: 3 years (can be extended)
  • Acceptance Rate : N/A
  • Tuition and Fees: $598/credit

PhD in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • Online application
  • Accredited baccalaureate degree
  • A personal essay, if asked by the university
  • Doctoral interview

4

Dakota State University

Daytona Beach, FL

Founded in 1881, Dakota State University (DSU) is a public institution that offers 23 bachelor's degrees , four PhDs, and seven master’s degree programs. DSU has one of the most affordable PhDs in the field of computer science, with a fee of $464.90 per credit. About 74 percent of students receive financial aid annually.

PhD in Information Systems

The PhD in Information Systems is an excellent choice for those who want to pursue a data-intensive industry career. The degree program offers an in-depth understanding of applications and research in information systems. The degree requires a total of 72 credits for graduation.

The university offers classes in three academic terms, fall, spring, and summer. A student with a master's degree can complete the degree within three years. Students who do not meet the admission requirements have to undertake foundational coursework.

PhD in Information Systems Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Program Length: 3 years (full-time students) to 7 years
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition and Fees: $464.90/credit

PhD in Information Systems Admission Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Master's Degree in Information Systems (MSIS)
  • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0
  • Students may have to complete entry-level coursework before the program begins

5

Mississippi State University

Mississippi State, MS

Established in 1878, Mississippi State University (MSU) is one of the top 100 research institutions in the country. It has eight colleges that offer 160 degree programs, including 14 master's and 44 doctoral programs. MSU also offers 14 graduate certifications. The university enrolls more than 20,000 students every year.

Doctor of Philosophy in Computational Engineering

If you are passionate about computational modeling in engineering, then MSU's PhD is an ideal option. This 72-credit program is an interdisciplinary doctoral program that allows students to pursue tech jobs in aerospace companies and energy, manufacturing, and healthcare organizations. Students learn parallel algorithms, software engineering, and applied mathematics.

Doctor of Philosophy in Computational Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Program Length: N/A
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition and Fees: $514/credit

Doctor of Philosophy in Computational Engineering Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree from a recognized university in the US or equivalent
  • Official university transcripts
  • An online application as an unclassified student
  • A minimum grade of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0
  • GRE scores
  • Application fee
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • $60 application fee

6

Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a private research university founded in 1964. It is located in Florida. The university has 18 schools, colleges, and centers that offer various programs. Students can study social sciences, law, business, allopathic medicine, optometry, physical therapy, and education.

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science

NSU's PhD in Computer Science emphasizes solving real-world problems using artificial intelligence (AI) and information technology. It is a 66-credit, research-oriented program where students learn to develop innovative solutions. Students have to complete a dissertation in cyber security, software engineering, data science, computer systems, or AI.

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Program Length: 3-6 years
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition and Fees: $1,117/credit

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • Online application
  • $50 non-refundable application fee
  • Bachelor's or a master's degree with a GPA of 3.20 from a regionally accredited institution
  • Official transcripts from all institutions
  • Personal essay
  • Three letters of recommendation

Texas A&M University | Brazos County, TX

Texas A&M University is one of the best universities in Texas. It has 17 colleges and schools that offer 175 master's and 92 doctoral degree programs. Students can study a wide range of business, agriculture, and engineering courses. More than 73,000 students are currently enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs at the university.

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Engineering

Texas A&M University offers a unique interdisciplinary PhD program that traditional universities don't usually provide. This program is an excellent option for those who want to research various engineering disciplines. The university offers pre recorded lectures to online students. It also offers library databases and writing centers to help students with their research.

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College
  • Program Length: N/A
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition and Fees: $3,173/3 credits

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Engineering Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s or a master’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Online application
  • $58 non-refundable processing fee
  • Official transcripts and records from all universities attended
  • Official GRE scores
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume

8

George Washington University

Washington, DC

George Washington University was established in 1821. It offers more than 75 majors across a wide range of career fields. The university has a student-faculty ratio of 13:1 with an average class size of 29. Additionally, it has over 475 student organizations.

PhD in Systems Engineering

This PhD program is divided into two phases and has four milestones. In this classroom phase, students gain an in-depth understanding of systems engineering. The classroom courses include discrete systems simulation, data analysis , knowledge management, advanced systems engineering, and research methods.

Students focus on independent study and complete their dissertation during the research phase of the PhD. Distance-learning students must attend their classes virtually at a scheduled time. The program consists of 54 credit hours.

PhD in Systems Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: The Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Program Length: 4-6 years (students who don’t meet the requirements within 4 years will receive a graduate certificate instead of a degree)
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition: $995/credit

PhD in Systems Engineering Admission Requirements

  • Online application form
  • Transcripts
  • GRE exam scores (optional)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume/CV
  • Application Fee

9

University of Fairfax

Salem, VA

Fairfax University was established in 2002 after the events of September 9, 2001, and is considered a military-friendly school. The school allows students to earn their graduate degrees 100 percent online.

Doctorate in Software Development

This degree requires 62 credits for completion. Upon graduation, students will be able to solve real-world problems, provide database solutions, and design business development models. Students must complete a dissertation to earn their software development PhD.

Doctorate in Software Development Overview

  • Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission
  • Program Length: N/A
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition and Fees: Total cost of $59,210

Doctorate in Software Development Admission Requirements

  • Online application form
  • Minimum of 3 years of work experience
  • Master’s degree from an accredited institution

10

Wright State University

Dayton, OH

Established in 1964, Wright State University is a public university in Ohio. It consists of five colleges and two schools. Students can choose from 276 undergraduate and graduate majors. Some of the popular programs at the university include nursing, entrepreneurship, human resource management, and engineering.

PhD in Computer Science and Engineering

If you are passionate about learning hardware and software, then this PhD program is the perfect fit. The program allows students to focus on peer-reviewed publications, research programs, and technical concepts. They learn to research, design, test, and manufacture software based on computer science principles.

PhD in Computer Science and Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Program Length: N/A
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition and Fees: $660/hour

PhD in Computer Science and Engineering Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor of Science or a Master of Science degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a related discipline from an accredited institution with a GPA of 3.3 or higher
  • Strong knowledge of high-level programming languages and data structures, computer organization, and architecture
  • Understanding of operating systems, calculus, probability and statistics, linear algebra, and discrete mathematics
  • $40 application fee

Online Software Engineering PhD Graduation Rates: How Hard Is It to Complete an Online PhD Program in Software Engineering?

It is extremely hard to complete an online PhD in Software Engineering. A PhD is the most advanced degree after postdoctoral programs and can take a long time to finish. Not only are PhDs lengthy, but they require students to conduct intensive research. It may take up to eight years to complete a PhD program.

As reported by Statista, only 2,414 candidates completed their PhD in Computer Science in 2020 in the United States. Before enrolling in a PhD program, you should consider the course load and outcomes of your chosen program to see if it fits you.

How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD in Software Engineering Online?

It can take anywhere between three to eight years to complete a PhD in Software Engineering. The average time to get a PhD in the United States is seven and a half years , according to Statista. To get a PhD, you have to complete the required credit hours, submit a research proposal and finish your dissertation.

Students can complete online PhDs in less time as their schedules can be customized according to the prospective student. How long it takes to complete a PhD also depends if a student is attending a part-time or full-time program.

How Hard Is an Online Doctorate in Software Engineering?

An online PhD in Software Engineering is very hard. It is an advanced degree that requires students to gain expertise in a technical subject. Students have to finish a rigorous course of 60-90 credit hours and must submit a dissertation. Often, students must pass a qualifying exam before starting their dissertation.

Online PhDs have more flexible schedules than on-campus PhDs. However, students are still required to spend a significant amount of time studying their core subject and conducting intensive research. Universities may need students to spend 25 to 50 hours a week to complete their PhD program in a reasonable amount of time.

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What Courses Are in an Online Software Engineering PhD Program?

The courses in an online PhD in Software Engineering include advanced programming languages, machine learning, network design, artificial intelligence, network architecture, cyber security, cloud computing, and quantum computing. Software engineering has a wide range of subfields, so every university offers different coursework.

Main Areas of Study in a Software Engineering PhD Program

  1. Machine learning
  2. Artificial intelligence
  3. Network design and architecture
  4. Database management
  5. Operating systems
  6. Network architecture

How Much Does Getting an Online Software Engineering PhD Cost?

It costs $19,314 per year to get a PhD in Software Engineering, according to a 2018-19 survey by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Students have to pay $12,171 per year to attend a PhD program at a public institution, while private institutions have an average tuition of $25,929.

Apart from the tuition, students enrolled in online PhDs also have to pay technology fees, application fees, and other online resources expenses. These expenses can significantly increase the total cost of the program.

How to Pay for an Online PhD Program in Software Engineering

You can pay for an online PhD program in software engineering through various financial aid options available at the university. Many universities offer grants, scholarships, loans, tuition waivers, teaching and research assistantships, and scholarships to doctoral students. Most schools recommend submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.

It is challenging to find a university that offers a fully-funded PhD program. However, many universities provide tuition waivers for exceptionally talented students. Some universities also provide minimum tuition support, wherein students only have to pay a portion of the tuition fee.

How to Get an Online PhD for Free

You cannot get an online PhD in Software Engineering or any computer science-related subject for free. PhD programs are among the most advanced degrees. Universities have to provide excellent research facilities and online resources to help students conduct their research.

Many universities do offer fully-funded PhD programs in software engineering. However, those programs are on-campus degrees and require students to attend classes physically. You can also apply for scholarships, fellowships, and grants to afford the online PhD program.

What Is the Most Affordable Online PhD in Software Engineering Degree Program?

The most affordable online PhD degree program is the PhD in Computer Engineering by North Dakota State University. The cost per credit hour at NDSU for this program is $464,90. Though, you will also have several other expenses such as a technology fee, dissertation fee, and graduation fee.

Most Affordable Online PhD Programs in Software Engineering: In Brief

School Program Tuition
North Dakota State University PhD in Computer Engineering $405.18/credit
Aspen University PhD in Computer Science $450 per credit
Mississippi State University PhD in Computer Science $514 per credit
Capella University Online PhD in Information Technology $545 per credit
Dakota State University Online PhD in Information Systems $580.60 per credit

Why You Should Get an Online PhD in Software Engineering

You should get an online PhD in Software Engineering because it is a promising field with ample career opportunities. A PhD in Software Engineering can help you get a managerial or a leadership position that usually requires a lot of work experience.

You will build strong research and problem-solving skills. You can become a researcher and help develop cutting-edge technologies to solve real-world problems. A doctoral degree is also an excellent way to showcase your hard work, passion, and dedication toward a specific field.

Top Reasons for Getting a PhD in Software Engineering

  • Transferable skills. A PhD can help you gain transferable skills, which almost every employer desires in their employees. These skills can make you eligible for nearly every job in the software industry.
  • Managerial position opportunities. Often, employers require someone highly experienced for a managerial position. You’re more likely to be considered for such positions if you have a PhD as it proves your dedication and expertise.
  • Specialization options. PhDs are an excellent way to understand a particular subject in-depth. You can gain expertise in data science, machine learning , or artificial intelligence and pursue a career in that field.
  • Wide range of career opportunities. Many job opportunities are available only to doctoral graduates. Instead of having to climb your way up the work ladder, you can explore career opportunities and get a competitive salary right after graduation.

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What Is the Difference Between an On-Campus Software Engineering PhD and an Online PhD in Software Engineering?

The difference between an online and on-campus software engineering PhD is the learning format. In an online PhD, students can design their study plan and customize the schedule as per their availability. However, on-campus PhDs have a strict schedule that students must follow.

Choosing whether to attend an in-person or online PhD program can be challenging. Here are some factors that can help you make an informed decision and choose the best software engineering PhD.

Online PhD vs On-Campus PhD: Key Differences

  • Flexible schedule. Online students can design and manage their schedules and do the coursework at their own pace. They can even talk to the university to extend the program timeline.
  • Network opportunities. On-campus students have a higher chance of networking with their peers, professors, and other working professionals. They also spend a lot of time with their professors conducting research. On the flip side, online students get to interact virtually with students from all over the world.
  • Greater diversity. Since the online program is available to everyone, there’s likely to be more diversity in the virtual classroom. Greater diversity can help in fruitful discussions and lead to innovative ideas.
  • Access to campus facilities. On-campus students have access to many campus facilities such as student welfare programs, research facilities, and career fairs. Although universities offer online learning resources, they are not as common.

How to Get a PhD in Software Engineering Online: A Step-by-Step Guide

A young student attending their online software engineering PhD courses.
The best online PhDs in Software Engineering allow students to learn in-demand skills from the comfort of their own homes.

To get a PhD in Software Engineering, you need to find and apply to a program that fits your personal and professional goals. Keep reading to learn how to apply, pass your qualifications, complete your coursework, and conduct your dissertation.

1

Step 1: Earn a Master’s Degree

The first step to earning a PhD is to complete your Master's Degree in Software Engineering, Computer Science, or any relevant field. A master's degree is a mandatory requirement in most graduate schools. While studying for your master's, you can also finish some of the prerequisite courses required to get admission to a PhD program and shorten the duration of your studies.

2

Step 2: Submit an Online Application for Admission

After earning your master’s degree, you must choose an online PhD program and submit an application for admission. You have to fill out the admission form and submit any requested materials. Students often have to send their official GRE or GMAT scores . You also have to fulfill other requirements, such as submitting a statement of purpose and letters of recommendation.

3

Step 3: Pass Computer Science Qualifying Examination

Students have to undertake a qualifying examination before starting the dissertation process. A qualifying exam is an oral representation to evaluate whether the student can conduct the required research. Some universities also ask students to present their research proposals at least two weeks before the examination.

4

Step 4: Complete Required Coursework and Credit Hours

After enrolling in a PhD program, you must complete the required coursework. Many universities offer customized online PhD programs that allow students to choose core subjects and electives. Often, students have to finish 72 to 90 credits to gain a PhD degree which involves a lot of research. Students have to complete the required thesis hours to qualify for graduation.

5

Step 5:  Conduct Research and Submit Final Dissertation

The last and most challenging step to completing a PhD degree program is to work on a dissertation project. A doctoral dissertation is a research project where you test the theories and concepts of a subject of your choosing. Once you finish your dissertation, you will have to defend it in front of a committee to qualify for a PhD.

Online PhD in Software Engineering Salary and Job Outlook

According to PayScale, a PhD holder in software engineering can annually earn anywhere between $77,000 and $182,000 per year . Software engineering is a vast field with immense career opportunities. Your salary depends on the place you’re living in, the skillset you possess, and your job role.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 22 percent employment growth for software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers. This growth is considered much faster than average.

What Can You Do With an Online Doctorate in Software Engineering?

With an online Doctorate in Software Engineering, you can get the best tech jobs such as IT manager, computer research scientist, machine learning engineer, and DevOps engineer. Computer science is a booming field that presents lots of promising career opportunities. You can also become a professor and teach university students.

We’ve prepared a list of the best-paying jobs in the tech industry to help you start your research about career outcomes. These mid-senior-level positions usually require higher education, such as a doctoral degree and work experience.

Best Jobs with a PhD in Software Engineering

  • Computer and Information Systems Manager
  • Computer and Information Research Scientists
  • Computer Network Architects
  • Software Developer
  • Database Administrator

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What Is the Average Salary for an Online PhD Holder in Software Engineering?

According to PayScale, the average salary of an online PhD holder in software engineering is $103,000 per year in the United States. Computer science is a promising field that can offer various roles to PhD holders, which causes this number to fluctuate. Your annual salary may also depend on your position, location, and the skillset you possess.

Highest-Paying Software Engineering Jobs for PhD Grads

Online Software Engineering PhD Jobs Average Salary
Computer and Information Systems Manager $159,010
Computer and Information Research Scientist $131,490
Computer Network Architect $120,520
Software Developer $110,140
Database Administrator $98,860

Best Software Engineering Jobs for Online PhD Holders

The best software engineering jobs for online PhD holders require advanced skills and experience. We’ve created a list of the highest-paying jobs that online software engineering doctorates can get after finishing the degree program.

1

Computer and Information Systems Manager

PhD Salary: $159,010

The primary role of such managers is to plan, direct, and coordinate all the activities related to a company's information system. They oversee the use of every technology used within a business. Since it is a managerial position, you must have advanced skills and experience to become an IT manager.

2

Computer and Information Research Scientists

PhD Salary: $131,490

If you are interested in research and love troubleshooting problems, you should become a computer scientist. Computer and information scientists are important because they can identify issues and develop innovative solutions. They work on developing new languages and software systems.

3

Computer Network Architects

PhD Salary: $120,520

A computer network architect is a skilled tech professional responsible for designing data communication networks. They are responsible for modeling, securing, and installing networks. They conduct research to develop new networking technologies to help fulfill organizational goals. To become a computer network architect , you need solid expertise in both business and technical skills.

4

Software Developer

PhD Salary: $110,140

Software developers are primarily responsible for creating, testing, and managing software programs from scratch. They have an excellent mathematical aptitude and great problem-solving skills. Using those technical skills, they analyze issues and research troubleshooting methods.

5

Database Administrator

PhD Salary: $98,860

Database administrators secure databases that can protect the confidential information of an organization. They can have multiple roles. For instance, they can work in a software development team to integrate databases and applications. They can also work with the management team to make an informed decision from business analytics.

Is It Worth It to Do a PhD in Software Engineering Online?

Yes, it is worth it to do a PhD in Software Engineering online. An online doctoral program can help you gain the most in-demand skills without having to leave your job. Further, students also develop transferable skills that increase their chance of getting a high-paying job in any field.

The demand for software engineers is increasing every day, and every company requires software engineers to help them step into the digital world. That’s why software development employment is expected to grow 22 percent by 2030.

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Online PhD in Software Engineering FAQ

How much does a software engineer with a PhD make?

A software engineer with a PhD can make a median salary of $103,000, according to PayScale. The salary of software engineers often depends on the job type, location, and skillset. A PhD can be an excellent way to develop an advanced skillset and prepare yourself for a senior position.

Is an online PhD valid in the US?

Yes, online PhD programs are valid in the US when they come from an accredited institution. Accreditation of an online university showcases that the program maintains a quality standard and provides a great learning environment. Most employers like Google, Microsoft, Meta, or Amazon hire online PhD graduates.

How can I do a PhD while working a job?

You can do an online PhD while working a job as these programs are highly flexible and can be personalized as per your career goals. Many programs are 100 percent online and don’t require students to go to classes. Additionally, you can talk to the university to schedule online lectures.

Where can I get an on-campus PhD in Software Engineering?

You can get an on-campus PhD in Software Engineering from Boston College, Columbia University, University of Alabama, Johns Hopkins University, and Cornell University. You can also consider the University of Illinois, Washington State University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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Preeti Soni

About the author: Preeti is a content writer who has written for publications like Business Insider and Doordarshan. Her experience working with career coaches and edtech founders as well as teaching underprivileged children in New Delhi helped her build her passion for helping others. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Banasthali University.

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