The independent, trusted guide to online education for over 24 years!

Top 3 Online PhD Data Science Programs for Under $68,000

An online PhD data science program can deliver lucrative careers

An online PhD data science program can be the right training for today’s advanced technological world. No matter what industry you work in, AI and machine learning are increasingly integrated into the daily processes. Businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies are awash in all the information it is now possible to collect. But most simply do not know what to do with that data, which is why we need more people trained to organize, analyze, and interpret the mounds of information so that organizations can use it to make our world a better place. With an online PhD data science program, you can help organizations figure out how to use this new technology and information to improve profits, products, and people’s lives.

What is Data Science?

Data science is the field of study that works to extract actionable insights from vast volumes of data. Data scientists refine and clean the data, develop programming code to analyze the data, and design algorithms and qualitative research to extract the most value from information. Using skills from computer science, statistics, business management, and other fields, data scientists provide an interdisciplinary knowledge base that helps us learn about the world through the data that we now collect.

An online PhD in data science will focus primarily on the many aspects of computer technology. In comparison, a data analytics degree will deal more with business analytics than with the background IT infrastructure to support it. While a full understanding of technology is involved, data science’s manipulation and predictive aspects are generally used to help support business goals like boosting profits, reducing waste, managing risk, predicting purchasing behaviors, and more. Data science sits at the intersection of technology and psychology to improve the outcomes of organizational decision-making processes.

There are also master’s degree programs in data science, and these can help you advance your career if you do not already have a master’s degree. But a PhD in data science will require more in-depth research skills, more original thinking, and more advanced knowledge of the field. To rise to the highest levels in this in-demand professional specialty, getting an online PhD data science degree is a great way to do it. Not only can you continue your career while you study, but you can start to apply what you learn in your current position to help you move up the ladder and improve your performance while you study.

What to Expect from an Online PhD in Data Science

Suppose you have been working in the professional world for several years. In that case, you may never have taken online courses, or at least not as serious and rigorous studies as you will be required to take in a PhD in data science online program. A PhD is a research degree that requires you to develop exceptional skills in research and analysis of data, which, coincidentally, is crucial to data science. So a doctoral program will hone the academic skills you will be working on in the content of your courses, which is a win. And you can do all this while continuing your current job and family life—it just takes some dedication.

First off, taking an online degree requires commitment and self-organization, as you will often be logging on at your own times during the week around a busy schedule. Yet you will be required to produce high-level work and participate fully to meet the goals of each course. The other important thing to understand about a doctorate is that your final product will be a written dissertation that must contribute original insights into the field. You will be tackling a research project that will advance knowledge in the data science discipline if you publish or present it. This is a terrific accomplishment to achieve, and it will be a significant turning point in your professional life.

In most online degree programs, you can set the pace of your study to take one or two classes at a time, and this is generally true here too. The slower you progress through the program, the longer it will take. To complete a PhD in data science from start to finish will take at least three years and can sometimes take up to eight years to finish. You will have courses covering technical subjects within data science, business topics related to technology, and many ways of handling and using data. In addition, you will have classes that cover research methods and design, both quantitative and qualitative, and courses that help orient you to the process of writing the dissertation. You may have classes covering risk management, business and information ethics, and other related courses. There are not many electives in these programs, but the dissertation allows you to follow your interests in designing a research project.

Is a PhD in Data Science Worth It?

You can use a data science doctoral degree in many jobs, but you will find that a PhD in data science salary is usually on the higher end of the scale in most positions. Your compensation could increase over time as you gain more experience in the field. However, the expected job growth for data scientists is booming, with an expected growth of 31 percent between 2020 and 2030, with is extremely fast, as the projected average is currently seven percent for that period.

Data scientists can expect median annual earnings of $108,660, with high numbers of jobs in computer systems design and company management. However, there are also jobs in other industries such as consulting, scientific research, and credit intermediation. Careers in data science can be found all over the country and internationally but are more clustered around important business and government hubs like New York City, San Francisco, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles.

With a data science doctorate, you can also improve your earnings, level of responsibility, and status in many other positions. These include Computer and Information Systems Manager, Business Intelligence Analyst, Computer Science Professor, Director of Marketing, Database Administrator, Statistician, and Director of Innovation, among many other job titles.

You could consider becoming a consultant for companies, as there is such demand for the specialized knowledge you have that you may be able to make more money advising companies on business intelligence and analytics issues.

The salary ranges for different positions will vary, but a doctorate can get you a raise in almost any field. With a PhD in data science, salary is just one reason to pursue the degree, but it is a factor for many people. In any industry, people with doctoral-level training in data science can consider rising to C-suite jobs or high-level management positions with the skills they possess to improve business outcomes through the sophisticated use of data.

As you consider how you will use the knowledge you gain from a PhD data science program, you have many fine options for employment. We live in a world where information is king, and using that information in real-world applications to solve problems will make you royalty in any company. Learning the competencies that will allow you to convert mountains of data into value for humanity, you will have new perspectives on the organizations that influence our everyday lives, allowing you to choose a career trajectory that will bring you the most satisfaction.

Top 3 PhD in Data Science Online Programs

Below you’ll find the top PhD in data science online programs. Each program costs less than $68,000 for in-state tuition.

  1. Colorado Technical University

    Degree: Doctor of Computer Science / Big Data Analytics
    Total Cost (In-State & Out-of-State):

    If you want a comprehensive preparation to work in data science, the Colorado Technical University’s Doctor of Computer Science / Big Data Analytics may be a perfect choice. The program is 100 credits of work that you can complete in three years, but if you have applicable graduate coursework from another program, you can transfer up to 75 credits or 19 classes into this degree program. There are multiple start dates throughout the year to make it convenient for you whenever you want to begin your study. The curriculum is online except for two required residencies. There is a sequence of ten core courses, including Concurrent and Distributed Systems, Business Intelligence, Futuring and Innovation, and Tools for Big Data Analytics. Research courses include Principles of Research Methods and Design, Qualitative Research Methods, and Quantitative Research Methods. Plus, integrated throughout the program are courses that help you prepare for and write your dissertation, including Doctoral Research III: Dissertation Literature Revies, Doctoral Research IV: Dissertation Methods, and Doctoral Research VI: Dissertation Findings. In addition, you can take two advanced elective classes, and then you also must take the two doctoral symposiums, which have an in-person event as part of the courses.

    To complete the PhD in data science online at CTU, students must complete all courses with a satisfactory GPA. If students have credits that can be applied towards the degree, it could take less than three years to complete, but students may take longer depending on whether they take one or two classes at a time while they are enrolled. There are discounts for military students and some scholarships available. In addition, many employers may offer education benefits, especially for such a highly desired skillset as data analytics. Students may also be able to participate in CTU’s Corporate Alliances Grant program, which can give working professionals up to a 30% reduction in tuition through a fast-track option, classes that use a special individualized platform to let you go at your own pace, and tuition scholarships. With convenient online classes that you can schedule around your busy life, affordable tuition and discounts, and a comprehensive curriculum, the CTU data science PhD makes it easier for you to reach your goal of a doctorate, putting you on track to reach the top of this field in the fastest time.

    Find Out More:
    Doctor of Computer Science / Big Data Analytics


  2. Northcentral University

    Degree: Doctor of Philosophy in Technology & Innovation Management / Data Science
    Total Cost (In-State & Out-of-State): $67,450

    Managing technology is one of the biggest challenges for organizations today, and Northcentral University’s Doctor of Philosophy in Technology & Innovation Management / Data Science is a great program that gives graduates expertise in data science research and the best ways to manage the use of newer technologies. The program requires 60 credits spaced over 20 courses, and the average time to complete it is just over four years. This data science PhD is exceptional in that it resides in the technology and innovation programs offered at the school, which positions it not just as a research degree, but one which prepares students to work with the speed of technology change. Businesses are eager to hire those with not just the technical expertise in new applications but the management focus that will help them put those tools to best use. The core courses in this program include Computer Networks & Mobile Computing; Managing Risk, Security, & Privacy in Information Systems; Statistics with Technology Applications; and Technology Policy & Strategy. Courses for the specialization in data science include Data Mining; Knowledge Management; Quantitative Methods for Data Analytics & Business Intelligence; and Predicting the Future. In addition to the core and specialization courses, students will enroll in dissertation classes that will help them develop and complete a dissertation with original ideas that contribute to the body of knowledge in this field.

    Applying for admission to this data scientist PhD program requires a master’s degree from an accredited university. Students may be able to transfer up to 12 credits into the program, and they have up to seven years to complete the program, although some students may complete it in less than four years. Continuous enrollment while completing the dissertation portion is required. Another option for students who are ABD from a different graduate program in this specialization is to enroll in the Dissertation Completion Pathway, which only requires 23 credits taken at Northcentral to complete the degree. All students can enroll at any time and start the program any week of the year, with a unique program that pairs students one-on-one with faculty to go through the curriculum. The faculty are all doctoral level, and the close collaboration and industry contacts will be a boon to graduate students in this program. For professionals who want to earn their PhD in data science, Northcentral University’s program offers a flexible, affordable, and innovative program that can be completed around a busy professional and personal life.

    Find Out More:
    Doctor of Philosophy in Technology & Innovation Management / Data Science


  3. Northcentral University

    Degree: Doctor of Philosophy in Data Science
    Total Cost (In-State & Out-of-State):

    Northcentral University’s Doctor of Philosophy in Data Science is 60 credits long and includes 20 courses. Students may transfer up to 12 credits towards the degree. Depending on a student’s transferred credits, the pace of learning, and outside commitments, the program can be completed in as little as 40 months, though some students opt to take longer to finish. Students have up to seven years to complete the program. Courses in this program include Big Data Integration, Data Mining, Quantitative Methods for Data Analytics & Business Intelligence, Multivariate Analysis, and Data Visualization. The courses that cover the dissertation process include The Dissertation Proposal, Institutional Review Board & Data Collection, and The Dissertation Manuscript and Defense. Faculty assist with the dissertation to ensure a high quality of scholarly work and the development of original ideas. Students must remain continuously enrolled throughout the dissertation process.

    The unique structure of Northcentral’s PhD in data science is that you can start any week—courses are taught one-on-one with data scientist PhD instructors who have the industry experience to guide students through the program. With this individualized attention, students can reach their potential and fully explore the industry-aligned curriculum to become experts in this in-demand field. Another exceptional option in this program is the Dissertation Completion Pathway for those who have completed their coursework at another institution but did not complete the dissertation; for this, students take a minimum of 23 credits at Northcentral as they complete the process of getting their degree. The remarkable method of pedagogy for this program makes it adaptable to an individual student’s needs and allows for in-depth study with experts in the field of data science.

    Applicants must have a master’s degree for admission to the program. Completing the degree requires students to maintain a 3.0 GPA, obtain university approval of the dissertation and oral defense, submit their dissertation manuscript to the registrar, have all transcripts on file, and pay all financial obligations to the university. With expert faculty and a robust curriculum, students will graduate with the skills that are in demand for all types of businesses. The Northcentral PhD in data science online offers students a flexible and individualized schedule to complete their study around a professional and personal life, all while studying entirely online.

    Find Out More:
    Doctor of Philosophy in Data Science


Start a PhD in Data Science Online Today

With jobs for data scientists rising so fast, and high demand in all types of industries for professionals who understand business analysis, now is a great time to get your PhD data science online degree. Yes, you will need to apply yourself to complete this high-level degree but the rewards will come not just in getting a well-compensated position, but in doing fascinating and challenging work that will change the world around us.

Browse Now

Search Over 1,600+ Schools with 30,000+ Degrees