Professionals interested in an online Ph.D. in Business Intelligence are in good company. As globalization takes over and technology becomes integral to the success of businesses, there is a growing need for both practicing analysts and researchers to help the sector keep pace with big data and the Internet of Things. Now employers are actively searching for business intelligence professionals to fill key positions at large and multinational companies.
Nowhere is this demand for business intelligence more evident than in the online offerings provided by several of the country's best colleges and universities. From hybrid programs to 100 percent online offerings, live sessions and cohorts to accelerated and asynchronous formats, there is an online degree program for every professional. And with lists like these that offer the most important information, a doctoral candidate need only look at the offerings to see which school fits their needs.
The information used to create this list was all sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics. Using data such as average tuition rates, student retention rates, graduation rates, and employment disclosures, among other factors, the initial pool came to 80 schools who all offer 100 percent online or hybrid programs. From there, the final ten were decided upon using in-state graduate tuition rates, resulting in the list below.
Ranking Low-cost Online Business Intelligence PhD Programs
10. Liberty University
Online Doctor of Business Administration, Strategic Management Concentration
Liberty University confers a 100 percent online DBA in Strategic Management, which is another name for business intelligence. It is a professional degree aimed at students interested in becoming managers and analysts at businesses around the country. This business intelligence doctorate online focuses on overall direction and implementation of new technologies within an organization, as well as overseeing any potential concerns that may arise. While this is a relatively new offering from Liberty University, it is nevertheless one of the most exciting programs for business professionals. The degree itself requires 60 total credit hours and a dissertation. Sample courses include Ethical Leadership, Quality Management and Productivity, and Workforce Planning and Employment.
9. Grand Canyon University
Online Doctorate of Business Administration, Emphasis in Data Analytics
An interesting online Ph.D. in Business Intelligence comes from Grand Canyon University. This practical degree, which has a focus on data analytics, is built on evidence-based theories and practices, making it a great choice for business professionals who already have a foundational understanding of business intelligence. This is a hybrid program that requires students appear on campus for two four-day residencies while they are preparing their dissertation. Students in this degree program will learn about research and analysis, enabling them to take on positions as analysts at major corporations. This is a 60-credit hour program that also includes a dissertation. Sample courses from the program include Enterprise Data Complexity, Economics for Business Decisions, and Using Business Analytics for Competitive Advantage.
8. Temple University
Online Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration, Strategic Management
The business intelligence Ph.D. online comes in different forms; one of them is the Ph.D. in Strategic Management that is offered by Temple University. Through the Fox School of Business, students will be provided with a degree program that is designed for academics and researchers. Because business intelligence requires a great deal of research and analysis, it is an in-demand program. This hybrid program is created to help professionals who wish to teach in a classroom or work in research and development at think tanks and companies. This degree is 60 credit hours in length and has residency requirements of two four-day residencies that are spread out over the first two years of the program. This degree requires 60 credit hours of coursework and a dissertation. Sample courses include Theoretical Foundations of Entrepreneurship, Organization and Management Theory, and Management of Technology and Innovation.
7. Capella University
Online Doctor of Business Administration, Business Intelligence Specialization
Capella University is known for offering amazing postgraduate degrees, and the online business intelligence Ph.D. they offer as a hybrid program is no different. The DBA in Business Intelligence at Capella is ACBSP accredited and is upfront about its design: students who take on this degree will work in the business sector after graduation as a manager or analyst, or even as a consultant. Students will be required to fill two residencies while completing their degree, but these are short and can be completed on a student's own schedule. With 60 credit hours required, as well as a doctoral research project and a dissertation, this is a comprehensive and demanding degree; only ambitious students should consider this program. Sample courses include Becoming a Business Researcher, Data Mining and Predictive Analytics, and Business Intelligence, Analytics, and Decision Support.
6. Colorado Technical University
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Online Doctor of Business Administration, Strategic Management
Professionals looking for an online Ph.D. in Business Intelligence will find a premium program at Colorado Technical University. The school confers the DBA with a specialization in strategic management, a degree that is growing in popularity in the business sector. This is a practical degree that focuses on applied learning approaches, meaning that students will be expected to engage with theories and be able to demonstrate their understanding of those principles within their own team projects. Alongside the 96 credit hours of coursework, there are residency requirements as well as a dissertation necessary for graduation. Students can expect to fulfill their residency requirements during the dissertation writing process, as they will be required to orally defend their work in front of the department. Sample courses include Human Capital Management, Strategic Management, and Supply Chain and Logistics Management.
5. Northcentral University
San Diego, California
Online Doctor of Business Administration, Business Intelligence Concentration
Northcentral University stands as a testament to excellent online degrees and business intelligence professionals will find that true at the terminal degree level as well. The university confers the DBA in Business Intelligence, a completely online degree program that can be completed in as little as 39 months with full-time study. This is a practical degree, meaning it is designed with business professionals in mind. The program of study follows this course, teaching students about the various aspects of the business that influence the intelligence it utilizes on a day-to-day basis. This is a great degree for those students interested in working in senior management positions. This degree requires 54 credit hours of coursework as well as a dissertation. Sample courses include Ethical Studies in Business, Qualitative Research Design, and Doctoral Comprehensive Strategic Knowledge Studies.
4. Baker College
Online Doctor of Business Administration, Concentration in Business Analytics
Students interested in a Ph.D. Business Intelligence online program that will help them reach their goals of becoming a C-level executive will want to strongly consider Baker College. This hybrid program was designed by business professionals who have years of experience in the sector and is, therefore, a great practical foundation for professionals ready to move into senior positions at companies. This degree requires 50 credit hours of coursework, seminars, and professional residencies. Students will also need to complete research papers and a final dissertation, all of which focus on implementing new business technology theories to benefit businesses. Sample courses include Leading 21st Century Organizations, Knowledge Management and Information Systems, and Quality Improvement and Organizational Change.
3. California Intercontinental University
Online Doctorate of Business Administration in Information Systems and Enterprise Resource Management (DBAISERM)
California Intercontinental University offers the DBAISERM, an interesting but valuable program that offers students the chance to study in a hybrid format while continuing their educational goals. This degree focuses on preparing students to perform applied research and use the results to create lasting change in the business world. Students in this program will be ready to take on high-level management positions as well as analytical positions in information systems and enterprise resource management. This degree program requires 60 credit hours of coursework, study time residencies, a dissertation, and research papers. The program can be completed in as little as two years with full-time study. Sample courses include Organizational Change and Development in Management Systems, A Global Approach to Strategic Management, and E-Commerce Models and Applications.
2. California Miramar University
San Diego, California
Online Doctor of Business Administration, Strategic Management Concentration
For an online Ph.D. in Business Intelligence that focuses on strategic management, which is a large component of the field. Unlike most DBA programs, this degree is built for scholar professionals; students interested in working as researchers in the field are best suited for this particular program. It is designed to prepare students to take their place amongst researchers at think tanks, consulting firms, or in a university setting. This is a completely online degree with no residency requirements. The course of study requires 66 credit hours of coursework, research, and a dissertation; a comprehensive exam must also be successfully passed prior to the beginning of dissertation work. Sample courses for the concentration are Strategic Management of Nonprofit Organizations, Strategy Formulation and Execution, and Strategic Thinking.
1. University of Maryland – University College
College Park, Maryland
Online Doctor of Management, Business Analytics/Intelligence Concentration
A great cheap online business intelligence Ph.D. offering comes from the University of Maryland – University College. This hybrid program focuses solely on management and the relationship managers have with business analytics and intelligence. This is a cohort program, meaning that students will progress through the course of study with the same group of students; this is a great way to foster networking opportunities and relationships for these business professionals. The curriculum, which is 60 credit hours of research, coursework and a dissertation, was designed by real-world business leaders and managers, offering students the ability to work through a program that is constantly updated by the needs of the business sector. Sample courses for this degree include Data Analytics in Practice, Designing Evidence-Based Management Solutions, and Research as a Tool for Management Decision Making.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Career Options for an Online Doctorate in Business Intelligence Degree?
Like many degree options, the type of careers available to students in business intelligence depends on the actual distinction of the degree. This is true for all fields of study, but sometimes students need more information on what actually that means. Students who take on an online Ph.D. in Business Intelligence are most likely interested in a career as a researcher or academic. This means that they don't work necessarily within the confines of the business sector.
Ph.D. candidates have several avenues open to them.They can become researchers who work for the government, as part of a business infrastructure that works in technology and business analytics, or in think tanks and research firms. They can become professors at universities worldwide; however, many institutions prefer employees who have some experience in the field. They can also work as published authors, both in scholarly journals or on the web as freelance writers or technical writers.
A DBA, or Doctor of Business Administration, is exactly what it sounds like: a professional degree geared towards preparing students to take on C-level executive positions. Students with this degree are often already working in the business sector and need higher education in order to move up through the ranks of management.
DBA graduates have a variety of options. They can create their own companies, focusing on strategic management and business technology issues; this allows them to act as a consulting firm for companies that may need additional support in these areas. They can also work as senior level business intelligence analysts or managers in existing companies. Finally, they can create nonprofit organizations to help struggling start-ups or other NGOs with big data and business intelligence.
How Much Can You Earn in this Field?
There is a large range of salaries available for this field, and it depends on whether a student becomes an academic or a business professional.
Academics generally begin with a salary of $65,000 for a professor position at most colleges and universities; the actual salary depends on whether or not the school is public or private and the actual contract of the individual. Researchers can make anywhere from $50,000 to $80,000; this also depends on whether they work for the public or private sector.
Business professionals with a doctorate in business intelligence begin their careers making no less than $71,000 per year; the actual salary depends on if a professional is working as an analyst or a manager, with managers making, on average, about $10,000 more a year at the entry level. Wages can go up as high as $125,000, depending on the position that a professional makes. C-level executives stand to make much more money; however, these positions are very competitive, especially with such a large range of professionals vying for the positions.
What are the Various Disciplines of Business Intelligence?
Business intelligence is an incredibly diverse field, which utilizes different disciplines depending on a professional's career path. It is safe to say that all business intelligence professionals will learn about economics, business, marketing, management, data science, computer science, and research methods.
But there is a difference between academics and business professionals in terms of the disciplines they are most closely aligned with at the university level. Business professionals learn about statistics, technology, and big data; they are also more likely to learn about management skills and the actual design of policies that are meant to be put into practice. They are also more likely to learn about statistical theories as a form of foundational understanding.
Academic business intelligence professionals are more likely to learn about the intricacies of computer and data science. They often spend their time working on their academic writing skills, going over statistics and experiments, and spending time evaluating their own research by using analytics from an objective standpoint. While they, too, learn about business, the disciplines employed in their careers often veer towards theory and history rather than the actual application of programs and strategies in the workplace.
Does Business Accreditation Matter?
Business accreditation does matter, especially at the postgraduate and terminal levels. Students who take on online or traditional degrees from accredited programs are often preferred over those candidates that didn't.
When discussing online degree programs, the general consensus is that business accreditation is not possible; this is simply untrue. Several of the above programs currently hold accreditation from one of the three leading business accrediting bodies. In fact, accreditation is becoming more accessible for online programs because many professionals are earning these degrees will working full time.
For students who are unaware of what the major business accreditation bodies, they are:
- AACSB – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
- ACBSP – Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
- IACBE – International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education
Each of the accrediting bodies listed above accredits both traditional and online doctoral programs. Finding a program that has just one of these accreditations is a great find for students, but it is also possible to find online degrees that have two or all three.
Students may not yet be convinced that accreditation matters, but consider this: an accredited program is most likely partnered with incredible businesses, enabling students to network with potential employers in the future. This is a factor that cannot be underestimated, especially as business is widely considered a networking sector.
What is the Demand for business Intelligence Professionals?
The business intelligence market made 16.33 billion USD in 2015, and it is expected to grow by 40 percent through 2021. This means that there is a great demand for business intelligence professionals. With more and more companies utilizing the Internet, and indeed some that are based entirely on the web, the need for business intelligence is growing at an exponential rate. With big data, the Internet of things, and intelligence theories permeating the sector, it has never been more integral to have professionals who just focus on the relationship between technology and business.
There are also a wide variety of career options available for BI professionals, meaning that it can be difficult to pinpoint how much this industry is projected to grow. However, with the Internet revolutionizing both globalization and business, it is clear that demand will not be slowing down anytime soon.
Does an Online Degree Hurt Your Chances of Working in the Field?
An online degree will not hurt any professional's chances of working in business intelligence. It is a matter of fact that this community understands that many entering the BI field are working professionals, so the emphasis is not put on how a degree was earned. The only thing that matters is whether or not a student has a concentration in business intelligence.
It can also be an advantage to earn a degree online; students often continue to work full-time and can implement the strategies and skills they learn in their classes in real time to see the results. These professionals will also find that their employers will be eager to help with some of the cost of their degree; they only need to ask about that type of arrangement.
Business intelligence will continue to be critical to the success of the business sector. It will no doubt continue to grow in demand, requiring higher institutions of education to create professional online programs. All a professional has to do is make a decision based on their career goals and ambitions.