I am now a doctoral student

Starting September 5, 2007, I will be a student in the Doctor of Science in Information Systems program at Dakota State.

The school is one of the very very few non-profit, regionally accredited universities in the country that offers a doctoral program in information systems via an external (or distance learning) program. The DSU D.Sc. program is still fairly new with only about 15 students and the faculty seem very good and very experienced.

The program looks very interesting and very thorough and my specialization will be Decision Support, Knowledge Management and Data Management Systems (DSS for short) although I have no real idea what my research and dissertation topic will be yet.

If everything goes according to plan, I will be done sometime in 2010 or 2011 if everything goes according to plan. Yikes…another 3 to 4 years of school.

Why do I want a doctorate? Personal satisfaction is the biggest reason and the only one that will really drive me to finish but I also have an interest in the process of earning a doctorate. The research, writing and pure critical thinking that is utilized during the doctorate program is something that I’m very interested in and can’t wait to get into. Ask me in six months and I may say that those things don’t really interest me as much. 🙂

A by-product of the journey to my doctorate will be the my improved research and writing abilities as well as my knowledge in the field of Information Systems. I hope to be able to leverage this knowledge and experience into an interesting consulting career down the road.

If anyone out there has an interest in the non-traditional education methods (e.g., external research, distance learning, etc) then you should read the page that I created titled “Education“. This page has a brief outline of my journey over the last 1.5 years to find a doctoral program that works for me as well as a good description of why I didn’t choose some of the other programs out there.. There are a lot of programs out there, but few that focus on IT & Technology, are non-profit and regionally accredited.

For those that are interested, I looked very closely at the following schools during my search…all have great programs and should be considered by anyone else looking for an IT/Technology type of program:

  • Univ of Alabama @ HuntsvillePhD in Engineering Management – Little emphasis on business & IT but that may change soon according to the school. Would be a great school for someone from an engineering background and who wants to stay in engineering.
  • Indiana State UniversityPhD in Technology Management – Good program but limited specialization options. I think this program’s use of a ‘consortium of schools’ should be the model for other schools around the country to follow for DL doctorate programs.
  • GrenobleDBA Program – Great program with excellent credentials but just not what I was looking for.
  • Walden PhD in Applied Management & Sciences – Expensive compared to the others + it is a for-profit….but well regarded around the country by people ‘in the know’.
  • Colorado Tech UniversityDoctor of Management – Good program. Another for-profit school that has some detractors and some cheerleaders. The lack of a dissertation bothered me…but also intrigued me.
  • Ecole Superieure de Commerce de LillePhD in Strategy & Project Management. Good program for someone looking to specialize in PM for their career.

There were a few other schools that I ran across, but none that really tweaked my interest like the above schools.

Keep checking in…I hope to keep posting updates to this blog to let everyone know how the program is going.

[tags] Dakota State University, Doctor Science, Doctorate, Education, Information Systems [/tags]

9 responses to “I am now a doctoral student”

  1. Paul Browne Avatar


    Good luck with the doctorate – it’s a long slog , but no doubt worth it in the end.

    For people on the other site of the Atlantic UCD are running a similar (masters) course:
    Details of UCD Msc Maters course here


  2. Garry L. Booker Avatar

    Congrats! I’m jealous. /Garry

  3. Eric Brown Avatar

    Paul – Thanks for the link…looks like interesting stuff.

  4. Eric Brown Avatar

    Thanks Garry….its never too late to jump into a doctoral program…care to join me? 🙂

  5. Jordan Nguyen Avatar
    Jordan Nguyen

    Any thoughts on University of South Africa (UNISA) ?

  6. Eric Brown Avatar

    Jordan – UNISA is a very good school…I know of quite a few people that are attending or attended UNISA. The school is well regarded internationally and within the US.

    For more info, and to speak to someone that can help you get more info, contact Dr Michael Esselen at IACI in Canada @ http://www.iaci-canada.com/

  7. Abel Avatar


    Why did you choose the DSS specialization instead of the Healthcare Information Systems or the Information Assurance and Computer Security? Which one do you recommend now after going through the DSc program? What is your take on the Cyber Security program?

    1. Eric D. Brown Avatar

      I chose DSS because that’s what I was (and still am) interested in.

      I can’t really recommend any of the specialties over another unless I know what your interests are. If you are more interested in Cyber Security, DSU has a top-notch program. They have some partnerships with the NSA and other large organizations.

      1. Abel Avatar

        I am mostly interested in using data science for information assurance (security). I can choose one as the specialization and then take as many courses from the other one as an elective. That is one option, another way I can approach this is to focus on one specialization and then try to use the other while doing the research.