Business Technology Degrees: Master's, PhD & Online Course Info

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Master's-level and Ph.D. programs in the business technology field can prepare you for positions integrating business management and technical functions in your organization. Find out about requirements and career options that you might face with these degrees.
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Studying Business Technology: Degrees at a Glance

In a master's or doctoral program emphasizing business technology, you may learn to manage and deploy the technology used to create and store information that supports business decisions. You might specialize in areas like customer service, information technology or supply chain management. Your studies could prepare you for management positions in business or non-profit entities, healthcare institutions and government agencies or for academic and research opportunities.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted a 14% increase in overall jobs from 2010-2020. Demand for computer and information systems managers may grow 18% during that time. With a master's degree, you could become a project or IT manager. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) recipients may be prepared for academic, research or consulting careers.

Master's Ph.D.
Who is this degree for? Individuals interested in careers combining business management and technology Individuals interested in academic, consulting or advanced research opportunities
Common Career Paths and Salary - Senior business data analyst ($85,000 - bachelor's plus 4-6 years of experience)*
- Database administration manager ($112,000 - bachelor's plus 7 years of experience)*
- Enterprise resource planning (ERP) project manager - ($118,000 - bachelor's plus 8 years of experience)
- IT account manager ($123,000 - bachelor's plus 7 years of experience)*
- Operations research professor ($137,000)**
- Strategic management professor ($138,000)**
- Management information systems professor ($140,000)**
- Business technology consultant (salary unavailable)
Time to Completion 1-2 years, full-time 4-5 years, full-time
Common Graduation Requirements - Generally 30-40 credits
- Thesis
- Capstone project
- Internship
- Approximately 70-90 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate
- Oral and comprehensive examinations
- Dissertation
Prerequisites - Bachelor's degree
- Programs may require GRE, TOEFL or other tests.
- Bachelor's degree
- Some programs may require undergraduate or graduate credits in business or technology areas.
- GRE, TOEFL or other tests may be required.
Online Availability Online M.A., M.S. and MBA programs are available. Online programs are hard to find but are available, most often at proprietary schools.

Source: * (2012 median salary), **The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (2010 mean salary ).

Master's Degree Covering Business Technology

Some graduate programs in the business technology field include those in technology management, business information technology and management information systems. You might earn a Master of Science (M.S.) or Master of Arts (M.A.) in one year or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in two years if you pursue your degree full-time. A 60-70 credit MBA program with concentration in a business technology area could prepare you for corporate management by requiring you to complete core courses in accounting, human resources, finance, marketing and quantitative analysis. A 30-36 credit M.S. or M.A. degree program may permit more specialized emphasis on business technology subjects through courses that cover effective project and risk management and leadership in the technology sector.

Further business technology specialization may be possible in areas like project management, industrial technology, safety, management information systems or engineering. After completing your program, you could be able to manage general IT functions, relational database systems or network and telecommunications functions.

Pros and Cons of a Master's Degree in Business Technology


  • You may be able to apply skills to various functional areas in a wide range of for-profit, not-for-profit and government organizations.
  • Growth in jobs is expected to be similar to or above the average for U.S. occupations.
  • Six-figure incomes are attainable.


  • Skills may be less applicable to small business environments than to large organizations.
  • Continuous learning may be required to stay abreast of rapidly changing technology.
  • In a career where talent, skills and certifications can be important, bachelor's degree holders or even high school graduates may be competitors for some positions.

Courses and Requirements

Your exact curriculum may depend on your degree objective and previous academic experience. If you're in an MBA program emphasizing business technology management, you'll complete MBA core courses plus major courses related to technology management. Programs may require an internship, a capstone project or a thesis. Students in an M.A. or M.S. program might take fewer general courses and more technology courses. Major area courses in business technology might include topics like these:

  • Project management
  • Managing new product design and development
  • Technology and innovation management
  • Strategic planning
  • Enterprise infrastructure
  • Relational database management systems

Online Courses

Fully online master's and MBA programs are available from traditional and accredited proprietary schools. These programs may provide scheduling flexibility. You will meet similar requirements in these programs as you would in an on-campus program, but you will communicate with instructors and classmates using the Internet. Specific browsers and software may be required to complete your work. Online training may be provided by industry professional organizations like the Association of Information Technology Professionals.

Standing Out with a Master's Degree Program

Technology certifications may be strongly preferred by employers. Your academic program may facilitate exam preparation for popular industry database and networking certifications awarded by companies like Microsoft, Cisco or Oracle. Professional business and IT associations like CompTIA offer their own certifications, training materials and online workshops and seminars. Your school may host student associations in the field or technical research centers that provide research opportunities, seminars and networking opportunities with prospective employers.

Ph.D. Covering Business Technology

The primary goal of Ph.D. curricula may be preparation for an academic, research or advanced consulting career. Although programs with 'business technology' in the title may be hard to find at this level, you might pursue relevant doctoral programs in business administration or computing and information systems. You will generally have flexibility to pursue your own research topic with like-minded faculty and dissertation committees. Schools might prefer that you have background relevant to your area of study, though they may accept evidence of ability and willingness to make up for any deficiencies.

Pros and Cons of a Ph.D. Covering Business Technology


  • Demand for postsecondary teachers is expected to be at or above average from 2010-2020.
  • Significant opportunities may be available to supplement academic incomes through consulting.
  • This degree could support a prestigious leadership position in your field.


  • This doctoral program may involve a significant and intensive time investment with limited opportunity for outside income during your studies.
  • Rapidly changing technology may require a lifelong commitment to continuing education.

Courses and Requirements

Core course requirements typically emphasize mathematical programming, production operations management, computer simulations and statistics. Your program may involve teaching or research assistant responsibilities. You will likely take oral or comprehensive examinations at various stages. You might take courses like these in a Ph.D. program covering business technology:

  • Organizational theory
  • Strategic management of technology and innovation
  • Theoretical foundations of supply chain management
  • IT strategy and structure
  • Collaboration, knowledge and intelligence in organizations
  • Sociology of adoption and diffusion
  • Customer marketing strategy and implementation
  • Statistical design

Online Class Options

Ph.D. programs are generally on-campus, though a limited number may be available through proprietary schools. If you're starting doctoral studies with a bachelor's degree, you might be able to take some lower-level core courses online. This could be more feasible in schools that offer related master's degrees online. At their discretion, schools may accept independent study credits earned using distance technology, or a limited number of credits earned online at another institution.

Getting Ahead with This Degree

Schools preparing scholars might emphasize conference presentations or preparation of scholarly article for publications. By preparing a quality, publishable dissertation, you could become a recognized expert in an in-demand area.

Schools may host laboratory or specialized government and industry-sponsored computing centers that provide networking access to prospective employers. If you are committed to a specific dissertation topic, you may be able to attend a school with centers, programs and faculty aligned with your interests. Experience working on grant-funded projects or winning scholarships or fellowships could be viewed favorably by prospective employers.

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