What Is A Doctoral Degree Online Program Best Suited For?

Find your degree

Online College Plan is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Colleges and universities that offer Ph.D. degrees online often state that there is no difference between the quality of education received in the different formats. While that might be true in some cases, there are some subject areas that are better suited for online classes and some that are not. Online doctoral degrees that require hands-on training, like Medicine, Physical Therapy, or Engineering, will not translate as well to the online format. Online degrees are designed for working professionals who require the schedule flexibility to maintain their full-time employment while they work towards a degree to increase their credentials and advance their careers. If you are unsure of whether or not an online degree is the right choice for you, check out our article that goes into detail about the Pros and Cons of Online College. One of the most attractive aspects of an online degree is that it allows students to complete their degree within a desired time frame. There are many online doctoral degree programs that place an emphasis on speedy degree completion to get their students the job promotion and salary increase they desire as soon as possible. For some great options for fast online degree programs, check out our ranking of the Top 20 Fastest Online Doctoral Programs. If you are still wondering what is a doctoral degree online program best suited for, consider these few subject areas that are well suited for an online format.

Computer Science and Information Technology

Computer Science is a broad academic field that investigates the theoretical foundations for computing, while Information Technology is the subject area that applies computing capabilities to the world of business. Both areas of study require students to be comfortable spending lots of time in front of the computer, so they are natural areas of study for online doctoral degrees. Some students might apply their knowledge to the burgeoning field of online education, and what better way to test out the format and learn its strengths and weaknesses than by pursuing an online degree? However, students who want to study hardware or computer engineering online might not be able to take advantage of their university’s computer lab and other expensive technological facilities.


Law degrees are the most common type of doctoral degree, and there is a prescribed set of information that law students will need to know to graduate and pass the Bar exam. Therefore, law students will have to spend most of their study time reading books and understanding the code of law. Additionally, cybersecurity and computer forensics are new areas of study and employment that are projected to grow over the next century and would benefit from having graduates with a law degree who also have great computer skills.

Finance and Accounting

Finance and Accounting students will spend a lot of their time using and manipulating Excel sheets, and as most banking and taxes are conducted and filed electronically, students can benefit from becoming comfortable with digital finance tools. It is common for financial consultants and accountants to correspond and send fiscal documents over the Internet, making it useful for them to have fostered professional online relationships during their education.

Spread the love