Business and technology job functions merge in many careers, and those who want to make the most of their acquired skills and experience consider pursuing a Master’s in Technology Management from a reputable business school. Technology drives industry to greater process efficiency, capacity and overall quality. Subsequently, information technology (IT) professionals have many opportunities to continue as hands on technicians or to broaden their career prospects as technology managers. These IT managers usually have years of exposure to a variety of technologies as well as deep project management experience. Earning a degree in technology management allows these IT professionals to hone their strategic management skills within a technical context and to prepare for senior leadership positions. Here are some specific examples of what one can expect to learn within an advanced technology management degree program as well as the types of jobs and salaries associated with technology management graduates.
Academic Program Overview
Most advanced degree programs in technology management assume that participating students have solid technical backgrounds that may include undergraduate degrees in computer science, software development or information systems. The technology management degree program introduces students to the relevant business issues that technology can help to solve. The students participate in exercises that allow them to consider the long range financial and economic aspects of business problem solving. For example, a non-management technician may want to use a great new technology to solve a business challenge, but a technical manager is trained to consider the true costs of acquiring that new technology from a system perspective. Those costs could include maintenance or licensing fees or ones associated with changes to the supply chain. A technology management degree program instructs IT professionals in the fundamentals of business, so that they can ask the right questions before proposing technical solutions to fix complex business problems.
Technology Management Course Topics
One of the most common course topics included in the advanced degree program for technology management is change management and leadership. After a technology solution is identified, IT managers must create a plan for transitioning their organizations away from outdated technical solutions and towards the new solution without causing major disruptions to business operations. The change management course helps students to hone the leadership and interpersonal skills needed to smoothly guide their organizations to success. Another popular topic is technology project and portfolio management. Few IT professionals have extensive experience managing programs that consist of several related projects, but the technical program management course teaches elements of planning, budgeting, scheduling and quality control to help senior leaders to efficiently conduct portfolio management.
Jobs and Salaries for Technology Managers
While technology management degree graduates can gain employment in numerous mid to senior level positions in project and program management, most graduates have corporate executive level aspirations. The positions of IT director and Chief Information Officer are the most common ones sought by Master of Technology Management graduates. Other graduates use the degree to launch their own technology related business. The median pay for computer information systems managers in 2012 was $120,950 annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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As in many career paths, IT professionals are rewarded when they build on their knowledge, skills and abilities over time. An advanced degree in technology management often helps these professionals to create their own personal brand of technical strategic manager by drawing on their portfolio of experiences. The Master’s in Technology Management paves the way for greater job responsibilities, an increased variety of interesting projects and great pay for those with significant job experience.