The rise of technology-oriented careers is a good sign. Talented technology managers are needed in all areas of the field, including Web design and development, database-driven eCommerce, software engineering, technical support and service. All industries have technology positions. These include programming, healthcare, education and government. Many technology professionals are looking for advancement in their career but also need to have the leadership skills needed to further their career. These industry needs have been met by distance-learning schools and adult-learning schools that offer technology degrees at both the bachelor’s level and the master’s level. Many of these programs are accelerated.
Other characteristics that are essential for successful technology managers can’t be found in silicon microchips or lines of CSS markup code. These characteristics include the ability and talent to lead, communicate ideas and provide direction, and motivate and mentor staff. These skills are not taught in every technology curriculum of the 21st Century. Some computer science and information technology academic curriculum designers recognize the importance teaching soft skills in the classroom. Some programs of study emphasize leadership training for potential technology managers.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information system professionals usually require advanced training (e.g. a master’s degree), in order to get into leadership roles in technology. BLS states that technology job candidates must have a wide range of experience in both technology systems and applications. This will enable them to manage staff from different departments with different technology skills. The bright future outlook for this field is another benefit of pursuing technology management training. This field is expected to grow by 16 percent in 2016.
The core academic components of technology leadership programs at the master’s level typically include two to three core academic components. Technology is the first core component. This type of master’s degree requires students to have knowledge in at least one programming language. They also need to be comfortable with database management and development as well as administration of computer networking systems. The master’s degree in leadership and information technology will expand on the foundations students have in information science and system, allowing students to approach these subjects from a leadership or management perspective.
The students will be able to communicate with customers and all levels of the company as well as lead their employees.
CIO Magazine’s 2007 State of the CIO Survey of over 500 IT professionals found that the three most important skills for success were the ability to communicate effectively and strategic thinking and planning. The ability to motivate staff was also a key skill. Leadership skills are also important. Leadership skills are the most important characteristic for technology managers. These skills enable leaders in technology to motivate employees, to manage projects and business activities so that profits are maximized, and to ensure that staff remain competent and help to increase worker retention. Monster.com says that the best leaders and managers in technology are those who directly manage projects and delegate tasks, not those who receive orders from afar.
There is a long-standing stereotype in the tech industry about the social nature of tech workers. They have been stereotyped as being unable to communicate well and lacking leadership skills. This stereotype has been dismantled by industry efforts. Students interested in technology management can now enroll in master’s level programs that combine technology skills with interpersonal leadership and communication skills.
Technology managers are becoming more decision-driven and specialized, which is why there are more master’s programs in technology. Tech managers must be able assess and implement technology solutions that are beneficial to their clients and employees. Technology should support and align with organizational goals. Leadership skills are essential, as well as strong business acumen.
Technology is constantly changing and developing rapidly. Technology leadership master’s degrees programs will continue to develop focused curricula that integrate technology with business to produce strong leaders.