College graduates who return to school for an MBA in technology management find that their new skills not only prepare them for the world of business but also for the rapidly changing computer and telecommunications systems that have become so vital to business.
Most master of business administration (MBA) degrees in technology management provide a strong core of classes in business in addition to special training in the technical fields. That's because computer and information technology managers play a central role in implementing and administrating the computer-related efforts of most firms, and this requires that the technology manager understand the needs of myriad departments within an organization.
Overview of MBA Technology Management Programs
Many MBA technology management programs allow students to continue to work while they study, and most programs can be completed in 18 to 24 months. Many students who remain working during their studies find that they can apply the principles they study in class to their regular jobs almost from day one. The best technical management MBA programs provide training in current technological trends and advances so that technology managers can maximize their company's resources and develop efficient solutions to technical problems.
Among the classes you're likely to take:
- Financial reporting and analysis
- Corporate finance
- Domestic and international economics
In addition, many programs examine leadership--how to develop leadership, how to enhance your abilities as a leader, and how to provide ethical leadership. In addition, you may study accounting, marketing, decision making, and entrepreneurship. The key in these programs is not always to teach mastery of the latest software but to teach students how to master and develop software in a way that pays dividends well into the future as technology changes and advances.
Most MBA technology management programs are available either online or in traditional classrooms, although some are presented in a combination of both.
MBA in Technology Management Career Options
Different industries and business have different names for their technology managers. In some places they are called information technology managers and in some workplaces they're referred to as computer managers. But by any name, these managers oversee the company's computer software, hardware, network, and Internet needs. They also ensure the security of a company's computer system.
With some companies, chief technology officers are also asked to stay abreast of the latest technology and evaluate how it might help a company. Chief technology officers oversee a number of employees and departments involved with a firm's computers and the security of a company's data.
These jobs have excellent salaries, but long hours are not unusual, and some technology managers have to be on call at night and on weekends in case problems with a company's computer system arise.
A bachelor's degree is needed for all management jobs, but increasingly companies expect their technology managers to have an MBA with a technology emphasis. Employers look for workers with MBA technology management degrees who have studied a broad range of business subjects as well as database management, electronic business and system management, and design.
A practical background in sales, business management, or consulting is also valuable to have in addition to a technical management MBA. Potential employers generally look for technical managers who communicate well, provide leadership, and can make sound business decisions.
Career Outlook for Technology Management MBA Graduates
Around 300,000 people across the country hold some kind of computer and information system management job, and employment growth in the field is expected to be faster than average, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The number of jobs is expected to grow 17 percent in the next eight years, primarily because of the rapid growth in computer applications that help companies make more money.
The fastest growth is expected to occur in software publishing firms, data processing firms, consulting services, and health care organizations. Those with MBA degrees in technology management generally have the edge over candidates without the advanced degree.
According to the BLS, the median annual salary for computer and information systems managers was $113,720 in 2009 and most earned between $89,240 and $143,590. Some of the highest salaries were paid in the IT and financial services sectors, with mean wages of greater than $140,000 annually.