Professionals in the field of technology management have extensive management skills, which they apply to technology and how it is used, operated, developed, and discovered. When employed in a particular organization, their role is to make sure that technological resources are used in such a way that they bring about greater value, by making the organization as a whole more effective and efficient. Essentially, their role is to make sure the future the organization makes the best possible use of technological developments.
What is Technology Management?
Because the field is quite broad, it can be difficult to really define what are technology managers. Essentially, they all work with IT and computers, using those to improve the overall functioning of their organization. Most of them will be responsible for the analysis of the current IT infrastructure within their organization, in order to determine where it can be upgraded and improved. They are also responsible for all the software and hardware, making sure that these are properly installed and maintained. Furthermore, they place a strong focus on the security of their organization, and on funding and budgets, making sure that technology provides an excellent return on investment.
Technology managers are also innovators, which means they always have to stay at the forefront of new technological developments. Considering the speed at which IT and other forms of technology advances, this can be a full time role in itself. Yet, a technology manager also has to find the time to manage others, negotiate with suppliers, analyze technological need and more. Unsurprisingly, it is very rare for a technology manager to do all of that, with most companies hiring multiple managers with an individual focus on each of the key elements of technology. However, in smaller companies, they may have responsibility for the entirety of the technological management for their company.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that all computer and information systems managers earned an average of $131,600 per year at bachelor’s degree level in May 2015. They also reported that there will be a 15% increase in demand for these professionals from 2014 to 2024, which is about twice as fast as the national average. This translates into 53,700 new jobs.
There are numerous career opportunities available for people with technological management knowledge and skills. The BLS has reported that the most common career paths are:
- Chief Information Officer (CIO), who heads the entire technology department and manages staff. This is a senior executive role. Often, CIOs focus on the big picture, although they may also run projects on smaller, more specific areas of interest.
- Chief Technological Officer (CTO), who is responsible for the evaluation of new and emerging technology, determining if and how this can benefit the organization. The CTO usually has a more technical role than the CIO.
- IT Directors, who focus specifically on the information systems that are used within their organization, ensuring that people can access the right computers and software to perform their job. They also make sure these systems are properly installed, maintained, updated, and made secure.
- IT Security Managers, who, according to the BLS, will see perhaps the greatest growth in demand due to the emerging threats in cyber security. Their role is incredibly important, and they also often take part in investigations whenever a security breach has occurred.
Meanwhile, Payscale.com reports on the following common positions for technology management professionals, as well as on their associated salaries:
- Information Technology (IT) Managers, who earn between $43,631 and $130,863 per year
- Project Managers for Information Technology (IT), who earn between $64,578 and $148,994 per year
- Information Technology (IT) Directors, who earn between $51,845 and $168,860 per year
- General Project Managers, who earn around $87,500 per year
- Senior Software Engineers, Developers, or Programmers, who earn around $80,000 per year
- Marketing Managers, who earn around $75,000 per year
- Aviation or Aerospace Program Managers, who earn around $143,234 per year
According to the BLS, the average annual salary for all computer and information systems managers was $131,600 as per May 2015. The bottom 10% of earners could expect salaries of $80,160 or less, whereas the top 10% of earners could expect salaries of $187,200 or more. One important factor that influences salaries is geographical location. According to the BLS, the top five states in the country to work in as a computer and information systems manager are:
- New York, with average annual earnings of $175,530.
- California, with average annual earnings of $169,420.
- New Jersey, with average annual earnings of $168,520.
- Virginia, with average annual earnings of $163,880.
- Delaware, with average annual earnings of $161,360,
Another important factor that affects the salary of the technology manager is the company they work for. The BLS has reported on industries in which computer and information systems managers are most likely to be found, and what their earnings are, and these are the following:
- Information industry, with earnings of $148,070 per year on average.
- Computer systems design and related services, with earnings of $139,600 per year on average.
- Finance and insurance industry, with earnings of $136,240 per year on average.
- Manufacturing, with earnings of $134,060 per year on average.
- Management of companies and enterprises, with earnings of $133,400 per year on average.
Meanwhile, Indeed.com has reported on popular companies and their average salaries, such as:
- AIG, with average earnings of $136,106 per year.
- Deloitte, with average earnings of $145,247 per year.
- Starbucks, with average earnings of $143,846 per year.
- PwC, with average earnings of $142,125 per year.
- HSBC, with average earnings of $135,626 per year.
- EY, with average earnings of $133,174 per year.
- Boeing, with average earnings of $136,461 per year.
- The Walt Disney Company, with average earnings of $128,787 per year.
- Department of Homeland Security, with average earnings of $122,120 per year.
- Capital One, with average earnings of $135,542 per year.
In order to obtain a good job in the field of technology management, you must get a good and relevant education. This starts with a bachelor’s degree, which will give you the foundations in the field of technology management and open doors to entry level positions. Numerous schools across the country offer these types of degrees, include Kansas State University, which offers the Technology Management Bachelor’s Degree. This degree is available online. Core courses as part of the curriculum include:
- Business and Management
- Financial Accounting
- Managerial Accounting
- Supervisory Management
- Information Technology for Business
- Managerial and Project Economics
- Principles of Finance
- Business Law
- Introduction to Operations Management
- Industrial and Labor Relations
- Human Resources Management
- Introduction to Marketing
- Fundamentals of Professional Selling
- Public Speaking
- Expository Writing
- Technical Writing
- College Algebra
- General Calculus and Linear Algebra
- Introduction to Statistics
- Social Sciences
- Principles of Macroeconomics
- Principles of Microeconomics
To really further your career, you should consider completing a master’s degree. It is at this level that you will get considered for top executive positions, attracting very lucrative salaries. Numerous schools offer technology management degrees at the master’s level, including Georgetown University, School of Continuing Studies, which offers the Master’s in Technology Management (online and on campus).
Schools can set admission requirements as they see fit. Such requirements are used to determine whether applicants are capable of managing the workload and content associated with studying at graduate degree level. As a result, most schools have reasonably similar admission requirements. For instance, the requirements at Georgetown University are:
- A personal statement
- An up to date professional resume or CV
- Two letters of recommendation
- Official transcripts from all previously attended institutions
Schools are also entitled to set their own curriculum. This is why it is very important that you look into accreditation, and the professional standing and ranking of your chosen university. Georgetown University is a highly respected university, which means that your degree will be very valuable in the workplace. This also means that they offer a rigorous curriculum, with courses such as:
- Cyber Threats & Vulnerabilities
- Enterprise Modernization and Technology Assertion
- Ethics in Technology Management
- Financial Analysis for Technology Managers
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Managing Information Security
- IT Security Compliance/Forensics
- Management of Technology
- Managing Diverse Organizations in a Flat World
- Project Management for IT Professionals
- Strategies for Managing Digital Products
- Systems Requirements
- Technology Entrepreneurship
It is a known fact that going to a college or university is very costly. You have to invest a lot of time, as well as a lot of money. By studying online, you can reduce some of the time investment, although you do have to be realistic about the fact that even studying online requires time. In terms of the financial aspect, most schools have very well-managed bursar’s offices, where you can received help towards financial assistance. Many also offer some scholarships and grants. There are also external scholarships and grants that you could take into consideration, including:
- APS/ASU Scholarships to the value of $2,000.
- Honeywell Retirees Club Scholarship, with varying amounts.
- Albert McHenry Scholarship, to the value of up to $1,000.
- Lee P. & Phyllis W. Thompson Quasi Memorial, with varying amounts.
- Project Management Institute Educational Foundation, which offers a range of grants between $1,000 an $10,000.
- Society for Information Management, which offers scholarships of up to $2,000.
- Xerox, which offers scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.
- Polytechnic University of New York University, which offers a range of different scholarships and grants.
- Howe School of Technology Management, which has scholarships valued at $10,000.
Often, to be considered for one of these scholarships or grants there are certain requirements. For example, you may have to study at a certain college or university, have a minimum GPA (usually 3.0), belong to a minority group, demonstrated financial need, or be a member of a professional organization.
As a technology manager, there are numerous certifications that you could consider obtaining. You do have to weigh up the pros and cons of these, however. Obtaining certification usually takes around six months and can cost a substantial amount of money. Furthermore, you will usually have to maintain your certification by completing continuous education credits from time to time. That being said, the list of certifications below is in very high demand in the workplace, which means you greatly increase your employability and your opportunity to earn a greater salary. Some of the certifications you may want to consider are:
- Project Management Professional (PMP)
- Certified Information Systems Security Professionals (CISSP)
- Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)
- VMware Certified Professional (VCP)
- CompTIA A+
- Oracle DBA
- Information Technology Infrastructure Library
- Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
- Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP), including Windows Client, Windows Server, Windows SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SharePoint Server, and Microsoft Lync Server.
- Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS)
- Microsoft’s Certified Systems Engineers (MCSE)
If you are serious about building a lengthy professional career in the field of technology management, you might want to consider becoming a member of one or more professional organizations. In fact, you should do so as soon as you go to the university at the undergraduate level, because many of these organizations and associations offer scholarships and grants to their members. Once you are aligned with an association, you will always be up to date with latest developments and news in your field. You will also be able to have access training and perhaps even certifications. Perhaps most importantly, you will have the opportunity to build a strong professional network, which will serve your career greatly. Some of the associations you may want to consider are the:
- Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering
- Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM)
- Information Technology Management Association (ITMA)
- Technology Management Council
- Association of Information Technology Professionals
- Society for Technology Management
- Occupational Outlook Handbook – Computer and Information Systems Managers. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm
- Master of Technology Management (MTM) Degree Average Salary. (2017, Apr. 8). Retrieved from http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Degree=Master_of_Technology_Management_(MTM)/Salary
- Information Technology Manager Salaries in US. (2017, Apr. 15). Retrieved from https://www.indeed.com/salaries/Information-Technology-Manager-Salaries,-US?from=serpsalaryblock
- Global Campus – Technology Management Bachelor’s Degree. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://global.k-state.edu/technology-management/
- Master’s in Technology Management Program Features. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://scs.georgetown.edu/departments/15/master-of-professional-studies-in-technology-management/