Business Technology Manager
Business technology managers coordinate and lead the computer and technology specialists within an organization. They must be able to effectively manage people while also possessing extensive technical skills. Tasks may include managing projects, providing leadership, and developing strategies to improve client relationships. Other typically duties are analyzing the organization's technological needs, overseeing network security, and determining the personnel needs of the department.
Almost all computer and information systems managers, including business technology managers, work at least full-time. Business technology managers work in an office setting. Although almost all IT managers must go to an office at least part-time, they may supervise employees that exclusively telecommute.
|Degree Level||Bachelor's degree is standard; employers may prefer a master's degree|
|Degree Field||Computer science, information science, management information systems, or other related field|
|Experience||Varies; at least 5-6 years of relevant professional experience may be required|
|Key Skills||Knowledge of relevant technology, including customer relationship management and development environment software; ability to use field-specific tools, such as high-end computer services; knowledge of management, customer service, and production processes; familiarity with telecommunication systems|
|Median Salary (2016)*||$131,600 yearly (for all computer and information systems managers)|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Online job postings, O*Net Online
Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor's Degree in a Computer-Related Field
Business technology managers must have a bachelor's degree at minimum. Some schools offer degrees in business technology management, with courses such as management, system analysis and design, database concepts, IT ethics, and management strategies.
Other options include obtaining a degree in business, computer science, or information science. Computer-specific courses include systems design, networking, database management, and systems security. In addition to an education in a computer-related field, courses in finance, marketing, accounting, and management train students for the business aspect of this career.
You may want to consider earning a master's degree. According to the BLS, some employers prefer candidates with a master's degree in technology or a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Earning a graduate degree typically takes two years to complete, although some schools offer accelerated programs that can be completed in a year. Additionally, some schools offer combination undergraduate/MBA degrees.
Step 2: Gain Experience
Gaining professional experience serves several functions. Business technology managers often supervise a team of information technology professionals, including software engineers and programmers, systems analysts and computer support specialists. Gaining hands-on professional experience helps aspiring business technology managers hone their ability to organize, lead, and inspire others, important skills for the profession. Companies who hire business technology managers often look for candidates who have experience in business management, IT, or consulting. In addition, management education programs prefer candidates who have been trusted with responsibility during their work experience.
Getting business experience may also give applicants to MBA programs a competitive edge; some MBA programs require 2-8 years of work experience. Programs that don't require applicants to have experience may recommend it to help MBA students get more out of the curriculum by having a firm grasp of workplace issues and a better ability to apply their classroom education to real-world situations.
Step 3: Consider Earning a Voluntary Certification
Becoming certified may offer more job opportunities since it demonstrates professional and technical competency. Companies offering the software, hardware, or other electronic products typically sponsor vendor-specific certification. Common vendor-neutral certifications for information technology professionals include the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW) and CompTIA Network + credentials. CompTIA, presently the largest vendor-neutral certification body, offers various specializations within its certification programs.
To recap, with an undergraduate degree, possibly a master's, and optional certification, business technology managers can make about $132,000 a year to coordinate and lead the computer and technology specialists within an organization.