Applied technology management careers include management analyst and IT project manager. Both need strong computer skills which they can develop through a bachelor's or master's degree program.
Applied technology management encompasses many different specialties that apply science and engineering principles to specific work-related environments. Positions in the field can range from welding supervisor to management consultant. Experience is required for all positions, but educational requirements can vary from certificates to graduate degrees.
|Career||Management Analyst||IT Project Manager|
|Education Requirements||Bachelor's or master's degree||Bachelor's or master's degree|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||14%*||15% (for all computer and information systems managers)*|
|Median Salary (2015)||$81,320*||$131,600 (for computer and information systems managers)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
The field of applied technology management can include a wide range of specific career choices with varying tasks and educational requirements. Associate degree programs, technical certifications and program completion certificates in applied technology can prepare individuals for employment in fields such as electronics, construction management, automotive technology, veterinarian technology, utility technology, computer information systems and welding technology.
As workers gain experience within their technology specialization, they often can advance into management positions. Some applied technology managers have earned Bachelor of Applied Technology degrees, which combine training in management with technical skill enhancement. Further advancement through more specialized or graduate degrees can lead to more managerial positions, such as that of an IT project manager or management consultant.
IT Project Manager
An IT project manager, also called a computer and information systems manager, is typically in charge of information technology projects, such as improvements to a company's system security. This professional utilizes computer-related experience and advanced education to complete projects on time and within budget constraints. Professional organizations such as the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) or the Project Management Institute (PMI) provide career information, continuing education opportunities and certification programs.
An IT project manager identifies a project's goals and outlines the steps required. This professional calculates the expected costs of the project and chooses the members of the project team. Once a project is started, the IT project manager makes sure employees are completing tasks as scheduled, monitors costs and makes adjustments to plans and schedules as problems or new organizational needs arise.
An IT project manager issues status updates to key organizational personnel such as marketing, accounting, production and operations managers. The project manager also communicates with consultants and sales representatives from equipment, hardware and software companies. Finally, the IT project manager is in charge of analyzing the effect on organizational efficiency or revenue as it relates to the project goal.
Salary and Employment Outlook
IT project managers could see employment increase from 2014-2024, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported. The BLS expected a growth rate of 15% for these workers. Their average annual income was $131,600, the BLS noted in May 2015.
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IT project managers usually have several years' worth of experience in a technology-related field that includes time assisting with projects, progressively taking on more responsibility. Rarely, an IT project manager with a great deal of experience can find a position without a degree or with just an associate degree. Generally, however, a computer-oriented bachelor's degree is required.
A typical bachelor's degree program in information technology management program can include course topics such as database management, computer engineering, finance, systems design, mathematics, management and communications. It is becoming more common for employers to require a master's degree in areas such as technology management, computer information systems or project management.
Management consultants are also known as management analysts. These professionals use their specialized backgrounds to help organizations become more efficient or profitable. Some consultants are self-employed, while others work for consulting firms or government agencies. Depending on the goals of a client organization, management consultants might work alone or in teams. Certifications and career guidance can be obtained through groups such as the Association of Management Consulting Firms (AMCF) or the Institute of Management Consultants, USA, Inc. (IMC USA).
Initially, management consultants collect information from organizational management and personnel in order to understand current operations and identify problems or areas needing improvement. Considering the organization's needs or goals, this information is used to develop possible changes to procedures, organizational structures or equipment configurations. Management consultants are then responsible for generating reports or presentations that explain their suggested changes, how they should be made and what results can be expected. Sometimes management consultants help execute changes as well, assisting with training, acquiring resources and writing policies or procedures.
Salary and Employment Outlook
Management analysts were predicted to see employment increase by 14% during the 2014-2024 decade, the BLS said. Their average salary was $81,320 in 2015, the BLS reported.
A high level of expertise, gained through a combination of education and experience, is required to work as a management consultant. After years of experience in their applied technology specialty, and after completing at least a bachelor's degree, some aspiring consultants begin working with consulting firms as associates. These positions can lead to consultant jobs after a number of years of hands-on experience.
Other consultants begin their careers after obtaining a master's degree in fields such as business administration, computer science or technology management. While not always required, completing the Certified Management Consultant program offered by IMC USA signifies a specific level of expertise and can enhance a consultant's opportunities.
IT project managers have slightly more favorable job outlooks than management analysts over the next decade. Applicants for both careers should have an extensive knowledge of the latest technology.