Career Definition for a Technical Development Manager
A technical development manager ensures that technical projects are completed accurately, within budget, and on time. He or she may also oversee the optimization of technical systems within an organization so that those systems will successfully support business objectives. Technical development managers may assemble and manage a team of software developers working on a specific project, approve work estimates, establish budgets, and communicate with the project manager to evaluate progress. They may also act as technical liaisons with other departments, coordinating information systems throughout an organization.
|Education||Bachelor's degree is typical; master's required by some employers|
|Job Skills||Technical knowledge, leadership, communication, problem solving|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$142,530 for computer and information systems managers|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||12% for computer and information systems managers|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Technical development managers generally have a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related technical field. Some employers may require a master's degree in technology or business administration with a technology emphasis, sometimes referred to as a techno-MBA. Many employers may also require experience in software development, project management, and consulting.
Technical development managers must have in-depth technical knowledge related to software development and information systems management, as well as strong written and verbal communication skills. They must be effective leaders, team-builders, and managers, with the ability to motivate staff and evaluate performance. Interpersonal skills are essential for collaborating with team members and interacting with senior management, coworkers, and clients. Technical development managers must be goal-oriented, deadline-driven, and have the ability to identify and solve problems as they arise. They must also have strong budgeting and scheduling skills, and be proficient in word processing and spreadsheet programs.
Economic Forecast and Career Outlook
For the 2016-2026 decade, the BLS predicts 12% job growth in the field of computer and information systems management, which includes technical development management. Candidates with strong technical and business management skills, as well as an advanced degree, may have the strongest job prospects. The BLS reports May 2018 median annual earnings for computer and information systems managers of $142,530.
Alternate Career Options
Explore some other choices in careers involving computer systems:
Computer and Information Research Scientist
Computer and information research scientists work with complex computing theories and applications, seeking ways to address problems and increase efficiency in a variety of fields. They may work collaboratively with professionals in related fields on projects in robotics, data mining, and programming, for example.
While it may be possible to get an entry-level government job with a bachelor's degree in the field, most jobs require a doctoral degree. Jobs in this field are expected to increase by 19% from 2016-2026. Computer and information research scientists earned median pay of $114,520 in 2017, per the BLS.
Computer Hardware Engineer
A computer hardware engineer develops and tests the parts that make computers run, from the circuit boards used by the computers themselves to routers that allow for connectivity. A bachelor's degree in the field is typically the minimum education requirement, although some employers prefer a graduate degree. The BLS predicts employment growth of 5% from 2016-2026, and also reports that computer hardware engineers earned median pay of $115,120 in 2017.