Technical Management Degree Program Overviews

Oct 20, 2019

Students interested in obtaining management positions within a technical field, such as health information technology or accounting, might consider applying to a technical management degree program.

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Essential Information

A Bachelor of Science in Technical Management program might be ideal for individuals who are interested in an administrative role in technical fields. Students interested in furthering their education can also enroll in a Master of Science in Technical Management or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Technology Management program. The curricula of such programs highlight topics such as organizational leadership, project management, technological innovation and technical human resource management. Students might participate in seminars and lectures; depending on the program level, they may be required to complete an internship, residency or dissertation.

Bachelor of Science in Technical Management

A bachelor's degree in technical management is ideal for individuals who are currently employed in a technical vocation and who are interested in moving into a position of management. Some programs may allow students to take some or all courses online. Applicants should have a high school diploma.

These degree programs focus primarily on management skills, business administration principles and communication skills. They include classroom lectures and seminars that cover the concepts of human resources, accounting, business finance, marketing and similar managerial skills. It may also be possible to choose a concentration from topics such as aeronautical management, hospitality management or criminal justice technical management. Course topics may include:

  • Business communication
  • Human resource and project management
  • Financial accounting
  • Organizational leadership
  • Leadership strategy
  • Logistics

Master of Science in Technical Management

Graduate programs in technical management are well suited for professionals who are interested in taking on leadership roles in the fields of engineering or science. Master's degrees require students to have a scientific bachelor's degree as well as high GRE scores, letters of recommendation and work experience before admission. These advanced programs are designed to provide skilled, educated individuals with a background in management principles, administration and business communication necessary to oversee complex projects. Many universities offering graduate programs provide flexible class hours to meet the schedules of busy professionals. Example courses include:

  • Project management
  • Technical organization and communication
  • Leadership and planning
  • Contract management
  • Technical human resource management
  • Advanced management software

Doctor of Philosophy in Technology Management

While there are no schools offering doctoral programs in technical management, there are a few that offer Ph.D. programs in technology management. A Ph.D. in Technology Management is ideal for scientists, engineers and other professionals in the field of technology and innovation who are interested in earning top management and leadership roles in the realm of government, business or research. Doctoral programs require incoming students to have a previous, related degree in addition to work experience. Ph.D. programs in technology management often contain core courses in research and technology while also allowing students to select particular courses related to a given specialization in the field. Some samples of these might include:

  • Technology and development
  • Strategic planning and technology
  • Industry and law
  • Technological innovation and assessment
  • Statistical analysis of research
  • Dissertation
  • Internship

Popular Career Options

Graduates of a master's degree in technical management often go on to earn positions of leadership within their current organizations. Roles that might open to graduates include:

  • Lead scientist
  • Project manager
  • Lead engineer
  • Engineering manager
  • Technical innovation manager

Graduates of doctoral programs often elect to pursue positions in universities, research agencies or business. Specific positions may include:

  • Professor of technical management
  • Agency research director
  • Director of technical consulting service
  • Research and development manager
  • Engineering manager

Career Outlook and Salary Info

A bachelor's degree in technical management can help individuals move into management positions within several varying professions. Potential career titles include project manager, technical director, technical product manager and information technology manager. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), industrial production managers are expected to see little or no change in employment over the 2018-2028 decade. Meanwhile, computer and information systems managers will see a much higher job growth at 11% over that decade. In May 2018, computer and information systems managers made a median annual salary of $142,530, while construction project managers earned $93,370 and industrial production managers earned $103,380 .

Continuing Education Information

Certification is not generally required in the management field. However, there are various organizations and associations which offer credentials to professional managers looking to move ahead in their careers. The Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM) offers a Certified Manager (CM) designation, for instance. Several for-profit organizations offer certification as well, although professionals should be wary about paying large sums for credentials in the field.

Technical management degrees allow students to choose their desired level of expertise and concentration. As such, students of technical management may choose to enter the workforce with a bachelor's degree to gain immediate experience or pursue graduate studies.

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