An increasing number of IT professionals seek high-level managerial roles or advanced roles such as CDO, CIO, etc., after an industry experience of just 2-3 years. If you wish to go beyond technical knowledge and delve into the bigger picture by strengthening your business knowledge, pursuing an MBA may be the right choice for you.
How Significant is MBA for an IT Professional?
An IT professional is considered technically proficient, but you must have more than just technical competencies for a significant long-term career in the industry. It is crucial to understand business to pursue higher positions or C-level positions in management. You must have a strong foundation in core business areas such as finance, human resources, marketing, operations, business strategy, etc., and leadership and project management skills. With an MBA degree, you can hone these skills while gaining a broader and holistic business view. Also, it helps you to grab better prospects and opportunities in the highly competitive world.
Demand for MBA Graduates in the Tech Industry
To grow and compete in the market, every business needs much more than just a product to offer. Similarly, a tech company also needs to establish a market for its product and create strategies to combat financial, legal, marketing, and other challenges. As indicated by top executives of many leading technology firms, they are always keen to hire MBA grads, especially the ones with prior experience in the IT industry.
It is a motivating fact that in the year 2020, tech companies hired more MBA graduates than in other industries such as finance and consulting.
MBA Specializations (for IT Professionals)
Though traditional specialization areas such as marketing, finance, human resources, operations, etc. are equally helpful in gaining business knowledge, the following specializations hold special relevance for IT persons –
Information technology/Information systems, data analytics, cyber security, and other similar fields that deal with the technical side of business administration.
MBA Or EMBA – Which is More Suited for an IT Professional?
While both MBA and EMBA (Executive MBA) offer more or less similar value to a candidate, they differ in their purpose and delivery formats.
An EMBA is mainly designed for working executives with extensive work experience, generally ranging from 10-15 years, and delivered in part-time or distance mode. Full-time MBA programs are more intense and generally meant for freshers or candidates with lesser experience.
Though it depends upon your choice when it comes to choosing between MBA and EMBA, there are a few points to remember before making the final choice:
- If you already have an established career of 10 years or more and wish to enhance your portfolio for top-management positions, EMBA can be a better choice for you.
- If you have work experience of up to 5 years and looking for advancement or a career change, you may consider enrolling in a full-time MBA program.
Best Management Courses For IT Professionals
- Master of Information Systems Management [MISM] By Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)
It is considered the world’s best information system management program, offered in 12 and 16-months format. It combines information technology concepts with business management skills to equip you to transform organizations through technology. The course is aimed to create leaders with a full package of skills – analytical, creative, and ethical.
It is a 12-months program that prepares students to tackle real-world business problems by applying modern data science, optimization, and machine learning. It is a STEM-designated program under which international candidates can extend their training in the US by 24 months after graduating.
It is also a STEM-designated program that allows you to receive a master’s degree in both business administration (MBA) and MIS (MS) in a total of 2 years of study only. It is an integrated program that offers a unique learning experience by combining information technology and business concepts in a single program.
- MBA in Information Management By University of Texas – Austin (McCombs)
It is a 2-year full-time MBA program that focuses on creating business leaders who can articulate the strategic and business value of IT beyond just the technological view. It also helps the candidates to gain the expertise required to manage IT-enabled global resources and projects.
It is a 17-months program that helps you leverage your technology background for competing in the world of challenges presented by emerging technologies and rapid innovations. Also, it helps you acquire leadership, communication skills, and other essential management skills that are crucial in your career advancement.
- MBA (Information Systems) By University of Minnesota – Twin Cities (Carlson)
It is 2-year full-time MBA with an emphasis on information systems. It allows you to gain the necessary skills to leverage technology to create efficient organizations distinguished by standardized business processes and integrated data.
It is 2-year full-time MBA program customized in information management. It offers a focused program that can develop managerial skills to utilize digital innovations in transforming organizations. Also, the course aims to strengthen the essential problem-framing and problem-solving skills for a career in consulting.
Robust Demand for MBA Graduates
As suggested by the latest GMAC report, there is a robust demand for MBAs amongst recruiters, including those in the technology sector. If you plan to go for a management course, any of the courses mentioned above can help you boost your career prospects in the current scenario.