What Does it Mean to Study Technology Management?
Technology is revolutionary, and its impact on our lives and capabilities grows exponentially. It is certainly not a stretch to claim that the advancements in modern technology have greatly enhanced all industries--from healthcare, to entertainment, to transportation, to information management to education.
Just as one groundbreaking advancement is established, another quicker, better technological innovation shatters the shortcomings of its predecessors. Keeping up with the latest, greatest technology can be daunting for businesses and corporations hoping to implement more competitive systems. Thus, the work of a technology manager is important.
Technology managers help their companies:
- Build sturdier cars
- Develop safe transaction platforms
- Design inventory supply systems
- Streamline medical databases
- Automate bank transactions
- Map transportation schedules
Technology managers are trained in information technology management philosophy, system development, and business strategy. A technology manager helps businesses utilize available technology and determine the technological strategies that will best suit the needs of the business. Additionally, a technology manager oversees the work of technical professionals to ensure a reliable, productive work environment for clients and employers.
Increasingly, the options and methods for studying technology management are expanding to include distance learning. The development of online technology management degree programs has enabled more students to obtain a quality education without having to relocate to a physical campus.
Students interested in technology management and other computer related careers have several degree options, including certificate programs, bachelor's degree programs, and master's degree programs, as well as online technology degree programs. Thus, online technology management programs have opened doors for many future executives, as well as seasoned technology management professionals, hoping to advance their careers using distance education.
Because the demand for better technological systems increases as rapidly as the development of new technologies, it is common for technology management professionals to rely on distance learning to continually increase their technical skills and managerial training. Online education makes it possible for students to maintain commitments to full-time jobs while completing the requirements necessary to earn a degree. Studying technology management also opens up doors to many other related positions including computer programming, information systems managers, computer software engineers, computer support technicians, and computer systems analysts.
Types of Technology Management Degrees
Technical innovation and invention impacts our everyday lives. Influencing the most basic human tasks to the most sophisticated, complex procedures, the need for managers to focus and lead the efforts of technical professionals is apparent. As this need for qualified, well-trained technology management professionals increases, more schools develop training and academic degree programs to meet this demand.
Additionally, as technology continues to advance, more technology management schools offer such degree programs online. Students participate in online sessions, web seminars, and interactive tutorials virtually. Students who enroll in distance learning degree programs enjoy a unique opportunity to tailor their own academic schedule and course load to complement existing commitments.
Certificates in Technology Management
Technology management certificate programs offer good options to current technology and computer professionals who hope to develop the skills necessary to obtain managerial positions. Online certificate programs encourage students to learn and develop a working knowledge of management issues, technical advancement, business strategy, and other related skills. By improving key skills and developing a management expertise, technology professionals can enjoy opportunity for advanced employment and job growth.
Bachelor's Degrees in Technology Management
Earning a bachelor's degree in technology management can provide students with a strong foundation for launching a career in the computer technology field. Bachelor's degree programs traditionally focus heavily on practical training, computer engineering, technical science, business, and communications. Bachelor's degree programs in technology management programs are rigorous and place immense emphasis on a student's ability to understand complex, sophisticated technology and to develop a strong background in business practices.
Majors in technology management should prepare to commit to approximately four years of academic study. Online degree programs in technology management are also available, offering students quality technical training accessible from any location with Internet access.
What Can You Do With a College Degree in Technology Management?
The future is bright for tomorrow's information technology managers, who can enjoy a diversity of career opportunities.
Computer Systems Analyst
Technology professionals serving as computer systems analysts are responsible for solving computer problems, identifying potentially beneficial new computer technologies, and applying computer technology to fit the needs and goals of an organization. Additionally, systems analysts guide an organization to get the most out of investing in computer equipment, technology, and personnel.
It is common for a systems analyst to specialize in a particular type of computer system, including business, accounting, or financial systems, or scientific and engineering systems. Working as a computer systems analyst is a viable catalyst to a career in technology management. Technology professionals with analyst experience develop both the technical and communications skills necessary to become an effective technology manager. Combining this practical experience with advanced education is a solid example of a professional path that can lead to a position as a technology manager.
Management Information Systems Directors
A management information systems director usually oversees the information systems used by an entire organization. This professional's typical job responsibilities include selecting and overseeing the installation and upgrading of software, overseeing a technical help desk, and work to ensure the security of an organization's information
Information systems directors may directly manage a staff of information systems technicians, and depending on the size of the organization, he may report to the chief information officer. Technology management training and education is often a prerequisite for securing a position as a management information systems director. Students interested in directing the management of corporate and public information systems would benefit from pursuing graduate level coursework in addition to obtaining multiple years of work experience as a technical professional.
Computer Support Specialist
Computer support specialists offer support, assistance, and advice to customers and clients experiencing computer related issues. These technical professionals are skilled at interpreting problems and providing solutions and support for hardware, software, and systems. A computer support specialist may provide assistance over the phone, work on a site as a consultant, or work full-time for an organization providing troubleshooting, or work as a contractor at a help-desk, support services firm. Computer support specialists are valuable assistants to all industries.
Many non-technical professionals are not computer experts and are often confronted with computer issues that they cannot correct and address on their own. It is also common for computer support specialists to assist clients with the selection, upgrade, and installation of a computer security system, choose new technologies to increase production capabilities and offer support for managing computer technologies. Securing employment as a computer support specialist is another example of a great way to gain work experience that offers potential opportunities to move into a managerial role.
Computer Software Engineers
Dubbed to be one of the fastest growing occupations through the year 2018 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer software engineers develop and build new computer software technology. The BLS expects employment opportunities for computer software engineers to grow by 32 percent between 2008 and 2018. 0This group of technology professionals works in fast-paced environment and build, test, and design new software that enables consumers, businesses, and other organizations with the means to utilize technological innovation.
Students interested in pursuing this path to technology management career opportunities should first earn an engineering and computer science degree. Computer software engineers are definitely on the cutting edge of innovation and are essential players in developing new technology. Therefore, computer software engineers who are effectively able to communicate and manage other technical professionals are considered strong candidates for technology management positions.
The work of a computer programmer involves writing, applying, and testing various instructions that computers must follow to perform appropriately. Professionals in this field have a strong background in computer science and information systems. Computer programmers develop solutions and enable computers to function optimally through use and understanding of various programming languages.
Computer programming is definitely a field that requires continuously updating and building new skills and capabilities. Professionals in this field are often the first to adopt and master the application of new technology. If a computer programmer is inclined to fuse his technical prowess with management training and communications skills, computer programming is a solid lead into technology management positions.
Preparing for Technology Management Career Opportunities
To achieve success in technology management, quality training is a necessity. Professionals in this field draw on many different subjects of knowledge, and these are skills best developed in an accredited degree program. An excellent technology management degree program also provides students with an opportunity to fuse academics with technical and hands-on training.
A potential student should carefully consider the depth of his technology management and computer interests. While working in technology management is fast-paced and exciting, students should engage in a degree program with a clear notion of what the work entails. Technology management professionals must be committed to continually familiarizing themselves with the latest technology. They must also develop the ability to explain new advancements to other business professionals in layman's terms.
Taking this into consideration, successful students in technology management degree programs are inspired by the challenge of developing and implementing new technologies, effectively communicating, and participating in constant training and courses to update technical skills.
Also, earning a college degree in technology management involves intense and thorough study of advanced computer science, information systems, business, business law, engineering technology, and business ethics. Potential technology management students should find these subjects interesting and thrive in related high school courses. Proper preparation for earning a technology management degree includes high school courses in math, science, computers, communications and social sciences.
Another way to prepare for an education in technology management is to compare and contrast possible degree programs to find the best fit. Education is an investment and selecting the right school is essential to success and career preparation. This is also a good way for a student to figure out what qualities are desirable in a technology management degree program.
In addition, this type of research will help a student prepare a list of questions to ask admissions counselors that will assist in his final choice of degree program to pursue. Admittedly, this preparation takes much work, but the more information a student can gather about a potential technology management degree program, the better informed his or her decision will be.
Finally, it is also a good idea for potential students to speak with a current technology manager. Take the opportunity to ask an existing professional questions about his day-to-day job tasks, opportunities for career advancement, additional education and training requirements, and everything else a student would want to know about his or her future career. Participating in this sort of career investigative research will provide a complete picture of a potential technology management student's future job opportunities.
Technology Management Career Trends
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, career opportunities for qualified technology and information systems managers are projected to grow much faster than average through 2018. Aside from jobs stemming from technological advancement, technology management professionals will also find opportunities resulting from the need to replace managers who retire or pursue work in other occupational fields.
Job opportunities for obtaining a management position are tremendously enhanced with advanced education and training. Professionals who can combine thorough technical knowledge with business and communications skills will be in the best position to obtain managerial roles.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that although there has been an economic downturn in the technology jobs, a strong growth projection for computer and information systems managers remains. For continued success in business, competition is essential.
Thus, to keep a savvy competitive edge, companies and businesses will continue to implement more sophisticated and advanced computer networks and Internet sites. Securing and smoothly operating this technology is crucial, and businesses will increasingly hire technology managers to accomplish this.
Technology Management Licensing, Certification and Associations
While most states do not require technology managers to obtain a license, many professionals in this field choose to fulfill the requirements necessary to earn technology certifications. In any profession, certifications designate commitment, ties to the field, and a level of achievement, education, and skill mastery.
There are multiple technology related certifications, and students pursuing careers in a focused area of technology will find specific associations and certification bodies specializing in smaller facets of technology. Usually, advanced training and education is substituted for required licensure and technology management certification. Thus, students hoping to secure employment in technology managerial roles should combine available certifications in their respective, entry-level computer programming, computer systems analyst, information systems, and computer support careers with graduate level managerial training and coursework to optimize their options for advanced employment opportunities.
Professional Associations and Related Certification Bodies
- International Association for Management of Technology
- The Technology Management Education Association
- Society for Information Management
- International Systems Security Association
- Information Systems Audit and Control Association
- National Workforce Center for Emerging Technologies
- Association for Information Systems