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 advancements in 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 evolution of technology can be daunting for businesses that are 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 to utilize available technology and determine technological strategies that 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 learn more about this field 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.
Bachelor's Degrees in Technology Management
A bachelor's in technology management degree program can be 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 often rigorous, emphasizing a student's ability to understand complex technology and working to develop a strong background in business practices.
Majors in technology management should be ready to commit to approximately four years of academic study. Online degree programs in technology management are also available.
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 be effective as a 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
Many non-technical professionals are not computer experts and are often confronted with computer issues that they cannot correct and address on their own. Computer support specialists offer support, assistance and advice to customers and clients experiencing computer-related issues. 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.
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.
Computer Software Engineers
Computer software engineers build, test and design software that enables consumers, businesses, and other organizations to utilize technology to perform tasks and solve problems. Students interested in pursuing this path to technology management career opportunities should first earn an engineering and computer science degree.
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.
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 can 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 earn 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 career options.
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