There is a huge and increasing demand for those who have an enhanced understanding of both business management and information technology (IT). IT professionals speak a language few others understand and, while those knowledge and skills are incredibly valuable, there is equally a need for people who can combine that jargon with strategic management.
If you are able to cross these barriers of language, you will be able to send your IT career in a whole new direction. You can do this by completing an Information Technology MBA. Furthermore, it will teach you to move outside of technical skills, increasing your knowledge of soft skills, such as leadership and management. These are necessary skills if you are to take on positions of senior management.
IT jobs have been responsible for 13% of all job opportunities for MBA graduates across the world in 2015. This is a huge growth since the previous count in 2014, when it stood at 8%. It is also believed that in 2016 it was around 15%, although figures are yet to confirm this. In the past, those who wanted to become an IT manager did not need to have an MBA. Today, however, an MBA is becoming essential for those who want to work in this field, mainly due to the fact that IT is now integrated in all elements of business.
Consider the thousands of new tech startups that appear every year, and the thousands of IT companies that exist. It is likely that these types of companies will continue to appear regularly, which further demonstrates the need for those who have skills in both IT and management. It is no surprise, therefore, that more and more schools are now starting to offer the IT concentration as part of their MBA program. Graduates are able to bridge the gap between the technical side and the managerial side, and they will truly be able to transform business. Jump to 9+ IT Online MBA Programs for 2017.
Why Earn an Information Technology MBA?
Because IT is growing rapidly, there is a lot of potential for work in it. In fact, this has been the case since the “dot com” boom. If you would like to become involved in this field, with or without an IT background, and with or without a business background, then the Information Technology MBA may just be for you.
You will focus on the business elements of an organization, such as finances, marketing, and leadership, but you will learn specifically how to apply them in IT management. This degree is not about technical troubleshooting or programming. Rather, it is about leading and managing projects and teams that focus on those more practical skills. It is a common degree for system information managers, software engineers, network engineers, project managers, and others, although some come from completely different backgrounds as well.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of completing an Information Technology MBA degree is that it makes you more competitive in both fields of management and IT. You will be far more likely to be considered for internal promotion, or to be considered as an applicant for a better job. This is because you will hold the necessary business-related transferable skills, while at the same time having in depth knowledge of IT.
Another great benefit of this type of degree is that it is very flexible to complete, with online studies being possible. This means that you do not have to take a career break. Furthermore, the cost of this MBA program is reasonably affordable. You also need to see the degree as an investment into your own future, since you are more likely to gain a permanent contract, or to receive a management promotion. This is because you will instantly be respected for your organization, leadership, and business skills.
The exact admission requirements vary from one school to the next, but most tend to follow a format similar to that of the Georgia Tech Scheller School of Business. Their requirements are:
• Transcripts from all previously attended colleges
• A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
• Two letters of professional recommendation
• GMAT/GRE scores
• TOEFL/IELTS, or other English language proficiency test for non-native English speakers
Curriculum and Courses
It is very important that you choose a degree from an accredited institution, preferably a program that is accredited itself. This is because it will guarantee a certain standard of education for the curriculum of the program. While each school can set its own curriculum, that which is offered by the Western Governors University is a good example. Their courses include:
• Managing Organizations and Leading People
• IT Project Management
• Managing Human Capital
• Global Economics for Managers
• Accounting for Decision Makers
• Ethical Leadership
• Financial Management
• Data-Driven Decision Making
• IT Strategic Solutions
Career Outcomes and Job Titles
Most businesses all over the world are now present online, and are starting to further develop the information technology that they use to conduct their operations. This is one of the many reasons why an Information Technology MBA can so significantly increase your career opportunity. Your understanding of security, e-commerce, and people management will make you in demand for many employers, or you can decide to start your own business. Some of the most common job titles are:
• Head of IT
• Director of IT
• IT Manager
• Computer Systems Manager
• Information Systems Manager
Job Salary & Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that the average annual salary for Computer and Information Systems Managers was $131,600 per year at bachelor’s degree level. With an MBA, this is usually about $15,000 higher, meaning you could earn around $150,000 per year with this degree. The BLS has also reported a 15% projected growth in demand from 2014 to 2024, which is much faster than the national average.
Scholarships and Grants
Thelma Fisher Dewitty Scholarship, which is offered to members of the LGBTQ community who can show leadership potential, have a poor support network, had barriers to educational access (minority students or those in poverty), and have a financial need.
A.T. Anderson Memorial Scholarship, which is offered to members of the American Indian Science and Engineering and those who are interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) courses.
Ann Rhian Memorial, Nancy Johnson Memorial, which is one of two annual merit-based scholarships awarded by the Fairbanks Branch, to the value of $1,000.
Green to Gold Scholarship, which is awarded for between two and four years to soldiers who want to attend college.
• Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP)
• International Association of Computer Science and Information Technology (IACSIT)
• Library and Information Technology Association (LITA)