What Does a Career in Technology Management Entail?
Technology management is a multidisciplinary field that encompasses project management and leadership with a deep knowledge of technical systems. Earning a degree in this field is a great way to prepare for a wide range of in-demand careers with lots of earning potential.
Here’s a bit more about earning a technology management degree, from job opportunities to curriculum, and more. Let’s take a look:
Jobs in the information technology sector are a consistently stable, high-earning career path. And while computer programming, web development, and cybersecurity are all great options for the tech-minded prospective student, a degree in technology management may be something else you want to consider.
Technology management is a specialization within the information technology field that brings together business principles with a technical background—so you’re essentially getting an educational mash-up between a business and technology degree.
During a four-year program, students can expect to learn about finance, management, and accounting, and they’ll gain an understanding in databases, systems architecture, cybersecurity, and more. Ideally, students should have a firm grasp on computer science concepts, as this career path best suits strong leaders with a great deal of tech-savvy.
Components of A Successful Career In "Technology Management"
Technology management is a stable field. According to the BLS, computer and systems management roles are expected to grow by 12% between the years 2016 and 2026. In most cases, students who pursue a degree in technology management go into IT management. However, there is a wide range of roles that fit the bill. Bachelor’s degree holders may be hired as network administrators, computer systems analysts, or within a management role.
These positions require a blend of soft skills like empathy, communication, and organization, as well as strong project management skills and an in-depth knowledge of IT concepts from security to programming languages and systems architecture. With that in mind, success will come easiest to those technology managers with a well-rounded skillset—you’re a jack of all trades in this role and switch between functions with ease.
Because there’s a strong management bent to this role, starting your career will begin with a four-year degree, unlike some tech jobs that look at harder skills over how many credit hours you’ve completed. You don’t necessarily need to earn a master’s degree to have a successful career—there’s no shortage of six-figure salaries, here. However, if you’re dreaming of the C-Suites, you may want to look at going to business school or earning a master’s degree in technology management.
How to Earn a Degree in Technology Management
What can you do with a Degree in Technology Management?
Technology management programs are usually designed to help you prepare for a management role within the information technology sector. Many programs are set up to provide a blend of coursework that covers both business and management fundamentals, as well as computer programming, cybersecurity, and other IT areas.
After graduation, you might work as a computer systems or IT manager, working to implement tech solutions within a single company or as an outside consultant. Students pursuing an undergraduate degree may work their way up to a management position—or gain experience working in an IT role. The leadership, finance, and accounting skills they’ll learn will serve them well—providing a versatile foundation they can take just about anywhere.
This degree is also a good option for experienced IT professionals who want to advance into a management role. This training provides a solid foundation for progressing to an upper management position. That said, this typically would involve getting a master’s degree if your sights are set on the C suite.
Even if you only have a bachelor’s degree, it’s relatively easy to find work in technology management. For example, you can work as a consultant, a systems developer, network manager, and more. But, keep it in mind that a bachelor’s degree in technology management is likely the minimum education you’ll need to secure a job.
Typical Technology Management Degree Requirements
A typical online degree program requires students to complete 120-130 credit hours covering business and management fundamentals along with technology, engineering, and programming coursework. To enroll, students must have a high school diploma or GED and may need to demonstrate aptitude in math, science, and technology.
Typical Technology Management Certifications Needed
Professional and technical certifications are not typically required to work within this role. However, there are many IT certifications you can pursue to increase your expertise and make yourself more attractive to potential employers. Certifications may also allow you to command a higher salary, so it may be worth looking into.
Academic Standards for a Technology Management Degree
Most bachelor’s degree programs in technology management cover computer science concepts, network management, as well as a range of business principles. This degree will train you to understand how businesses use technology and design or modify internal networks. Coursework will involve computation theory, routers, networks, firewalls, programming languages, and more. A good program will also teach you to manage a staff of IT professionals.
Many programs require students to complete a capstone course or an internship before graduating. While you can easily take most of your classes online, there may be some in-person components to earning a degree that you’ll need to arrange for down the road.
Exam/Experience Needed for a Technology Management Degree
To enroll in a bachelor’s program, you’ll need to have received your high school diploma or GED. Schools may look at transcripts and test scores, through the specific requirements depend on how selective the school you’re looking at is.
Once you graduate, you might not be able to secure a job within an advanced management role. According to the BLS, most companies require five or more years of experience for advanced management positions but starting your career at a smaller organization or as an IT worker can help you gain the experience need to level up in your career.
You may also want to look into completing a certification. While it’s not a requirement, IT professionals can increase their prospects and earning potential by earning these additional credentials. Companies like Cisco, Microsoft, CompTIA, and Oracle offer certifications, as do a wide range of professional associations. Certification prerequisites vary based on the organization and type of credential, and because there are thousands of options to choose from, you might want to look into specializing in a particular area—cybersecurity, telecommunications, or a specific product line.
Important Questions to Ask
How long does it take to earn a Technology Management bachelor's degree online?
Most technology management degrees take about four years to complete. Like most four-year programs, earning an online bachelor’s degree in this field will require the completion of 120 to 128 credit hours. In some cases, you may be able to enroll in an accelerated program, though this will mean a lot more work in a short amount of time. Online students often juggle multiple commitments, so it can be a challenge to make time for a full-time course load.
How much does a Technology Management bachelor’s degree cost?
The cost of an online technology management degree varies based on several factors. Residency is one consideration, as some schools charge higher fees to online students from out-of-state, despite the remote learning experience. Others charge the same rate to all online students regardless of location. Students can expect to pay between $225 to $500, on average, per credit hour.
Technology Management Bachelor's Degree Coursework
This degree is designed to prepare students to find work after graduation. Coursework aims to help students develop management, IT, and business skills through a diverse range of subject matter. Courses will differ across different programs, but most programs will include networking, cybersecurity, management, and information technology. Additionally, you can expect to take some classes that you’d find in a business program—finance, economics, accounting, and organizational management.
Does the school have the major(s) you’re considering?
Don’t enroll in a school if you haven’t looked at what kind of majors are available. Technology management is a very specific degree, so it might not be available at every school you look at. Another thing you might want to consider is whether the school offers any concentrations or minors that would add to your future career success.
How many students graduate “on time,” in four years?
When you choose a college, you might not immediately think about reviewing the graduation rates. The average graduation rate nationwide is about 59%, and more students tend to graduate from non-profit or private colleges than for-profit or public institutions.
The reason this metric is important is, a low graduation rate may be a sign that the school doesn’t provide the resources needed to help students succeed. You want to find a school that has a commitment to helping students succeed with dedicated staff and resources that will help you graduate on schedule and secure a rewarding job after graduation.
What kind of accreditation does the program hold? How is it regarded in the field?
Accreditation is a key consideration, as it demonstrates that the technology management program meets a specific set of standards. Prospective students should look for two things. First of all, regional accreditation is a significant factor. The US Department of Education works with six accreditation agencies which are responsible for determining the standards by which to measure a school and its programs. Most schools from the Ivy League to the big state schools and liberal arts colleges have this designation—in general, it sets schools apart from religious or for-profit schools that make up their own rules.
The second thing you’ll want to look for is accreditation from the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE). This institution is responsible for accrediting technology programs and they run regular inspections to ensure schools adhere to guidelines.
Technology management degrees will teach you the business principles you need to succeed, but you should make project management a priority. You’ll need to be able to lead your team and keep them on track, scheduling project milestones appropriately and making sure all deadlines are met.
Technology managers may also be responsible for keeping costs down and resolving conflicts on their team. Additionally, contract management between your company and your suppliers may come into play—so the ability to manage procurement and negotiate with vendors will help you succeed.
Like most IT jobs, technology management professionals need to be able to relay technical concepts to stakeholders who might not be experts in this field. Communication skills and compassion come into play here, as you need to communicate technical concepts without making others feel stupid or completely alienated.
- Commitment to Learning
Any technical job requires a commitment to learning new skills. In this role, you should plan on earning new certifications to keep up with the ever-changing technology landscape. IT pros should read industry publications, attend workshops, and take classes — your education doesn’t stop when you graduate.
- Tech Skills
Of course, tech managers should be well-versed in all things technology. Required skills include programming languages, systems architecture, cybersecurity, firewall, network skills, and knowledge of multiple OS platforms.
Associate degrees in technology management aren’t super common, but they do exist. A two-year degree in this area will prepare students for an entry-level IT job, managing systems and data.
- Organizational Leadership
- Network Technologies
- Operational Management
Bachelor’s Degree in Technology Management
A four-year bachelor’s degree in technology management is the entry-level degree for many technology management positions. It will teach you the skills you need to run a staff of IT workers and report to the leaders of the company. The degree focuses on leadership, finance, and accounting. It also looks at topics related to business and networking as well as systems and security.
- Technical Communications
- Intro to Business
- Corporate Finance
- Computer Systems Management
- Information Technology
- Computer Science
- Organizational Management
Concentrations for this major include: Information Technology, Renewable Energy Technology, Nuclear Technology, and Electrical Technology.
Master’s Degree in Technology Management
Master’s degree programs in technology management dive deeper, providing a greater emphasis on leadership and entrepreneurial skills through real-world case studies, workshops, seminars, and projects.
- Executive Information Systems
- Business Simulation and Modeling
- Theories of Leadership
- Advanced IT Project Management
- Leadership and Change Management
- Enterprise Architecture and IT Governance
Concentrations for this degree include: Telecommunications, Information Technology, Cybersecurity, Innovation, Biotechnology, and Project Management.
Earning Potential for Technology Management Degree Fields and Occupations
According to the BLS, technology management professionals with an associate degree can expect to earn roughly $48,000 per year. Prospects increase significantly if you have a bachelor’s degree, as there are more jobs available to graduates. Salaries range considerably depending on experience, but those with a bachelor’s degree have the potential to work in roles that routinely pay six figure salaries.
A master’s degree can get you a bit further up the career ladder and is usually a requirement for those pursuing the C-suite. Since jobs span from manager to director to CTO, pay for a master’s degree holder varies, but the average income is about $140k.
Technology Management Fields of Study Median Salaries
Some schools offer specializations within the technology management field, which provide additional expertise that will serve you well in a specific industry. If you’re not sure where you’d like to work or want more flexibility, however, it’s better to stick with the general degree.
|Field of Study||Entry-Level Salary||Mid-Career Salary||Late-Career Salary|
This concentration gives students a closer look at mass communications, IT, and computing. Students who earn a degree in technology management and communications will be well-prepared to work in a range of industries and roles—systems analyst, content writer, and journalist are some of the options.
- Industrial management
This concentration sets out to prepare students for a variety of leadership and management roles in a technical environment. Within this concentration, students will take courses that look at organizational management, operations, and more—it’s a cross-functional approach to becoming a technical generalist and an effective manager.
A technology management degree with a concentration in marketing opens students up to roles that require more experience with technology like social media or email marketing or who wish to sell products and services that need a high level of technological understanding.
Supply chain or operations management concentrations develop leaders who understand how to make decisions that allow companies to save money on costs while developing high-quality products. Supply chain concentrations are a handy application of the general technology coursework you’ll be required to complete during the technology management degree—as this area is becoming increasingly technical.
Accounting and technology management come together to prepare students for technology-based auditing and financial management. This concentration provides a closer look at accounting principles, as well as the technical know-how you’ll get with most technology management degrees. A background in accounting also allows graduates to make effective financial decisions within a management role.
- Project Management
While project management is a crucial component of technology management in general, students may want to consider exploring this specialization if they're going to work in a specific project management role. Here, you’ll hone your leadership skills and learn more about budgeting, negotiation, and organizational management.
- Technology Management Salaries by Occupation
Technology management can be applied to a wide range of fields from IT roles to consulting and general management. While this knowledge can be used for any number of modern leadership roles, here are some of the more common career paths that graduates pursue.
- Computer Systems Analyst
Computer systems analysts are responsible for solving problems and identifying and applying new computer technologies to meet the needs of an organization. Analysts might specialize in one type of computer system, by industry. So, you might work as a computer systems analyst for an accounting firm, for a bank, or a scientific institution. Often, this role is a good stepping stone for those who want to work as a technology manager or in the C suites— you don’t need more than a bachelor’s degree to start, though pursuing a master’s program may help you pave the road to the C suites.
- Management Information Systems Director
This position typically involves overseeing information systems used by an entire organization. The director usually manages a team of information systems professionals, depending on the size of the organization, and may work directly with the CIO. Responsibilities may also include selecting and implementing software, upgrading servers, and making sure all IT systems from the help desk to internal networks are running smoothly.
- Network and Computer Systems Administrator
Administrators work with the staff of an organization to establish a computer network; designing, implementing, and maintaining internal communication and protecting against data breaches and bugs. This person will also fix problems as they come up whether that’s issues with software, hardware, or the server.
- Project Manager
Project managers in IT work to direct the planning and implementation of projects like creating a database, installing platforms, and leading the charge when it comes to cybersecurity efforts. Project managers also work with vendors, contractors, and internal staff and should be skilled at negotiating for the best price, leading others, and organizing their team. Additionally, their primary role is focused on making sure deliverables meet deadlines and projects stay within the prescribed budget.
- Management Consultant
Management consultants come into an organization to help them become more profitable, efficient, and organized. Some consultants are self-employed, while others work for a firm that provides their services to outside companies. Within this role, you might make recommendations for how firms can use technology to improve security or make internal processes run smoothly. Management consultants often come in and run an audit and create reports that explain their suggested changes and a path for implementation. In some cases, they might train staff for how to use new hardware, software, or develop new policies.
Salary by Occupation
|Occupation||Entry-Level Salary||Mid-Career Salary||Late-Career Salary|
|Computer systems analyst||$58,000||$88,270||$100,000|
|Management Information Systems Director||$62,000||$89,000||$113,000|
|Network and Computer Systems Administrator||$51,000||$69,000||$81,000|
Technology Management Scholarships
Xerox Technical Minority Scholarship Awards
Deadline: December 31
Qualified applicants must be members of a minority group and majoring in a range of IT programs such as technology management, information technology, and so on. Awards range from $1,000 to $10,000. Candidates must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and be enrolled in an accredited bachelor’s program.
VIP Women in Technology Scholarships
Deadline: April 1
The Women in Technology Scholarships are sponsored by the Visionary Integration Professionals and awarded to female students enrolled in a technology program such as computer science, information systems, or technology management. Students must be planning to pursue a career in technology, have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and participate in community service and extracurricular activities. Additionally, applicants must complete a 1000-word essay describing an innovative solution to an existing IT problem.
Robert Half Technology Scholarships
The Association of Information Technology Professionals and Robert Half Technology have partnered together to offer scholarships to information technology students at both the graduate and undergraduate level. To apply, students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, attend an accredited institution, and be a permanent resident or US citizen. Awards are given based on academic achievement, financial need, career goals, leadership, and community service. Additionally, students must be AITP members.
Women’s Techmakers Scholars Program
Deadline: December 1
The Women’s Techmakers Scholars Program is named in honor of the woman who founded the Institute for Women and Technology. The scholarship, worth $10,000 is given to female undergraduate, or graduate students enrolled in an accredited program with a minimum 3.5 GPA. Student winners will also be invited to participate in Google workshops and activities at the Google Annual Scholars Retreat.
Professional Technology Management Organizations
The Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering
The ATMAE is a professional association that brings together educators, students, and industry professionals to provide opportunities like networking, certification, and career resources to members to advance the profile of the technologist workforce. ATMAE is also the organization responsible for making sure associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs meet accreditation standards.
Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP)
AIIP is a professional organization that helps advance the knowledge and understanding of the information profession. Membership includes access to a mentorship program, a quarterly publication, access to databases, reports, and more, as well as specialized resources for those who want to work on an independent basis.
Association of Information Technology Professionals
CompTIA AITP is a resource for technology professionals at all levels who wish to grow and advance their career within this sector. The organization has a global presence, with local chapters stationed all over the world. Membership benefits include leadership development opportunities, career resources, networking, training, and access to IT events. Additionally, this is where you can sign up for CompTIA certification—which is a valued credential in this industry.
Information Systems Security Association (ISSA)
ISSA is a professional association 10,000+ members strong. Your local chapter will allow you to expand your network and support you within the cybersecurity field. ISSA helps professionals connect and develop their career by offering training opportunities, conferences, and certifications.
Choosing an Accredited College
If you’re researching schools, there are a wide range of programs available—some accredited, some not. School accreditation is one of the most important things to consider when looking at a degree program—one that can have a significant impact on your academic career and your career prospects down the road.
Schools receive national or regional accreditation by meeting a set of standards defined by accrediting organizations. Non-profit colleges and universities are typically regionally accredited—and these schools offer transferable credits and are widely recognized as high-quality programs that meet specific standards. National accreditation is awarded on a much laxer basis—you’ll typically see this designation associated with programs offered through for-profit schools, religious institutions, or other programs.
You’ll want to look for schools that have regional accreditation, but you’ll also want to seek out programs that have been accredited by the ATMAE, a professional organization that evaluates information technology programs across the country. Schools with both credentials signify that you’ll be getting a quality education, the first step toward a great career.
Online vs. On-Campus vs. Hybrid
Bachelor’s degree programs offered on campus typically take about four years to complete. Here, you’ll likely take courses that span your general education requirements in the first two years, then dive deeper into your concentration. The benefit of attending on-campus courses is, you’ll get a more hands-on experience when you participate in person. You’ll have access to your instructors and peers, as well as proximity to on-campus resources like career centers and events. Online, though, you’ll benefit from convenience. It might take you less time to complete a degree, as you’ll be able to work at your own pace.
Some online programs may still require participation in group projects, a capstone project or internships. It might be smart to look for online programs that provide more interaction, through group work or digital resources, as it can enhance the learning experience. The third option, the hybrid model, allows students to take classes online and in-person. This will enable students to take courses in person when they can, as well as online—which may allow a working student the best of both worlds.
Does the College Have Post-Graduate Job Placement Help & Assistance?
While most students enter a program in the hopes that they’ll secure a job after graduation, only about a quarter of students have a job lined up when they graduate. When you research programs, you’ll want to look at whether the school helps you secure an internship or offers any career counseling or mentoring opportunities.
Additionally, things like an active alumni association, on-campus recruitment, and networking opportunities make a big difference. As such, you’ll want to focus on schools that offer this extra support, as it can make it easier to kick off your career ASAP, rather than sending you back to the drawing board.
Why You Need to Consider How Rating/Accreditation Can Affect Your Salary
As we mentioned above, certification plays a major role in whether you can transfer to another school, continue your education, or find work. Accreditation ensures that when you sign up for a program, the faculty and administrators will provide you with the resources and access to information that the state and the ATMAE have deemed the industry standard.
The school’s rating has more to do with things like its reputation. Or, how students felt about their experience earning their degree. While you’ll want to look at statistics like how competitive the school is, what kind of experience the faculty has, and whether you’ll get some hands-on experience in your chosen field, it’s also a good idea to see what the students themselves have to say.
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