An online MBA in technology is a valuable asset for both professionals and recent undergraduates seeking higher level positions in IT. In this two year, rigorous program, you will learn about managing an organization’s information technology, leading the people working in IT departments, and innovating new programs to make operations run more efficiently. Furthermore, you will learn how to manage products and customer/client relationships. Enrolling in an online MBA in technology will give you the comfort and convenience of completing these courses from your own home, at your own pace. Most programs require you to complete around 36 credits for the degree program, and you could complete the course work at an accelerated pace as well.
What Does an MBA in Technology Cover?
An MBA in technology is a standard MBA program that combines both general business courses with technology courses. Companies are placing increasing importance on technical skills as well as leadership and management qualities for their IT managers. An online technology MBA program specializes in providing students with high level IT skills such as: managing networks, systems, and large technology infrastructures. The goal of most programs is to help mold well-balanced technology professionals, who have insight into the business and big picture goals of various organizations. In addition to project management courses, you will be required to take advanced computer science, IT specialization, and electronic strategies courses. Due to the greater impact of online marketing and branding, you will also learn about brand building and its profitability and efficiency. Of course, with the internet’s global capacity and power, there are also greater security threats for company data and information systems. A technology MBA online will provide you with ways to handle security issues and threats. When looking for a program that is right for you, you should look at the courses offered as well as the title of the particular program. There are programs titled MBA in technology management, MBA in information technology, and MBA in technology commercialization. Although most of these programs provide a set of similar courses, there are subtle differences based on what you would like to do after completing the degree. For example, an MBA in technology commercialization will be more helpful for those looking to innovate tools and concepts at an entrepreneurial capacity. An MBA in technology management would give you the skills to essentially manage the IT or technology departments of existing organizations.
Getting Into a Technology MBA Program
Those who are interested in pursuing a technology MBA program should first complete a bachelor’s degree program and earn their undergraduate degree from an accredited school. A business bachelor’s degree in particular is not necessary because those with a bachelor’s degree in art, science, or humanities are eligible for admittance into an operations management MBA program. However, students who did not pursue a business-related undergraduate degree should make sure that they have mastered basic business and mathematical skills before applying so that they can get an idea of what to expect during their MBA career. Those who possess a bachelor’s degree in a discipline other than business may be asked to complete several courses before submitting an application, including:
- College Algebra
- Foundations of Business
- Business Law & Ethics
A minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 is typically necessary for entry into technology MBA programs as well, such as the case with Northeastern University. Some schools, including Northeastern, require additional documents aside from an official transcript and completed application form. These forms consist of letters of recommendation, an application essay, GMAT scores, and an updated professional resume. However, because all schools have varying guidelines, applicants should check directly with their prospective schools to ensure what they do and do not need to submit.
Why Should I get an AACSB Accredited Technology MBA?
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) plays a vital role in ensuring your traditional or online technology MBA degree meets both international and American program criteria. There is an increasing number of degree mill programs, which claim to hold online MBAs in technology programs based on experience rather than actual course work. Employers are becoming skeptical because of the influx of these fraudulent providers. AACSB accreditation is something you should look for in an MBA program to ensure that you are getting a top level business education. The association accredits schools through an application process, where mentors, review committees, and actual businesses monitor business school programs and their course work. The goal of this accreditation is to maintain standards and curricula that will enhance student placement and utility in the business sector. After a traditional school is accredited, the AACSB does a standard reevaluation within five years. This reevaluation is meant to ensure programs are keeping up with prior standards as well as making improvements (in line with market demands). If you enroll in an MBA in technology online, which is accredited by the AACSB, employers can be reassured that the program had adequate resources and faculty members. Both of these are important factors in providing you the skills to succeed in IT management or broader technology leadership positions. Accredited technology MBA programs online will provide you with core technical courses such as information technology and systems, computer science, Java programming, and IT security issues. In addition to these courses, you may be required to take additional computer science courses or elective courses based on your field of interest. Most programs also require you to complete a final/senior project, in which you can apply both learned leadership methods and technical information. To find out more information about types of accreditation and general aims of the association, you can visit the AACSB website.
What Jobs Can an MBA in Technology Get Me?
- Information Technology Specialist: An information technology specialist has the responsibility to maintain and troubleshoot all of the computers and computer systems in the company. They install software, update drivers, maintain databases, and oversee other IT specialists if they are in a management position. Those in management positions also work with upper-management individuals to develop goals for the IT department. In addition, specialists create the infrastructure of business networks and strive to maintain that network’s ease of use and security. As more and more businesses are converting from paper records to digital ones, the need for information technology specialists will increase.
- Information Systems Manager: Information systems managers work with IT professionals to meet the goals set forth from upper management officials. They coordinate all of the actions that must take place to meet those goals. In addition, business networks are maintained and kept secure by these managers, and as downtime can cause major losses for a company, all information systems managers must also be prepared to fix networks as quickly as possible to minimize downtime. These managers also assess what type of computing power the business needs and plans the technology that way.
- Chief Technology Officer: The chief technology officer makes sure that the company has the best technology possible. For example, CTOs for banking businesses will ensure that they are updated regularly with the latest in banking software, whereas CTOs for publications may ensure that they are fitted with the best graphics and word-processing hardware and software available and within budget. The CTO also works to keep the company technologically up-to-date and also to keep the staff trained on how to use it. Many CTOs who work for high-tech companies develop ideas for new products that could change the face of user electronics.
Top Earning Industries for Jobs
- Government: $$54,314 – $84,925
- Financial Services: $48,436 – $81,514
- Information Technology Services: $64,003 – $103,470
- Retail: $67,407 – $102,498
- Financial Services: $108,556 – $197,155
- Internet and New Media: $99,192 – $193,579
How Do I Find Online Technology MBA Programs
If you are interested in finding out more about the available online technology MBAs programs, you may want to compare online curricula to the best traditional programs as well. Start with these sources:
- Business Week provides a wealth of information about various technology MBA schools online. The online technology MBA rankings vary, based on type of program and scope of its courses. Some lists also focus on job placement after obtaining the degree.
- Kaplan website
Keep in mind that many traditional schools also have distance learning programs as well. For example, the Minnesota School of Business grants technology MBAs online and through a traditional, in-class program. It is also a good idea to talk to potential companies or organizations you would like to work for after you complete your MBA online, in technology. You can call their human resources department or send them an email. If you are working for an employer you’d would like to come back to after completing your coursework, talk to your human resources department as well, or directly to your supervisor. Find out which accreditations, credentials, and resources the organization requires for management positions. Also ask them about the prospects for technology MBA holders, in terms of both careers and salaries.