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Online Colleges for Information Technology Management

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As businesses continue to embrace the latest computer networking and online technologies, the need for skilled information technology leaders is on the rise, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov/ooh, 2012). This may create a unique opportunity for those who understand benefits, uses and consequences of computers, from both a business and technical perspective, and can use this knowledge to further an organization's business goals. For individuals who are interested in developing, deploying and managing technology at a high level, an online education in technology management can be a valuable asset.

What to Expect From Online Programs in Technology Management

There are many online colleges with degrees in information technology management. In order to break into the industry, students likely need at least a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field such as management information systems. Earning a bachelor's degree can take as little as four years, depending on the rate at which courses are taken and completed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports that many organizations require that technology managers attain an advanced degree, such as an MBA (bls.gov/ooh, 2012). A master's degree can usually be completed in an additional two years after completion of a bachelor's degree. Many employers also seek candidates with several years of work experience in computer science or information technology.

Since computer technology is the basis of a degree in technical management, it may be beneficial to complete your degree online. Doing so may also provide you with schedule flexibility and the option to pursue your degree while you continue working. Online colleges offering degrees in technical management teach students how to understand emerging technologies and apply them strategically to core business functions. Students also typically learn how to analyze an organization's computer needs, ensure online security and troubleshoot software issues. Since technology managers are often in charge of other IT professionals, they also learn how to direct their activities and properly manage others for optimum team performance.

Job Outlook for Information Technology Management Grads

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment for technical managers, also known as computer and information systems managers, will grow 18 percent nationally from 2010 until 2020 (bls.gov/ooh, 2012). In terms of salary, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the annual median wage for computer and information systems managers was $120,950 nationally in May 2012, with the bottom 10 percent earning up to $74,940 and the top 10 percent earning over $187,199 (bls.gov/ oes,2013).

Graduates may also consider using their online degree in technical management to secure a career as a network and computer systems administrator. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that these professionals earned an annual median wage of $72,560 nationally in May 2012, with the top 10 percent earning up to $115,180 and the bottom 10 percent earning $44,330 (bls.gov/oes, 2013).

For those who are more interested in the security side of information technology, an online degree in technical management could open the door to a career as an information security analyst. The main role of these professionals is to ensure company-wide security of all computer systems. Information security analysts make sure that appropriate security measures are in place in order to protect against security breaches and viruses. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for professionals in this career was $86,170 nationally in May 2012 (bls.gov/oes, 2013). The highest 10 percent of earners brought in up to $135,600, while the lowest 10 percent earned up to $49,960 in May 2012.

Almost every industry has begun to utilize computer software and systems to streamline their processes, and this may create a great opportunity for those who want to earn a degree in the IT field. Since national growth for all computer-related professions is projected to be 22 percent from 2010 until 2020 (bls.gov/ooh, 2012), an online degree in technical management could be a solid investment.

Online Degree Programs in Information Technology Management

Technology managers, which are also referred to as computer and information systems managers, plan and direct all computer-related functions within a business or organization. If you're considering an online technology management degree, you'll need to immerse yourself in the world of computer information systems as you learn the skills you'll need to succeed. As a technology management major, you'll learn about computer software fundamentals, as well as emerging technology in the industry. Topics covered in technology management classes include managerial structuring, organizational behavior, business policy and strategy, as well as technology-based curriculum related to computer and information systems.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, technology management majors are taught to analyze their organization's technology and look for ways to improve and streamline various business processes (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012). They may also perform tasks such as installing hardware and software for their organization, ensure proper network security, work with or manage other IT professionals within their department, and analyze new workplace technology to ensure that it's a good fit for their prospective organization (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012).

Online Associates in Technology Management 

If you're interested in earning an associate degree in technology management, you'll need to gain a thorough knowledge of information systems, database systems, web and multimedia systems, and information systems.


The following table provides an in-depth look at concepts associate degree students will study in online technology management classes:

Networking and Telecommunications

Gain an overview of transmission media, signal modulation, systems integration, communications management, and security

Information and Technology

Gain insight on how information systems and technologies are used to coordinate and organize data and information.

Media and Web

Learn to utilize the world wide web for the benefit of their business or organization.

Systems Analysis and Design

Study systems design and implementation fundamentals.

Leadership and Motivation

Learn tips on business etiquette as well as how to lead others toward joint goals.

*Penn State World Campus, Associate in Science in Information Sciences and Technology

Online Bachelor's in Technology Management

If you're able to pursue a bachelor's degree in technology management, you'll likely increase your job prospects. According to the BLS, many employers in this industry prefer to hire those who have graduated with a bachelor's degree, or better, in information technology or technology management (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012). Students who are working toward a bachelor's degree in online technology management classes will cover a variety of business-related topics in addition to those that are technology-based. Topics covered include business etiquette and ethics, strategic management processes, technical and professional communication, and business law.


The following table provides an in-depth look at concepts bachelor's degree students will learn in online technology management classes:

Financial Accounting

Gain an overview of business accounting principles and strategies.

Business Management

Study a variety of business-related topics including setting and achieving organizational goals, effective leadership and communication, and long-term goal setting strategies.

Information, Technology, and Society

Learn how computer, the internet, and technology affect society as a whole. Topics include digital information and how it has and will continue to evolve.

Macroeconomics

Gain an introduction to macroeconomics, touching on topics such as the consumer price index, unemployment rates, the national debt, and money supply.

Marketing

Learn the basics of business marketing and the impact it can have on businesses and organizations.

*Pennsylvania College of Technology, B.S. Technology Management

Online Master's in Technology Management

If you're interested in pursuing an advanced degree in technology management, you could consider earning your master's degree. Technology management majors in master's degree programs learn advanced skills in the field of computer and information systems. Online technology management degree programs cover topics such as decision models, economics, and a systemic approach to technology management. Other topics covered include information technology investments, operations, and governance.


The following table provides an in-depth look at concepts master's degree students will learn in online technology management classes:

Emerging Technology

Examine new and innovative technologies that are currently evolving in the field of information technology.

Strategy for Technology Industries

Analyze the IT industry as a whole, with the goal of overcoming challenges and building profitable and functional enterprises.

Technology Products and Portfolios

Examine project and program management with a focus on information technology and its functions.

Conflict Management

Gain insight into productive conflict management and negotiation strategies.

Security Management

Gain an overview of computer network and data security strategies and concepts.

*George Mason University, M.S. in Technology Management


Article Sources
  1. "Computer and Information Systems Managers," May 2012 Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes113021.htm
  2. "Computer and Information Systems Managers," Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, July 11, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm
  3. "Information Security Analysts," May 2012 Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151122.htm
  4. "Information Security Analysts, Web Developers, and Computer Network Architects," Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts-web-developers-and-computer-network-architects.htm
  5. "Network and Computer Systems Administrators," May 2012 Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151142.htm
  6. "Network and Computer Systems Administrators," Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm
  7. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S Department of Labor, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition," Computer and Information Systems Managers, July 11, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Management/Computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm#tab-2
  8. George Mason University, M.S. in Technology Management, 2013, http://som.gmu.edu/masters-in-technology-management/
  9. Penn State World Campus, Associate in Science in Information Sciences and Technology, 2013, http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/information-sciences-and-technology-associates/overview
  10. Pennsylvania College of Technology, B.S. Technology Management, 2013, http://www.pct.edu/catalog/majors/BTM.shtml

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