Following our cover story last week about the waning influence of (and opportunities for) computer programmers, I decided to broach the subject during a discussion with a group of graduate students, most of whom are investing time and money in an education that will help them find new and exciting opportunities in the business-technology field.
I recently spent a few hours with a class of bright students (who also are working business-technology professionals) studying for an Executive Master of Science in Information Systems degree at George Washington University. It was clear that these folks, in their quest to retool and make themselves more relevant in the ever-changing business-technology field, are thinking about technology far more strategically.
"I'm trying to prepare myself for the next decade, which will be drastically different from the last 10 years in programming and application development," said one student. Another said, "I'm trying to gain a competitive edge by looking at strategic business and management aspects of technology." And another noted that this requires a deeper understanding of business processes and technology's impact.
As various skills become commoditized, handled by packaged applications, or sent offshore, it's critical for undergrad and graduate students alike to consider what they want their career destination to be. Bravo to the GWU students for seeking a blend of technology and management disciplines with a close eye on the strategic implications behind it all.
The Business of Going DigitalDigital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.