These leading university masters programs could help you take your IT career to the next level.
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Most CIOs spend their entire careers working in IT. As a result, many understand technology very well but are less familiar with the bigger picture of how the business operates.
However, today more than ever, IT leaders need to have a solid understanding of business principles if they are going to do their jobs well. According to the 2017 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey, 62% of CIOs now sit on their executive boards, up from just 38% in 2005. Having a seat at the table results in much higher job satisfaction for CIOs, but it also requires them to be well-versed in topics like finance, marketing and strategic planning that might not have been a part of their previous education or work experience.
One popular way to fill that gap is with an advanced degree. A master's in business administration (MBA) gives IT leaders the business foundation they need to contribute as a member of the executive board, and a growing number of top business schools now offer MBAs with a concentration in an IT-related area like information systems or business analytics.
Many schools also now offer masters of science (MS) degrees in information systems, and the number that have MS programs in business analytics has risen sharply over the last year. In the CIO survey, six out of ten respondents said their departments consistently experience skills shortages, and the two skills most often lacking were big data/analytics and business analysis. Universities are responding with programs that aim to fill this need.
So where should IT leaders go to get these advanced degrees?
The answer depends on whether they want to attend a full-time program or keep working, where they want to live, their particular specialized interests, their learning preferences, their budget and their academic background. The following slides take a closer look at the top 10 business schools with graduate information systems programs as ranked by U.S. News and World Report. (The list actually has 11 schools because two were tied in the rankings.) It offers an overview of the key features of the programs and links to the business schools' websites for more information.
The publication ranked schools using weighted scores for peer assessments, recruiter assessments, graduates' mean starting salaries and bonuses, employment rates for graduates and selectivity.
Cynthia Harvey is a freelance writer and editor based in the Detroit area. She has been covering the technology industry for more than fifteen years. View Full Bio
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