4 Careers in Technology Management
January 31, 2022
The modern business world relies on technology. Budgeting software helps businesses manage their finances; task management programs enable supervisors to simultaneously monitor multiple projects to keep them on track; and virtual communication tools, such as videoconferencing and email, enable entire teams to work remotely — not to mention the hardware all of these technologies run on.
Equally important are the technology management professionals who help businesses integrate and leverage this technology. These individuals possess a comprehensive understanding of various technological tools, such as data analytics and operating systems, and how to use these tools to achieve business goals. Because technology is so vital to business growth, technology management professionals work in a wide range of industries, from healthcare to finance.
A management of technology degree provides students with a balanced education rooted in both business and technology principles, creating opportunities to become technology leaders. Graduates can choose from several different careers in technology management. The most common careers include business analyst, information technology (IT) technician, technology project manager, and sales analyst. Understanding what these roles entail, along with their average salaries and job growth potential, can help students figure out which career is right for them.
Business Analyst: Job Description, Salary, and Job Outlook
Business analysts, sometimes referred to as management analysts, advise organizations on how to improve efficiency, often with an emphasis on reducing costs and increasing revenues. Their expertise is valued across many different industries and sectors, including finance, government, and IT.
An IT business analyst, for example, assesses an organization’s IT systems, including hardware and software, and makes recommendations on how this technology can better serve business goals. They advise management on IT policies, structure, and operations, and their guidance helps organizations
leverage technology related to intercompany communications and customer interactions.
An IT business analyst’s job description may entail the following duties:
- Supervise members of the IT team.
- Research the latest IT trends and applications.
- Collaborate with colleagues to understand operational challenges.
- Prepare statistical reports and present them to decision-makers.
- Analyze data and forecast what infrastructure improvements are needed to help the business grow.
Business Analyst Skills
Business analysts, particularly those in IT, should be well versed in various types of project management and business analysis software. In addition to their technical expertise, business analysts should possess numerous key skills, including the following:
- Communication. Business analysts need excellent written and verbal communication to collaborate with stakeholders at various levels.
- Data analysis. Business analysts need to be able to understand and interpret data to prepare reports and offer recommendations.
- Time management. Business analysts often need to juggle multiple projects, seeing them through from ideation to completion, and work under tight deadlines.
Business Analyst Salary
Like the salaries of many other technology management careers, a business analyst’s salary can vary depending on several factors, including experience, industry, and job location. According to PayScale, the salary range for an IT business analyst was $51,000 to $99,000, with a median of about $70,500, as of December 2021.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for a management analyst was $87,660 in May 2020.
Business analysts’ earnings increase with experience. PayScale’s analysis showed that entry-level analysts made a little more than $60,000 on average, while those with more than five years of experience earned a median salary of more than $77,000.
Location also influences earnings. According to PayScale, IT business analysts in New York City, New York, earned nearly 13% more than the national average, while those in other metropolitan areas, such as Washington, DC, and Houston, Texas, commanded higher salaries, at 10.5% and 6%, respectively.
Business Analyst Job Outlook
Demand for business analysts is projected to increase as businesses look for ways to improve efficiency and manage costs. According to the BLS, employment of management analysts is expected to grow by 14% between 2020 and 2030, much faster than the projected average for all occupations (8%).
Some of the demand will come from the healthcare industry, which will need management analysts to help control costs. Analysts will also be in high demand as companies seek to shore up their cybersecurity practices and ensure that their IT systems are up to date.
What Is an IT Technician Salary?
IT technicians generally specialize in either network support or computer/desktop support. Depending on which role they fill, their responsibilities and salaries may differ.
Network support technicians install network equipment, including routers and switches, and monitor the network for optimal performance. They troubleshoot issues with local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and internet services. They’re also responsible for routine network maintenance, such as performing file backups, vital to disaster recovery efforts.
Desktop support technicians, sometimes referred to as user support specialists or help desk technicians, may provide assistance to employees or customers or both. Those who provide in-company support are responsible for installing computers and other IT equipment, such as printers and copiers, as well as software and operating systems. They train staff to use the technology and provide assistance when issues arise.
Other technicians provide customer support, helping customers diagnose and resolve issues with their equipment. They often do this remotely, but may also make site visits to troubleshoot in person.
IT Technician Skills
Because of the role’s emphasis on support and customer service, the skills needed to succeed as an IT technician are somewhat distinct from those of other technology management careers:
- Customer service. IT technicians may interact with customers to help solve problems, so excellent communication and listening skills are critical, as well as a degree of patience and sympathy. The same skills can be applied to providing support to co-workers.
- Problem-solving. Support specialists need to be able to identify and troubleshoot simple and complex computer and network problems.
- Communication. IT technicians need to know how to describe solutions so that a nontechnical person can understand them. Writing skills are also important for interacting with co-workers and customers via email and other messaging platforms.
IT Technician Salary
According to the BLS, the median annual salary for an IT technician specializing in network support was $65,450 in May 2020. The highest earners were in the following industries:
- Telecommunications: $74,220
- Data processing, hosting, and related services: $68,450
- Finance and insurance: $68,440
- Computer systems design and related services: $66,000
- Management of companies and enterprise: $65,440
Technicians specializing in computer/desktop support earned $52,690 during the same period, the BLS reports. The top-paying industries included the following:
- Software publishers: $57,950
- Management of companies and enterprise: $53,120
- Computer systems design and related services: $52,300
- Educational services: $49,750
- Temporary help services: $47,140
IT Technician Job Outlook
Overall employment of IT technicians is expected to grow by 9% from 2020 to 2030, according to the BLS. Demand for support services will increase as organizations upgrade their IT equipment and software.
Employment growth may be especially strong in the healthcare industry. As healthcare organizations increase their use of IT, support services will be vital to ensuring that those systems and equipment run properly.
Technology Project Manager: Salary, Job Description, and Job Outlook
One of the more senior technology management professions, technology project managers — sometimes called computer and information systems managers or IT project managers — plan, coordinate, and direct IT- and computer-related activities for an organization. They help develop a company’s technology goals and implement computer and IT systems to meet them.
Technology project managers fill different roles. Chief information officers (CIOs) and chief technology officers (CTOs) are both considered technology project managers, as well as IT directors and IT security managers.
A technology project manager’s responsibilities vary depending on the role, as well as the size and structure of the organization. The job description may include the following duties:
- Assess an organization’s technology needs and areas of improvement and make recommendations to executives.
- Oversee the installation and maintenance of computer hardware and software.
- Calculate the potential costs and benefits of new projects.
- Ensure that projects remain on track and on budget.
- Supervise other IT professionals.
Technology Project Manager Skills
Technology project managers should have a comprehensive understanding of various forms of technology, along with crucial soft skills that allow them to effectively lead their organization’s IT operations. Key skills include the following:
- Leadership. Project managers often oversee the work of other IT professionals, including computer systems analysts, software developers, and support specialists. They need to be able to lead and motivate their teams to help the organization achieve its technology goals.
- Organizational. Depending on the size of the business, some managers are responsible for coordinating the work of multiple IT teams or departments, so organizational and multitasking abilities are essential.
- Decision-making. Companies depend on technology project managers to guide their IT strategy and make critical decisions about how to allocate resources to achieve business goals.
Technology Project Manager Salary
Because of the amount of responsibility a technology project manager has and the high skill level needed to do the job, a technology project manager’s salary is typically generous. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for this role was $151,150 in May 2020.
PayScale provides more conservative estimates for what an IT project manager can earn: a salary range of $58,000 and $129,000, with a median of approximately $88,800 as of December 2021.
Various factors can influence how much a technology project manager earns, including experience and job location. For example, according to PayScale, entry-level project managers earned a median of nearly $64,000, while those with five to nine years of experience earned nearly $90,000.
Earnings for project managers in major metropolitan areas, which have more competition, also tend to be higher. PayScale reports that technology project managers in Washington, DC, and New York City, New York, earned more than the national average, at 22% and 12%, respectively.
Technology Project Manager Job Outlook
According to the BLS, employment of IT project managers is projected to grow by 11% — nearly 53,000 new jobs — from 2020 to 2030. Demand for these professionals will grow as companies expand their operations to digital platforms.
Additionally, as cyber threats increase in many industries, organizations will look to bolster their cybersecurity, further driving demand for these professionals. The increasing popularity of cloud computing may also impact demand for IT project managers.
What Is a Sales Analyst’s Job Description?
Another career option for technology management graduates, sales analysts are responsible for improving their organization’s sales. This primarily entails analyzing sales data and marketing trends, and then developing strategies and projections accordingly.
Analysts may also gather data from interviews, surveys, and focus groups to gain a better understanding of the market, including consumer demographics, preferences, needs, and buying habits. The function of a sales analyst is similar to, and in some cases identical to, that of a market research analyst; the two roles often work hand in hand, coordinating on promotional activities and other methods to boost sales.
A sales analyst’s job description may include the following responsibilities:
- Examine a company’s production methods, distribution, and marketing strategies to search for areas of improvement.
- Work with vendors and clients to coordinate marketing.
- Translate complex data into easily understandable tables, graphs, and reports.
- Present findings to clients and management.
These professionals rely on various programs and statistical software to glean valuable insights from data, making the sales analyst role a viable option for technology management graduates.
Sales Analyst Skills
To help boost the bottom line, sales analysts should possess various skills and qualities, including the following:
- Analytical. As data analysis is a huge part of their job, sales analysts need to be able to understand and interpret large amounts of data and information. This allows them to detect patterns and trends.
- Communication. Sales analysts closely collaborate with colleagues in other departments and have to prepare and present their findings to upper management, so verbal and written communication skills are a must. They may also interact with customers.
- Creative thinking. Creativity and ingenuity are essential for sales analysts to devise new sales methods and improve existing methods.
Sales Analyst Salary
As of December 2021, the median average salary for a sales analyst was approximately $58,600, from a salary range of $45,000 to $78,000, according to PayScale.
Like the salaries of other jobs in technology management, the salaries for sales analysts vary based on experience and job location. Entry-level sales analysts (less than one year of experience) earned roughly $51,000 in December 2021, PayScale reports, while those with five to nine years of experience earned as much as $64,000.
Sales analysts in Seattle, Washington; New York City, New York; and Chicago, Illinois, earned more than the national average, at 9.8%, 9.6%, and 5.3%, respectively.
Sales Analyst Job Outlook
The job market for sales analysts looks promising. According to the BLS, employment of market research analysts — a role very similar to sales analysts — is projected to grow by 22% between 2020 and 2030, nearly three times the projected average for all occupations.
The increasing use of data analytics, which allows businesses to extract and analyze large data sets from various sources, will drive demand for analysts, who can use their expertise to glean insight on consumer behavior and preferences from the data.
Trends in Technology Management
Professionals in various technology management careers should possess a deep understanding of the field’s many trends and challenges if they want to succeed. From cybersecurity to the rise of big data, these issues will shape technology management in the 21st century.
A management of technology degree can help aspiring professionals develop the knowledge and skills they need to identify and address the following challenges:
Cyber threats are on the rise, exacerbated in part by the COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant push to a more remote workforce. Technology management professionals, from support specialists to IT project managers, need to place an even greater emphasis on real-time monitoring of networks and devices — particularly for remote employees — and preventive maintenance to avoid the financial and reputational damage that these threats have caused.
Technology continues to evolve and emerge at a rapid pace. Understanding which of these advancements can help their organization achieve its goals is essential for technology managers. They need to advocate for sound investments in new technology and lead implementation and training to ensure that it aligns with the business’s strategic goals.
Mobile and Social Media
The use of mobile devices and social media in business has made it easier for employees to work from anywhere, facilitating the transition to a more remote workforce. However, they can also expose businesses to greater risk. Mobile devices are especially vulnerable, and cybercriminals often only need to infiltrate one unprotected device, such as a smartphone or laptop, to access an entire network. Technology managers need to develop and implement responsible mobile device and social media policies to ensure that sensitive business information remains secure.
Businesses are generating more data than ever; however, much of the data is unstructured, and unstructured data holds little to no value. Figuring out how to make sense of all this information to better understand a business’s market and its customers falls on technology management professionals. Using data analysis tools to leverage big data into actionable insights is one of the foremost challenges for technology managers.
Become a Business Technology Expert
Understanding which technology can help an organization achieve its goals is crucial in today’s business world. Technology management professionals help businesses make the right decisions in investing in new technology and lead implementation and maintenance to ensure that it functions properly.
Athens State University’s online Bachelor of Science in Management of Technology program incorporates business and technology principles, so students understand the synergy between them. The program’s small class sizes ensure a personalized learning experience, and its flexible scheduling is ideal for those with a busy lifestyle. Explore the program, and learn how to become a technology leader at your organization.
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