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What the best way to match management and technology?

I'm a current management student but I've been thinking a lot about changing to computer science lately. #technology #student #management

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Lyndsey’s Answer

Consider what makes you more interested:
a) Being the technology expert amongst non-technical people
b) Being the business expert amongst technical people

It's OK to want to do both! I've have sat in both roles over my career, but I find it to be an interesting exercise when you sit across business and technology.

No matter what your response is you can't go wrong with a computer science degree, and then consider what to specialize in after.
As you grow within the organization, you can look to take on more management responsibilities --- first managing your workload, then managing projects, and then people and/or programs (i.e. groups of projects).

A management degree will give you insights across business, and it may help you figure out where to work within an organization.

Before you make the switch to comp sci, would it be possible to try a class or 2 as your electives. Additionally, I would not hesitate to talk to an advisor about this! They want you to be thinking about your career and how you will apply your learning in the classroom. When I was in engineering school, and I used my electives courses to focus on business management courses. Ultimately, I never became a formal engineer, but I've always worked in technology. Studying both paths have made me better in business because I approach problems and create solutions like an engineer.

When you go to look for future internships or careers, you should always ask about a rotational program -- this way you gain access across the business, build your network, and figure out where you can add the most value (without having to change jobs!). As an intern, you may not have access to the rotational program, but it may be a benefit of taking the internship to get into the rotational employee after you are hired as an employee.

Thank you so very much for your insight. I'll definitely give it a try before and see how it could make me better in business as it was the case for you. Thanks again! Stefania E.

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Eric’s Answer

This is an interesting questions because the typically a 'tech' person is more aligned to individual, specialized and focused efforts (ie coding, troubleshooting, architecting), while management requires broader and softer skills (fostering team, business requirements, people skills). I think that a strong business acumen is critical to being a successful manager. For this reason, business classes (ie Business Administration) along with computer science will greatly help. As a manger you need to understand the business requirements as well as the technical solution. One of the traps that individual technologists fall into is focusing on the best 'technical' solution (for the technology sake) while ignoring the business problem and therefore the best 'business' solution. A manger needs to be able to identify that and continue to promote the business objectives. Good luck!

Thank you! Stefania E.

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Todd’s Answer

Technology/IT can be subdivided into different specialties such as networking, system administration, programming (computer science), information security, etc. I recommend you research which specialty interests you most; with the goal to find your passion that helps drive future success. Especially in a field such as security, it helps to have base technology knowledge which significantly helps when specializing.

When first starting out and for life long learning, I've found IT Pro TV to be an excellent resource. It's cheaper than pursuing traditional college education, and has regularly updated content from professionals still within industry.

Thank you so much. I just checked IT pro tv link you gave me and I signed up. I'm looking forward to a great journey with them. Stefania E.

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Ava’s Answer

Definitely look into business information systems. Most BIS major or IS, manage data in the future. All of the courses are associated with data management, and data analysis. You could even get into artificial intelligence and machine learning if that’s interests you!

Thank you! Stefania E.

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Kelvin’s Answer

I would change my major if both of these fields spark your interest. They have degree programs for Computer Information Management and Technology Management. At one time this was a field that had my interest. I worked for 5 years as a Manager of System Applications and Hardware. I managed 2 teams of technical professionals, conducted training on new and existing systems and hardware, Reporting, and took technical escalations. It was an amazing and very rewarding job. I got a chance to be the manager I always wanted to work for. I was able to obtain this job by doing the following:
- Identifying a system that was widely used company-wide
- Obtain 2 certification for this software
- Showed interest in the problems we had with the software and inserted myself as a resource.

When the right opportunity became available, I had already set myself up for success and management tapped me on the shoulder for the job.

Kelvin recommends the following next steps:

Consider change your major to Computer Information Management or Technology Management
Identify and technical discipline (Cloud, Security, Coding, Systems) and obtain a certification or two.

Thank you! I have some good decisions to make. Stefania E.

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Michael’s Answer

I'd suggest you think about where you would like to see yourself in the future. Management can be a very general but a fantastic career, as can Sciences if you want to focus on a more specific field. I think it is absolutely possible to cross between both, having switched from Engineering to Management during my degree years, I now work in a Management role within the technology/engineering sector. Perhaps build a 5 year plan for your self, it might help you clarify some of the right stepping stones to take on your journey. Keep and open mind, talk to lots of people, explore options and sure you'll find path which is right for you...............good luck

Thank you! Stefania E.

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Prasanth’s Answer

The quickest transition from management to technology is either through college or through work. Through college, you can enroll in more computer science or information management (IM) program. Through work, you can look for a management consulting firm (like Deloitte, KPMG) where you can gain experience as a management consultant and continue to gain mathematical skills in parallel.

I appreciate it! Stefania E.

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Apurva’s Answer

Yes - absolutely there is! I've been in the tech industry for almost 20 years and I'd say one of the key gaps in skillset can be trying to effectively manage a large team - be in technology or otherwise. I think having sound management, mentoring, leadership skills are evergreen for almost any industry.

I would try to first understand the challenges that a specific company or team face in technology and try to analyze how others have tried and failed at different attempts and then apply your own strengths to that situation.

I think management and technology are best matched when there is mutual respect for both capacities and understanding of the challenges - ie lead with empathy and example.

Good luck!

Thank you. Stefania E.

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Ralf’s Answer

If you want to manage software developers, you need to be one first, so you understand the work and tradeoffs. Good software managers are good developers that have people skills.
It's worth figuring out if you like coding, and are good at it. You can alway learn management on the job later.

Very helpful. Thank you! Stefania E.

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Kevin’s Answer

Not sure of your background, but having foundational IT exposure can lead you into a management role within IT where it combines your Computer Science education.

I would suggest these foundational computing skills or considerations about computer science-

- Computer hardware: What are the components that make up a computer/server, physical vs virtualized environments
- Networking: how do computers connect to a network or the internet, connection types, protocols, firewalls
- Operating systems: Understand the differences between platforms, pros and cons of each
- Applications and databases: What are applications and database, how do applications and databases work together
- Cloud: Understand the what Cloud environments and services are, types of cloud services and providers, Cloud vs traditional data centers. Cloud would be a mix of hardware and software (heavier focus)

A bonus will be:
- Information Security: Concepts overview of IT security in terms of data (confidentiality, integrity, availability), network, security architecture, identity and access management, security assurance (penetration testing), security operations (logging, monitoring, incident response, security education (user security training)

A couple of years worth of experience in more technical roles will provide a foundation to pursue IT mgmt roles.

Thank you so much!!! Stefania E.

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Elaine’s Answer

Hi there!

Funny enough back in the day there was a degree in Management Information Systems, this was one of my majors because I had an interest in both topics! In today's environment, Project Management is probably the closest combination to merge these two fields.

Thank you! Stefania E.

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Samantha’s Answer

Hey Stefania!

There are many ways to mesh these two interests into a career path, here are just a few:

1. Work in management at a tech company - this would be a great way to see both sides of the coin in your fields of interest. Getting your foot in the door at a large tech company would also present opportunities to potentially move from a management role to an IT role a bit more easily than at a company in another industry.
2. Find a job where you use both skills - that's not hard these days! Any job that you take will require some set of technical skills, the more knowledge that you have of IT, the better. This will set you apart in any job application process and make you a really well-rounded and desirable candidate.
3. If you're not able to study IT formally, do some work outside of the classroom - if you're able to maybe minor in IT and you're interested in it, I say do it! The skills you learn through studying IT will be applicable in any role you choose to take in your career. If you're not able to minor in it, or maybe you're not sure you want to take that full step, try joining a club related to IT and computer science or watching a few trainings online. This will give you a taste of the field without the time commitment of the minor and will still prove really useful to you in your career!

Regardless of what you study, you're set up for a very fulfilling career with these two interests that you have. Good luck!

Thank you Samantha! Stefania E.