How to Become a Chief Information Officer (CIO)
In today’s digitally driven world, an organization’s management needs to be mindful of changing technological landscapes. Leaders in information technology are constantly on the lookout for new ways to share information faster, determine efficient applications for digital solutions, and package it all for clients or consumers as the next big product or service.
It is then incumbent on a group’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) to execute these tasks in addition to performing his or her managerial duties. If your professional goal is to become a CIO, you need your finger on the pulse of the technical and entrepreneurial aspects of various industries. You need the know-how to evaluate the pros and cons of new technologies as they relate to your business plan. You need to become a leader, integrating technology to optimize human performance.
A successful CIO has strong and strategic business acumen. Your primary responsibility will be to map out the group’s long-term vision. To achieve this vision, you need to install personnel with knowledge of your product or service in the right positions. You and your team will need to adapt as needed to move your organization forward. To reach the level of CIO, you’ll need to:
Enhance Your Education
Sometimes you can’t get your foot in the door without the right credentials. In addition to a bachelor’s degree, employers often look for advanced degrees to affirm that job candidates have the required skillset to be real leader. They look at what your degree is and from where it comes.
Tulane University’s Master of Professional Studies in Information Technology Management addresses contemporary IT issues and instills the knowledge to apply innovative solutions. It integrates business and technology processes so you can be prepared to operate at the executive level and ensure technology strategies are accurately and efficiently implemented.
Even with a great degree from a great institution, you’ll still need to have an always-learning approach to your career. You may want or need additional certifications to answer questions. Particularly in IT, where technologies seem to change at the speed of the internet, if you want to be a leader, you need to be the person with the knowledge.
Gain First-hand Experience
To become a CIO, you need to understand the various positions and levels that compose the IT sector. This level of understanding comes with years of experience, sometimes as many as 15, so prepare to pay your dues. Entry- and mid-level management positions are a good starting point. You will work with other IT professionals in related departments, oversee product or service deliveries, and contribute to budgeting and financial matters for the group. Shine at the beginning of your career and you can work your way up to a senior IT manager or director. Then you’ll be able to hire your own team, supervise department initiatives, and carry out the policies of company executives—and continue up the rungs of your career ladder.
Become an Expert in Technology and Industry
An effective CIO is both tech and business-savvy. Your tasks will range from overseeing your department’s budgeting, to brainstorming new ways to maximize company resources and investments, to establishing organizational operations and best practices. A grasp of administrative and human resource principles will come in handy for allocating resources, recruiting teams, and evaluating major judgments and decisions.
Network with IT Professionals
Augment your knowledge by keeping an eye on current and future industry developments. Read business and industry journals. Network on LinkedIn and join peer groups related to your industry. And attend conferences to learn and meet real people in real-time. Get in touch now and stay in touch with the people who will be your peers when you become CIO.
To become a CIO is a long-term ambition that requires technical capabilities, leadership, and tenacity. Tulane’s MSP in IT Management curriculum will give you a competitive edge in a field where employment is expected to grow at a rate of 13 percent by 2026. Organizations continue to increase their digital presence and expand their online operations, sparking job growth and demand for qualified professionals. Tulane’s program will ready you for life-changing opportunities and the prospect of becoming an executive.