How to Start a Tech Company | Software Founder Tom Adams Explains

Countless aspiring tech entrepreneurs launch and fail within their first year. 

They fail after overlooking one key step they need to take before spending a single dime or contacting a potential investor.

Before starting a tech company, every entrepreneur needs to establish a mission that solves a business problem. Put another way, a “brilliant” technical idea is worthless if potential customers don’t already need it.

We’re about to dive into the basics of how to start a tech company and explain what you need to maximize your potential for success. 

In an exclusive interview with Quantic’s founder, Tom Adams, you’ll learn how Tom built Quantic into a multi-million dollar tech startup. Now, he teaches other tech entrepreneurs to leverage the same recipe for success.

What Is a Tech Startup?

Put simply, a tech startup is a fledgling company that brings technology-based products and services to market. 

In the current technology landscape, a tech startup can be launched very quickly — sometimes in just a matter of a few weeks — if the collaborators and resources are in alignment.

With the advent of the cloud and integration companies, it’s more accurate to say that a business is assembled rather than built from scratch. Multiple service providers supply resources, including online computing power, programming teams, project management, and security services. 

In the technology industry, an entrepreneur with the right mission and the ability to seek out the right providers can start a business within days — depending on the complexity of the service or product.

Starting a Technology Business

Starting a tech company is no different than starting any other business. Right?

In short, wrong. 

There are some major differences between starting a tech business and a traditional brick & mortar business.

The traditional business is dependent on location to function, with factors to consider like:

  • Local foot traffic or commuter traffic for visibility and access
  • Office space leasing
  • Availability of qualified staff within close distance
  • Storage and warehouse needs

The tech business lives in a virtual landscape. Every member of the team, from the founder and CEO to the administrative assistant, can work remotely from anywhere in the world. The Internet is their office; their laptop is their factory.

Ease of access to your company and your means of production makes the logistics of starting a company very fast. But the virtual business arena comes with its own unique challenges, such as:

  1. Reduction in collaboration if teams aren’t disciplined about staying connected
  2. Constant security obstacles from hackers, spammers, and other online threats
  3. Business shutdowns when service providers (e.g. AWS, PayPal) have an outage

While tech companies and physical businesses have fundamental differences, they will always share the same business principles of success. You can see those principles at work in the most recent list of Bloomberg 2020 billionaires, the types of businesses they run, and the education they pursued to become successful.

For example, former US presidential candidate and founder of Bloomberg LP, Michael Bloomberg, earned his MBA from Harvard Business School. Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike, earned an MBA from Stanford University. And Lee Kun-Hee, the chairman of the Samsung Group, earned an MBA from George Washington University.

All billionaires. All leaders of very different types of companies, including tech companies. All basing their business success on consistent principles learned through an MBA.

Quantic’s Founder Tom Adams Explains How to Create a Tech Startup

Tom Adams, Chairman/CEO and Co-founder of Quantic, is an E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year National Winner and former Chairman/CEO of Rosetta Stone. Tom holds an MBA from INSEAD, one of the world’s largest graduate business schools, and a B.A. in history from Bristol University.

Tom Adams, Chairman/CEO and Co-founder of Quantic

It’s fair to say that Tom has spent years acquiring the education, experience, and success to build winning businesses. He’s shared his invaluable insight into what it takes to start a winning technology business in the current landscape.

How to Build a Tech Company From the Ground Up

According to Tom Adams, there are three fundamental elements an entrepreneur needs to incorporate into their strategy right from the very start.

  1. Define the mission, and make sure it’s “crystal clear.”
  2. Define the constraints such as “things you will always do” and “things you will never do.”
  3. Iterate quickly to ensure the “design meets reality” and the product is adjusted to fit the customers’ needs.

How to Start a Tech Company Without a Tech Background

Much of what goes into a company’s success is “product/market fit”, which involves matching the product or service to the customers who want to buy it. 

Once the mission and constraints are crystallized as the company’s mantra, the goal is to assemble a team with all the collective strengths necessary to execute that mission.

Starting a Software Company With No Programming Experience

But, doesn’t a software company need every member of the team to be fluent in programming languages?

On the contrary!

In other words, an entrepreneur need not be a programming expert to make the world’s greatest technology solution a reality. But, an entrepreneur does need to know how to assemble a team that brings all the ingredients together, including programming, to make the mission possible.

How to Start a Tech Startup With No Money

There are two primary methods for funding your startup without already having the funds or bootstrapping. Both involve seeking funds from investors who believe in you or obtain “working capital” by accepting advance payment on products/services.

First, you can seek investment from individuals or groups, such as angel investors. The key is to “find people who believe in you.” 

This is where having a crystal clear mission comes into play. When an entrepreneur has a mission they believe in, investors will believe in the entrepreneur. 

Belief begets belief. 

The second avenue is obtaining “working capital”: 

Early access, early bird pricing, and limited-time benefits are all methods that could be used to entice customers to buy early and help pay for the launch.

How to Find Tech Startup Ideas That are Viable for Growth

Viable growth begins by “mapping out the existing landscape” for the problem your solution is meant to solve. 

When you’re developing a solution in a market already filled with competitive solutions, think about; “what are you going to eliminate, and what are you going to create and elevate in terms of features and benefits for the customer.”

If your solution is similar to others on the market, success will depend on developing a cost advantage. Either through streamlining development to make production cheaper than the competition or by selling at reduced margins to capture significant market share.

Small startups begin at a “scale disadvantage.” To compensate, success comes from innovating “new combinations of features” and benefits “that delight” customers enough to outweigh the loss of features customers would normally get from competitors.

Tips on How to Create Technology

Although the crystal clear mission of a startup describes creating a very specific solution to a very specific problem, technology rarely exists in isolation. A connected world means every new solution created must “co-exist with other applications.” 

That means a new solution will need to “interoperate” to fit with what people are already doing today.

For example, if you create a new mobile application that helps customers to stay more organized while at work, you’ll need to design the application to work across mobile devices. Also, organization tools will typically need to integrate with calendars, mail applications, or cloud file storage services.

It all has to work together. As a result, thorough and ubiquitous compatibility is crucial.

The Most Important Key to Growing Your Tech Business

Your solution can’t be the very best and most perfect answer to every aspect of the problem your customer faces. 

Focus on being the very best in the world at a “few things” to ensure your team remains concentrated on being the market leader where it counts.

Does an MBA Education Benefit Future Tech Startup Founders?

Everyone starts somewhere. The challenges a tech startup faces are unique when compared to traditional brick & mortar businesses, but the fundamentals of business are still the same.

Entrepreneurs learn entrepreneurship by doing. Programmers learn programming by doing. Nearly every member of the team assembled to execute the mission brings the particular strengths they’ve honed through time and experience. All by doing.

An MBA can’t teach those strengths to a well-assembled team, but an MBA can teach “strategic leadership so they can scale and direct the organization much more effectively.”

An MBA empowers a fledgling CEO to:

  • Think in “terms of value creation for a long-term strategy.”
  • “Position competitively in terms of branding or product placement.”

Quantic, Tom Adams’s company, understands the value of an MBA for new CEOs. Quantic’s MBA program teaches the “fundamentals such as accounting or strategy.” And students get to “build out business plans” and develop a “network of peers” to “accelerate their proficiency in the key terms and the key ways of building business success.”

Quantic has demonstrated a track record of success for their students. Not just in providing a world-class MBA program to give CEOs the tools they need, but also in helping students start their own successful businesses.

Read the case study about a Quantic student whose startup connects with their hearing-impaired audience.

Startup Valuation Calculator Templates | How to Value any Startup

Are you afraid of losing money and looking like a fool for making a bad investment? The answer is almost universally yes for every startup’s potential investors.

Fear causes an investor to second guess a sound opportunity staring them right in the face.

The best way to overcome investor fear is knowledge. The knowledge that the startup is valuable and will yield a solid return.

The first and best piece of knowledge is an accurate startup value. Let’s get familiar with the different methods of value calculations. We’ll define how they work and when you should use each one.

How to Value a Startup

There are many ways to calculate the value, but no magic number will meet every investor’s needs. The calculations break down into two major categories:

  • Pre-money valuation
  • Post-money valuation

Calculations are broken down based on when the payment happens. Usually it’s before and after the current rounds of funding.

Pre-Money Valuation

With this type of valuation, an investor estimates how much the company is worth right now. It’s an indicator of market confidence in the startup’s potential. It’s not necessary for even a single sale to be made.

This type of assessment can be more difficult to calculate because it depends on where the company is in its stage of development. Such as:

  • Is it pre-revenue, meaning it hasn’t made a single sale?
  • At what point does the company plan to move from pre-revenue to generating revenue?
  • Does the company’s business model contain pre-revenue sales projections?
  • Or if the company is past the pre-revenue stage, will the initial investments go entirely towards capital purchases?

These are some of the questions that factor into the value calculation.

What Is Pre-Money Valuation?

This calculation is one of the two startup valuation methods used before the investor commits funds. It sounds intuitive. But it’s necessary to make this distinction for accounting purposes. For example:

Let’s say a startup is worth $10 million. An investor decides to invest $1 million in exchange for 100 shares of stock. The company value before the investment is $10 million and the post-money value is $11 million.

To lower risk, investors will put money into a startup over later rounds of investing instead of all at once. This invest-as-you-go model is common. The startup gets the funds to grow and the investor lowers potential loss if the startup fails.

Pre-Money Valuation Formulas

Every startup is different. So, calculating the startup’s value is not a one-size-fits-all process. Financial experts developed different types of startup valuation methods. Each one focuses on a different financial perspective.

A savvy venture capital investor will use many methods to calculate value. Then they decide to invest in an early-stage company based on an averaged amount.

The Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) Valuation Method

The Discounted Cash Flow method measures the future revenue potential of a startup. It generates a value based on a large number of detailed assumptions about the startup’s business model. It then calculates revenue over a set period of years.

DCF works best as a type of “sanity check.” Combine it with other methods to ensure the average value falls within an acceptable range of accuracy.

The Berkus Method

The Berkus Method was developed as a way to calculate the startup valuation without unreliable assumptions. In David Berkus’s own words:

It’s best to use this method if the risk factors are known. Also, it works if the return on investment for the startup is unknowable due to too many assumptions.

If Exists:Add to Company Value up to:
Unique Selling Proposition (USP)$500,000
Viable Beta $500,000
Quality Controls in Place$500,000
Partner Agreements Pre-Revenue$500,000
Post-Revenue Success$500,000

Value factors for the Berkus Method

Scorecard Valuation Methodology

This method answers one basic question when it comes to startup valuation methods. “How valuable is this startup compared to similar companies?”

The Risk Factor Summation Method

The Risk Factor Summation Method is a combination of the Berkus Method and the Scorecard Valuation Methodology. It measures startup valuation by comparing the company with other companies. The comparison is used to develop a baseline. It then adjusts the value based on a list of 12 risk factors.

Like the DCF, it’s best to use this method with other methodologies to develop an average score.

Venture Capital Method

The Venture Capital Method takes a finite term approach to the valuation method. The investor assumes an exit term, say 5 or 7 years, from the point of investment. It then back-calculates the return on investment for that period.

This is one of the preferred startup valuation methods. An investor can set the exit strategy on milestones. An example milestone would be reaching a specific dollar amount in sales or percentage of market share.

Comparables Method

Like the Scorecard Valuation Methodology, the Comparables Method calculates a value by comparing the startup to similar companies. Unlike the Berkus Method, the baseline is adjusted by a series of ratio values. The ratios include price-to-earnings ratio (P/E), price-to-sales ratio (P/S), and enterprise value-to-earnings before interest, rather than flat dollar adjustments.

The Comparables Method is simpler to calculate. It relies on fewer assumptions than the discounted cash flow method. But accuracy is more dependent on the accuracy of the market value of the peer group used in the baseline.

Cost-to-Duplicate Method

The Cost-to-Duplicate Method looks at the cost of starting over from scratch in another location or industry. This method can help investors determine soundness very quickly. If the company can be reproduced cheaper or better in another location, it’s not a good investment.

This is a very rough calculation. It doesn’t take mitigating factors into account like tax laws in alternative locations. It’s quick but very prone to error. 

Pre-Money Valuation Calculator

The methodologies listed so far are subtly different. But most have strong similarities. This makes the prospect of calculating value confusing.  

Fortunately, Quantic has published a free template to help.

Post-Money Valuation

Post-money valuation is a measure of the startup’s value after the current funding round is complete. This gives investors a view into how much other investors are willing to support the startup. It’s a picture of the willingness of others to financially back its chance of success. 

What Is Post-Money Valuation?

Post-Money Valuation is a company’s value after it receives money from the current round of funding. This value is an indicator of how many shares an investor will own as a function of the amount of money invested.

If a startup only has one investor, that investor will receive 100% of the available shares. If there are many investors, there’s strong confidence in the company. But this also reduces the percentage of available shares that can go to a single investor.

Post-Money Valuation Formulas

As with the other value calculations, there are several to calculate post-money. It’s best to base investing decisions on an average of the methods used.

Book Value Method

The Book Value Method looks at all the tangible assets of a startup after a funding round. It then deducts the intangible assets to derive a net value. It’s a strong indicator of the company’s value on a Balance Sheet. This calculation only works once the investments into the company are complete.

It’s best to use this method if a significant part of the company’s value relies on tangible assets. If a startup relies on patents and copyrights, avoid using this method.

Post-Money Valuation Calculator

Again, it can be confusing to sort through the myriad of methodologies – both before and after funding. To help, Quantic has released a free template to assess the post-money value of a company. It’s a useful tool for investors to make informed decisions.

Note; ideally, we want to have an opt-in here in exchange for the formula calculator.

Valuation Cap Calculation

Here’s why it’s so valuable. “It is intended to ensure that an investor does not miss out on significant appreciation of a company between the time of the sale of convertible notes and the qualified financing.”

No investor wants to miss out on the benefits of explosive growth. The valuation cap makes the investment more lucrative when unexpected growth occurs. 

Startup Valuation Spreadsheet Templates

In the sections above, we’ve provided a free downloadable template that calculates startup value. It’s specifically based on the most common methods used today. But the template also contains a section for Scenario Analysis. This is useful to help compare the results of multiple methods to calculate the best average. 

Note; ideally, we want to have an opt-in here in exchange for the formula calculator.

When it comes to startups, Quantic has helped plenty of students build companies that grow. But its courses on valuation for cash flow and valuation for equity are specifically designed to help startups position themselves to look attractive for investors.

Finance vs. Accounting: Key Differences to Help Choose Your Next Field With Confidence

We have addressed some of the biggest and most common concerns that many people have when trying to compare accounting and finance. From varying skill sets, different salary expectations, and more, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of both career paths. 

This is the ultimate guide to study before you make a commitment either way. You should have a thorough understanding of each career choice before you choose a path. This just could be one of the biggest decisions of your life. 

So why not let us take you through both disciplines and help you choose between them? 

Finance vs. Accounting by Definition

They may seem identical but the definitions of accounting and finance are quite different. Let’s take a look. 

Accounting: Accounting is the practice of measuring, preparing, analyzing, and interpreting financial statements. This information helps measure the performance of a business and its financial position. 

The data is also important for the payment of taxes. Accountants use balance sheets, cash flow statements, and ledgers to track daily operations. They focus mainly on the past performance of businesses and individuals. 

Specializations in accounting include:

  • Financial accounting: This is the use of balance sheets, income, and cash flow statements to provide information. This data is used by stakeholders such as investors, tax authorities, and creditors. 
  • Managerial accounting: Managerial accountants use the same information as financial accountants. Internal staff then use the information to make decisions about business operations. 
  • Cost accounting: This involves studying balance sheets and income and cash flow statements to find ways of minimizing the cost of production. 

Finance: Finance deals with investments and the management of assets. A financier will focus on decisions about working capital for businesses and individuals. 

They deal with inventory, credit levels, cash holdings, and financial strategy. Finance will usually focus on the future performance of a business or individual. 

Finance can be divided into three sub-categories:

  • Personal Finance: This includes long-term financial planning for individuals. Some of these include retirement and the purchase of financial products such as mortgages. 
  • Corporate Finance: This involves the financial activities of the running of a business. These activities can include investment strategy and budgeting. 
  • Government Finance: Public finance examines tax and government policies. The information studied will affect how resources are allocated. 

By looking at the different definitions, and a summary of the skill sets, you can see which career path best suits you. You can align your skills, financial needs, ability to travel, and career aspirations with the correct job. 

Finance vs. Accounting Salary

Salaries in both professions will depend on the experience of the individual as well as the industry for which they work. 

Entry-level accountants earn an average of $40,777 and the topmost level accountants can make up to $83,800

In New York, some accountants can earn more than $60.000. The region with the lowest accounting salary is in North Carolina with an average of $44,281

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nationwide average for an accountant’s salary is $71,550. 

The truth is – depending on the type of career you choose, these numbers can have a wide range. 

BLS states that accountants in insurance and finance firms earn the highest salary at $74,690. 

It’s important to note that auditing clerks earn the least and with negative job prospects, it’s a career that’s on the decline. 

Technological improvements have automated some of the roles, hence the decline in open opportunities. This could also affect the accounting industry to a lesser degree. 

People who have specialized in finance can earn a lot of money as they move up the ladder. 

Median Annual Salary (USD)Number of Jobs in 2018Job Outlook 2008 – 2028Employment Change 2018 – 2028
Auditing Clerks$41,2301,707,700-4%-65,800
Accountant$71,5501,424,0006%90,700
Financial Analysts$85,660329,5006%20,300
Personal Financial Advisors$87,850271,7007%19,100
Financial Managers$129,890653,60016%104,700

Similarly, there are different levels of financiers, all earning varying salaries. 

If compensation is a big factor when considering a profession, becoming a financial manager is your best option. Actuaries are some of the highest-paid financial workers, earning from $150,000-$250,000. 

The Different Finance vs. Accounting Job Roles

Accountants need to be extremely precise as they often deal with large amounts of money. Even the slightest error can result in a business or client losing money. The role requires attention to detail and a high level of organization. 

Accountants often work alone so this role is perfect for introverts who will mainly create written reports for senior management. 

Financiers on the other hand need excellent communication skills and must be able to interact extensively with senior executives. The job requires presentation and interpersonal skills as they present reports to an audience. 

This is ideal for extroverts who are confident and able to handle high-pressure situations. 

Your interests, education, and skill sets may influence how you view the different roles required by accountants and financiers. Take a look at our list of job roles below. 

Financial Officer Job Roles:

  • Analyze and interpret financial reports to advise managerial teams 
  • Raise capital through debt or equity
  • Create and put in place a corporate strategy
  • Budgeting and forecasting (monthly, quarterly, annually)
  • Handle mergers and acquisitions
  • Risk management
  • Evaluate and advise on investments 
  • Implement cost-reducing solutions

Accountant Job Roles:

  • Collect, organize, and track financial information 
  • Prepare financial reports that meet government and stakeholder requirements
  • Prepare financial reports for internal use by staff
  • Conduct audits to ensure legality and adherence to policies
  • Prepare tax returns and report income to the IRS
  • Advise clients and firms on how to minimize tax liability

Accounting vs. Finance Personality Types

Not everyone can be an accountant or a financier. There are personality traits that will make some people more apt to perform well in each career. 

We’ve taken a look at one of the most popular personality tests used by organizations across the world. It helps employers decide if a potential employee is fit for the role. This sort of personality testing can help you determine which profession you are more likely to enjoy or excel in. 

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator shows how people use their perceptions and judgment. The MBTI instrument measures preferences, not ability or character. 

Used by Fortune 500 firms the MBTI personality test is helpful before placing an individual in any specialized role. 

The personality type ISTJ (Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, Judging) is, well-suited for accounting positions. These people are systematic, analytical, and have a high work ethic. 

Known as ‘The Inspector’, they are traditionally serious and loyal. Leaning towards facts, they perform accounting jobs efficiently. Accuracy is key when they have to look through many documents and information. 

Financiers are shown to be INTP personality types. This stands for introversion, intuition, thinking, and perceiving. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the different personality traits which accountants have vs. financiers. 

Accountant:

  • Detail-oriented 
  • Risk manager 
  • Procedure-oriented 
  • Able to use rule-based thinking 
  • Accountable 
  • Accurate 

Financier:

  • Attentive to detail 
  • Can conceptualize scenarios 
  • Analytical 
  • Inquisitive 
  • Business development skills 
  • Problem-solving skills 

Before diving in, why not take the MBTI test to better understand your personality. Free versions are also available online although they are not the original test. 

You can also check at your school’s career center or your work’s HR department if they offer the test. 

The results may surprise you and they will be key in avoiding a career incompatible with your personality. It will show you your strengths and weaknesses and guide you into a job that suits you specifically. 

Financial Analyst vs. Accountant

After taking the test, you should have some direction as to which job you would like to pursue. Though similar, these two professionals perform very different jobs

Let’s take a brief look at the major differences in daily duties and work environments. 

Financial analysts have a broader job description and their roles are less fixed. They deal with the management of assets and liabilities. This enables them to make future predictions and advise management. They develop investment strategies and are in charge of how to make use of company resources. 

Some financial analysts’ duties include: 

  • Analyzing stock fluctuations. 
  • Creating simulations to forecast the outcomes of financial transactions. 
  • Reviewing spending and revenue projections. 
  • Liaising with management teams to offer advice on financial decisions. 

Accountants have a more structured role and are heavily involved in taxes. They deal with the day-to-day flow of money in and out of a business. 

Some duties performed by accountants include:

  • Organizing company accounts. 
  • Reviewing records to reduce spending and increase profits. 
  • Developing and managing working budgets. 
  • Preparing taxation procedures. 

Generally, both types of employees work 40-50 hours per week. Accountants have a busy February to April tax season where they may work up to 70 hours a week, depending on the number of clients they work with. 

The work environment also differs as financial analysts often have their own offices. Many accountants, especially at entry-level, work in cubicles, although many high-level accountants will likely have the luxury of their own office. 

Can I Combine Finance and Accounting?

The careers are somewhat related, and some employees may perform some of the same tasks. 

The topmost position of either of these professions is that of Chief Financial Officer. It is essentially a combination of finance and accounting in one position. 

With the right experience and educational background, you could have the opportunity to manage a business’s finance or accounts departments. 

CFOs are tasked with the financial planning of a business. They also need to oversee the organization’s cash flow. 

To get to this leadership position, you will need to understand both job roles. You will need to supervise employees and perform tasks required in each profession. CFOs need a combination of skills including:

  • Leadership skills 
  • Management skills 
  • Accounting skills 
  • Data skills 
  • Strategy skills 

Besides a Bachelor’s degree, to reach this management position, often you will need a Master’s Degree. An Executive MBA is a good option if you already have some work experience. 

The Difference Between Finance and Accounting Degrees

Both jobs need a basic Bachelor’s degree but further education courses differ. For financiers, it is advisable to be a member of the CFA Institute. Accountants, however, are usually required to complete a CPA certification. 

See the details below:

So which degree is best? Everything is relative and will depend on your strengths. 

Generally, accounting majors at the undergraduate level are not easy. Students say finance on the same level is much easier. 

If you are starting your undergraduate level, it may be advisable to take a joint degree. It will provide you with general knowledge of both professions and help you choose the best path. 

Accounting does not increase in difficulty at higher levels. But finance does, gradually. 

Benefits of Studying Accounting

Accountants are necessary for all businesses and the profession is currently growing. According to the BLS, accountancy is expected to grow up to 10% between 2016 – 2026. 

Having the right information can help you choose which industry you want to work in. This is a way for you to begin to define a clear career path. 

Usually, after graduation, you may start as an entry-level associate with high growth and earning potential. 

Additional certifications will help you advance your career and get a job almost anywhere in the country. 

Another option is to start your own business. If you have an entrepreneurial streak, you can become your own boss after a few years of work experience. 

If you enjoy systematically working with rules accounting is the course you should study. 

Benefits of Studying Finance

Finance offers a wider range of study options compared to accounting. You will cover a variety of specializations used in the business world. You will also be exposed to areas such as economics and banking. 

By studying finance, you will gain the necessary analytical skills to interpret data. 

The knowledge will also be useful in your personal life. You will learn how to make smart investments and handle your finances effectively. 

The career opportunities for graduates are immense and the earning potential is higher than many other careers. You will also learn how to make extra wealth and not just rely on your salary. 

The Best of Both Worlds?

Advice online seems to lean towards studying both degrees. 

Source: www.quora.com

So now, what is the best way to advance your career? An MBA or EMBA degree is common for both accountants and financiers. It will give you the extra edge over and above your basic degree. 

For this with some years of experience, an Executive MBA will allow mid-career professionals to work and study at the same time. 

If you do not have extensive experience, a free online MBA is your best option. By choosing students from the world’s top universities, Quantic School of Business and Technology gives you a chance to network with fellow students either face to face or online. 

The Winning Tech Resume

Tech jobs across the world are rapidly increasing and can be found in most industries. The rise of such jobs is due to organizations increasingly relying on computer systems and technologies. 

Examples are the adoption of cloud computing and cybersecurity. As a result, employment in IT occupations is predicted to increase by up to 12% between 2014 and 2024. 

Some specialized tech jobs that are expected to increase in demand include:

  • Software developers
  • Web developers
  • Information security analysts
  • Mobile application developers
  • Computer system analysts

These jobs will require you to have specific skills that you will have learned and practiced. Some of the most important IT skills you may already possess are:

  • Coding
  • Application development
  • Cloud services
  • Cybersecurity
  • Database administration

Combined with the below ‘soft’ skills, you will be able to fit into a tech role of your choice. 

  • Communication skills
  • Time and project management skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Problem-solving skills

These are the basics that will enable you to work within an IT department, as well as interact with high-level management. 

Note: Though the terms are interchangeable, do not confuse tech skills and technical skills. Tech skills relate to IT skills associated with digital technology. Technical skills are a broader range of abilities, such as accounting which is not a tech skill.

Each type of tech resume needs to be tailored to the role and this is the tricky part for job seekers in the industry. 

You will need to be able to showcase your specific skills. At the same time, you need to differentiate yourself from people with similar skills and highlight relevant experience. 

How do you make your resume stand out among the thousands that employers receive? 

This guide will give you an overview of what to consider when creating a tech resume that will get you hired. 

Once you have an impressive resume, the next step is to find jobs to apply for.

By targeting employers who are looking for someone just like you, there is a better chance to be called in for an interview.

Using the Quantic platform is an ideal solution to finding new opportunities. The platform is specifically designed to connect students with top employers and every job seeker has a chance at success.

This is why we have developed sample resumes for the most popular tech jobs. Just like we did for data analysts

The format of your resume is also an important factor as employers only take a few minutes to skim each CV. 

Let us help you create a winning resume and take the first step towards landing your dream job.

What Makes a Good Tech Resume?

Several features that make for a good tech resume. Let’s look at 4 of the top tips.

Use the Correct Format

Structure Your Resume in Reverse Chronological Order

You need to start with your most recent job – the pinnacle of your career. After this, list all the relevant previous jobs in reverse order. 

This will draw attention to your growth path and act as a way of putting your best foot forward. 

Use Professional Fonts and Spacing

The top three fonts to use are Calibri, Cambria, and Helvetica; being the neatest and most legible. The size can be either 12 or 10 in order to be legible and headings can be either size 12 or 14.

With regards to spacing, stick with single-line spacing.

Set the Correct Margins

You don’t want to cram your resume with text as it will look unprofessional. Large margins on the other hand make it look empty. Your best option is to use one-inch margins on all sides.

Use the Correct Format – Word vs PDF?

Firstly, read the job description and follow the employer’s instructions. Send whichever format they specify and send their preferred format.

If there are no specifications, usually a PDF document is a safe choice. It will preserve your formatting and open as a professional-looking document.

One disadvantage is if the recruiter is using an applicant tracking system, (ATS). The software may have trouble scanning your CV and skip crucial information.

If unsure, you can show some initiative and reach out to the hiring manager and enquire about their preferred format. Alternatively, simply send CVs in both formats. 

Proofread Your Resume

Take the time to ensure 100% correct spelling, grammar, and formatting. Sloppy mistakes on your CV are a sure-fire way to demonstrate to your potential employers that you don’t have attention to detail.

Highlight Your Strong Points

To avoid sending a generic resume, you will need to address the needs of the company. 

To do this showcase your skills at the top of your resume. Pay close attention to the necessary skills listed on the job posting and match your strong points to the advertised position.

This is one of the tricks to creating a successful tech resume that will get you into the interview room.

Write an Engaging Experience Section

The work experience section is probably the most important part of a tech resume. Employers know what you did by looking at the job title. They are more interested in how you well did it. 

This section will be proof that you can perform the technical skills you have described. 

To make your experience section engaging, follow these tips:

  • Make use of bullet points
  • Use short, descriptive sentences 
  • Prove your experience with links to your previous work or portfolio 
  • Include the duties and responsibilities of the jobs you provide

Write According to Your Experience Level

Those with extensive experience have very different CVs compared to recent graduates.

For an expert, their education level is not going to be a deciding factor. They can simply write:

2011 – 2015

Stanford University

B.Sc., Software Engineering

This section should be placed directly under your career statement. 

For those without an extensive work history, place your degree and learning institution below your education level. This means your education section will be more detailed, like so:

2011 – 2015

Stanford University

B.Sc., Software Engineering

  • Chairperson of IT-Hub, the campus machine learning club, 2014 – 2015.
  • Completed eight advanced Java programming classes to cement my knowledge.
  • Broadcasted an online webinar on best practices for security in cloud services.
  • Wrote for the S.U. Mag, specializing in IT-related topics on a monthly basis.

Use Sentences That Get Straight to the Point

Do not use overly-long sentences when writing your resume. You want to keep the sentences short, and preferably in bullet point form. Here are some tips when writing the bullet points; 

  • Start with an action verb: Oversaw 
  • Describe a specific task: Software upgrading campaign 
  • Complete with a quantifiable point: Cost reduction of 10% 

The final sentence will read:

Oversaw a software upgrading campaign that resulted in a cost reduction of 10%. 

Your resume should also get straight to the point. 

“I want to be able to quickly glance at a resume and make sure they meet the criteria for the level of position I’m looking for and then if they do, I’ll read their resume more closely,” Melissa Wallace, Talent Acquisition Partner 

Because most tech jobs are results-oriented, provide context on how you have used the skill to achieve results. 

Use metrics to quantify your success. Using percentages is a great way to quantify your abilities. 

Some bullet points to quantify your results could be: 

  • Achieved X results in Y amount of time. 
  • Reduced costs by X amount using XYZ software. 
  • Ensured X customer queries were resolved using XYZ methods. 

You should also include details of your skill level. Are you a beginner or an expert? Mention this along with each skill. 

If you don’t, the recruiter may find your CV to be lacking and assume you do not have the correct qualifications. 

You also don’t want a resume that is too long, and tiresome to read. However, do not leave out important information; striking a balance is key. 

How Is a Tech Resume Different From Other Industries

All tech jobs require very specific skill sets and in addition, many companies are looking for a well-rounded individual. 

You need to have a section assigned where you can list your skills. Make a table and include it just after the experience section of your resume. 

Some of the major skills for the most popular tech jobs include: 

IT Technician

  • Front and back end development 
  • Cloud computing 
  • Network structure and security 

Software Engineer

  • Programming languages 
  • Databases 
  • Encryption and cryptography 

Web Developer

  • Website design 
  • Digital advertising 
  • Mobile and social marketing 

Data Analyst

  • Data analysis and exploration 
  • Creating dashboards and reports 
  • Statistical knowledge 

Data Scientist

  • Probability and statistics 
  • Multivariate calculus and linear algebra 
  • Programming packages and software 

Product Manager

  • User experience (UX) design 
  • Data understanding and analytics 
  • Product engineering 

A Winning Tech Resume Template

There are some major things that you must include in your tech resume. 

Some of these include;

  • Contact Information: Include your name, professional title, phone number, email, LinkedIn handle, and personal portfolio, blog, or website.
  • Career Summary: A short introduction that highlights your career progress and specific skill set. It should only be a few lines and encourage the employer to read the rest of your resume.
  • Experience Section: Up to six bullet points describing the roles and responsibilities of your previous jobs.
  • Education: List your schools and degrees achieved, as well as the corresponding years. Include honors and awards, and if you are fresh from school, you can add your GPA grade. Under this section, you can include certifications and professional memberships as well as achievements and awards.
  • Skills: Use our tips to create a skills section to grab the reader’s attention. Even if creating a tech resume, some skills are desirable across the board. Here are a few:

– Leadership

– Teamwork

– Research

– Analytical thinking

  • Optional Sections: If you have space, create a hobbies and interests section. It should reflect your personality and fit in with the company culture.

To stand out, show that you have enough business acumen to perform high-level jobs. You need to be able to manage teams of technicians and communicate with high-level management.

Studying a solid, certified MBA program is a great addition to your job-specific skills and will help you go up a level – especially in the eyes of the employer.

A free Quantic MBA has been developed by leading professors to create a comprehensive 9-course curriculum.

Once completed, the areas covered will earn you a DEAC accredited degree. Some of these include:

  • Accounting and finance
  • Data and decisions
  • Markets and economics
  • Marketing
  • Strategy development and entrepreneurship

Want to Get Hired in Tech?

Quantic’s students only have good things to say, but as a tech worker, you may have some doubts about delving into the business world.

You can rest easy and be sure you are making the right decision, just like Front-end Engineer, Robin Lu.

And that dream job, won’t just land on your lap. You will need to spend time and possible money getting your resume to the right recruiter.

As a Quantic student, you will be able to apply to exclusive positions in your chosen field. 

The Quantic Talent platform gives you access to recruiters who are looking for Software Engineers, Data Scientists, Product Managers, UX/UI Designers, and more at top tech companies.

Corporate Training & Development: Why It’s Important in 2021

No matter your industry, role, or career objectives, knowledge is power. You need it if you want to advance and maintain the same level of performance that won you that promotion. 

How do you go about getting the skills and knowledge you need? That’s where corporate training and development come into play. In the 2020s, it’s going to play a huge role in the way organizations think about and invest in their employees.

That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide. We’ll uncover:

  • What corporate training is and why it’s so important
  • Tips to maximize the benefits of corporate training and corporate eLearning
  • How to identify the right corporate training courses that work best for you

By the time you’re through, you’ll know exactly what a solid corporate training program looks like and how to make the most of what’s out there to accelerate your career.

What Is Corporate Training?

Corporate training refers to organized professional development activities created by companies to help their employees be more effective on the job. If you’ve ever taken a set of courses created and hosted by your employer, you’ve had a taste of what it entails.

These days, you’ll often see it called Corporate Education or Workplace Learning, but it’s a little different from the concept of on-the-job training. Corporate training is:

  • A form of continued education. You may encounter online courses, seminars, or series of lectures much like a traditional college class. This is especially true if your company uses outside resources or institutions that offer corporate training.
  • Geared toward your holistic professional development. It will help you attain the skills you need to be an effective corporate professional.
  • Not always company-specific. Corporate training is designed to help you excel in your current role and become more valuable to the company over time. However, you’ll usually also develop skills that you can take with you to other companies.

How You’ll Benefit From Corporate Training

A good corporate training program is one of the most critical things to look for when you consider taking a position in a company. The presence of one signals that the company recognizes its employees as a valuable resource and is interested in nurturing you as an asset. This has a host of benefits for both the company and you. Research suggests that you’ll enjoy:

  • Increased efficiency and competence at your job
  • Greater motivation and morale
  • A stronger and more cohesive company culture
  • Stabler teams and relationships due to fewer turnovers

Corporate Training Processes That Support Your Success

Imagine one Friday that you walk into your yearly review with your boss, who’s so enthused about your performance that you get a promotion. Congratulations! In the corporate world, that’s what everyone wants to hear.

Come Monday, get dressed up in your most confidence-inspiring outfit and head into the office. Your first task? A meeting with a key partner in an hour about an initiative spearheaded by your department. All right, you say. New position, new experience! Then, your boss hands you spreadsheets you’ve never seen before to help you prepare. By the way, after that, you’re having lunch with two of your department’s team leaders to discuss the findings in that meeting. No pressure.

It’s a good thing you had time for that online corporate training module over the weekend to help you get up to speed, right? Thanks to those processes your company has developed to help support your career, you’ve totally got this.

What a Strategic Model for Training & Development Looks Like

A strategic corporate training model typically has four phases. As you move through the ranks of your company, you’ll encounter them. They are:

  1. Onboarding. Onboarding gets employees up to speed on processes, procedures, and policies. In a good program, you’ll find yourself onboarded when you’re first hired, when you’re promoted, and when you’re brought onto a new team.
  2. Training. The company may have unique processes or procedures. You’ll need to develop the skills to perform them. This may also include mandatory training such as those established in compliance regulations for your industry.
  3. Development. Once you’ve gained competency in your position, you can begin with career or personal development training. Developmental training often focuses on soft skills like communication, problem-solving, or negotiation. Attaining these skills help you function much more effectively.
  4. Education. A good corporate training program also includes opportunities to attain an education that’s not related to your current job or role, but which help you attain career objectives down the line. You may pursue these opportunities to help tip you toward that promotion.

Although these are arranged linearly, you might find yourself moving through all four stages multiple times. They’re designed to complement one another and holistically improve your career. 

For example, in the story above, you may have gone through these steps when you were first hired. However, you went through at least the first two steps again when you were promoted. As you settle into your new role, you may also consider additional courses that help you develop professionally, or which provide you with the education you need to move forward again.

Tips to Maximize the Benefits of Corporate Training

Corporate training accelerates your career growth by giving you the skills and knowledge you need to achieve your goals. However, like with any continuing education, you’re going to get out of it what you put into it. We recommend that you:

  • Make corporate training programs a priority when you job search. Research whether the company you’re interested in working for has a corporate training program. If the job listing doesn’t mention it then someone on Glassdoor, Reddit, or Quora might have the scoop.
  • Identify your time and learning needs. Determine whether you need flexibility, certain time allowances, or for the material to be presented in a certain way. That will help you identify a program that works for you.  
  • Create a plan and a schedule. Make training and development a priority by putting it into your schedule. That will help you commit.
  • Don’t be afraid to seek out third-party corporate training on your own. If your company doesn’t offer corporate training, look into organizations or institutions that provide it. Likewise, check with your company to see if they’ll offer tuition reimbursement.

4 Types of Corporate Training Programs

Many types of corporate training programs exist, and the company you work for might have many. They generally fall into four distinct categories:

1. Mandatory Learning

Mandatory learning involves legally required training that employees must receive. Sometimes, this happens regularly. Other times, it only has to happen once. Some examples of required training include:

  • Safety-related training, such as under OSHA or the FAA
  • Affirmative defense training
  • Ethics training, such as under the Federal Acquisitions Regulations
  • Privacy and security training under HIPAA

2. Leadership and Management

If you’re advancing to a management role, prepare to hit the books! According to LinkedIn, managers spend 30 percent more time learning new soft skills than the average person. Corporate training for leadership and management is often offered to individuals preparing to move into management positions for the first time, or into higher-level leadership positions. You’ll gain expertise in things like:

3. Department or Role-Specific Training

A company that’s committed to helping you develop professionally will offer corporate training directly related to your department or specific. That’s crucial when you transition to a new role or team, as it will help you get off on the right foot immediately. Department or role-specific training will include:

  • An overview of necessary processes, policies, and procedures
  • Resources for developing a deeper understanding of your role

4. Executive Readiness

Companies seeking to build, train, and grow their executive team often invest in executive readiness training programs. If attaining an executive position is among your career objectives, it’s well worth your time to consider these. Executive readiness training often takes the form of an EMBA program. These programs are like an MBA but focus more on the exact skills you’ll need as an executive in a corporation. A good EMBA:

  • Is accredited
  • Offers focuses and specialties
  • Has enough electives that you can broaden your skillset
  • Still teaches you the core business skills you need

What Is Corporate eLearning?

Corporate eLearning is the use of eLearning tools and solutions for corporate training. In other words, it’s digital and online learning for your professional development … much like online classes in college.

It’s also what you’re most likely to encounter when you sign up for your company’s corporate training program. Over the past 16 years, corporate eLearning has grown by an astounding 900 percent. From 2017 alone, the number of companies using eLearning jumped from 77 to 98 percent.

This tremendous growth is largely because there are many benefits of eLearning for corporate training for both companies and employees. With corporate eLearning, you’ll enjoy:

  • Greater schedule flexibility. You’ll access training and materials on your own time, in the comfort of your own home.
  • A differentiated learning experience. It’s easier to receive a customized learning experience that helps you close the specific skills gaps you have.
  • Self-paced learning. You’ll maximize knowledge retention by studying at your own pace.
  • The ability to learn on your own device. Rather than learning a new system or device, you’ll stay focused on learning the material you need to advance on familiar grounds.

These benefits can make or break your success, especially if you undertake a challenging endeavor like executive readiness training. (Checking out an EMBA program? Consider the full advantages of an online course over a traditional course.)

How to Get the Most Out of Corporate eLearning Solutions

Whether you’re enrolled in a company-provided program or pursuing corporate training independently, there are a few things that you can do to help you get the most out of your program. DO:

  • Look into customization options. Whether that includes signing up for electives or configuring a course interface to facilitate your learning style, make the eLearning experience one that works for you.
  • Set yourself up for success with the right hardware. Make sure your experience is a profitable one by having the right technology to support your learning.
  • Treat your eLearning and training as part of your job. Online learning can sometimes fall “out of sight and out of mind.” Keep it visible by putting it on your calendar and carving out a specified time for it.

Companies With Excellent Training & Development Programs

According to the American Society for Training and Development, companies with comprehensive corporate training and development programs generate 218 percent higher revenue and 24 percent higher profit margins.

And companies have taken notice. Here are three excellent examples of corporate training and development programs (plus what’s unique about them) to help you get a sense of what these programs include.

  • Etsy School. Etsy’s Learning and Development team helps employees develop professionally using evidence-based approaches and innovative formats. It’s unique in that development pathways for each employee stem directly from performance reviews.
  • Data University. Created by AirBnB, Data University strives to make the workforce more data literate. This unique approach allows employees to take courses, gain the “credentials” they need to move forward, and even includes Intensive units on specific skills.
  • Yelp’s Learning Culture. Rather than creating a separate university or training hub, Yelp adopts the attitude that “every day can be a school day” and has many initiatives for integrated learning. Both hard skills and soft skills are emphasized, as well as overall employee satisfaction to keep everyone engaged.

Key Takeaways to Build the Best Corporate Training for Your Executive Team

With the majority of companies offering some sort of corporate training, you’ve got plenty of opportunities to grow the hard and soft skills that can accelerate your career. We’ve covered how corporate training can help you develop professionally, as well as provided plenty of tips to help you make the most of whatever corporate training program you choose. You’re now ready to go forth, expand your skills, and seize the new opportunities corporate training creates. 

Happy advancing!

Should I Get an MBA? The True Cost and Benefits of Getting an MBA

MBAs are not for the faint of heart, but they’re more accessible than ever to those up for undertaking this impressive achievement. Thanks to changes in the business world and the nature of education, you have more options to consider when selecting a program.

While the MBA is the ultimate degree in the business world, not all programs are created equal. 

Before you hit the button to apply, make sure you’ve adequately weighed the pros and cons of each option by:

  • Calculating the true ROI of the program
  • Uncovering the real value of the specific degrees offered
  • Identifying what features you need in a program

We’ll show you how to do all three, and provide plenty of other pointers along the way. Let’s dive right in.

How to Calculate the True ROI of an MBA

If you’re looking into different MBA programs, you will notice various discussions about what the “ROI” of an MBA looks like. 

The good news? No matter what area of business you decide to enter, an MBA pays off. You’ll see a return on your investment over the long-run – guaranteed. However, not all MBA programs are created equal, and not all calculate their ROI by including the full value that the program or school offers. 

According to The Princeton Review, the most common way that schools calculate the ROI of their MBA is how long it takes each student to recoup the cost of the program itself. For example, if an MBA program from a major school costs you $50,000 and you land a $100,000 salaried position with it, then that’s considered an extremely high return on your investment because you’ll recoup your costs in a year. In contrast, if it costs you $50,000, but you land a job that pays only $65,000, you may spend five or six years recapturing your expenses. That leads to a lower ROI.

By that logic, the cheaper the program, the greater the ROI – but we all know that isn’t true. 

The return on your investment analysis should also consider opportunities and costs. As you peruse programs, ask yourself about:

  • Career sacrifices: Do I have to stop working to pursue this program? If so, how much will that affect me?
  • Networking opportunities: Will this program allow me to access high-caliber connections in the business world, thereby accessing quality career opportunities? 
  • Electives and specialties: Is the program teaching me the basics, or will I have the chance to take elective courses that help me develop transferable skills?
  • Program match: Is the program appropriate to my specific career path, or is it too basic or too advanced? 

Imagine arriving at your new program only to discover that your professors assume you have certain business expertise that you don’t, or that the career network is non-existent. A program that’s a bad fit for you is just as worthless as a low-quality program that doesn’t give you the skills you need.

With these, you’ll have a better sense of whether a specific program worth it to you. 

The Benefits of Getting an MBA

An MBA can convey several expected and unexpected benefits. In addition to more earning power and access to more high-powered jobs, you will enjoy:

  • A more extensive network of colleagues and friends. An MBA program is a great place to meet connections from all around the world, even your next business partner. (Yelp, OkCupid, and GrubHub were all started by people who met in MBA programs.) 
  • Differentiation in the job market. Depending on your industry, an MBA will set you apart from the competition, presenting you as a strong candidate for your dream job.
  • Improved communication skills. You’ll learn how to communicate professionally, developing better relationships with your bosses, colleagues, or employees.
  • A re-energized career. If you’re feeling stuck in a rut and burned out, an MBA can help you access opportunities that previously stood out of reach. In addition to business acumen, you’ll gain transferable skills that let you be more productive at work.
  • Better job security. Possessing an MBA makes you a more valued member of any team. That translates to a decreased likelihood of losing your job in a turbulent market and helps reduce the time between jobs.

The Hidden Value of an MBA in Today’s Market

In 2019, some of the most prominent schools in the U.S. reported plummeting enrollment rates in their MBA programs. During the same time, tech fields of every stripe represent some of the fastest-growing job markets, and schools report no shortage of applications to their STEM programs.

This trend towards technology-oriented degrees and jobs has left some people asking if MBAs have grown outdated.

They haven’t. 

According to the 2018 Corporate Recruiters Survey, 85 percent of businesses in the U.S. expected to hire an MBA graduate. 

Why Companies Value Employees with MBAs

An MBA does more than just impart practical business knowledge. Companies actively seek out MBA graduates because they:

  • See the big picture. MBA graduates leave school with a mature perspective on business, which makes them useful for understanding things like market context and competition.
  • Think long-term. They know how to plan and how to analyze the ways that actions today will impact tomorrow. (That’s critical if you ever want to become a COO, for example.)
  • Lead teams. MBA students have ample opportunities to develop their leadership skills through real-world projects and internships, making them effective leaders in the workplace.
  • Possess diverse and qualified connections. It’s not just the graduates who benefit from career networks – employers can also tap into the relationships their employees have formed.

Do I Need an MBA to Become an Executive?

No, but it can represent a significant competitive advantage. At least 40 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs sport an MBA on their resume. 

Is an MBA Necessary for Marketing, Finance, Operations, or Engineering?

Increasingly, yes! 

Professionals who come from technical backgrounds like computer science or engineering often overlook MBAs. However, if you’re looking to become a Chief Technical Officer or a Chief Financial Officer, an MBA can prove a powerful combination with your technical degrees and significantly improve the odds of being selected to serve on a board.

What’s the Best Age to Get an MBA?

The best time to get an MBA is after you have some work experience under your belt. 

According to Vanderbilt University, the average age of MBA students is around 28, but it’s not uncommon to see slightly older candidates in programs. According to UCLA, the average age for executive MBA programs is 36.

What Type of MBA Should I Get?

Professionals pursuing MBAs have more options than ever before. That’s great news if you’re trying to find a program that matches your lifestyle and current career demands. In general, you’ve got five options:

1. Traditional MBAs. If you like structure and the hands-on experience of being in a classroom, the traditional MBA is for you. Many people are also attracted to them because of their networking potential.

2. Online MBAs. Competitive online MBAs are increasing in popularity. They’re convenient, especially if you prefer to keep working, but want to go to school full-time. Many now even offer career networking opportunities to connect digitally with your peers.

3. Accelerated MBAs. In an accelerated program, you may take classes right through the summer or take many classes online. Your winter and spring breaks will also be shorter, but you’ll complete the program faster.

4. Part-Time MBAs. Part-time MBAs allow students to keep working while enjoying the structure of a classroom. They often include evening classes and may take longer to complete.

5. Executive MBAs. If you’re already mid-career and are ready to take your next step, an EMBA might be for you. Here’s a closer look at this program geared towards those aspiring to reach executive levels.

Your most significant decision lies in choosing between traditional or online MBAs. We’ve got a few thoughts on that.

How Much Does an MBA Cost?

According to Poets & Quants, the average cost of a traditional MBA program ranges between $50,000 and $80,000 – with nine schools in the U.S. exceeding $200,000 for their programs.

Many major universities also offer very competitive online MBAs. In-state tuition often ranges around $15,000, while out of state tuition averages about twice that amount.

Currently, QUANTIC offers an accredited MBA program online for free. This hyper-competitive program is worth considering if you’re seeking a high-caliber education that offers flexibility and rigor. We also offer an Executive MBA for $9,600, which will prep you for pursuing an executive position.

How Long Does It Take to Get an MBA?

The duration of a program depends on several factors, especially whether you’re attending full-time or part-time. The average lengths of time for different MBAs include:

  • Full-time traditional MBAs: Two full years, or four semesters.
  • Part-time MBAs: Typically, around three years.
  • Accelerated MBAs: Between one and two years.
  • Executive MBAs: Two years.
  • Online MBAs: One year or less. (Our Free MBA takes 10 months.)

Should I Get an MBA in 2020?

If you’re interested in an MBA to further your career, you’ve got more options than ever before. The rise of affordable, online MBAs can be precisely what you need to advance your career. However, MBAs aren’t always appropriate for everyone. It might be the right choice for you if you’re:

  • Encountering more scenarios at work that require deeper business knowledge than you possess.
  • Feeling stuck and not sure how to move your career forward, or you want to change careers.
  • Aiming for an executive-level position in your career.
  • Seeking to broaden your professional opportunities with high-quality business connections.
  • Prepared to face (and feel excited by) the rigors of a program like an MBA.
  • Thinking about one day starting your own business from scratch.

If most or all of these are true, then an MBA could be right for you.

Summary: Choose the Right Degree for Your Career Growth

Pursuing an MBA is a difficult challenge, but one that pays off in the long run. Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas about whether you should get an MBA. 

As with any significant decision, knowledge is power. We’ve explored your options, the different types of MBAs now available, and why attaining one can make you such a valuable employee in the marketplace. You’re now equipped to make the right choice in the next step of your career. Go forth and prosper.

10 Tips To Make the Most of Your Virtual Meetings

This year, many of us started working remotely and are spending far more time in virtual meetings, meet-ups, happy hours, webinars, and social gatherings. Since March, the Quantic Engagement Team, responsible for planning and hosting events for students and alumni, has held over 300 virtual events, averaging around 50 per month. Suffice it to say, they know a few things about making sure a conversation runs smoothly!

To help you better command your virtual conference room, the team has compiled their top ten tips to ensure that everything from your lighting to your muting etiquette go according to plan. 

Arrive on Time

While it’s always ideal to be on time, it can be especially important in virtual meetings. The presenter may set some expectations for meeting etiquette within the first few minutes. Presenters also typically choose to save questions until a particular section or the end of the presentation. Write down your questions so that you don’t forget them.

Limit Distractions

Now that more of us are logging on from home, the amount of distractions has increased. Make sure to find a quiet place to log in to a meeting to ensure that you’re able to stay focused and limit background noise that could interrupt the call. Also, turn off notifications on your device and if you’re used to multitasking, try to resist responding to emails until after the meeting.

Choose a Neutral Background

Don’t distract your viewers with a busy background. Try finding a solid background or one without clutter. You want listeners and viewers to focus on what you’re saying, rather than the books on the shelf behind you.

Consider Your Lighting

If you’re planning to have your video turned on during a meeting, make sure that you are well-lit so that other attendees can easily see you. Find a space facing a window and make sure that the source of light is facing you, rather than coming from the side or behind you. Zoom also recently added a feature that helps you improve your lighting.

Test Your Device with the Meeting Platform

Before logging in to a meeting, make sure to take time to familiarize yourself with the features of the meeting room. Depending on the platform and device, you will want to know how to activate your microphone and video, mute yourself, and share your screen before joining the scheduled meeting. If you’re concerned about your internet connection, check out Zoom’s system requirements and consider running a test on your internet connection.

Add a Display Name

When possible, reset your display name on the account you’re using to join a video call. Otherwise, you may show up as the name of the device (e.g. Samsung 45XT3) rather than your actual name. This makes it difficult for the host or others on the call to identify you.

Use a Profile Picture

If you’re using Zoom or other video conferencing apps, it’s nice to have a profile picture in case you’re not able to share your video. This way other attendees can put a face to the name. It helps to give the meeting a little more personalization.

Mute Yourself

In a large meeting, having multiple mics turned on can sometimes be distracting. Make sure that you’re muted when you’re not speaking. This way it won’t pick up any background noise and you can unmute yourself to ask questions or present your part.

Respect Others on the Call

Reading social cues can be difficult in a virtual setting, but it’s no less important. To prevent interrupting others, keep an eye out for those who unmute their microphones. This is often a sign that they’re about to speak. If you do end up speaking over someone, that’s ok, just make sure to allow them a chance to continue.

Utilize the Chat Tool

If another person is speaking or presenting and you want to make a quick comment or share some information, it may be best to quickly post your idea in the chat box. Note that on Zoom and Google Hangouts you also have the option to send a private note to a specific participant.

During the pandemic, expanding and staying in touch with your network is still as important and essential for our work and well-being. Always remember that we have the tools to create and maintain meaningful connections. As we all become more comfortable connecting virtually, this can even be an excellent time to expand your global network from home.

Finance vs. Accounting: Key Differences to Help Choose Your Next Field With Confidence

We have addressed some of the biggest and most common concerns that many people have when trying to compare accounting and finance. From varying skill sets, different salary expectations, and more, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of both career paths. 

This is the ultimate guide to study before you make a commitment either way. You should have a thorough understanding of each career choice before you choose a path. This just could be one of the biggest decisions of your life. 

So why not let us take you through both disciplines and help you choose between them? 

Finance vs. Accounting by Definition

They may seem identical but the definitions of accounting and finance are quite different. Let’s take a look. 

Accounting: Accounting is the practice of measuring, preparing, analyzing, and interpreting financial statements. This information helps measure the performance of a business and its financial position. 

The data is also important for the payment of taxes. Accountants use balance sheets, cash flow statements, and ledgers to track daily operations. They focus mainly on the past performance of businesses and individuals. 

Specializations in accounting include:

  • Financial accounting: This is the use of balance sheets, income, and cash flow statements to provide information. This data is used by stakeholders such as investors, tax authorities, and creditors. 
  • Managerial accounting: Managerial accountants use the same information as financial accountants. Internal staff then use the information to make decisions about business operations. 
  • Cost accounting: This involves studying balance sheets and income and cash flow statements to find ways of minimizing the cost of production. 

Finance: Finance deals with investments and the management of assets. A financier will focus on decisions about working capital for businesses and individuals. 

They deal with inventory, credit levels, cash holdings, and financial strategy. Finance will usually focus on the future performance of a business or individual. 

Finance can be divided into three sub-categories:

  • Personal Finance: This includes long-term financial planning for individuals. Some of these include retirement and the purchase of financial products such as mortgages. 
  • Corporate Finance: This involves the financial activities of the running of a business. These activities can include investment strategy and budgeting. 
  • Government Finance: Public finance examines tax and government policies. The information studied will affect how resources are allocated. 

By looking at the different definitions, and a summary of the skill sets, you can see which career path best suits you. You can align your skills, financial needs, ability to travel, and career aspirations with the correct job. 

Finance vs. Accounting Salary

Salaries in both professions will depend on the experience of the individual as well as the industry for which they work. 

Entry-level accountants earn an average of $40,777 and the topmost level accountants can make up to $83,800

In New York, some accountants can earn more than $60.000. The region with the lowest accounting salary is in North Carolina with an average of $44,281

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nationwide average for an accountant’s salary is $71,550. 

The truth is – depending on the type of career you choose, these numbers can have a wide range. 

BLS states that accountants in insurance and finance firms earn the highest salary at $74,690. 

It’s important to note that auditing clerks earn the least and with negative job prospects, it’s a career that’s on the decline. 

Technological improvements have automated some of the roles, hence the decline in open opportunities. This could also affect the accounting industry to a lesser degree. 

People who have specialized in finance can earn a lot of money as they move up the ladder. 

Median Annual Salary (USD)Number of Jobs in ’18Job Outlook ’08 – ’28Employment Change ’18 – ’28
Auditing Clerks$41,2301,707,700-4%-65,800
Accountant$71,5501,424,0006%90,700
Financial Analysts$85,660329,5006%20,300
Personal Financial Advisors$87,850271,7007%19,100
Financial Managers$129,890653,60016%104,700

Similarly, there are different levels of financiers, all earning varying salaries. 

If compensation is a big factor when considering a profession, becoming a financial manager is your best option. Actuaries are some of the highest-paid financial workers, earning from $150,000-$250,000. 

The Different Finance vs. Accounting Job Roles

Accountants need to be extremely precise as they often deal with large amounts of money. Even the slightest error can result in a business or client losing money. The role requires attention to detail and a high level of organization. 

Accountants often work alone so this role is perfect for introverts who will mainly create written reports for senior management. 

Financiers on the other hand need excellent communication skills and must be able to interact extensively with senior executives. The job requires presentation and interpersonal skills as they present reports to an audience. 

This is ideal for extroverts who are confident and able to handle high-pressure situations. 

Your interests, education, and skill sets may influence how you view the different roles required by accountants and financiers. Take a look at our list of job roles below. 

Financial Officer Job Roles:

  • Analyze and interpret financial reports to advise managerial teams 
  • Raise capital through debt or equity
  • Create and put in place a corporate strategy
  • Budgeting and forecasting (monthly, quarterly, annually)
  • Handle mergers and acquisitions
  • Risk management
  • Evaluate and advise on investments 
  • Implement cost-reducing solutions

Accountant Job Roles:

  • Collect, organize, and track financial information 
  • Prepare financial reports that meet government and stakeholder requirements
  • Prepare financial reports for internal use by staff
  • Conduct audits to ensure legality and adherence to policies
  • Prepare tax returns and report income to the IRS
  • Advise clients and firms on how to minimize tax liability

Accounting vs. Finance Personality Types

Not everyone can be an accountant or a financier. There are personality traits that will make some people more apt to perform well in each career. 

We’ve taken a look at one of the most popular personality tests used by organizations across the world. It helps employers decide if a potential employee is fit for the role. This sort of personality testing can help you determine which profession you are more likely to enjoy or excel in. 

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator shows how people use their perceptions and judgment. The MBTI instrument measures preferences, not ability or character. 

Used by Fortune 500 firms the MBTI personality test is helpful before placing an individual in any specialized role. 

The personality type ISTJ (Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, Judging) is, well-suited for accounting positions. These people are systematic, analytical, and have a high work ethic. 

Known as ‘The Inspector’, they are traditionally serious and loyal. Leaning towards facts, they perform accounting jobs efficiently. Accuracy is key when they have to look through many documents and information. 

Financiers are shown to be INTP personality types. This stands for introversion, intuition, thinking, and perceiving. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the different personality traits which accountants have vs. financiers. 

Accountant:

  • Detail-oriented 
  • Risk manager 
  • Procedure-oriented 
  • Able to use rule-based thinking 
  • Accountable 
  • Accurate 

Financier:

  • Attentive to detail 
  • Can conceptualize scenarios 
  • Analytical 
  • Inquisitive 
  • Business development skills 
  • Problem-solving skills 

Before diving in, why not take the MBTI test to better understand your personality. Free versions are also available online although they are not the original test. 

You can also check at your school’s career center or your work’s HR department if they offer the test. 

The results may surprise you and they will be key in avoiding a career incompatible with your personality. It will show you your strengths and weaknesses and guide you into a job that suits you specifically. 

Financial Analyst vs. Accountant

After taking the test, you should have some direction as to which job you would like to pursue. Though similar, these two professionals perform very different jobs

Let’s take a brief look at the major differences in daily duties and work environments. 

Financial analysts have a broader job description and their roles are less fixed. They deal with the management of assets and liabilities. This enables them to make future predictions and advise management. They develop investment strategies and are in charge of how to make use of company resources. 

Some financial analysts’ duties include: 

  • Analyzing stock fluctuations. 
  • Creating simulations to forecast the outcomes of financial transactions. 
  • Reviewing spending and revenue projections. 
  • Liaising with management teams to offer advice on financial decisions. 

Accountants have a more structured role and are heavily involved in taxes. They deal with the day-to-day flow of money in and out of a business. 

Some duties performed by accountants include:

  • Organizing company accounts. 
  • Reviewing records to reduce spending and increase profits. 
  • Developing and managing working budgets. 
  • Preparing taxation procedures. 

Generally, both types of employees work 40-50 hours per week. Accountants have a busy February to April tax season where they may work up to 70 hours a week, depending on the number of clients they work with. 

The work environment also differs as financial analysts often have their own offices. Many accountants, especially at entry-level, work in cubicles, although many high-level accountants will likely have the luxury of their own office. 

Can I Combine Finance and Accounting?

The careers are somewhat related, and some employees may perform some of the same tasks. 

The topmost position of either of these professions is that of Chief Financial Officer. It is essentially a combination of finance and accounting in one position. 

With the right experience and educational background, you could have the opportunity to manage a business’s finance or accounts departments. 

CFOs are tasked with the financial planning of a business. They also need to oversee the organization’s cash flow. 

To get to this leadership position, you will need to understand both job roles. You will need to supervise employees and perform tasks required in each profession. CFOs need a combination of skills including:

  • Leadership skills 
  • Management skills 
  • Accounting skills 
  • Data skills 
  • Strategy skills 

Besides a Bachelor’s degree, to reach this management position, often you will need a Master’s Degree. An Executive MBA is a good option if you already have some work experience. 

The Difference Between Finance and Accounting Degrees

Both jobs need a basic Bachelor’s degree but further education courses differ. For financiers, it is advisable to be a member of the CFA Institute. Accountants, however, are usually required to complete a CPA certification. 

See the details below:

So which degree is best? Everything is relative and will depend on your strengths. 

Generally, accounting majors at the undergraduate level are not easy. Students say finance on the same level is much easier. 

If you are starting your undergraduate level, it may be advisable to take a joint degree. It will provide you with general knowledge of both professions and help you choose the best path. 

Accounting does not increase in difficulty at higher levels. But finance does, gradually. 

Benefits of Studying Accounting

Accountants are necessary for all businesses and the profession is currently growing. According to the BLS, accountancy is expected to grow up to 10% between 2016 – 2026. 

Having the right information can help you choose which industry you want to work in. This is a way for you to begin to define a clear career path. 

Usually, after graduation, you may start as an entry-level associate with high growth and earning potential. 

Additional certifications will help you advance your career and get a job almost anywhere in the country. 

Another option is to start your own business. If you have an entrepreneurial streak, you can become your own boss after a few years of work experience. 

If you enjoy systematically working with rules accounting is the course you should study. 

Benefits of Studying Finance

Finance offers a wider range of study options compared to accounting. You will cover a variety of specializations used in the business world. You will also be exposed to areas such as economics and banking. 

By studying finance, you will gain the necessary analytical skills to interpret data. 

The knowledge will also be useful in your personal life. You will learn how to make smart investments and handle your finances effectively. 

The career opportunities for graduates are immense and the earning potential is higher than many other careers. You will also learn how to make extra wealth and not just rely on your salary. 

The Best of Both Worlds?

Advice online seems to lean towards studying both degrees. 

Source: quora.com

So now, what is the best way to advance your career? An MBA or EMBA degree is common for both accountants and financiers. It will give you the extra edge over and above your basic degree. 

For this with some years of experience, an Executive MBA will allow mid-career professionals to work and study at the same time. 

If you do not have extensive experience, a free online MBA is your best option. By choosing students from the world’s top universities, Quantic School of Business and Technology gives you a chance to network with fellow students either face to face or online. 

What is a Chief Strategy Officer? Outlook, Education, Career Path 🚀

So, you want to become a chief strategy officer? You’ll be among an up-and-coming group of professionals representing a shift in the way corporations are thinking about business strategy. This broad, dynamic, and well-paid position will have you handling some of the highest-level tasks in the company.

As the business world gets faster and more complex thanks to technology, many CEOs don’t have time to stay on top of it all. Yet, strategy is more important than ever. As the CSO, you’ll oversee the company’s strategic initiatives. You’ll enjoy a lot power and responsibility, so we’ve created the ultimate guide on how to become a competent, qualified CSO. 

You’ll discover things like:

  • What responsibilities you can expect
  • The education and skills you’ll need
  • How the CSO differs from other C-suite roles

By the time you’re through, you’ll have a solid understanding of this unique role and will know exactly what to expect as you embark on the path to becoming one. Let’s dive in!

What is a Chief Strategy Officer (CSO)?

The CSO, or chief strategist, is the executive who oversees the development, communication of, and execution of a corporation’s strategic initiatives. In other words, you’ll work with your CEO to create an overall corporate strategy that produces long-term, sustainable success for your company. 

Corporate strategy used to be the primary responsibility of the CEO. However, most CEOs already have their hands full with being ultimately responsible for everything that happens in the business. Likewise, the business landscape has become more complex with the rise of new organizational structures, increased regulations, and rapid globalization. These have put a strain on companies’ ability to innovate and made strategy even more important. Yet, CEOs have less time to devote to it than ever before.

As a CSO, your job will be to support the CEO’s creation of an overall corporate strategy. Let’s look a little more closely at what that looks like.

What Does a Chief Strategist Do? Key Responsibilities

What does a CSO look like in action? It’s this: 

It’s Monday, and you’re sitting in a meeting with the CEO plus other executives discussing a new line of products the CEO wants to launch. Your CEO believes that this will help position the company to tap into a new market. However, as you’re reviewing the plans, you notice something: your CEO doesn’t seem to be aware of a competitor who tried this exact strategy just a few months ago. It failed miserably. You speak up and throw out a few alternative ideas for your CEO to consider.

That’s just one snapshot of what a chief strategist does, but it encompasses many of the key responsibilities of a CSO. Those include:

  • Providing insights and advice on the CEO’s strategy
  • Identifying market conditions and determining their impact on strategy
  • Overseeing the execution of any strategic plans
  • Driving decision-making that leads to sustainable growth
  • Facilitating the development of key strategic initiatives
  • Supporting inclusive planning processes and communication between teams, other executives, and stakeholders
  • Tackling various high-impact initiatives that may change the course of the company

Who Reports to a Chief Strategy Officer?

According to Deloitte, a CSO may be described as: “responsible for nothing and accountable for everything.” In other words, unlike a CFO or a CTO, you won’t necessarily have a defined domain within the organization. Rather, if an initiative surfaces that will impact the company’s position in the future, you’ll have a role in it.

That means you’ll need to get ready to form relationships with the leadership of the organization. On any given project, you may find yourself working with:

  • Your fellow executives
  • Directors and other high-level management
  • Department heads
  • Project managers

Who Does the Chief Strategy Officer Report To?

According to a 2020 survey by Deloitte, 69 percent of CSOs report directly to the CEO. However, you may report to the COO as well. That’s more likely to occur if your CEO spends a significant amount of time as the public face of the company. In that case, you’ll work with the COO to develop and execute initiatives and corporate strategy.

Chief Strategy Officer Career Outlook

Chief strategists used to be an odd role that many CEOs didn’t understand because they handled company strategy themselves. In 2020, that perception is changing. At least 50 percent of Fortune 500 companies now have a CSO heading their strategic planning.

Consider Young Sohn, the CSO of Samsung. He’s helped the electronics giant redefine what he refers to as its operating rhythms to better embrace the future of a hyper-digital world.

Deloitte’s survey notes that the CSO role has existed for less than five years in 39 percent of the organizations that responded. That just shows how many companies are embracing this role. If you’re aiming to someday become a chief strategist, now is the perfect time to start preparing to be a competent and effective strategist. As Steven Goldbach – the CSO of Deloitte – notes, you’ll one day play a role in helping a company make challenging, pragmatic strategy choices. 

Chief Strategy Officer Salary Statistics

Ready to make bank? Chief strategy officers are well paid. According to PayScale, the average salary for a CSO in 2020 was $185,539 per year. The top 10 percent of CSOs earn as much as $297,000 per year. 

Two things influence your compensation: your experience and your specific skills. Let’s look at both.

What Sort of Experience Do Most CSOs Have?

According to PayScale, most CSOs come into the role once they are “experienced” or “late” in their career. That translates to ten to 20 years of professional experience. Deloitte agrees, noting that 66 percent of CSOs have over 15 years of professional experience, while some 44 percent have been at it for over 20 years.

What sort of professional experience? Expect your competition to have plenty of demonstrated expertise in things like:

  • People and project management
  • Business administration
  • Marketing
  • Finance

You’ll need similar expertise to become a chief strategy officer. We’ll talk about that next.

What Skills Can Increase Your Salary?

CSOs with a good sense of corporate governance and leadership are in greatest demand. In 2020, PayScale noted that these skills could increase a candidate’s compensation:

Chief Strategy Officer Skills & Qualifications

As the chief strategist, you’ll be involved with many different parts of the company to ensure that initiatives stay on track. As a result, it’s more important to develop a well-rounded foundation of skills for operating at a very high level than it is to develop specific technical expertise. We recommend that you focus on:

  • Leadership skills. You’ll spend a lot of time leading project management, supervising other strategists, and working with your executive colleagues to guide the organization. Make sure you’ve got your leadership fundamentals down. 
  • Strategy. Business strategy is a sought-after skill in chief strategists. We recommend that you learn blue ocean strategy to create the best visions and guide your organization. 
  • Management. If you aren’t already adept at managing teams and people, make sure you get up to speed as quickly as possible. 
  • Data. Business intelligence is a data-driven skill, and companies want their chief strategists to be able to do it. Learn the foundations of data analysis like one-variable statistics so you can make thoughtful, informed, data-driven decisions.

What Degrees Do I Need to Be a Chief Strategy Officer?

You will need an advanced degree to secure this role. While your bachelor’s degree can range from business to law or even the liberal arts, the top executives of most large corporations have an MBA. 

If you’re still choosing your bachelor’s degree, we recommend aiming for a business degree. That will help you start developing the foundation that you need to become a chief strategy officer.

The Best MBA for a CSO 

MBAs are increasingly common among the ranks of top executives, and that includes chief strategists. An MBA will provide you with the deep business skills and abilities that you’ll need to guide an organization effectively. However, people who have their sights set on an executive role specifically may want to consider pursuing an executive MBA, or EMBA, instead.

An EMBA differs from an MBA in that the courses and electives you take are more geared toward corporate strategy and governance. You’ll still learn all the business fundamentals that you need, but you’ll also gain additional skills for the board room. 

Many EMBA programs, like the one at Quantic, also let you specialize in areas including advanced corporate strategy or data analysis. That can give you a competitive edge in a world where MBAs are becoming the norm and help tip you for the role.

Another consideration for choosing an MBA program involves whether an online or traditional MBA is right for you. Each has its advantages:

  • An online MBA lets you keep working while earning the credentials you need on a schedule that works for you.
  • A traditional MBA provides structure and focus and is still well regarded in the business world.

Either way you go, make sure your choice offers a career network to help you develop your professional connections.

The Chief Strategy Officer Resume

Ever wonder what a chief strategy officer’s resume looks like? They’re intense. Typically, they:

  • Are action-oriented. Expect to see lots of bullet points with responsibilities and accomplishments.
  • Put experience first, skills second. They’ll be able to demonstrate what they’ve done, but also talk about what else they can do.
  • Only list the most advanced degrees attained. Unless they’ve also got an MBA, you’ll typically only see the most advanced degree listed. Take note of this if you’ve got a bachelor’s degree that isn’t in the business field.
  • Only list related skills and experience. Got a lot of irrelevant stuff and odd jobs on your resume? Time to clean it up and show that you’re ready to be a CSO.

Here are two great examples of what yours might look like one day:

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MintResume

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VelvetJobs.

The CSO vs. COO

You might have noticed that the CSO sounds a little bit like the COO. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why some CEOs question the need for one in the first place. However, the two roles are different for two main reasons:

  • The CSO is consultative while the COO is executive. As a CSO, you’ll be asked for advice more frequently than the COO. In contrast, the COO will more frequently take charge of implementing and executing operations.
  • The CSO is future-oriented while the COO is present-oriented. The COO focuses on day-to-day operations, but you’ll be primarily concerned with where the company is going in the long run.

Being a Chief Strategy Officer for a Startup vs. Corporation

The chief strategist is much more common in large corporations, where the CEO may not have the time to manage the company strategy as much as they might. This position can take 10 to 15 years to attain and typically involves working your way up the ranks within the same company. (According to Harvard Business Review, 85 percent of CSOs are hired internally.)

Chief strategy officers less frequently appear in startups as the CEO typically takes on the role. However, a CSO can play a critical role in a startup if the CEO isn’t confident at taking the strategic lead. Often, you’ll see the role labeled “Chief Growth Officer (CGO)” to reflect the startup’s growth as a strategic priority. 

If you want to become a chief strategist/CGO of a startup, begin developing your career network as early as possible to make the right connections as you pursue your MBA. Look to connect with someone who’s got a vision that interests you, but who needs a strategist at their back to execute it.

Summary: Next Steps to Become a Chief Strategy Officer

The chief strategy officer is a vital but misunderstood role – we’ve hopefully cleared things up a little bit. Unlike other C-suite roles, the CSO is unique in that it doesn’t have a “domain” like finance, technology, or marketing. That can make it a difficult role to understand. The CSO is best understood as a position that supports the CEO. Simply put, if it involves the direction that the company is headed, you can count on being called for your advice. 

We’ve covered everything you need to know to prepare for such a dynamic and broad role in a corporation. From the skills you need to insights on the best MBA to pursue, you’re now equipped to strategize your next move to become a chief strategy officer. Still got questions? Leave a comment below and we’ll be happy to share some insights.

Student Spotlight: Dr. Noble Adapts to Create Solutions During the Pandemic

“I saw a patient who walked in with a little difficulty and complained of extreme fatigue. I remember speaking to him, having a normal conversation, while conducting my examination. I was shocked and horrified to see this man having a full conversation with me had a blood oxygen saturation reading of 34%. His chest x-ray was remarkable and I immediately phoned an internist for his admission to the intensive care unit. His only positive COVID-19 criterion was fatigue. He did not even complain of shortness of breath, fever, or have any of the other typical symptoms. That evening, as I did my admission follow-up calls, I was told that he had been placed on a ventilator within two hours of arriving in ICU. I had never seen such a quick deterioration. Luckily, this patient improved quite miraculously and he is one of my favorite recovery stories.” 

This type of rapid patient deterioration became a common occurrence at the beginning of the pandemic in the Johannesburg, South Africa hospitals where Executive MBA Student, Dr. Teneel Noble, works as an ER physician. “A patient would come in speaking and by the end of your hospital shift, they would be requiring some sort of ventilatory support. By the time you came in for your next shift, they had passed away. It was scary to witness,” says Noble. 

During the beginning of the pandemic, many of the hospitals had to rapidly convert their resuscitation rooms and non-emergency consultation rooms into COVID-19 red zones. This is where positive patients were cared for, as well as anyone exposed to the disease. “While hospitals, clinics and medical practices all have certain baselines and infectious control standards that need to be adhered to at all times, COVID-19 caused many complications to arise during implementation of these. This is mainly because massive infrastructure reallocation and subdivisions had to be achieved because the disease is so easily transmitted from person to person.”

Moving between the red zone and normal zone became a mission and a constant cycle of changing gowns and personal protective equipment (PPE). “Coming into the red zone requires putting on new personal protective equipment and new gowns each and every time. Coming out of the red zone requires removing all the gowns and personal protective equipment again. This cycle continues for each movement between zones. In an average shift, one could change in excess of 80 times.”

Dr. Noble in a Johannesburg Resus room, during the height of the pandemic.

Beyond facility logistics, staffing shortages, due to people contracting the disease, and lack of PPE began to become a reality. “Massive restructuring of schedules had to be undertaken to accommodate staffing of the ER. Due to the sheer amount of PPE that we were using, we needed to find a way that was cost effective and yet still efficient. I ended up having to buy a large number of refuse bags, as they were essentially what was needed. I cut out space for my hands and arms and used that. I was also able to recycle it in a sense, I would take it off, wash it in soap and water, dry it out and then dip it again in 70% alcohol.” 

Adapting to situations and finding quick solutions became a goal of Dr. Noble. Beyond working in the ER, the company she works for, MedAire, provides telemedicine for aviation and yacht medical support. Her startup, Medica Alliance International, now has an entire MDConnect wing dedicated to providing medical support for COVID-19. “My own personal practice endeavors have evolved since the start of COVID-19. What I love most about my job is the ability to make a tangible difference in the lives of others, and at the same time to learn and relearn on a daily basis. Medicine is not an exact science. It is science that draws upon the facts and also draws upon intuition when the facts do not make sense.”

Dr. Noble’s personal practice is what inspired her to pursue an MBA. Quantic’s flexible platform was the perfect fit. “After practicing clinical medicine for a few years, eventually settling in Emergency Medicine, I noticed there were many things that could change on the business side. Quantic has revolutionized how an MBA program should be run. Being in this profession, having a career with timely demands, and not being in a constant location, made it refreshing to find a program that took all of that into consideration. Quantic enables one to complete the coursework and requirements without burning out and trying to fit all spheres into a rigid schedule.”

After witnessing these pandemic hospital experiences first-hand, Dr. Noble has advice for a potential second wave. Her main takeaway is to stay vigilant and stay active. “One of the most important things to get through to the general public is that relaxation of lockdown does not mean that the pandemic is over. In fact, it means that despite greater freedoms, there should be greater awareness of preventative strategies. Mental health is also a major issue. This time may produce frustration, anger, depression, as well as anxiety. Physical exercise is very important. It will relieve stress and release those needed endorphins.”