Student Spotlight: Tracey Mullen Promoted to CEO at Abveris

It’s extremely rare for a CEO and company owner to voluntarily step down to enable someone else to lead the organization because he or she feels that person is more equipped for the role. But that’s exactly what happened in Tracey Mullen’s case at Abveris, a leader in contract research antibody discovery. She has now been promoted from Chief Operating Officer to Chief Executive Officer. 

Co-founder Garren Hilow, will now take over as the Chief Business Officer. He knew Tracey was the perfect fit for the CEO role because he wanted, “an elite scientist” to be leading his organization. 

“As we move out of our startup phase and continue to stay at the forefront of antibody discovery, we feel that it makes sense to focus on leadership with more of a scientific background–and an EMBA background provides a nice bonus,” says Mullen. 

Tracey has always had a strong passion for science and biology. She is a Chemical-Biological engineer from MIT who began her career in antibody discovery in an effort to combine all of her scientific passions into one role . “I started learning how the body fights illness and I thought it was fascinating. I decided to jump into a startup in the antibody space immediately after graduating college to learn even more, and I’ve been in antibody discovery since then.”

Abveris, a premier antibody discovery CRO, offers end-to-end mAb discovery services. The company operates in the biologic drug discovery space, specifically in antibody therapeutics for development. This includes two recent, ongoing campaigns for antibody discovery against the COVID-19 spike protein.

Tracey joined Abveris as Director of Antibody Discovery Operations in spring of 2018 after deciding to make a big career change and step away from the bench. “I ran into Garren–Abveris’ CEO at the time–just as he was looking to bring on an antibody scientist for a business role. I loved the position so much that it prompted me to jump into an MBA program.”

Quantic was Tracey’s choice because she could simultaneously pursue her career and educational goals. “I found the program to be incredibly valuable because I could stay in my field while fast-tracking my learning, as opposed to slowly learning it on my own or stepping away from industry to go back to school. The knowledge base I gained from the program helps me immensely in my new role as CEO.” 

Tracey’s goal as CEO of the company is to help build out an all-inclusive discovery platform to deliver development-ready drug candidates in industry-leading timelines. “We currently fit nicely into the hit generation space of the overall drug discovery process. Over the next year or so, as we continue to build out our platform and bring on new capabilities, we aim to expand our workflows to enable lead ID and lead optimization as well. Essentially, I want us to be able to grow into a larger space within the industry as a whole.”

Student Spotlight: A Deeper Meaning to Architectural Design

How would you define architecture? Steve Kredell, Principal Architect at McLeod Kredell Architects, has always believed that architecture is more than a simple building to shelter and protect its inhabitants. His innovative, sustainable and clean-lined designs have won countless awards. This year, he received global recognition when MKA was selected by Architectural Record as one of the top ten worldwide Design Vanguard firms.

Kredell’s passion for architecture started at a young age. His childhood walks with his father ignited his inspiration to look at the world differently. “He used to go out of his way to take me to look at what seemed to be very ordinary things,” says Kredell. “For instance, we looked at a lot of bridges when I was a kid. Through his eyes, I realized that there’s nothing “ordinary” or mundane about any human-made intervention. Those bridges weren’t just ways to get from one side to the other. They were beautiful in their own right, but, more importantly, they also enabled us to see the river, where we were going, and where we were coming from in a different way.  I believe this is what can be wonderful about buildings. They can help us see the environment and the world in a different way.” 

Photo courtesy McLeod Kredell Architects

This passion continued to grow and Kredell began collaborating with John McLeod, in the mid-90s, after meeting in graduate architecture school at Virginia Tech. The two created McLeod Kredell Architects, which is now built around the practice, teaching and community engagement of architecture. They believe, “Architecture grows out of its particular place and time–yet at its best it also transcends those limits. In the end, architecture should be inspiring–for the client, the architect, the builder, the passerby.”

This belief especially rings true now that the majority of people are spending more time at home than ever before. “We all need to ask more from our buildings – especially given the amount of time we spend indoors by ourselves now,” says Kredell. “We need to look at how buildings can be regenerative and how they can contribute to not just serving a need to house and protect us, but as part of a global environmental solution. But, we cannot lose sight of the fact that our buildings aren’t merely machines.  As our lives become dominated by screens and images, architecture has to continue to serve as a means to be connected to the natural world.” 

Connecting to the natural world has been a big initiative for MKA. The two architects bring a team of Middlebury College students to Penobscot Bay, Maine, for a weeklong design-build class each summer that results in such useful community projects like composting stations. It also has an ongoing partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Addison County and Middlebury College, where McLeod teaches, to design and build houses in the county for those in need.

“We believe that anyone and anywhere deserves design,” says Kredell. “We believe in spreading the wealth of architecture through teaching, working with private clients, partnering with communities, and building alongside students and volunteers. Good design should be for everyone. That’s a trend that I sincerely believe has to continue.” 

It was this passion for volunteering that actually led Kredell to pursue his MBA with Quantic. “My business partner and I started a non-profit program that brought community based designs to places and projects that typically wouldn’t have access to design. This opened my eyes to help me understand that we weren’t being as creative with the “design” of this new venture because we didn’t have an understanding of the nuances of a new business. I believed that Quantic’s MBA would allow me to be more creative and, really, to have a new experience and more well-rounded world view.”

As the world continues to change, so does the future and importance of architectural design. “We need to realize that architecture at its best allows us to touch the world in so many different ways. Just like those original bridges, architecture allows us to understand our world and nature in a more meaningful way. I think that’s more important than ever.” 

The Quantic community has no doubt that McLeod Kredell Architects will continue to push architectural boundaries and their designs will continue to inspire others to look at the world in a different light.

How to Become a COO 🚀 Your Path to Chief Operating Officer

So, you’ve got your eye on the Chief Operating Officer position? Way to shoot for the stars! The COO is second-in-command in most companies. It’s a unique position that’s largely considered one of the most challenging positions in the boardroom. 

We know you’ve got it in you, and we’re excited for you to take this step. To help you get there, we’ve put together this handy guide on how to become a COO. We’ll take a close look at:

  • What it’s like to be one
  • How to determine where you are in your path to becoming one
  • The skills you should cultivate now in your career 

By the time you’re finished, you’ll know exactly what you need to do next to get the second-top job in the boardroom. Let’s go!

What is a COO?

The COO is responsible for the daily business operations of a company. You can think of the role as something similar to a high-powered general manager. You’ll directly report to the CEO and play an integral role in the leadership of the organization. 

If the CEO is the visionary leader, then the COO is the one who makes things happen. The CEO strategizes and sets goals for the organization — you’ll be the one to figure out how to make those plans a reality.

For example, if a CEO wants to expand the company by offering a new set of services, it will be your job to lead the discovery team to determine what departments, acquisitions, or investments the company will need to make.

As a result, you might see the COO sometimes called the operating director, managing director, or the “executive vice president of operations.” Whatever your title, you’ll be known as the one who gets things done.

The COO Works Closely with the CEO

As a COO, you’ll forge a close relationship with your counterpart, the CEO of your company. Most companies look for a COO that meets the specific needs of the CEO. That might mean: 

  • Leadership with technical experience. A good COO complements the skills and abilities of the CEO. You’ll find this especially true in startups, where the COO often has more practical experience. Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, is one such example.
  • A successor. As second-in-command, you’ll have unique access and insights to the company. Many organizations reserve this position for successors as a result.
  • Someone to handle all internal affairs. It’s not uncommon for CEOs to prefer their COOs to handle the internal operations of a company while the CEO functions as the company’s public face. 

The Job Outlook for the CEO’s Right-Hand Person

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top executives field on a whole is growing at 6 percent per year – about the same rate as other management positions. However, it’s extremely difficult to measure the position’s growth for three main reasons:

  • It’s constantly changing. According to EY, the COO role is one of the most rapidly changing roles at the executive level. That’s why it can be difficult to pin down who and what the COO is.
  • Companies hire or promote from within. When this happens, it’s called an “MVP” COO, someone who is promoted to keep them with the company.
  • COOs are sometimes cofounders. This is especially true in the case of startups, where the COO was there from the start.

What this means for you: Be prepared to round out your education and experience as much as possible so that you can be flexible when the opportunity arises. The greater your ability to demonstrate leadership, business acumen, and industry insight, the stronger candidate you’ll become.

A Day in the Life of a COO

Officially, anything that involves the business or administrative functions of your company will fall under your responsibility. However, the COO’s role means different things to different people and organizations. Therefore, no two roles are ever quite the same. On any given day, expect to find yourself:

  • Managing people or departments. You’ll take an active role in department operations, but you’ll also manage people directly. That may mean coaching employees to help them develop professionally or strategically promoting talent to retain them.
  • Leading projects or initiatives. You’ll constantly look for ways to improve the company’s operations, making them more efficient, cost-effective, and performing better.
  • Communicating strategy and policy to employees. COOs increasingly spend a lot of time managing the company’s overall culture. You’ll create policies, incentives, and an environment that fosters the desired culture. 
  • Supporting your CEO. As the right-hand person, you may find yourself showing the ropes to a new CEO, providing insight or perspective on ideas, or even being a partner on initiatives where the CEO can’t take on everything alone.
  • Undertaking industry-specific responsibilities. If you’re in healthcare, you may find yourself responsible for identifying new ways to deliver critical services to a demographic of patients. Likewise, if you’re serving an insurance company, the CEO may tap you for advice on creating strategies that address major current events as they unfold.
  • Overseeing any business-related operations. In an interview of the COOs of Stripe, Infor, and Instagram, all three mentioned that they routinely oversee business functions as wide-ranging as marketing, advertising, and human resources, plus things like subscription revenues or services.
  • Working very long hours. Excited to check your email at 6:30 AM? That’s the reality for Vera Quinn, the COO of Cydcor. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that half of all COOs report working more than 40 hours per week — all the more reason to make sure you love what you do!

Who Does the COO Work With Each Day?

Since all internal operations will fall under your responsibility, expect to have a lot of contact with people. In a small company or a startup, you may form relationships with all employees. In a larger corporation, you may primarily work with department heads and other executives.

Salary Statistics: What You Can Expect to Earn

According to PayScale, the median salary for a COO in 2020 is $142,735. Aggregated data from Glassdoor indicates a similar average: $143,336 annually. 

Of course, all of that depends on your company size, industry, and education level. According to research by LinkedIn, companies with more than 200 employees tend to pay over $135,000 per year. Likewise, the Energy and Finance sectors yield the highest compensation, averaging at $190,000 and $175,000 respectively.

If you’re not in one of those two industries, however, fear not. LinkedIn notes that COOs with MBAs make on average $185,000 annually in 2020.

The Winding Career Path to Become a COO

If you spend any time reading the thoughtful responses on Quora, you’ll quickly discover that there’s no one path to becoming a COO. Some people start at the bottom of the corporate ladder and work their way up, while others walk into the position after decades of experience in an industry. Here’s our best insight:

It Takes About 10 to 15 Years to Become a COO

Interviews around the web with current and former COOs indicate that it takes around 10 to 15 years of experience in a specific industry (but not always at the same job). 

COOs appear to share a passion for their industry. That’s crucial because you’ll need to have very deep knowledge of your industry to adequately guide a company. Consider Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook who knew from the start she wanted to get involved in a tech company.

So, if you’re planning out your path to the COO role, pay special attention to what industries you’re interested in and go from there.

The Path from Project Manager to COO

If you’re a project manager, you’re in a great position to step into a COO role down the line. You’ll already have many of the skills that you’ll use every day as a COO. If this is you, you’ll want to round out your skills with some solid business admin skills. A free, online MBA can give you exactly what you need to fill this knowledge gab.

You’ll Need a Bachelor’s Degree

Speaking of courses, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a four-year degree is essential to any top-level executive. The COO is about as close to the top as you can get! Since you’ll be overseeing business operations, we strongly recommend you consider a bachelor’s degree in business. 

If you’ve already got a degree and it’s not in business, you’re certainly not out of luck. Some COOs do have degrees that have nothing to do with business, such as technical degrees. However, if this is your case, you’ll want to look into developing your business knowledge as you prepare. Consider supplementing your next steps in education with free courses in strategy or leadership.

What Can Further Education Do for You?

Advanced degrees are common in the board room, especially MBAs. As a COO, the position of CEO will lie within reach – and some 40 percent of the top CEOs have MBAs. 

Having an MBA not only improves your chances of commanding a higher salary, but it also puts into your hands the skills you need to competently lead the operations of a company. We very strongly recommend that you consider one, especially if your bachelor’s degree isn’t already in business. 

However, there are two specific reasons why an MBA is particularly necessary for a future COO: 

1. Your Professional Connections Matter

Your ability to rise to the C-level broadly hinges on who you know. That’s especially true with positions like the COO, where you’ll be chosen based on how well your personality and specific skills complement the CEO’s. 

If you’re looking into upgrading your business skills (such as getting an MBA), pay attention to what sort of networking opportunities exist alongside your education. A developed career network will prove tremendously valuable. 

2. It Can Set You Apart from the Competition

An executive MBA can also set you apart from the competition. It still gives you the business knowledge you’ll need for the role, but it focuses more on the leadership skills that you’ll also need. That’s a smart move if you’re specifically pursuing the role of COO, which is a very leadership-oriented position. 

(Here’s more about the MBA versus the EMBA).

The Other Skills & Qualifications You’ll Need

Of course, an MBA does more than just give you the professional connections and business skills you’ll need. It’ll also help you develop an array of hard and soft skills that will amplify your effectiveness in the role. You’ll need:

  • Leadership skills. From leading cross-department teams to working on small, special initiatives, you’ll be a leader at all times. Make sure you develop the fundamentals of leadership so you’re ready.
  • People management skills. Understanding the ins and outs of organizational behavior will help you manage people, encouraging them to become their best.
  • Project management skills. You’ll have projects, and lots of them. Make sure you’re ready to manage all of it with your stellar project management abilities.
  • Strategy skills. You’ll need to understand the components of business strategy to execute those created by the board or the CEO. Learning Blue Ocean Strategy is a fantastic way to cultivate that understanding.

What Makes a Great Chief Operating Officer?

There are plenty of ways to become a COO. This challenging, high-powered position requires a combination of business acumen, leadership skills, and dedication to your industry. It’s a tough road, but no matter where you are in your career, you can take steps toward the boardroom today.

We’ve laid out the degrees, business expertise, and soft skills that you’ll need to develop. In many cases, earning an online MBA can accelerate your trajectory without disrupting your current career. A competitive, rigorous program with a robust career network can help you put the top jobs of the business world within reach.

Student Spotlight: Chief Scientist Helps Broaden Biotechnology Field

Bit Bio, the U.K.-based startup, only needed three weeks to raise $41.5 million in a Series A funding round that will be used to support the company’s goal to transition biology into engineering. 

This synthetic biology team was founded by stem cell biologist and neurosurgeon, Mark Kotter, in 2016 to commercialize biotechnology that can reduce the cost and increase the production capacity for differentiated human cells. These cells can be used in targeted therapies and as a method to accelerate pharmaceutical drug discovery. Bit Bio’s goal is to be able to reproduce every human cell type, boosting basic research and enabling a new generation of cell therapies.

How can this type of cell therapy specifically help? By generating every cell type in the human body, this biotechnology will help unlock solutions for tackling cancer, autoimmune diseases and neurodegenerative disorders. Bit Bio’s approach will also help reduce expenses, aid drug discovery, and decrease the reliance on animal studies. 

Quantic alum, Grant Belgard, is the Head of Bioinformatics at Bit Bio. The company’s website explains the centrality of computation: “Bit Bio represents the two fields: coding and biology that determine the identity of every human cell. Ultimately, bits are the building blocks of code, just as cells are the building blocks of life. This is reflective of what Bit Bio does: precise reprogramming of human stem cells.” 

Belgard is also the Chief Scientist and CEO of The Bioinformatics CRO. The company was developed as the subject of his Capstone project in Quantic’s Executive MBA program. The flexibility of the curriculum enabled Belgard to learn, while simultaneously building his new company and pursuing his professional goals.

Now, Belgard’s goal for The Bioinformatics CRO is to streamline biomedical research worldwide. This represents a new breed of contract research organization that offers quality customized bioinformatics services to global biotechnology companies.

Biotechnology companies, like Bit Bio and The Bioinformatics CRO, will help merge biology and engineering and can help bring about long-awaited precision for stem cell research and help improve the lives of millions.

The Quantic community is thrilled for Grant and his colleagues. We can’t wait to see what he does next and how this combination of data science and biology will help code cells for the well-being of humanity.

How to Become a CTO: Responsibilities, Qualifications, and Career Tips

Ready to become a CTO? In most cases, that’s the pinnacle of a tech professional’s career and there are a lot of challenges to get there. From identifying what degrees or certifications you need to figuring out what position you should hold next, you’re going to overcome a lot as you aspire to that executive status.

You can do it. We believe in you. We even put together this guide with the answers to every question you might have.

We’re going to break down the steps of how to become a CTO, take a look at the skills you must possess, and show you how choosing certain education paths over others will deliver the biggest advantages in your career. 

Read on to indulge that inner strategist and get planning the next big step in your career. 

What is a CTO?

A chief technology officer (CTO) is an executive-level position that oversees all of the technology that an organization uses. His or her primary responsibility is to make sure that the hardware and software an organization uses are secure, helpful, and supports business effectively. 

Sometimes known as a Chief Technical Officer, or Chief Technologist, it’s among the highest-ranking IT positions in business. A CTO keeps pace with technological advances, then uses their executive powers to make decisions and investments that further the objectives of the company to stay competitive in the 21st century. 

For example, organizations bring a CTO on board during or immediately following digital transformation. This process sees the wholesale digitization or update of business processes and may change the way a company is organized. It requires the oversight of a professional who can plan and execute such a process, in addition to identifying whether a technological solution is appropriate, cost-effective, and helps the organization meet its goals in the long run.

The CTO vs. the CIO

CTOs typically work with CIOs (Chief Information Officer), but the roles aren’t the same. A CIO typically has a much more hands-on role in the IT department. For example, they may work directly with IT staff to innovate and develop solutions that keep things running on a daily basis. 

In contrast, the CTO is much more business minded. They will make decisions regarding the overarching technological infrastructure. (The CTO is considered one of the three heads of engineering leadership in a corporation.)

In the example of digital transformation, a CTO may develop the overall plan for upgrading a company’s technology in a way that will help the company adapt to the future. A CIO may handle the details on the ground-level, overseeing the implementation of specific technology. 

The Career Outlook for CTOs: Necessary and In-Demand

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information system management occupations are growing by about 12 percent annually (that’s twice the average growth rate for all occupations). This category includes CTOs, who are becoming increasingly desirable in corporate leadership. 

Technology is increasingly taking a front and center role in business, making technological disruption both a threat and opportunity for any organization – and they’re taking note. According to The 2020 State of IT report by Spiceworks, 44 percent of companies have increased their budget for technology in 2020, compared to just 38 percent in 2019. That trajectory is expected to continue through 2025. 

Despite this, most companies do not consider themselves prepared for the major technological shifts already occurring in the world. A survey by McKinsey found that as much as 79 percent of North American companies consider themselves “not ahead of the curve” when it comes to such shifts. 

All of that puts CTOs in demand – big time. According to McKinsey, every company needs one if it wants to adapt, innovate, and thrive.

What Does It Earn? CTO Salary Statistics

CTOs are valued in their company, and it shows. 

According to PayScale, the average salary for a CTO in 2020 was $159,419. Salaries compiled by Glassdoor generally concur but note that some executives earn as much as $240,000 per year. 

CTO Responsibilities & Roles

According to Gartner, four different “types” of CTOs exist. They are:

  • The Digital Business Leader: The person who emphasizes digital business strategies over manual ones.
  • The Business Enabler: The person who ensures the technology operates as intended.
  • The IT Innovator: The forward-looking person who leads the company in staying competitive by using technology. 
  • The Chief Operating Officer of IT: The person who helps keep it all running (often working with a CIO). 

Those “types” overlap with each other and even with the role of the CIO. That often leads to job descriptions full of vague descriptions of key duties – it’s not uncommon to see the CTO role tasked with responsibilities such as “driving innovation” or “identifying disruptive technologies.” 

Those descriptions aren’t super helpful for those of us unraveling how to become a CTO. However, understanding what these job descriptions hint at can help us build a plan of action to eventually land the position.

Ultimately, it’s the CTO’s duty to align technology with organizational goals. A solid executive bridges the business and technology worlds to help a company move forward. Depending on the company, a CTO may find themselves accomplishing that by: 

  • Leading technology teams for a variety of goals.
  • Managing technological research and development.
  • Planning and implementing infrastructure.
  • Working with the CIO to enact a digital transformation.
  • Allocating resources and overseeing funding for technology investments.
  • Guiding strategic business decisions from a technological standpoint.
  • Monitoring technology management and conducting reviews or audits.
  • Overseeing technology compliance requirements.
  • Engaging in thought leadership. 
  • Brainstorming customer-focused technology solutions. 

The Most Critical Skills for a CTO

The range of responsibilities and roles a CTO may fulfill demands an array of hard and soft skills. You’ll need to demonstrate technical expertise while proving you are versed in business skills and leadership. Here’s a closer look at each.

Technical Skills for a CTO

A CTO needs a strong grasp of a range of technologies. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that most CTOs possess around 15 years of experience in the IT field before even being considered for the job. Likewise, many CTOs start out as engineers in their chosen field, working their way up the ranks. 

Either way, expect to require competencies in topics that may include:

  • Cybersecurity and information security management
  • Network architecture
  • Big data engineering and architecture
  • The Internet of Things
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • Industry-specific disruptive technologies

CTO Business & Management Skills

On the day-to-day scale, a CTO may find themselves engrossed with activities related to business management. That’s because they’re tasked with making decisions that will fundamentally impact the company’s future. To ensure those decisions are sound, CTOs need a firm foundation in the following: 

  • Finance, statistics, and marketing. Like all executive-level professionals, a CTO will read reports and business documents, make financial decisions regarding resource allocation, and use metrics to track the success of an initiative. These are core business skills that directly affect the success of a company.
  • Strategic and visionary thinking. CTOs are concerned with top-level business strategy. They help drive the company into uncontested market spaces where they possess the greatest advantage.
  • Data-driven decision-making. A CTO should know how to apply insights from data and statistics to plan and execute decisions. 
  • Team management and leadership. Working with teams represents a core responsibility for any CTO. A solid grasp on organizational behavior and team management facilitates success.
  • Communication and diplomacy. While much of the CTO’s duties will focus on customer-centric technology initiatives, skills such as negotiation are also critical.  A CTO can expect to manage vendors, meet the needs of external key stakeholders, and occasionally work with clients or customers directly.

Who Will the CTO Manage? Positions Under Their Supervision

Although the CTO executes plans and initiatives at a top-level, they’re also sometimes the head of a department or active participants on task forces. Expect to manage:

  • Software architects
  • Senior developers
  • DevOps engineers
  • System administrators
  • Security specialists

Talent management is often one of the biggest challenges for CTOs. For example, the connection between a CTO and software development might not always be obvious. Unless the CTO demonstrates strong technical leadership, engineers or developers may create challenges during project management, especially if they’re accustomed to operating a certain way. 

The Steps to Become a CTO: An Executive Career Path

Becoming a CTO is no small feat, but with the right education and experience, it’s attainable. Generally, anyone who wishes to become a CTO will need to: 

1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

A four-year degree in a computer science-related field will lay the technical foundation for becoming a CTO and give you that critical entry into a preferred industry or field. 

2. Gain Relevant Work and Industry Experience

All CTOs boast strong technical skills as well as deep industry insight. For most, that develops over a decade or longer – very often at the same company or within the same industry. For those just starting out:

  • Take on projects at your job that allow you to expand your skills and leave you with demonstrated expertise on your resume.
  • Consider leadership opportunities on special teams and projects as they arise.
  • Embrace continued education through certifications, regular training, and courses applicable to not only your technical specialty, but also business.

(Also consider joining a career network to start developing the connections you’ll need.)

3. Pursue a Master’s Education

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, C-level executives increasingly have master’s degrees. A 2019 study from MIT found that over 50 percent of respondents had a master’s degree or higher. Business-related degrees are among the most popular, followed by public administration, law degrees, and occasionally, liberal arts.

4. Take Steps to Prepare for an Executive Position

Consider things like social media presence, civic involvement, digital brand, and other features that can reflect well or poorly.

Education Requirements for a CTO

Quantic CTO, Ori Ratner received a timely heads-up about a business education for technical specialists: “Early on, one of my mentors suggested that developing a sense of ‘business acumen’ would be just as important as growing my technical skillset.”

Imagine being a software engineer for a startup, and you walk into a meeting with an angel investor to give a presentation on an app your team is developing. When the conversation turns towards financials and business growth, you’re lost. What happens if there are follow-up questions within this new context? 

The higher you move up the ranks of a company, the more likely you’ll face situations that require skills and knowledge outside of your technical expertise. From managing horizontal teams to deciphering marketing lingo, get ready to evolve your skillset if you intend to take it to the next level. 

Here’s a closer look at what education a professional requires to be considered for the CTO role.

What Degrees and Certifications Do CTOs Have?

According to Indeed, CTOs typically hold numerous degrees and certifications. These include:

  • A bachelor’s degree in a technology field. 
  • Industry-specific software certifications such as Certified ScrumMaster or Google Developers Certification.
  • Project management certifications such as CompTIA Project+ or PMI Agile.
  • An advanced degree.

When the position of CTO gained prominence in the early 2000s, it was estimated by InfoWorld Magazine that around 12 percent of them held advanced degrees. By 2019, research from MIT suggested this trend has reversed, with most CTOs holding master’s degrees or higher. Among the most common master’s degrees for CTOs, however, include:

  • Computer Science
  • Information Technology
  • Information Technology Management

Shane Emmons | CTO @ TeamSnap

Why an MBA is a Smart Move for the Future CTO

Like our CTO said, developing business acumen sooner rather than later can give you a major leg up in your career.

An advanced degree in business can provide a competitive edge when pursuing the CTO position. Besides strong technical skills and deep industry knowledge, a CTO must demonstrate the ability to bridge the technical and business worlds. An MBA does exactly that.

We’ve also found that many professionals initially overlook the value of an MBA. Many potential CTOs start with a technical background with the intent of becoming an engineer or other specialist. It may not have occurred to them to seek out business, finance, or marketing education. However, without these holistic business credentials, it can be difficult – if not impossible – to move into the upper echelons of a company’s management. Notable CTOs with an MBA

What to Consider when Choosing an MBA Program

There’s a lot to weigh when making the decision to return to school. While pursuing an MBA is certainly a commitment, doing it without quitting work is paramount for any professional in a technology field. Some questions individuals might consider include:

  • Is the program flexible enough to continue working full time? Unlike other fields, STEM professionals don’t have the luxury of putting a career on hold to pursue an MBA.
  • Is the program broad enough to cover several skills? Many technology specialists return to school because they’re lacking the business skills they need to advance professionally.
  • Are online options available? Online courses can eliminate burdens on a schedule and improve access to education.
  • Is an executive MBA appropriate? An EMBA lets professionals develop their leadership skills beyond what an MBA will offer.
  • Is the program in touch with current technology? Programs that reflect a technology-driven future will best prepare their participants.

How to Become a CTO with an Online MBA

Finding the time to get the knowledge and credentials to move forward can be tricky, but that’s where an online MBA shines. An online MBA can:

  • Deliver the information in a way that works for you. Whether business administration from a technical background without the vocabulary or tackling your greatest achievement, a good program will meet you where you are. 
  • Promote holistic business and leadership skills. Enjoy a well-rounded education that promotes long-term professional growth by exposing you to topics you might not have considered. 
  • Inspire networks and connections. Take advantage of the digital space to create a network to draw upon and connect with other professionals. 

Summary: Which Degree is Best for Your Career Growth?

As more and more companies embrace sophisticated technology, the position of CTO is growing in prominence. We’ve taken a closer look at what it takes to become one, and what sort of education potential executives can expect to pursue.  

The long road to becoming a CTO requires planning – it doesn’t happen overnight. However, with the right combination of skills and credentials, it lies within your reach.

How to Become a CFO: Responsibilities, Qualifications, and Career Tips

Ready to take that leap into one of the hottest roles in the boardroom? No matter your industry, opportunities abound for aspiring chief financial officers. This fast-paced, forward-thinking, and well-paid position will challenge and thrill you every single day.

We’ve got the ultimate guide on how to become a CFO right here.

Like all executive positions, becoming a CFO requires a commitment to the long-haul and careful planning along the way. We’ll help you figure out where you stand and what you need to do to accelerate your path forward while avoiding common pitfalls by making smart choices about your education and career experience. 

By the time you’re through, you’ll have the foundations for your strategy to secure that coveted executive position. Let’s get started!

CFOs Are in Demand: A Sunny, Competitive Career

If you’re envisioning your future as a CFO, make it a bright one.  

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, financial managers at every level have experienced a 16 percent growth rate in their job outlook since 2018, with that rate projected to stay steady through 2028. That’s four times the national average of similar careers, such as sales managers (5 percent) or even other executive roles (6 percent).

What does a highly skilled executive like the CFO earn? According to Indeed, the average salary is $138,374 per year (plus benefits). However, it’s possible to earn closer to $200,000 per year if you’re located in an area like New York City, where demand for CFOs is particularly high.

What Is a CFO? Responsibilities and Role

A CFO is the senior financial manager responsible for overseeing and managing the financial actions of a company. Like a treasurer or financial controller, CFOs often manage an organization’s finance or accounting departments.

However, unlike a controller, the CFO makes decisions that have an impact on the overall direction of the company. For example, a controller may review financial statements to audit them for accuracy and adherence to regulatory compliance. In contrast, the CFO reviews those same financial statements to analyze them before making recommendations to improve the company’s financial performance.

Nonetheless, you’ll sometimes see a CFO referred to as a top-level financial controller, where their primary responsibility lies in overseeing all cash flow and financial planning in an organization. 

The Duties of a CFO

As a CFO, you’ll wear many different hats throughout the day. Expect to:

  • Lead, direct, and manage the organization’s finance or accounting teams.
  • Advise the CEO or other executive members on the financial implications of business plans or current events.
  • Review formal finance, H.R., or IT-related financial procedures to enforce policies or internal controls.
  • Manage or oversee independent auditors.
  • Plan, execute and oversee upgrades to financial systems, processes, or technologies.
  • Relate with investors or shareholders to gain a deeper understanding of their needs and expectations.
  • Provide data-driven analyses and recommendations related to the financial goals of a company.

Who Does a CFO Manage?

Traditionally, the CFO heads the finance or accounting department. Here, you may manage a range of professionals, including:

  • Accountants
  • Controllers
  • Tax professionals
  • Analysts
  • Human resources
  • Investor relations specialists

However, any financial hierarchy within a company will fall under your leadership. In general, if any planning or analysis requires the input of an expert on the financial impacts, you can expect to be tapped for your advice.

The Skills & Qualifications of a CFO

Get ready to showcase your flexibility, adaptability, and willingness to be proactive in supporting sustainable growth. The CFO is one of the fastest evolving positions at the executive level thanks to rapidly advancing technology and shifting expectations about the way we do business.

But technology isn’t the only arena in which you’ll need to demonstrate competence. You’ll need a range of hard and soft skills to navigate your position effectively. You can break those skills down into four distinct categories:

1. Leadership and management skills. Almost everything you do as a CFO involves some form of leadership. Whether it’s managing a team to implement new financial infrastructure or getting other executives on board with a plan, understanding leadership fundamentals is crucial to success. 

2. Accounting skills. CFOs are expected to demonstrate technical expertise in accounting and financial topics. Additionally, you’ll need to have a solid grasp on abstract subjects that have concrete impacts in the business world, such as the time value of money.

3. Data skills. According to Deloitte, businesses increasingly expect CFOs to handle business and financial analytics, using it to make highly data-driven decisions. At least 18 percent of CEOs who responded to their survey believed those responsibilities belonged solely to CFOs.

4. Strategy skills. The CFO is responsible for laying the financial foundation to help a company reach its goals. Expect others to turn to you when it comes time to find that uncontested market space that makes competitive and financial sense. 

Deloitte identifies four key skill sets that CFOs must possess. They are:

  • Steward: Protects vital assets, closes the books correctly, ensures compliance.
  • Operator: Emphasizes efficiency and effectiveness in the organization’s finances. 
  • Strategist: Develops long-term plans to improve the company’s financial performance.
  • Catalyst: Drives business improvement initiatives to keep the company competitive.]

The Most Common Degrees for CFOs

You’ll need a bachelor’s degree to become a CFO. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the most common are finance, public accounting, economics, public administration, and business administration.

A master’s degree – usually in one of those same fields – also comes highly preferred due to the level of management you’ll demonstrate every day. Common master’s degrees include:

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Science in Accounting
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Accounting for Financial Analysts
  • Master of Accounting for Financial Managers

Getting an MBA Is a Very Smart Move

Strongly consider getting an MBA along the way. According to Russell Reynolds Associates, 62 percent of all CFOs hold advanced degrees, with the vast majority opting for an MBA. (Plus, executives possessing one can expect a pay bump by as much as 16 percent, according to research by Wayne State University in Detroit.)

However, an MBA is valuable because it increases the breadth of your business knowledge. Imagine trying to understand why a product is underperforming but having no grasp on whether it’s the product itself or the result of a failed marketing campaign.

Or, imagine leading a company restructuring to reduce overhead and improve cost-effectiveness, but proposing a recommendation that inadvertently cuts the company’s most valuable talent.

Both scenarios could break the company and end your career super-fast.

As a financial executive, your decisions and recommendations directly impact the course and wellbeing of the company. An MBA will help you expand your perspective to contextualize your decisions within the organization better.

Today, many different types of MBAs exist. Traditional MBAs can provide more hands-on guidance, while an online MBA is great for self-motivated people who want to work while they go to school. We’ve covered the advantages of each to help you determine which path is right for you. 

Here’s a list of just a few of the elite-level CFOs who have earned an MBA:

Consider an EMBA

MBAs are expected in the boardroom now. So, taking your education a step further can set you apart. An Executive MBA (EMBA) is specifically designed for mid-career professionals and entrepreneurs who want to keep working full-time while developing more advanced skills.

An EMBA curriculum is slightly different from a traditional MBA in that it emphasizes leadership and strategy skills in the context of a corporation. At the same time, you’ll still learn everything that you would in an MBA curriculum; an EMBA is explicitly geared towards professionals seeking an executive position. 

Do You Need to Become a CPA?

Technically no, but many CFOs started out as CPAs. The position requires a solid understanding of accounting, so it will give you an advantage. However, according to organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry, the percentage of CFOs who are also CPAs has fallen over the past decade. In 2014, some 46 percent of CFOs were certified public accountants. In 2019, that number had dropped to 36 percent.

A CFA Can Become a CFO

A chartered financial analyst shares some of the technical expertise of a CPA, but a CPA typically has a much stronger grasp on accounting, taxes, audits, and other skills a CFO needs. That said, if you’re a CFA, you’ll stand the best chance at becoming a CFO by pairing your current degrees and certifications with an MBA. To take this route, look for an MBA program with a strong emphasis on accounting fundamentals to gain the technical skills you’ll need.

The CFO Career Path

If serving as a CFO is on your professional bucket list, be prepared for the long-haul. According to one interview with a CFO, potential prospects typically have around 10 years of related background and experience before seeking the position. If you’re laying out your career planning early in your professional development, you can take steps to accelerate your trajectory – such as picking out a business school with a proven track record in helping students achieve their career goals faster.

How to Become a CFO

Attaining the top position in the financial role takes careful preparation. Whether you’re just starting or are looking to advance your career, here are a few tips to help you out.

1. Choose Your Degrees Wisely

You’ll need a bachelor’s degree. Most likely, you’ll also need an advanced degree to carry you forward. Pay special attention to degrees and programs that give you a solid grasp in accounting plus other financial skills. 

Your competition probably has an MBA, but remember that not all MBAs are created equal. Check out the differences between an online MBA and an advanced EMBA right here. 

2. Gain Broad Financial Experience

Actively choose jobs that broaden your financial experience. In addition to accounting, consider positions that demonstrate budgeting, analysis, risk management, investing, and more. The more well-rounded you are, the stronger candidate you become.

You can do this in a variety of jobs, or you can work your way through one company. If the former, it’s wise to stay in the same industry to deepen that experience as well. Many people also pursue a CPA license for this purpose.

3. Take on Roles that Expand Your Skillset

You’ll need to know more than just finances. Look for opportunities to widen your customer service experience, business and operational expertise, technological literacy, and leadership skills.

4. Join a career network.

Career networks can put you in touch with the right people when you’re ready to become a CFO. Join one sooner than later to begin forming connections. Consider the presence of network opportunities when you pursue your MBA or advanced degree. Some programs have career networks which you can leverage while you study.

5. Pursue Board-Readiness Training

Done everything above? Think about sharpening yourself with a board-readiness program. Deloitte recommends that professionals seeking an executive position attend board-specific training to develop a deeper understanding of what’s expected of you in the C-suite.

Summary: How to Become a Great CFO

The Chief Financial Officer is a staple in the board room, playing a vital role in keeping the company compliant and profitable. Yet, the route to achieving that coveted role can seem confusing, leading many people to feel as though it remains just out of reach. 

With the right preparation and strategy, you can absolutely become a CFO. We’ve outlined what it takes to become one, the skills you will need, and provided some pointers in the steps you can take right now no matter where you are in your career. 

Happy advancing!

becoming a CFO. Read the case study now

Miya Miya: Helping #ChangeTheCourse for Future Leaders

We are constantly amazed by the innovative spirit of our Quantic students and alumni who are pioneering solutions for today’s complex challenges. It’s this same spirit that drives us to push the boundaries of online education — to make it higher quality, more accessible, and more effective. You may be familiar with how we’ve innovated in graduate school education with Quantic, but did you know that Pedago (the company behind Quantic) is launching another school? We are thrilled to announce that we will soon be launching Miya Miya, a platform enabling mobile education to #ChangeTheCourse for young students in need.

Miya Miya is a free, online, mobile-first school empowering disadvantaged Jordanian youth and Syrian refugees to obtain a high school STEM education and skills that are vital to their future career prospects.

This program aims to supplement classroom teaching for children and young adults who have been unable to access a traditional education due to hardship beyond their control. Like Quantic’s platform, the app-based curriculum uses active learning, in which students are prompted every eight seconds to engage. Because it is mobile-first, students can learn wherever and whenever they’re able to. 

The concept of Miya Miya was conceived as a digital curriculum delivery solution that caters to refugee children and youth, but will eventually be made available to all learners with content that is adapted to the national curriculum of host countries.

The program will run for a period of three years, and is in line with the Jordanian Government’s priority to tackle the low passing rate of ‘Tawjihi,’ the General Secondary Education Certificate Examination. According to a UNHCR report, only around 20% of secondary-school-aged Syrian children are enrolled in formal education, while the rest mostly work to support their families. Not attending secondary education prevents students from passing the final exam and receiving the necessary school certification to gain access to the job market, or study further. 

“We are delighted to collaborate with Dubai Cares, Questscope and the Queen Rania Foundation to make our breakthrough technology available to Jordan’s most vulnerable students” said Tom Adams, Pedago and Quantic Co-Founder and CEO. “Miya Miya is designed to be the premier solution for delivering Tawjihi-based instruction, and it works on smartphones.”

While Miya Miya will initially launch in Jordan, Pedago’s mission is to bring this affordable, accessible, and impactful education to all children around the globe. Through this school and other programs, we hope to continue to #ChangeTheCourse of traditional learning and help tomorrow’s leaders achieve their educational and career goals. 

COVID-19 Response: No Disruption to Classes, Increased Scholarships

With every day bringing news of how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting global health, the economy, travel, and work, an MBA or Executive MBA program shouldn’t cause additional stress. At Quantic, we are fortunate in that our programs and required peer collaborations are entirely online, and our staff is well accustomed to working remotely. As such, our programs will continue without interruption.

We have, however, instituted changes to ensure the safety of our community and to be there to support our students and applicants, as well as the broader global community, in whatever way we can.

  • Increased scholarships for Executive MBA
    • As many have been affected financially by the pandemic, we will be increasing both the number of scholarships we award, as well as the amount. We offer both need-based and merit-based scholarships for our Executive MBA. As always, our MBA is completely free to those who are admitted. For additional financial support, please inquire about employer-backed tuition reimbursement here
  • Free open courses: We offer several free open courses available to the public. Courses include Business Foundations, as well as a handful of other MBA-level courses like Blue Ocean Strategy. Just sign up and visit your Dashboard to start learning right away. 
  • Extensions or Deferrals: If you are admitted to one of our programs but need an extension or deferral to another cohort due to circumstances related to COVID-19, just let us know and we’ll do everything we can to accommodate.
  • Events: Until further notice, we have canceled in-person meet-ups and events/conferences. Instead, we’ll host online events to enrich the curriculum and bring students from all cohorts together. 
  • Registrar: If admitted, we request official transcripts from your previous schools. But due to school closures and restricted movement, it may not be possible to obtain transcripts at this time. If this is the case, we will work with you to make alternate arrangements. 

For the past seven years, Quantic has been a pioneer of online, mobile-first graduate education, enabling students to learn wherever they are and according to their own schedule. While this is a scary time, we remain optimistic. As many of us in the education sector adapt and shift into roles that solve the challenges we’re all facing, we will continue to leverage our resources and platforms to help our fellow learners. 

Be well, stay healthy, and never stop learning. 

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Quantic’s Online MBA Program

Let’s face it, earning an MBA can be a big ask. Sure, it can help advance your career and provide the leadership skills and professional network you need to get to the top of your field, but traditional MBA programs often require a two-year hiatus from your job and can include a $200k price tag. This is a tall order for many working professionals in the United States who are already suffocating under the weight of student debt. 

The financial aid debt clock shows a nationwide deficit of almost $1.7 trillion, and we are beginning to hear dire stories about the impacts of student debt on family formation, small business creation, home purchases, and retirement. And in Europe, markets across the EU have been clamoring for MBA grads since 2010 when education requirements were standardized in the Bologna Process. Embarking upon a two-years master’s degree program after earning a bachelor’s has become the “standard across the continent.”

The bottom line: More and more employers want you to earn a master’s degree, but doing so could have a sizable impact on your earnings, livelihood, and even your future family. 

This is where Quantic School of Business and Technology comes in.

Quantic’s online MBA program was developed by leading academic and business minds and designed to accommodate working professionals. It is a fully online program so yes, it is flexible and convenient. But that is not what makes it unique. Check out the 10 things you didn’t know about Quantic’s programs. 

Quantic’s Technological Advantage

1. Executive leaders were key players at Rosetta Stone

Quantic School of Business and Technology brings together the collective knowledge and experience of Rosetta Stone’s former CEO (Tom Adams) and executive leadership team, including Co-founders, Alexie Harper (Chief Academic Officer) and Ori Ratner (CTO), as well as VP of Admissions, Matt Schenck. If you have ever used Rosetta Stone, you know its interactive language-learning technology set the bar for usability and knowledge retention back in the early 2000s.  

What this means for students: Quantic’s leadership pedigree is unmatched in the educational tech space. It is an organization that understands wholeheartedly the tools that best allow students to learn, retain, and master educational material.

2. Active learning increases engagement and retention

Quantic has built a more efficient and engaging online teaching model. The company has witnessed the shortcomings of MOOC programs and the inefficacy of “video professor” lectures that so many traditional universities have used to increase their online presence.

In a recent independent study, Quantic learners outperformed their counterparts from Harvard, Duke, and Wharton in standardized tests covering accounting and finance. A second study comparing Quantic learners to those enrolled in popular MOOCs, Khan Academy and edX, reported Quantic students scoring significantly higher on statistics testing while spending 67 percent less time on the platform. 

How are these results possible? Quantic designed its MBA programs around “active learning,” an approach that requires active participation (vs. passive) of the student, prompting them to engage with content every 8 seconds. Students are given immediate feedback based on their performance and the material is built on previously learned subject matter.

Active learning isn’t a new concept, in fact, it was pioneered by Maria Montessori in early childhood education, Maximillian Berlitz in immersion language learning, and Shinichi Suzuki in music study. Its benefits and efficacy have been exhaustively studied and are proven to be more effective than passive, lecture-based learning alone.

What this means for students: Quantic’s MBA program was created using pioneering learning methods and designed to keep students more engaged, learn subject matter faster, and retain material more efficiently. 

3. Mobile-first means access to cutting-edge material

Quantic School of Business and Technology conceived and built its MBA and Executive MBA programs as mobile-first options from the outset to provide students with a better learning experience that was conducive to their busy schedules. Of course, it is convenient to be able to take classes via your mobile devices, but the mobile-first approach also provides an academic advantage.

Quantic’s agile platform allows for rapid development of new, cutting-edge courses in innovative fields, while traditional MBA programs typically develop curriculum in emerging fields at a slower pace due to bureaucratic and logistical hurdles. This sluggishness to adapt is why some have argued that traditional schools are teaching skills more apt for 20th century businesses than today’s. On the other hand, Quantic recently began developing a computer science degree program as well as courses on blockchain, cultural intelligence, and design thinking. What’s more? Graduates have lifetime access to all existing courses and new courses as they’re released.

What this means for students: Quantic’s mobile-first, tech-driven approach enables it to quickly adapt to offer courses in emerging fields so you are always at the forefront of today’s business and tech environment.   

Quantic School of Business and Technology Accepts Only the Most Committed Learners 

4. Ultra-competitive admissions cultivates a powerful student and alumni network

Quantic accepts only about 7 percent of applicants to its online MBA program. Its philosophy is to attract the best and brightest business minds and give them the tools they need to build a better world through intelligent and modern business practices.  

Many online educators have admissions policies that are designed to attract everyone and while they may be well intentioned, open or lax admissions policies ultimately hurt the students enrolling in the program, as evidenced by plummeting graduation rates and poor outcomes. Quantic is built differently. Its aim is to provide students access to an ecosystem of the world’s leading professionals and cultivate an environment where students can connect, collaborate, and solve complex business problems. The goal is for each student feel part of a tight-knit community of learners who help motivate, challenge and learn from one another.

Quantic counts among its students a former White House Fellow, roboticists for Tesla and Amazon, a tea magnate who donates revenue to indigenous farmers, and four students named to Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30” list.

What this means for students: Strict admissions standards ensure that students admitted to the program are deeply committed to their studies, capable of completing and excelling in the coursework, and can bring valuable contributions to their cohort.

5. Students can graduate in 12 months or less

Quantic’s degree programs are fully online and designed to give working professionals the skills and experience they need to achieve their goals and advance their careers. The free MBA is a 10 month program, while the Executive MBA is 12 months

The secret to Quantic’s reduced time to graduation is twofold: First, the active learning model makes coursework not only more enjoyable, but it’s more effective and faster than passively absorbing information via lecture. Thus, students learn more, quicker. Second, Quantic only accepts students that are truly driven and committed to deepening their skill set. 

What this means for students: Do not mistake a reduced time to completion for a pushover program. Quantic’s MBA and Executive MBA are extremely competitive and students need to demonstrate they are committed to the coursework, comfortable with a rigorous academic program, and dedicated to achieving their goals. 

Quantic Prioritizes Network Building & Job Placement

6. ‘Network First’ approach prioritizes collaboration with peers

Early on, the founders of Quantic School of Business and Technology identified a glaring omission in how many online educators ran their programs. Unlike traditional, residential programs with deep, connected alumni groups, there was no network or peer interaction to speak of – students learned in isolation and graduated in a silo. Quantic is different, as it is a “network first” business school, which means, like traditional programs, Quantic students are provided myriad opportunities to interact with their peers and classmates, online and face-to-face. Frequent interaction and peer-to-peer learning among students is the norm, not the exception. And for the Executive MBA, a valuable addition to the curriculum comes in the form of weekend-long conferences filled with workshops, case studies, and opportunities to interact with leading business executives. 

Quantic’s learning platform enables students to discuss course material, debate points of view, and collaborate on group projects in real-time or in staggered sessions. But its commitment to network building doesn’t end on the computer screen. 

In 2019, Quantic hosted more than 60 regional events in 36 cities across the world, including San Francisco, London, Lagos, Perth, Taipei, Vienna, and Sydney. Moreover, it hosted weekend conferences in Dublin, Singapore, and Washington D.C.

Executive MBA students in attendance at the Singapore weekend conference.

What this means for students: If you thought Quantic would be another anonymous MOOC program that you can pop in and out of at your leisure, think again. You’ll be given opportunities to experience the world and interact with leading business professionals. But, you are responsible for your own success and will be held accountable by your cohort in group projects. 

7. The first online institution to tie its business model to job placement 

Most online educators spend very little time building hiring platforms or scaling career services because, frankly, low admissions standards tend to lead to high program abandonment and low graduation rates. Those online educators have little incentive for placing students because there is no revenue attached to those efforts. 

Quantic has tied its business reputation and financial viability to strategically placing students in promising careers. Smartly Talent, Quantic’s proprietary hiring engine, requires businesses to pay to recruit Quantic students. It is a structure that shifts tuition and the job-hunting burdens of cost, time, and stress from the student to the employer. 

Smartly Talent is also highly selective and requires employers to apply to access its network of students. Employers are only granted access to the platform if they can demonstrate the ability to provide high-quality placement opportunities for students and alumni.

What this means for students: Nobody is going to gift you an MBA at Quantic but their success depends on your success. If you can commit to the curriculum and coursework, they will do everything they can to ensure you are prepared to take on new challenges in your current role, or help place you in a new career that is right for you.   

8. Active outplacement provides opportunities near and far 

Both employers and students have fully bought into the effectiveness of partnering via the Smartly Talent platform. Students are actively browsing job opportunities, communicating with employers, and frequently returning to find newly posted jobs.

While the network of employers continues to grow, more than 2,200 have applied for access to the Smartly Talent platform. And those that have been approved and are consistently posting jobs. Most employers are based in the U.S. but around 1,500 positions have been posted in 38 other countries, including Germany, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, and the Netherlands.

What this means for students: Earning an MBA is about learning the business principles that will help you become a leader in your field and allow you to take advantage of high-profile opportunities when they arise. Quantic’s talent platform is tailor-made to partner ambitious students with opportunities that will help them shine. 

Quantic Offers Two Affordable Paths to an MBA

9. The Free MBA 

The free MBA is aimed at early-career professionals who show an aptitude for business leadership. Specifically, the program requires a bachelor’s degree, a minimum of two years of industry experience, and English language proficiency. This program values but does not require business experience.

Cost of tuition: Free

Time to completion: 10 months

10. Executive MBA

The Executive MBA is suited for experienced professionals with more than five years of industry experience who want to enhance their leadership skills. Students can specialize in management, entrepreneurship, or advanced business strategy. This program awards merit and need-based scholarships on a case-by-case basis and works with employers to provide tuition reimbursement to help off-set or cover the cost.   

Cost of tuition: $9,600

Time to completion: 12 months

What this means for students: Starting a new life or building a new career does not have to come with a mountain of new debt. If you are willing to work hard, stay focused, and take advantage of the programs available to you, a debt-free, top-tier MBA is within your reach. 

The Big Takeaway

If you’re among the tens of thousands of prospective MBA or Executive MBA students out there weighing your options and asking yourself if an online MBA is worth it, don’t worry, we get it. It’s a big decision and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. 

If you can afford to take two years off from work, add up to $200k (or more) to your debt load, and relocate to the city in which a top-notch residential program is located, you should do it, you won’t be alone. Thousands of other people make that same decision every year. 

But, if you’re not willing to take on that kind of shakeup in your life and still want a top-tier MBA, keep a few things in mind. Quantic’s online MBA program is changing the landscape of higher education. Its curriculum is created by leading academic and business professionals and its teaching methods are rooted in a pedagogy that is proven to be more effective across cultures and throughout history. 

Earning a degree from the Quantic School of Business and Technology also makes financial sense. Its partnership with employers subsidizes the cost of tuition for students and has built its business model around ensuring students find high-profile opportunities. 

Is an online MBA worth it? We think so. Set up an account to apply to one of our MBA programs or sample a few free courses.

Quantic Alumni Network is Live!

Today, we’re proud to introduce Network, a new feature of the Quantic platform built to connect students and alumni around the world.

Today, we’re proud to introduce Network, a new feature of the Quantic platform built to connect Quantic students and alumni around the world. Network is exclusively available to current students and alumni of the Quantic MBA and Executive MBA programs, and we’ve made a special preview available to prospective students.

With Network, students can explore a global map of students and alumni, search by industry and interests, and contact peers safely and easily.

We created Network to enable students to forge real-world connections and discover inspiring peers in the Quantic community. Quantic students work in today’s most exciting industries and at top companies, giving them access to an impressive ecosystem of experienced professionals.

If you’re an aspiring Quantic student, you can sign up for a Quantic account at https://quantic.mba and access a preview. We’re excited to hear your reactions to Network!