Since 1996, Virtual Enterprises International (VE) has transformed the lives of more than 165,000 teens through a robust in-school program empowering students to test drive potential careers and develop professional, leadership, functional, and technical skills and competencies. VE’s mission is to ensure all young people have the opportunity to learn and succeed, regardless of their zip code. This vision is put into practice by equipping students with real life business skills that help them lead financially secure, successful lives. When Executive MBA Student, Anthony DeBellis, introduced us to VE, we immediately knew that we needed to get involved to help inspire future leaders. Now, more than 20 Quantic students and alumni will be judges for VE’s national student business competitions.
VE programs guide youth to be adaptable, collaborative and self-directed. The company partners with schools, districts, and businesses across the United States to create educational pathways that align career education and work-based learning, with academic standards-based education. Guided by an industry-driven, educational framework, students launch and manage the growth of a company in a digital, international economy of more than 7,000 student-run businesses in 40+ countries. Through this, students learn how strong skills and a positive mindset can launch them into a successful future.
Anthony DeBellis, a product management professional at Mastercard, has been involved with Virtual Enterprises for five years and believes its mentorship for young students is invaluable. “Looking back, my favorite memory was working with the students at Manhattan’s Business of Sports School. I was part of a volunteer team that visited the school a few times a month to work with students on their VE business. We would advise them, help them solve problems and share our experiences. When you start working with VE students at any level there are two things I always come back to: first, the students are inspiring, creative and have boundless potential. Second, the experience is rewarding and energizing.”
Anthony believes every high school student in the U.S. should have the opportunity to be part of an immersive VE classroom experience. He is continuing to help them grow by joining their NYC Advisory Board. “When I originally became involved with VE, I was working in banking and managing partnerships focused on bringing financial literacy to students through my organization. We were introduced to VE’s founder, Iris Blanc, at a Nasdaq Bell Ringing ceremony and immediately became enthralled with their vision. All these years later, I’m thrilled to still be engaged with the VE team.”
Students participating in the program are offered summits which are fully-interactive experiences that integrate a trade show atmosphere, workshops, special presentations, and networking opportunities. They offer many ways for students to develop and apply a full range of key career competencies, as well as interact with other VE students, educational leaders, community representatives, and real-world professionals.
Virtual Enterprises’ digital classrooms and Quantic’s pedagogy style both cater to a nontraditional entrepreneurial spirit. Anthony knows this is the perfect union, with the concept of modern education in mind. “I had long wanted to earn an MBA, however there is so much friction around traditional programs, in terms of logistics and costs. A former colleague of mine posted his Quantic degree on LinkedIn. I reached out to him to ask about his experience, and his feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Needless to say, I applied a week later and haven’t looked back.”
VE is a fantastic opportunity for Quantic students to give back to their community and impart valuable lessons to budding business leaders. We are thrilled to see so many of our students volunteer with Virtual Enterprises — we know they will be wonderful mentors to help inspire the next generation of trailblazers! If you or someone you know might be interested in volunteering, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
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:
Combined with the below ‘soft’ skills, you will be able to fit into a tech role of your choice.
Time and project management 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.
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
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
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.
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:
– 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
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 QuanticTalent 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.
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.
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?
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.
Quantic Alum, Vay Cao, PhD, founded Free the PhD, a career development and advocacy platform for PhDs who want to learn more about the world outside of academia and kickstart an exciting career. You can check out their programs, talk to their advisors, and access their resources year-round. Vay spoke with us about the initial inspiration and future goals for the program.
What inspired you to create Free the PhD?
More PhD graduates are produced than there are traditional full-time faculty positions. This is a trend that has been happening for decades. The simultaneous shrinking of the academic faculty pool, especially in current times, has exacerbated an already stressful professional reality for many academics. Many who complete a PhD degree are not sure what they can do professionally afterwards. I was in this camp: not interested in continuing in academia, but not sure what else I could do. After I made my own career transition, I was inspired to create Free the PhD because I didn’t want that experience to go to waste.
How did you launch the platform?
It started off as a typical resume-editing service, but has evolved over the years into a platform where academics can do the important work of learning to shift their mindsets from that of only an academic, to a versatile professional. Free the PhD today is a supportive digital community. It’s a set of empathetic, practical online courses to assist academics in the career transition that’s right for them. There is personalized career guidance, provided by fellow PhDs. We teach PhDs how to free themselves from their own mental limitations and become independent job seekers, including guiding them on how to edit their own job applications and do their own interview preparation.
How would you like to see it expand in the future?
The pool of PhD talent has so much to offer all sectors of society. I would love to continue reaching more PhDs interested in exploring and pursuing diverse career paths. Alongside our own career coaching, we have been doing workshops with different institutions and are piloting a joint career course with a UC university, which I hope might expand into other institutions that would like to work together to serve their trainees.
Why did you want to pursue your MBA?
When I first began working outside of academia, I had no prior formal “work experience.” Joining a start-up out of grad school meant I was learning as I went every single day, trying new things and loving the experience. I realized I really wanted a comprehensive understanding of business, rather than this patchwork of information to make me a more effective and efficient professional. I enjoyed being in the business world, and wanted to ensure I was empowered to both deliver results and accelerate my career.
What did you like about Quantic’s pedagogy method?
What I wanted from an MBA was to get the needed information in a streamlined, time-efficient, affordable, curated manner, all from a trusted source. Knowing that the people behind Quantic are proven in online education, and checking out the freely available Business Foundations courses on their app, helped convince me that this was exactly what I needed! Now that the Quantic MBA is officially accredited, I am even more convinced that I made the right decision in choosing Quantic.
I have leveraged a lot of the business knowledge and frameworks from my Quantic MBA experience, both in my day job and constantly improving Free the PhD. Knowing that I have the fundamental knowledge needed to go out and make an impact in the world has provided me with the confidence that every professional and entrepreneur needs to succeed!
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.
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.
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.
Able to use rule-based thinking
Attentive to detail
Can conceptualize scenarios
Business development 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.
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:
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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:
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.
Founder of 3 8 0 Group, Author, and former Yeezy General Counsel, Kenneth Anand, always ran full speed towards his goals. Besides his great love for hip hop and pop culture, that’s probably why he has an affection for sneakers and is even a self-proclaimed “Sneakerhead.” His drive and passion have always led him throughout his life and so far, he has been victorious in every race.
After fifteen years of a successful law career, Kenneth realized that he wanted to leave his private practice and pursue his passion. “It was a wake up call for me,” says Anand. “I realized if there was any time to pivot, it was now. I could stay a partner and have a fine life, or I could try to find something that really ignited me.”
He started pursuing his excitement for sneakers and focused on clients that were in the fashion and entertainment industries. It wasn’t long before an opportunity presented itself with one of his well-known clients, Yeezy Apparel. Kanye West’s sneaker and clothing brand wanted to hire Kenneth’s firm, but he had a better offer. “I used the opportunity to say, ‘Instead of hiring my law firm, why don’t you just hire me and I’ll come work for you guys full time.’”
Kenneth then became head of business development and general counsel to Yeezy, the leader in the multibillion-dollar global footwear industry. “When I left private practice to go to Yeezy, I didnt even think about the business world and I wasn’t anticipating making that transition. I was just trying to be the best lawyer for Kanye and Yeezy. I soon realized that every facet of my life, whether it was sneakers, fashion, hip hop, pop culture… everything that was interesting to me was rolled up into this one job. It’s so unique to find that sweet spot in your career and I felt like my life was coming full-circle.”
This inspired Kenneth to focus on the business side of the sneaker industry and pursue his MBA with Quantic. “I already knew everything there was to know about sneakers, so it was just very natural for me. What inspired me to go to Quantic was that there were terms being thrown around in business meetings by my CFO and it was like any foreign language that I needed to learn. I looked at many schools and at this phase in my life, it was less about where it was than the information itself and the quality of the learning. It was the perfect style of this learning for me. I could fly and do it on the plane, or do it in the morning before my kids got up, or after they went to bed.”
He put these business tools to use in his daily life and knew the sneaker industry was his calling. “I knew that when Yeezy was over I needed to continue this. I didn’t want to go back to the practice of law, so I set myself up with the perfect segway.”
In walks Sneaker Law, a bible for the sneaker industry. Kenneth and his partner, Jared Goldstein, decided to write a book that combines the legal and business side to the footwear world. “The topic of Sneaker Law came about even before I went to Yeezy,” says Anand. “The sneaker business is a 90-billion dollar industry, but most people think you can just buy a pair of sneakers and sell them for money. The goal was to introduce them to all these topics that would otherwise be daunting and standoffish, like business and law, and offer it in a way that was digestible and exciting.”
Now, Sneaker Law goes far beyond the pages of a book. Anand and Goldstein recently lectured on the topic at Harvard Law School in January. “This is more than a book. We can go teach this, have an online course, there could be a podcast. Having that experience of making a business plan from start to finish at Quantic was extremely useful and now I have the needed confidence. All the things that I learned at Quantic were put to the test and used practically.”
What is the latest goal that Kenneth is confidently chasing? He and former Yeezy CEO, Cristiano Minchio, have founded 3 8 0 Group, a fashion licensing company that helps celebrities, creatives, and rising brands grow and develop. “We have this bleeding heart for creatives and we just want to see creative people thrive. We set out to create a holding company that would help brands grow and develop in all ways. We take brands and we provide the infrastructure to grow. We’ve aligned with brands like Will Smith’s brand, Bel-Air Athletics, and will be debuting the first collection at our showroom in Milan.”
Sneaker Law will hit shelves this December. Hardcover pre-orders are available now on sneakerlaw.com and e-book versions will be available on Amazon by mid-October. “As soon as you start doing what you love on a regular basis, you’re just compelled to do more to solidify your position. That’s what drives me,” Says Anand. “It’s a testament to where life can take you if you just go after what you’re most passionate about and give it your all.”
The question of whether EdTech is effective is in fact, not a question about technology at all. Nor is it a question of learning design. Rather, the question ought to be rooted in outcomes: Are students learning the material and able to apply what they learn? Are they acquiring new skills as a result of the courses?
The failure of digital learning to deliver on this promise, as I wrote about in a recent op-ed, is not about how we’ve yet to bear witness to virtual reality or some equally “futuristic” tech, as viable tools for remote learning. The point is that overwhelmingly, technology has thus far failed to deliver effective teaching practices to students learning remotely. The majority of online learning is being transmitted via the video professor lecture, and the lecture, in the classroom or online, has proven to be a less effective method of teaching. It’s the equivalent of watching TV, putting the professor in the spotlight while a passive audience, the students, sit back and soak in the broadcast.
Active Learning on the other hand, is a method of teaching that gives the student a leading role. They are participatory actors, driving their learning forward, while the instructor provides feedback that individualizes the learning experience. This is Quantic’s method. Our platform prompts students to engage every 8 seconds and provides instant feedback based on their interactions. Only once they’ve mastered a skill do they move on to the next topic; they learn by doing. In this scenario, the student is the star and the outcome of their experience — whether they truly learned the material or not — is the key metric of efficacy. Investments in learning science alone won’t translate to better outcomes for students. Advancements in online learning must come from a two-pronged approach: using the right tech with the best pedagogy and only when the student succeeds should we deem it a success.
Here’s more on how our process works:
To be clear, Active Learning is not new. Maria Montessori pioneered it within early childhood education, Berlitz with immersion language learning, and Suzuki within violin study. What is new is using this pedagogy in online learning in a way that’s effective and efficient (it’s also pretty fun, too).
Quantic Alum, Anne Michael, has always been intrigued by resource usage and constraints within the healthcare arena. She is currently the VP of Operations at Focused Software where she combines knowledge gathered during her years as an active physician, with her business knowledge to make sure both clinical and non-clinical team efforts always benefit the patient.
“Most doctors, as expected, tend to stick to the clinical side of things and do some administrative work on the side,” says Anne.
“ I realized that I wanted to focus on the administrative/business side of things, rather than split time between the two. I came to this decision following my observation that there was frequently a communication disconnect between the clinical and administrative teams at most healthcare institutions. It seemed to me that since we were all there for the patients’ benefit, working together instead of in an antagonistic fashion made more sense.”
This inspired her to pursue solutions for efficiency and optimization of processes. “The way resources are used at a macro-level really impacts the healthcare of individual patients. However, I realize that most physicians have as much as they can manage on their plates, just doing clinical work, without having to think of the economics/business side of things. Those of us who do have an interest in the actual corporate administration of medicine should seek opportunities to improve our business skill set to create better processes, conditions and resource allocation for our colleagues and patients.”
Focused Software is working to diminish this disconnect. The company provides systems that enable businesses to become more efficient in their documentation, billing, administrative and supervisory functions, so that they can maximize the time spent actually providing care for their patients. As their VP of Operations, Anne leads her team in determining corporate direction, managing change implementation, and making sure company goals and client needs are met. Anne knew she would need a business background in order to be successful in her role. “The only way I saw to do this was to get a business education for myself, so that I could better understand both sides. I know that I am now uniquely qualified to foster communication, solution generation and implementation for those in healthcare on both sides of the aisle.”
Quantic was Anne’s choice to earn her MBA degree because she could complete courses while working or traveling. “I soon realized that to truly get to the next level, I would need some sort of structured educational program that would direct and integrate essential business knowledge in a timely fashion. That’s where Quantic came in! The fact that it is online, accredited, fun, has a great network of international alumni, staff and current students made this an easy decision.”
Now more than ever, great communication is needed between clinical and non-clinical teams to create solutions that best address patients’ needs, while optimizing limited resources. “The clinical knowledge I gained during my years as an active physician helped me better understand the needs of Focused Software clients and preempt their future needs. With belief, enthusiasm, a great team and a little bit of humor, a lot can be achieved.”
You’ve been a software engineer for years, and you feel it’s now time to take a step forward. But you’re wondering: What comes next? Where do I go from here?
What catches your attention is that other software engineers are going for an MBA. As a result, they’re getting promotions and enjoying fatter paychecks. But is this the road you want to take? How will earning an MBA increase your chances of climbing the software engineer career ladder?
If this is you, we understand. We know it can be difficult to decide on the next step in your career. That’s why we’ve put together this guide specifically for you. In it we cover:
The career ladder of a software engineer (from bottom to top)
How an MBA can help you climb that ladder
The different types of MBAs, and how to choose one to match your needs
When you finish reading this, you’ll know exactly where you want to go next in your career and whether or not an MBA will help you get there. Let’s dive in!
Understanding the Software Engineer Career Path
To know where you want to go on the software engineer career path, you first need to decide what your biggest priority is. Is it to gain a bigger salary? Or is it to keep doing what you love, but on a larger scale?
Think of it like this. The higher you move up on the career ladder, the less you’ll be getting your hands dirty doing the work of actual programming. Some are happy with a lifetime of writing code and fixing bugs. Others want to go into managing complex software systems, and others want to manage teams.
To make a good decision on where you want to go, it’s important to go into detail on the typical software engineer’s career path.
The Software Engineer Career Ladder
You start as a software engineer, but it’s not uncommon for you to move to the top with a C-suite job.
Here’s what the career ladder of a software engineer looks like. We’ll start with the first rung on the ladder, junior software engineer, and go all the way to the highest rung, CTO. In between, you’ll see the different steps in the ladder and how each one requires its own set of more complex skills and responsibilities.
Junior Software Engineer
Junior software engineers are mainly responsible for building quality software. This includes writing code, fixing small bugs, and working closely with senior developers on pair programming.
The junior software engineer role is an entry-level position. The skills required are what you already have: knowledge of programming languages, operating systems, and databases. As you gain experience, you’ll start handling larger projects and working more independently.
Senior Software Engineer
Senior software engineers still write code, but this time with an eye on the bigger picture of a project. They’re in charge of designing and developing software solutions, plus coaching other developers. This is an excellent position for those who love programming but don’t like the idea of leading a team.
The skills needed for this position are basic software architecture, advanced code design, and coaching.
Lead developers still write code while coordinating work and implementing decisions. Other programmers usually look to them for direction. This position is seen as a transition into a mid-level management role.
Technical architects rarely write code. Their main responsibilities lie in designing complex systems that other developers create. Going for the technical architect position is the biggest leap you can make as a software engineer without going into leadership and management roles.
Development Team Lead or Software Development Manager
Mid-level managers are in charge of overseeing either projects or teams. Depending on their leadership skills, their job can include:
Managing complex projects
Coordinating between higher management and development teams
Hiring and firing developers
Besides the technical skills required for this position, mid-level managers need excellent people skills.
Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
Chief Technology Officer (or CTO) is the highest-ranking position in the IT business. The role of a CTO is to oversee all of the company’s technological needs. CTOs have executive powers they can use to make decisions and investments for the advancement of the company.
The Career Path for a Software Engineer After Earning an MBA
How far up you want to go on the software engineer career ladder is up to you. Some professionals stay at the senior engineer level their whole lives (and love it!) while others progress to CTO. It all depends on what you love doing most, whether that’s writing code, managing projects, or handling relationships between people.
If your dream is to get into leadership and management roles, getting an MBA makes sense. Here’s why.
MBA for IT Professionals: Why It Makes Sense
Of course, strong technical skills are a must if you want to climb the software engineer career ladder. However, they aren’t enough to get you to the position of CTO. This is because companies today are looking to hire executive officers who have both excellent technical skills plus strong business acumen.
Think of yourself in the position of hiring a new CTO for your company. The first applicant has strong technical IT skills and years of experience as a software engineer. The second one has all these, plus the ability to see the bigger picture and understand how technical decisions will impact the company’s finances and business outlook. Who do you think you will hire?
If you already have years of experience developing software and the next logical step for you is to go into C-level management, an MBA can help you acquire the skills to fit into this position.
Is an MBA for Information Technology Worth It?
Earning an MBA can cost upwards of $200,000. If you stop working while pursuing your studies, this amount can rise up to $400,000.
To determine if an MBA is worth the cost, you first need to ask yourself some important questions.
What do you plan to do with your MBA?
Where do you see yourself five years after completing your MBA?
How long will it take you to achieve significant ROI from your MBA?
Why Do Software Engineers Pursue an MBA?
Here are six reasons software engineers pursue an MBA despite the heavy cost.
Respect from business-side teams
Promotion to management roles
Salary increase (up to $44,000 per year)
Better chances of being hired as CTO in a new company
Greater confidence working in managerial positions
Career satisfaction from being able to climb the corporate ladder
MBA Software Engineer Salary Statistics
In general, professionals with an MBA earn more than those without one. In the U.S., MBA holders earn an average of $102,100. That’s higher than the national average of $74,378.
But it gets even better for IT professionals with an MBA. According to U.S. News, technology is one of the top three fields that pay the highest salaries for MBA holders.
According to PayScale, a software engineer with an MBA earns an average of $119,438. That’s $44,906 larger than the average salary of software engineers, which is $74,532.
An MBA for Software Engineers
Understanding the different types of MBAs is essential for mapping out your career direction. Here are three to consider.
Campus-Based MBA. Requires you to stop working and focus on earning your MBA on campus. Best for new graduates who have the time and financial stability to support themselves in school.
Online MBA. Allows students to continue working while they earn their MBA.
EMBA. Designed for professionals with many years of experience, the executive MBA is for people who want to advance their careers and move into senior leadership positions in their companies.
The Best MBA for Software Engineers
Use this as a guide to select the MBA that’s right for you.
Executive MBA for IT Professionals
If you are an IT professional looking to climb the career ladder into senior leadership, the best program for you would be an executive MBA.
An EMBA is different from an MBA mainly because of its focus. While MBAs are designed for new graduates, EMBAs are for professionals with years’ worth of experience looking to showcase their business credibility and advance their careers.
The qualifications for EMBA are also different from those of a regular MBA. While qualifying for a regular MBA requires top-notch academic scores, getting into an EMBA program requires a look into professional working experience and skills.
MBA Career Network for Tech Professionals
Since 80% of positions are filled through networking, it’s an excellent idea to look into programs that offer exposure to other top-notch professionals. Knowing great people will not only widen your chances of professional growth, but also challenge you to grow and sharpen your skills.
What’s great about joining a career network is that you can connect with thousands of the brightest minds around the world. You get access to current students, alumni, plus the chance to get discovered and hired by excellent tech companies.
MBA Course Curriculum for Software Engineers
Before selecting an MBA program, it’s essential to look into the curriculum to see if it includes these four aspects.
Business. To lead in a C-suite position, it’s important to understand the core concepts of business, finance, and marketing.
Strategy. In a management position, you’ll be in charge of top-level strategy so it’s important to find an MBA that covers this.
Leadership. Since leading a team will be one of your duties, acquiring communication and interpersonal skills is a must.
MBA for Software Engineer Discussions on Reddit
Going through other professionals’ different experiences and opinions will help you weigh out the pros and cons of getting an MBA and make your decision. One great way to do it is to read Reddit threads on the topic.
Believe it or not, Reddit is an open community and discussion forum that’s influential among higher education students. Here you can ask, find specific questions from other software engineers, and get answers and suggestions from those who are in the same field and have earned their MBA.
Summary: Should You Get an MBA?
Getting an MBA is not for everyone. To determine whether it’s right for you, you first need to consider your priorities and where you want to go on the software engineering path.
If writing code is what you want to do all your life and you have no interest in managing a team, getting an MBA might not be the best fit for your needs. However, if you have your sights set on mid-level management or even CTO, earning one will give you the knowledge and credentials to get there.