MBA in High Technology Management

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Individuals with an MBA in high technology management are poised to take on higher level positions at technology companies and organizations in the public and private sectors. This type of degree can allow professionals to move into managerial levels of the tech industry or pursue new career paths as information systems managers, management analysts, chief information officers, or chief technology officers, to name a few.

An MBA offers students a competitive edge, providing the skills necessary for a leadership role. High technology management prepares students to manage employees and businesses while keeping up with innovation and the fast-changing pace of the industry. There are many career paths within high technology, each with their own set of goals and responsibilities. For instance, information systems managers must understand a company’s computing needs, acquire the necessary software and hardware to meet those needs, and install and maintain those components. Management analysts, however, analyze a company’s procedures, finances, personnel, and systems and recommend changes to higher-level executives. Chief information officers, as another example, develop IT strategies, manage IT personnel, assess IT performance, and offer technical support.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national median salary for a computer and information systems manager was $139,220, while management analysts earned a median $81,330 per year.

There is a wide variety of MBA programs in high technology management, available both on campus and online. This guide takes an in-depth look at the advantages of distance-based MBAs in technology management and profiles three notable faculty members from schools offering these programs.

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Professors to Know from Schools with Online MBA Programs

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    Rajshree Agarwal, PhD, University of Maryland

    Dr. Rajshree Agarwal is an entrepreneurship professor at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. She has a doctorate from the University of Buffalo and is currently also the director of the Ed Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets, which is dedicated to interdisciplinary research on how to support human enterprise and well-functioning markets. Dr. Agarwal teaches a variety of courses in strategic management, entrepreneurship, technology and innovation, industrial organization and microeconomics. She has received many awards for teaching excellence and is passionate about providing business education to science and engineering students. Before her current position, Dr. Agarwal worked at the University of Illinois creating specialized certificate programs and earned the “University Scholar” designation in 2009—the highest honor given to faculty in recognition of overall excellence.

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    Seung Ahn, PhD, Arizona State University

    Dr. Seung Ahn primarily teaches econometrics at ASU, but his research interests span also cover panel data models, asset pricing models, and factor models. He received his doctorate in economics from Michigan State University and has been a professor at ASU since 1997. Seung Ahn has been published in distinguished journals such as B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, the Journal of Econometrics, the Journal of Sports Economics, the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis and the Journal of Market Economy. Dr. Ahn has also consulted with several organizations in the public and private sectors, including Motorola and the World Bank.

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    Bill Lightfoot, PhD Southern New Hampshire University

    Dr. Bill Lightfoot is the dean of SNHU's business school. He has more than 15 years of global senior leadership experience and has spent many years working overseas with multicultural organizations. Most recently, he was the managing director of Village Inc. Africa, where he created a new business model for supporting economic development in rural communities. He earned his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at Bucknell University, his MBA in general management from the University of North Carolina, and his doctorate in organization and management from Capella University. Notably, Dr. Lightfoot was also the dean of Brenau University’s business and communication school and the associate dean of the International University of Monaco's graduate programs.

Featured Online MBA Programs in High Technology Management

The W.P. Carey School of Business offers a joint MBA and masters of science engineering in electrical engineering. This online program is ideal for working professionals who have an undergraduate degree in engineering and at least one year of relevant work experience. Students take one course at a time, each lasting about seven weeks, for a total of 56 credits and 18 classes over three years. Students can also select from five electrical engineering tracks, including electric power and energy systems, electronic and mixed-signal circuit design, electromagnetics, antennas, and microwave circuits, signal processing and communications, and solid-state electronics. Graduates of this interdisciplinary degree develop advanced electrical engineering skills while also learning new management responsibilities and business acumen so that they can pursue leadership roles within engineering. Students wishing to pursue a similar concurrent degree can apply for the online MBA and master in industrial engineering program.

Location: Tempe, Arizona
Accreditation: AACSB International
Format: Online
Tuition: $988 per credit
Program length: Three years

Students in Northwestern University's online MBA program are seasoned professionals with at least five years of experience in their line of work who want to position themselves for leadership roles. The program combines classroom learning and real-world challenges and offers eight concentrations. Students can also further customize their degree with options to complete a dual finance and MBA degree, on-campus residencies, and international field study residencies. The high technology and management track focuses on the extreme growth of new sectors in the IT world, including exponential, cognitive, blockchain, IOT, and cybersecurity. Students who enroll in this concentration take the following three courses: entrepreneurial finance for high tech companies, building and leading top performing teams, and business law, corporate governance, and intellectual property strategies. Students can graduate in two years with start dates in September and January. A 3.0 or greater GPA is required for admission.

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Accreditation: AACSB International
Format: Online with optional campus-based and international residencies
Tuition: $1,560 per credit
Program length: Two years

The Collat School of Business at UAB offers several concentrations as part of its online MBA program, including one in management of information systems. The concentration program requires the completion of 39 credits over a minimum of two years. Work experience is not required for admission; however, preference is given to those with two or more years of professional work experience. There is no GPA requirement, and a GMAT waiver is available for qualified applicants. The program is broken into 12 credits on tools and business perspectives, 15 credits on core business curriculum, six to nine credits of electives (the general MBA track requires two three-credit courses, and the concentration requires three three-credit classes), and a three-credit capstone focusing on strategic management. The focus of the program is on all aspects of business, from management techniques and leadership styles to insights and analytics. Students will hone their skills in web analytics, real estate decision analysis, operations, and supply chain management among others. This program is available 100 percent online.

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)
Format: Online
Tuition: $1,088 per credit ($39,168 for full program without concentration; $42,432 for full program with concentration)
Program length: Two years

University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business is revered locally and nationally for its online MBA program. The U.S. News & World Report ranked it as the ninth best online MBA in the U.S. Specializations include accounting, finance, information systems and business analytics, marketing or supply chain management. Because of the program's flexibility, the 54-credit curriculum can be completed over two years while still maintaining a job. The information systems and business analytics track teaches students how to leverage technology for business applications. Some courses students take include decision modeling, ethical leadership and organizational change. For the IT focus, students will take the following courses: data analytics, managing digital businesses and platforms, social media and web analytics, co-creating customer experience, customer behavior, and customer equity management. While the majority of the program is online, students are required to complete two two-credit on-campus residencies, one on the fundamentals of business, the other on integrative business simulations. To be accepted, students must have a minimum of two years’ work experience with a 3.0 or greater. A GMAT waiver is available for qualified applicants.

Location: College Park, Maryland
Accreditation:AACSB International
Format: Online with two on-campus residencies
Tuition: $1,555 per credit
Program length: Two years

Admission Requirements for Online MBA Programs in High Technology Management

There are many common application requirements for the above programs and other online MBA programs in high technology management. They include:

  • Completion of certain prerequisite business, management, and technology courses
  • A competitive GPA from a bachelor’s program in a related field
  • A GMAT or GRE score; some schools require scores, some do not, and others may waive the requirement under certain conditions
  • A personal statement of goals and objectives
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Several years or professional experience
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for international students

Accreditation of MBA Programs in High Technology Management

Accreditation means that a particular school or program offers a curriculum that abides by established standards in a discipline. The accreditation process is performed by a third-party accreditation agency. Several organizations accredit high technology management graduate programs.

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) aims to promote and improve programs in business administration and management, as well as courses in management and information technology. It values faculty research and secure knowledge foundations within business programs. To date, AACSB accreditation has been awarded to 810 business schools in 53 countries.

As a final note, students of high technology management MBA programs may find additional resources in organizations like the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and CompTIA.