A CTO is the chief technology officer and is responsible for making all the decisions regarding a business’s internal technology choices and the brand’s technology investments. They are driven to look for technological advancements that will benefit all levels of a company’s operations. They will build a technology strategy for the year or foreseeable years in line with the company’s overall vision and goals.
On a day to day basis a CTO may look at how the business is using its technology and find areas for improvement. This will take into account the future needs of the business. Budgets are created and presented to a board of directors in some instances, and sometimes just to the other C-Suite employees. They will coordinate their suggestions and plans with the IT or engineering department as well as with marketing to make sure the business is maximising on its resources without wastage.
CTOs need to take into account that a business is more than its constituent technological parts and be aware that its heart it is people that drive a business, as such they are responsible for making sure IT and engineering staff are happy and have the tools they need to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.
What Skills do CTOs Need?
CTO’s have a variety of different technical backgrounds. What they all share is a general passion for technology. As such they require a wide variety of soft skills and hard skills, technological knowledge is invaluable but so are skills like empathy and the ability to think for the team. The following are incredibly useful skills for a CTO to have:
A minimum of a bachelor’s degree, a desired masters or preferred PhD in a computer-science, finance, business, information technology, software engineering or related field
Typically, 15+ years’ experience working in Tech, usually as an engineer and then progressing into tech management positions (such as engineering management) and progressing up the leadership chain from there.
Professional Qualifications for CTOs:
There are many qualifications CTOs can gain for career advancement, such as:
Certified manager certification
Chief Technology Officer Soft Skills:
Strong verbal and written communications
Strategy and planning
Personal development – it is important for a CTO to be motivated to constantly look to develop their skills and awareness of technological advances
How to Become a CTO:
Although there’s no set career path to become a CTO, there are a couple of steps that will ensure you are on the right path. CTOs can come from a wide variety of educational backgrounds, but they all have a deep-routed interest and knowledge in technology and computer systems. Academic interest combined with around 15 years’ industry experience will give any candidate a grounding in the information, operating systems and processes needed to be a CTO. Networking will also help a CTO define their reputation and standing in the industry.
Salary Expectations for Chief Technology Officers:
CTOs are executive-level staff members and will have generally high salaries, ranging from £80,000 – £90,000 up to hundreds of thousands of pounds. Whether this is smaller or higher depends on the individual company, along with bonuses. At smaller businesses you will often be in effect a hands-on technical lead and may earn that or less. The more established and larger an organisation, the more you will earn. Good CTOs can thus earn hundreds of thousands of pounds plus generous bonuses and stock options.
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