Which technology management careers are available for those looking for a suitable job after completing a bachelor's or master's degree? Here we will introduce a small selection of job titles that can currently be found in job advertisements. Because technology management is very dynamic, job titles are constantly changing. A good tactic is therefore to think about target industries and favored companies in order to look through the jobs they offer.Studiengänge im Fokus
Technology manager jobs differ from fields like business administration, finance, controlling or HR. Everyday job requirements and duties depend very much on the industry concerned. For example, in a plastics company you will work with innovations from chemistry and materials science. In electrical engineering the focus is most likely on Industry 4.0 and renewable energies, while in the IT business it is about highly specialized software solutions. This means that you will work heavily on content, and not purely on numbers or on team management tasks. In addition, some professions are holistic, interdisciplinary and international, while in smaller organizational units you almost only work with your local team.
It is therefore helpful to use an internship to decide on a suitable industry. You could pursue a dual course of study, or combine an internship with your bachelor's or master's thesis. Knowledge of the industry is a prerequisite for technology manager jobs at many companies, especially if the position is very close to research and development departments. Possible employers include digital companies, industrial companies, the manufacturing sector, start-ups and consulting companies, i.e. basically any company that creates value with technology.
Here is a small selection of possible job titles:
As a technology manager, innovation manager, IT manager and especially in the leadership role of Chief Technology Officer, you will have a lot of responsibility for strategy, budget and human resources. Rising to senior management or the board of directors is quite possible for technology managers. The strategic component is particularly strong in these positions: You specify or decide which technologies should be used to strengthen the company in the future.
When it comes to managing internal development departments, the development teams are a limiting factor: What innovations can the teams produce - and are there alternatives such as buying patents or start-ups? How can you make sure that internal innovations do not disappear into a drawer? How do you build teams to achieve strong results? How do you convince people in the management level about promising ideas and technology roadmaps, especially if these people have no technology background? How do you seriously calculate investment requirements and budgets in order to develop a new technology to market maturity and then market it successfully? How do you keep R&D teams happy when their good ideas aren't encouraged by management because they won't be profitable? How do you keep an eye on what the competition is doing and which markets are emerging or disappearing? This is where technology management expertise is all-important. The management role is complex and requires a high level of resilience in addition to formal skills.
What is an Information Technology manager? Information Technology manager jobs can take several forms and involve very different tasks. In a non-IT company, you might take care of software and hardware to secure business operations. In those situations you are an internal service provider, IT consultant and sparring partner for departments that have little to do with IT. However, if IT is the core of the business, for example at a software company, you will play a leading role in shaping the future of the company. Such positions can also be described as “Digital Strategy Manager.”
Transformation management (which sometimes features the digital designation), deals with two topics. Firstly, it deals with the introduction of new technologies and the adaptation of business processes. Secondly, it requires intelligent handling of old technologies. This type of technology manager role is extremely demanding, since a combination of many talents is required: You have to identify the perfect technologies for the company, source them at a good price or develop them in-house, and you have to implement them successfully. The problem is that new technologies and processes are replacing outdated processes and technologies. But replacing old technologies meets resistance. Experienced employees are afraid of becoming superfluous and may torpedo the project. On the other hand, the management may have exaggerated expectations of the ROI, which of course should occur as quickly as possible and growth and profit should increase massively. In addition to excellent business administration and technical knowledge, many soft skills are therefore required, such as negotiation skills and communication. That’s why soft skills courses are integrated into every technology management study program at CBS.
As a consultant, a technology management degree is extremely useful if you want to succeed in a technology-related sector. The degree of tech involvement depends above all on company operations – so it is worth obtaining information from potential employers.
If the company - or the in-house consultancy - actively offers technology consulting, IT consulting or digital transformation consulting, you are in the right place. Classic strategy consulting is also interesting, since the use of technology can be an important strategic issue.
One growth area is sustainability consulting. Technology managers can be required here if a client is looking for resource-saving technologies.
There are also many consultant jobs in the Information Technology management area. Relevant fields of activity include IT consulting, software providers or internally in companies. As an internal position, the job profiles tend to be operational. This could include technical integration of IT products or specific application development, for example in the field of business intelligence or cyber security. It is quite possible that the focus is on customer care, which can go in the direction of sales. Or you might specialize in training colleagues on new IT systems.
Technology scout positions take a couple of forms. These technology manager jobs can entail carrying out pure desk research and work for the technology managers. But it is also possible that you will maintain networks with universities and travel to trade fairs or congresses worldwide to track down technologies and communicate them internally. In this role scouts act as a kind of tech evangelist. But what this job rarely has is personnel and budget responsibility: Here, communicative skills are in the foreground. Above all, technology scouts need an excellent feeling for understanding and explaining groundbreaking technologies.
Project engineer is a traditional technology management job title that is not precisely defined. The role can describe the management of a development team in which a high level of business administration skills is required. However, the content of the job can also mean taking on international technical sales. For such jobs, you should read the requirement profile carefully, as they are sometimes purely engineering jobs.
Technology project management is often about the specific procurement of technology and its implementation in the company. Or it could be about the project management of an internal innovation project. Some of these jobs are then called “product owners.” This is a sign that the company works with agile methods and that work topics are probably IT-heavy. A Information Technology management degree in business informatics can be helpful here.
The core of such jobs is always the same: You manage a project and are therefore responsible for achieving project goals within the agreed timeframe and budget. You have access to internal resources, sometimes scattered around the world, as well as external partners. The main tasks are the prioritization of tasks, the systematic management and motivation of people, and the art of improvisation. What is attractive about these jobs is that they can be varied: With short project durations, one project follows the next. Careers never stand still.
In technical product management you often find people who have studied technical project management or industrial engineering. The aim here is to market the innovations of your own company worldwide. Mere knowledge of marketing is not enough. Technical innovations in particular are often sold via a pure B2B business model and the target groups are already very familiar with technologies. In short: You have to be familiar with engineering topics in order to be able to market products to engineering target groups. Positions of this kind might be located very close to the management in medium-sized companies, since the successful marketing of expensively developed new products is of the utmost importance for the company.
As you will find when you read job descriptions, technology manager jobs are very diverse. But there are some common elements. One component is always reading into new technologie, while another part is the assessment of these technologies with regard to their suitability for the company. Calculations, which are partly based on known data but often require the creation of models and scenarios, are of great importance. Don't underestimate the human factor as well: R&D teams or tech suppliers tick a little differently than CFOs or other stakeholders. You will have a mediating role here, which is not easy, but exciting and satisfying. In your role as a manager, only you will have a complete overview of the exciting technological side of innovations as well as the commercial perspective, which is at least as important. On some days you will deal purely with technical tasks, on other days you will work out budgets and strategies - this is what makes technology management so varied.
Almost all tech management careers contain elements of project management. The most important tasks are therefore to work in a structured manner, to document your own work, to calculate accurately and to communicate clearly. The following process steps are required for this:
Determine requirements: What requirements does the technology being procured have to meet – or what requirements do our customers have of our solutions?
Find or promote a solution: This is either market research or internal project management in cooperation with R&D departments.
Select technologies: This is based on well-calculated scenarios including budgets and timing.
Project management: Time and budget must be adhered to. Depending on the project management style, sub-goals must be defined, such as milestones.
Commercialization: The new technology either goes into productive use internally or is offered on the market. Internally, production changes and training may be necessary, while external marketing and sales measures may be necessary.
Career prospects in technology management are good. In almost all industries, new technologies have to be developed or introduced on an ongoing basis. Since the competition is international and the global economy is closely networked, innovations emerge rapidly and competitors pick them up early. Innovation and technology management have become a central topic in all companies, who cannot afford to lag behind. Big drivers for change are digitization, automation, industry 4.0, business intelligence and sustainability. It is conceivable that more and more specialists with technology management knowledge will be needed in companies. This could involve all departments, or it could involve the expansion of central innovation departments.
As a result, it is possible that the number of managers required will also increase.
Additionally, if you can offer helpful services to many companies thanks to your special qualification profile, you can consider founding your own consulting company.
Technology manager salaries are attractive and in the upper range for management and engineering graduates. Depending on the industry, location, bachelor's or master's degree, company and above all job profile, the starting salaries are between around 40,000 and 80,000 euros. You can find out more in our article on technology management salary.
Jobs in technology management are offered wherever there are innovative companies. Jobs are not just found in the metropolises – where you will find above all Information Technology manager jobs and consulting roles as well as offers from the large corporations and authorities based there. Job seekers can also look to the many smaller towns and rural regions in Germany, where numerous hidden champions are based. Think of the many companies in mechanical engineering or in the metal and electrical industry: There are many companies in North Rhine-Westphalia, in the Rhine-Main area, in Baden-Württemberg, in Bavaria and in Lower Saxony.
Which of these technology management careers do you find most appealing? Are you wondering what degree you need for the job? At the CBS, there are numerous degree programs related to technology management - starting with business administration bachelor's programs with a focus on digital management, dual, undergraduate bachelor's programs such as industrial engineering or business informatics and special master's programs such as technology management.
You can find all information on the page about the technology management degree.
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