If you’re currently working in software engineering and want to develop your career as a high level manager or step into a new role such as CIO, CTO, or CDO, then an MBA degree could be a useful qualification in helping your career development move forward. While not the obvious qualification of choice for many working in the field of computing and IT, the benefits of gaining an MBA are not solely restricted to those working in traditional business roles. Let’s look at some of the reasons why studying an MBA programme can be of benefit if you’re currently working in the tech sector and want to climb the career ladder. 

The importance of an MBA for software engineers

An increasing number of aspiring leaders in the IT industry are now seeking MBAs to increase their understanding of how the worlds of technology and business come together to achieve overall organisational goals. Many in the IT field are reaslising that their long-term career prospects depend on more than just technical know-how; understanding the ‘big picture’ requires strong knowledge of the fundamentals of business, and importantly, strong leadership capabilities, particularly in higher management or C-level positions. 

Typically covering core business areas such as finance, leadership, marketing, project management, human resources, conflict resolution, and cross cultural management, an MBA adds important skills to any tech professional’s repertoire of competencies. If you choose to study your MBA while working, for example, by studying your MBA online, then you’ll find that the knowledge you gain spills over into your daily work life. As well as broadening your business experience, this will also help you gain a more holistic view of how your company operates, how various departments link together, and how your organisation relates to others across the spectrum of global business. 

Studying your MBA online while working also shows both current and future employers in IT that you have the levels of dedication and commitment needed to complete a postgraduate qualification while juggling the demands of a full-time job in a highly competitive sector. 

What are the career options after an MBA?

While not an essential requirement for furthering your career path in computing and IT, an MBA marks you out as somebody with a good knowledge of effective leadership theories and common business practices. This will give you an advantage over other candidates with solely technical qualifications when it comes to applying for higher IT roles, such as chief technology officer or chief data officer. 

Whatever career path you choose to take after completing your MBA, most graduates find that their salaries see a significant improvement within three to six months of completing their course. In fact, most MBA providers use the average compensation increase of their alumni as a selling point when marketing their programmes, such is the frequency of improved remuneration for MBA graduates. Particularly in larger, global IT organisations where competition for promotion opportunities is fierce, your MBA will set you apart from other candidates seeking similar managerial positions. 

What qualifications do you need to study an MBA?

To join an MBA programme you should typically hold a bachelor’s degree combined with between three to five years of work experience. While some schools may allow you to enrol on their programmes directly after completing an undergraduate programme, you’ll get the most out of your MBA studies, and discover more career development opportunities, if you already have a fair amount of professional experience behind you. Most MBA courses also require you to pass the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) before enrolment, which is a computer-based test which assesses your analytical, writing, verbal, and reading skills, however, there are an increasing number of MBA courses on offer that allow you to join without this requirement. 

What are the best MBA specialisations for a software engineer?  

Software engineers and those working in computing and IT in general can benefit from a wide range of subject areas covered by today’s MBA programmes. Specialisations such as Information Systems, Data Analysis, Quantitative Analysis, IT Security, and Mobile Computing all have obvious benefits for the IT professional. The more traditional MBA study areas such as Sustainability, Marketing, Operations Management, Finance, and Leadership will also help you widen your professional perspective and allow you to contribute to your organisation’s goals and objectives across a broad spectrum of disciplines. 

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