How Can I Become a CTO?

Question: Can you provide any details on what career path I would need to move into a CTO position — for example, roles on that route, training or certification needed, etc.?
 
I graduated with a degree in industrial engineering in 1996, started work in IT straight after and completed a part-time MSc in health informatics from 1998 to 2000. I currently work as a project lead in a health insurance firm, but primarily have the duties of a senior developer (including design, code, and interaction with businesspeople).

I have a choice of going into a technical route, an enterprise architecture group or a project management route. In your experience, which route would be more likely to allow me progress in the CTO arena?

Answer: Unfortunately, there is no one path that leads to the CTO position — it varies from company to company, country to country. However, there are always common prerequisites for this post. Some examples are as follows:

1. At least 10 years IT management experience: The CTO is a C-level position, just like the CEO and CIO, and has a high level of managerial responsibility. This includes successful management skills such as project management, people management, IT security management and financial management.

2. A strong educational background, whether it's academic, vocational or professional: Not only do candidates need strong practical skills, but they also need to demonstrate theory or show their practical application has been assessed against a certain standard. This could be in the…


Ken Wagner

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Posted in Dear CertMag|

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