Every manager or team leader is expected to know the nitty-gritties of the job, including all technical, marketing and other aspects to efficiently manage his or her team. The need for managers to know the details of the jobs they assign their team has given rise to Masters in Business Administration (MBA) programmes in Information Technology (IT) and Systems Management.
If we look at the global MBA scenario, IT-related opportunities make up almost as much as 13 per cent of business administrative jobs. This figure was achieved after the industry witnessed a growth of eight per cent in 2014. The findings are part of a collaborative study between QS Intelligence Unit and TopMBA.com (2014-15 report), involving more than 5,500 MBA employers.
What is an MBA in IT or Systems Management specialisation about?
An MBA in IT or Systems Management can make one eligible in handling administrative problems and tasks related to information technology. The scope of this arena is huge given the demand in this field created by the growing IT industry.
“A field like Systems Management is both technical and managerial in nature. ‘Business analysts’ in the IT industry are considered to be experts in a number of technical support areas. These include database techniques, programming languages, communication systems, image processing, security systems etc,” Premlesh Machama, Managing Director, Career Builder, says, adding, “However, these experts do not generally possess the comprehensive experience to function in a high-level business/information arena.”
What are the advantages of this qualification?
According to Machama, a management degree in this stream can make one eligible in handling administrative problems and tasks related to information technology. “An MBA in IT/system management can help a candidate to develop managerial and administrative qualities as well as gain sound understanding of business concepts which is a crucial requirement for project management positions in software development activities,” he says.
Throwing light on industry practises during recruitment drives, hiring and placement season, Harmeet Kaur, Senior Talent Acquisition partner at 3Pillar Global says, “The IT services industry is actively seeking out candidates who are not only technically strong but also can also constantly challenge themselves in terms of problem solving which is very important these days.”
Elaborating further on the importance of this qualification, Kaur says, “Candidates who are equipped with an MBA in IT and Systems management have an added advantage of getting a job in an IT MNC as they have knowledge of technology as well as a sound understanding of global business aspects. An MBA degree helps candidates become well-trained in management aspects helping them grow into successful IT managers.”
Who apply most for this course?
“This course is typically pursued by students with computer or software engineering backgrounds. In due course of time, as engineers progress in their careers, an MBA in IT aids them in climbing up the ladder to managerial designations,” says Anil Sachdev, Founder and CEO, School of Inspired Leadership (SOIL), a business school.
While Kaur feels that candidates with a degree of BCA, engineering and B Sc (IT) would be preferred for admissions in this course, she says that they need to possess good analytical skills and an unending quest for knowledge as well.
Machama notes that the trend of MBA in IT/System Management is catching up in India. “One can usually see candidates with mixed qualification backgrounds in this course. Since the scope of MBA and engineering is vast in the corporate world, both freshers and candidates who have had two-three years of work experience opt for this course,” he says.
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What is the pay scale after MBA in IT/Systems Management?
Machama feels that the pay scale for this job depends upon the experience of a candidate. “For freshers, the basic salary starts from 7-8 lakh per annum and for experienced candidates, it can go upto 20-25 lakh per annum,” he says.
However, Kaur is of the opinion that salaries for information systems managers are competitive and are among the best across industries, given that this field brings together two sought-after skill sets.
“Salary packages largely depend upon the size of the organisation that you work for and the experience. Packages for freshers from top business schools are also much higher as compared to normal MBA’s,” Kaur says.
What is the scope of employment after this course?
Apart from the prospect of a better emolument, such a qualification can help you learn the nuances of website management, e-commerce development, decision support systems, software product development, information security, knowledge management systems and business analysis, inventory control systems and overall IT management systems.
If you are looking for a position as a systems analyst, database manager, software/applications developer, network administrator, project lead or information technology consultant, you need to have an MBA in IT or Systems Management specialisation.
“The scope is vast for candidates who have opted for this stream,” says Machama, adding that an MBA-IT graduate can seek management roles in business/IT alignment, IT governance, IT financial management, IT service management as well as Sourcing.”
Some of the institutes in India offering an MBA in IT or Systems Management are:
Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) – all campus
Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon
Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM), Pune
Sikkim Manipal University
What do you need for this course:
First and foremost, you would need exceptional analytical skills as well as a sound knowledge of technical jargon and the ability to interpret and communicate it in clear managerial terms. That you need to have an interest in information technologies goes without saying.
A bachelor’s qualification in computer applications or information technology would be considered ideal but is not necessary. You will be required to integrate business functions with IT and a sense of creativity and innovativeness will be expected of you.
Lastly, you must always be willing to learn as well as keep yourself updated on the latest developments in the IT sector as technology is forever evolving at a very fast rate.