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Business graduates and executives are increasingly applying for graduate-level degrees that will give them an edge over the competition – and they’re not just MBAs.

Entrepreneur just revealed the new must-have degree for those in business, and it’s the Executive MS in Technology Management.

What exactly does the programme teach students? According to Learn.Org, “An executive master’s in technology management (EMTM) degree…can offer you the technology and business skills necessary to excel in your field.

“While there are hundreds of Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees from which to choose, the executive master’s in technology management offers a unique approach to upper-level business education.”

The growth of new technologies – automation, artificial intelligence, robotics – is set to be an essential part of business in the future.

It’s also getting easier for companies to collect data thanks to the boom of cloud-related technologies, but they need people to analyse this data and put it to good use for the company’s own benefit.

This is one reason why this degree is becoming more valuable for those looking to get ahead of the curve, as well as fill in a ‘digital skills gap’ affecting many companies today.

As Arthur Langer, guest writer for Entrepreneur, states, “Why do so many otherwise successful companies fail to adapt to the tech-driven world? Chief among many factors is the digital skills gap impacting 54 percent of businesses.

“Most traditional business education [programmes] simply haven’t kept pace with today’s technological demands, causing individuals who already have [an] MBA to seek out [programmes] to learn more applied and specific digital skills.”

Langer also stressed that this doesn’t mean the MBA is obsolete. In fact, the MBA still holds broad value in the competitive business world.

“But due to the inseparable nature of technology and business, there is an urgent need to supplement MBAs with education and theories that can be applied to the current digital reality.”

It’s becoming obvious that all industries – healthcare, retail, e-commerce, agriculture and beyond – have to leverage technology to survive in today’s world.

This is because digital improvements are significantly increasing profits and efficiency. According to a study by Gartner, “Across 15 industries, ranging from manufacturing to energy, 47 percent of CEOs are challenged to make progress in digital business.”

Therefore, an Executive MS in Tech Management teaches students how to use tools that increase a company’s bottom line and increase their profit margin.

According to Langer, “[Programmes] emphasize the importance of using technology in business for strategic advantage and improved productivity.”

Graduates with this degree are well-rewarded and highly paid, proving that it pays off and providing a strong return on investment.

“Graduates typically assume such positions as CIOs, CTOs, CAOs, COOs, CEOs, CSOs, or CDOs. Steve Bandrowczak was named President and COO of Xerox while taking our program at Columbia University. Lauren Goodwin earned her Executive MS and was hired as BP’s VP of Digital Transformation.”

Langer said the reason graduates earn so much and are able to perform well in their jobs is because the programme is specific to their needs and goals.

“Digital transformation is not a one-size-fits-all process, so [programmes] offer a variety of focus areas, such as C-Level Management, Cybersecurity and Data Management and Analytics. Executives can leverage this expertise to reach the next level in their careers.”

Students of these programmes typically receive plenty of hands-on experience via internships and industry-level projects, so they are able to transfer these skills to the workforce once they graduate.

If you’re keen to pursue an Executive MS in Tech Management, some universities to check out are Columbia University, Colorado State University Global and Herzing University

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