Duties and responsibilities
A Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is responsible for evaluating new technologies and determining how it can help organizations. They have lots of technical experience but work under a Chief information officer to design the appropriate technology solution based on their policies and directives. They have a huge amount of responsibility, which includes things such as:
- Managing a company’s technological plans
- Overseeing data security and management
- Maintaining a company’s network
- Envisioning how different forms of technology will be used throughout the company
- Researching ways the company’s technological assets can be improved
- Assessing whether new technologies are appropriate for a company to use
- Ensuring that the technologies currently in use are efficient
- Making changes to current technology wherever necessary
Ideally, a CTO will have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as computer science or information technology. To have the best opportunities, CTO’s should aim to achieve a masters degree in business administration (MBA).
What is most important, however, is work experience. Most CTO’s will advance up from lower level positions within the company. Therefore, they need be dedicated and committed to gathering suitable work experience in a related field. Experience in Human Resources, or other people-focused roles, is also incredibly beneficial.
Skills and relevant work experience
As well as relevant experience and a good education, CTO’s will need skills such as:
- Interpersonal skills, as CTO work closely with CIO, employees and other executives and must be able to build connections
- Verbal and written communication skills, as CTO’s will need to communicate with executives and employees. They will also need to respond to emails and keep documents neatly updated
- Technical skills, as CTO’s need to understand different IT systems and be able to implement them
- Organization skills, as CTO’s have a huge amount of responsibility and must be able to manage their time
Most CTO’s will work full time. They may often find themselves working overtime or long hours to meet deadlines. They may also travel a lot to attend meetings.
According to salary.com the median annual salary for a CTO in the United States is $250,348. The bottom 10% can expect to earn less than $173,157 and the highest 10% earn over $331,498 per annum.
CTOs progress from lower-level roles, such as an IT manager or other IT, HR and cybersecurity roles. In larger organizations, they will report directly to the Chief information officer. As a result, their progression would be into this role. However, in smaller organizations, CTOs determine the overall technology strategy for the firm and present it to the top executives.