Career advice: Promising directions for a tech career

Premier 100 IT Leader Dave Bellai also answers a question on getting a master's degree

By Dave Ballai, Computerworld |  IT Management

As you grow toward senior leadership levels, the work increasingly becomes focused on designing strategy and overseeing execution rather than understanding the thorny technical details of adopting the most recent emerging technologies. The best leaders in any discipline understand that success ultimately comes from the hard work of people acting as a team. If you decide on the MBA, remember that, while you will need to maintain close awareness and expertise in the technical disciplines of your field, you should also be honing your management skills if you want to advance in the organization hierarchy. The MBA ensures exposure to business disciplines that are critical to your developing a holistic view of business. You should also consider stepping into a nontechnical management role for a period of time to help you to refine your capacity to lead.

After more than 20 years in software development, I'm thinking it might be time to move on. What are the hottest areas in IT these days? Twenty years in software development is quite an accomplishment! This suggests that you've watched the evolution of technology and have witnessed and contributed in ways that should now offer you a very strong method to evaluate your options.

Answering your question requires a bit of understanding of the range of your software-centered skills, so my first reaction is to suggest that you likely already have an answer to the question based on what you enjoy most. I'm inclined to think that the answer to your question should start with an evaluation of your passions first and how they align with real or perceived hot technology areas. While there are plenty of articles emphasizing trends in BYOD, security, predictive analytics, SharePoint, cloud computing, social networking and many more, take the time to consider your interests first. By way of example; in my work with CIOs in the technology community, I'm often asked to help those in transition. The conversation typically starts by asking, "If you could work anywhere or for anyone, who might that be?" We then discuss how to move toward that objective. Similarly here, are you pursuing a technology simply because it is the current fad, or can you really see yourself working with it for the next 20 years?

Read more about it careers in Computerworld's IT Careers Topic Center.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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