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Should CIOs do an MBA in digital transformation?

If you’re an experienced Chief Information Officer (CIO) or you’ve recently risen into a digital leadership role, you may be considering whether to do some academic studying to bring your skillset in-line with the latest digital technologies, transformation strategies, and leadership techniques.

Well you’re not alone.

We all know that ‘digital’ has been the buzzword for most organisations more than 10 years, and because of the constantly accelerating rate of technological change, digital leaders are now seeking opportunities to gain competitive advantage and stay ahead of the pack in the IT jobs market.

On this point, Gartner representatives have stated: “CIOs also need to become better storytellers to become better persuaders. Businesspeople need to see the value and results in compelling ways, not just be told the many steps and the tech in too much detail. So leading the digital transformation journey is going to require a new set of culture change approaches, including those that focus on neuroscience and psychology insights. This is a new kind of people game.”

As a by-product of this quest for digital supremacy, the consultants within Crimson’s IT recruitment agency are seeing a rise in the number of courses that are designed to nurture the CIOs and digital leaders of the future.

Training courses for CIOs, CDOs, and technology leaders currently available on the market, include:

  • The University of Oxford’s new ‘Oxford FinTech Programme’, delivered in association with some partners. The programme has the strapline ‘Create tomorrow’s financial trends’ and it teaches leaders how to identify areas of FinTech innovation and how to craft actionable strategies.
  • Quadriga University in Berlin, Germany, is now offering scholarships for MBAs in 'Leadership and Digital Business Transformation' among other subjects. These are being financed by the likes of BMW Group, global executive search firm Egon Zehnder, and Telefonica.
  • On a smaller scale, Crimson now runs more than 20 CIO Candidate Workshops in London, Birmingham, and Manchester every year. These workshops are designed to help CIOs update their credentials to reflect the needs of the IT jobs market and they instruct digital leaders how to build a five-year career plan.
  • Martin Sadler, friend of Crimson and interim CIO, is now sharing insights from more than 20 years of experience at his CIO Download course. In these two-day sessions, Martin shares tried-and-tested change methodologies and processes that CIOs can use to elevate their organisations and help develop their workforce.

Bringing it all together

When asked the question “Should CIOs do an MBA to increase their skills and ‘employability’?”, Crimson’s IT recruiters will always advise CIO candidates to invest in themselves by learning, adapting, and integrating their emerging knowledge into their organisations. An MBA may be a big commitment in terms of time, but self-directed study and improvement should be pursued no matter what because it will always enhance technology leaders’ chances in the IT jobs market.

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Crimson is an IT consultancy, an IT solutions provider, an IT recruitment agency, and a Microsoft Gold Partner operating across the UK.