The technology sector has always been known for growing and changing extremely quickly. However, massive booms can give way to even bigger busts. This has never been more evident than over the past several years.
If you currently work in technology or aspire to enter the field, you’re likely looking for ways to insulate your career from the industry’s natural ups and downs. Perhaps the best way to do that is by earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Not only will this advanced degree protect your career, but it will also put you on a fast track to management, job security and enhanced earning potential.
What’s Happening in Tech?
In 2023 alone, nearly 200,000 employees have been laid off across 700 different technology companies, according to Layoffs.fyi. A large portion of these layoffs are likely an overcorrection from the pandemic.
When work-from-home mandates began, many tech companies saw their businesses soar as once-optional software became required for the remote work environment. According to Forbes, many companies likely over-hired during the pandemic to keep up with their quickly-growing bottom lines.
However, 2022 onward has been plagued by increasing interest rates, slowing business activity and general economic uncertainty. For these reasons, companies eagerly look to cut costs, and layoffs are usually the easiest place to start.
Over the past year or so, layoffs have affected America’s biggest tech companies:
- Google: 12,000
- Meta: 11,000
- Microsoft: 10,000
- Amazon: 10,000
- Twitter: 3,700
However, these layoffs aren’t entirely economic. Many major tech companies are investing heavily to try and diversify their core business and discover “the next big thing.” For Meta, building the metaverse has become a multi-billion-dollar annual expense. The same is true for Microsoft and Google as they rush to perfect artificial intelligence.
Expanding Your Value as a Tech Employee
The technology sector evolves and changes rapidly, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you should rush to learn the skills required to build the metaverse or the next big AI tool. Instead, consider this: while technology evolves exponentially, business fundamentals largely stay the same. With this in mind, the secret to navigating the tech sector might be to learn about the role technology plays in the larger business landscape:
- Instead of just knowing what IT systems your company uses, understand your company’s high-level strategy for growth.
- Instead of just knowing what language your company’s core SaaS offering is written in, know how this offering compares to competitors and how to win market share.
- Instead of just knowing the content management system of your company’s website, know which marketing strategies have won new customers.
Expanding your business knowledge base will make you a more valuable employee and improve your ability to anticipate changes in the tech sector.
Why Should I Earn an MBA?
As you might expect, it won’t be enough to simply read a few business books and assure future hiring managers of your business prowess. To solidify your position as a multi-faceted business professional, you should consider earning an advanced degree. Here are just five reasons to pursue an MBA:
- Management track: Earning an MBA will put you on a fast track to a management position, even if you don’t necessarily have the experience. When it comes to potential career paths for technology professionals with an MBA, Indeed.com lists project manager, business development manager and chief technology officer as potential career options for MBA graduates.
- Non-technical skills: The most popular coding languages can change every 5-10 years. But, non-technical skills like leadership, communication and critical thinking never expire. An MBA is one of the best ways to learn these non-technical, lasting skills.
- Credibility: MBA programs usually help you develop practical skills via case studies and mock business exercises. In this sense, earning an MBA can help prove that you have experience as a business professional, even if you don’t have significant work experience
- Network: Perhaps the most underrated part of receiving an MBA is the network you gain. Earning an MBA will give you an advantage at any company that employs other graduates of your program. Additionally, your school will undoubtedly have an alumni network in place to help you access job opportunities.
- Job security: An MBA may be the deciding factor if a company is choosing who to lay off between two employees.
How Do I Choose an MBA Program?
Ideally, you’ll want to find an MBA program that offers a crossover between technology and business sectors. This could be as simple as choosing a program that includes relevant courses in technology. For example, the Bowling Green State University (BGSU) online MBA program offers courses with a technology focus, such as the following course:
- Information Technology for Managers: Helps equip you with the knowledge necessary to use IT effectively in your organization.
- Digital Marketing Strategy & Tactics: Teaches you the most up-to-date strategies in digital advertising for social media, search marketing, content marketing, email marketing, analytics and more.
An MBA is undoubtedly one of the best ways to kill three birds with one stone: make yourself a more attractive job candidate, put yourself on a management track and help protect your career down the road. For technology professionals, an advanced business degree can provide the in-demand, lasting business skills to accompany your technology career and make you even more resistant to economic shifts.
Learn more about BGSU’s online MBA program.