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Meet Michelle! She's the chief technology officer (CTO) at an IT firm.

What’s the first thing you'd imagine about her role? Probably this:

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But don’t be misled by the "technology" part of this role! The CTO role goes way beyond just IT and includes much more than working on a computer all day long.

CTO Role Explained

Does an engineer, after years of experience, become a CTO? No! A CTO isn't an engineering or programming role, so it's not mandatory to have coding skills to become one.

In fact, a CTO works with business and operations too! They ensure the technology strategy of a company matches its business strategy.

A CTO has a thorough understanding of:

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  • Engineering

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  • Business

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  • Operations

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  • Finance

What Keeps a CTO Busy Through the Day?

A CTO is involved in a number of important tasks:

  • Developing a technology roadmap for the digital transformation of a company

  • Leading digital transformation initiatives to successful implementation

  • Establishing long-term IT goals, policies, and procedures

  • Giving technical guidance on high-priority projects

  • Imparting business acumen to the IT teams developing marketable technology

  • Employing technical strategy to improve customer-facing, end products

  • Engaging in financial planning to ensure cost-effective IT operations

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What areas should you be an expert in if you want to be a CTO?

What Qualifications Do You Need To Be a CITO?

  • A technical degree (such as Bachelor of Computer Technology, Informatics), or

  • A business degree (such as BBA, MBA), or

  • A combination of both (such as a diploma in IT Management)

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Skills You'll Need To Be a Successful CTO

  • Vision and technology leadership, including the ability to give clear directions to your team. Flaticon Icon

  • Ability to influence and collaborate, including the ability to persuade others.

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  • Communication skills, including oral and presentation skills.

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  • Business and financial acumen, including a strong understanding of market dynamics. Flaticon Icon

  • Project management skills, including risk and change management.

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Thinking about potential employers?

Job opportunities are available in many different sectors like:

  • IT

  • E-Commerce

  • Banking

  • Telecommunication

  • Aviation

  • Mining

Would they compensate me well?

Flaticon Icon The median CTO salary in the United States is US $280,000.

Flaticon Icon The average CTO salary in Canada is CAD $145,000.

Take Action

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If being a CTO resonates with you:


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