IT Learning Opportunities for CIOs and Execs Over the Summer

By: Esther Shein - Leave a comment


The overwhelming pace of technological change can leave CIOs and high-level IT managers with little time to think about IT learning opportunities that can help them keep up with the latest trends in mobile, cloud, analytics and digital technologies.

Luckily, summer is an ideal time for executives to explore different learning opportunities. Education is available in many formats, from webinars, roundtables and boot camps to online and onsite courses.

Digital Skills Need a Refresher

Gartner’s 2016 CIO Agenda Survey revealed that digitalization is intensifying. In the next five years, CIOs expect digital revenues to grow from 16 percent to 37 percent. Similarly, CIOs in the public sector predict a rise from 42 percent to 77 percent in digital processes. Because of this fast growth, this is an area where CIOs and IT executives should continue to hone their skills.

Other skills these executives may want to concentrate on include budgeting, managing teams and soft skills such as public speaking and time management.

Summertime IT Learning Opportunities

Many higher-education institutes offer short courses or programs that may be of interest to CIOs and other technology-facing executives. In terms of leadership opportunities, the Stanford University Graduate School of Business is offering a six-day intensive course at the end of July called “The Innovative Technology Leader” that is geared toward helping tech executives adjust to the digital world.

Carnegie Mellon University has a CIO Certificate Program, and one of its eight modules, CIO leadership, is offered from Aug. 17 to Aug. 19. Though students can complete the eight modules in any sequence over the course of two years, the modules are also autonomous, so CIOs can sign up for just one if they want.

The EDUCAUSE Management Institute offers a weeklong residential Management Institute for existing IT managers with three to five years of supervisory experience who are looking to augment their skills. Participants will learn organizational management skills, specifically focused on managing people. CIOs will learn about effective communication, partnerships and collaboration, personal and professional development, project and organizational management and strategic thinking and planning.

EDUCAUSE also offers a Learning Technology Leadership Institute, an immersive leadership experience that highlights decision-making and communicating with different constituencies. The institute teaches students how to manage teams and budgets, as well as how to refine presentation skills and foster inclusivity.

New CIOs, CISOs or experienced IT leaders who are actively seeking CIO, CISO and executive-level leadership can also attend a five-day Leadership Institute at EDUCAUSE. The program is designed to help them develop an understanding of the context for making decisions and new ways to create plans and lead change at their organization.

MIT’s Sloan Executive Education program has a few short summer courses that are a blend of IT offerings and business classes. For example, its “Managing Complex and Technical Projects” course in July is for senior managers, technology strategists and others involved in project management. The school also offers a two-day course in supply chain management and strategy and one on maximizing your personal productivity in July. “Communication and Persuasion in the Digital Age” is another course option in June.

Conferences on Business and Technology

Alternatively, there are a few summer conferences that could be of interest to technology executives. For instance, the Society of Information Management is well-known for its annual SIMposium and Regional Leadership Forum for senior IT professionals. It has also launched a new national cybersecurity special interest group and is hosting its first web conference on June 21.

Further, a number of IT opportunities are available over the summer months for the more technically minded through the IEEE Computer Society. For example, its two-day conference in August is on the “Future Internet of Things and Cloud” and will discuss the latest in scientific and practical research of the Internet of Things and cloud computing.

Through these various IT learning opportunities, CIOs and other enterprise leaders can learn about the latest technologies, infrastructure trends and innovations that can help them move their organizations forward.

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About The Author

Esther Shein

Freelance Writer

Esther Shein is a freelance writer and editor specializing in technology, business and education. Her work has appeared in several online and print publications, including Inc., Computerworld, NetworkComputing, InformationWeek, BYTE, CIO, and The Boston Globe. She has written thought leadership whitepapers, customer case studies and marketing materials in addition to news and feature articles.... Read More