Double Your Success in Today's Digital Business with a Dual Degree

By IDG
Published November 2019

In today’s digital age, as technology drives innovation throughout the enterprise, business acumen and technology expertise are emerging as essential skills.

A dual technology and business degree from Virginia Tech provides professionals on both sides of the fence with the flexibility they need to sharpen a wide array of skills while continuing to build a career.

Located in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area, the Virginia Tech Evening MBA program offers the opportunity to complete a dual degree in business administration and information technology—a prime opportunity to increase one’s marketability in today’s digital business environment.

NEW DEMANDS FOR TECHNOLOGY ROLES

Today’s IT professionals at all levels must sharpen their problem-solving skills and leadership capabilities as they partner with line of business (LOB) leaders.

Among CIOs, for example, the role is changing to one that is more strategic—and more closely aligned with the business. According to IDG’s 2019 State of the CIO survey, 81% of CIOs say their role is expanding to include new responsibilities, including oversight in data analytics (64%), followed by operations (43%), and business development (38%).

As a result, today’s IT leaders must understand the business and take on new business-oriented responsibilities to support the enterprise. This requires a new set of skills, a greater understanding of the business landscape, and the skills and knowledge to connect with their business colleagues.

These same facts are true for everyone on the IT team—understanding the business is critical to designing and deploying the strategies and solutions that will help the business meet its objectives.

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Source: IDG 2019 State of the CIO

NEW DEMANDS FOR BUSINESS ROLES

At the same time, LOB leaders and their staff need a deeper understanding of the tools and technologies that are reshaping their areas of the business. From blockchain to artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), a range of emerging technologies have the potential to change their business processes and workflows—never mind bottom-line results—for good.

Employees now rely on corporate networks to access critical systems and confidential documents. Factory floor managers keep equipment up and running with IoT devices. Marketing executives depend on data analytics to deliver qualified leads to salespeople. And customer service departments use bots to deliver helpful information to customers.

These LOB leaders require the skills and expertise to better utilize technology for greater business growth and innovation. In fact, gaining expertise in the areas of cybersecurity, data analytics, and machine learning can lead to significant career opportunities. For instance, as automation takes over basic accounting tasks, some accountants are exploring careers as cybersecurity analysts, a job that also relies heavily on number-crunching and forensics work.

GETTING YOUR CAREER ON COURSE

Virginia Tech’s dual Master’s degree in business administration and information technology (MBA + MIT) can help professionals gain the experience, expertise, and advantages they need to succeed in a blended business environment. Here’s how:

CAREER BOOST
Students receive an MBA while keeping up with changes in the technology industry by adding on a Master of IT. The result: greater marketability in a competitive labor market.

ECONOMIZE TIME AND MONEY
The dual-degree program double-counts up to five courses earned in the MBA program toward those also offered in the MIT program or vice versa.

WORK-LIFE BALANCE
Both the MBA and MIT degrees are built for full-time working professionals. Students have the flexibility to set their own pace by choosing the number of courses they will take each semester.

VARIETY
Students can select from a wide range of specialization areas including business intelligence, big data, cybersecurity, networking, and software engineering.

NETWORK
An in-person class format for the MBA program encourages students to establish valuable working relationships with classmates, and engage with top-notch faculty. A 100% online format for the MIT degree provides additional flexibility for working professionals and opportunity to work with students from across the country.

THRIVING IN A BLENDED WORLD

Roles are blurring, creating a blended business environment where IT leaders must embrace more business-oriented responsibilities and LOB leaders must find their way around sophisticated and complex technology systems. Only through education can these professionals gain the necessary skills and expertise to keep pace with this evolving business landscape. But it shouldn’t have to come at the cost of a full-time position. The Virginia Tech MBA + MIT dual-degree program offers the flexibility to contribute to business growth, revenue, and innovation as a working professional today—and as a substantially more marketable leader tomorrow.

Learn more about Virginia Tech's dual degree Master of Business Administration and Master of Information Technology program.