What Is A Chief Technology Officer?

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Chief Technology OfficerThose asking “What is a Chief Technology Officer?” should understand that an individual working as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of a company is fulfilling an executive-level position and plays and important role in managing the technological and scientific factors of running an organization.

Role of a Chief Technology Officer

Over the last few decades, the information technology (IT) needs of companies have become increasingly important, and an increased influence on IT functioning has been noted in tandem with the increased importance of the role of the CTO. As the possibilities of technology and the influence technological procedures have had over the potentials and the capabilities of companies have increased, so to has the importance of finding a CTO who is capable of directing technological procedures and initiatives.

Although the Chief Technology Officer of a company tends to have a great deal of authority, this individual may work together with those in similar roles, such as figures in the research & development departments of a company or individuals involved with engineering. It’s important that a CTO is familiar with a variety of different technical, legal, and intellectual factors that the IT department of a company must address and deal with in its everyda operations.

What does the Chief Technology Officer of a company do? A company’s CTO must manage technical duties and features of a company by working together with those in other executive management roles to maximize a company’s potential and take advantage of any new technological developments that could possibly take place at a company to increase that company’s bottom line. A CTO is typically responsible of managing employees working in IO and IT departments.

The following is a short list of some common job responsibilities of Chief Technology Officers:

  • Conceive of and develop the technical strategies and overarching principles of the company’s operations.
  • Facilitates the conception, progress, and growth of new technological concepts at a company.
  • Consults with leaders of other departments on issues that necessitate teamwork between different areas.
  • Carry out research and present case studies that indicate technologies that a company can take advantage of and put to use to improve profitability.

Important qualities needed by a successful Chief Technology Officer include highly developed communication skills and the ability to motivate staff members. Additionally, CTOs need to be proactive, hard-workers who are capable of taking the initiative and experimenting with potentially profitable new techniques and ideas.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, top level executives average a salary of $101, 650 a year. They are projected to have the same continual growth in the industry as has been established, at about 11 percent over the next 10 years.

Related Resource: Qualities of a CEO


In order to be qualified to fulfill the position of Chief Technology Officer at a company, and individual should have a thorough education in science and technology. This education will likely include the completion of a Bachelor’s of Science degree in a field that is pertinent to the operations or needs of the company. Once a Bachelor’s degree program is completed, those who aspire to fulfill a CTO role will probably also need to acquire more than 10 years of experience working in IT. CTOs need to be experienced in management, and they might benefit from completing a graduate school program. Graduate studies for an aspiring CTO could come in the form of a Master’s of Science degree in the candidate’s area of specialty or an M.B.A. degree that allows the candidate to acquire management experience.



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