Columbia University’s Executive M.S. in Technology Management prepares senior technology professionals to develop a strategic mindset, fine-tune their speaking and presentation skills, understand core business functions (such as finance, accounting, and leadership), and ultimately drive enhanced business performance through the use of technology.
The demand for skilled and experienced leaders who can guide their firms to compete in today’s highly competitive, fast-paced, global, technology-based economy has never been higher.
Columbia University’s Executive M.S. in Technology Management prepares senior technology professionals to develop a strategic mindset, fine-tune their speaking and presentation skills, understand core business functions (such as finance, accounting, and leadership), and ultimately drive enhanced business performance through the use of technology. The program emphasizes the importance of using technology in business for strategic advantage and improved productivity. Graduates typically assume positions as CIO, CTO, CAO, COO, CEO, or CSO, or as entrepreneurs. The program is also ideal for those pursuing CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) certification.
To meet expanding industry needs for executive technology managers with distinct knowledge, the program offers five areas of focus: C-Level Management, Data Management and Analytics, New Business Ventures, Entertainment Technology Management, and Cybersecurity.
The executive, cohort-based program is completed over a 16-month period, which includes flexible online and interactive learning using Columbia’s unique networked learning platform and five multi-day residences where students engage in intensive study and have the opportunity to network with other students, faculty, and industry leaders. Students choose a residency plan based in New York City or in Paris.
One-on-One Executive Mentoring
One of the unique ways the program prepares students for the challenges of technology leadership is through extensive, one-on-one, structured mentoring from accomplished technology leaders. Beginning in the second term, each student is matched with a seasoned executive best suited to provide informed, individualized guidance for developing a master’s project idea into a complete, portable asset that can move any career forward.
Who Should Apply
The program provides an intensive graduate education for motivated candidates who have already demonstrated professional accomplishment. The ideal candidate has a minimum of ten years’ experience in professional roles using technology to further business goals, with a résumé demonstrating a strong record of professional achievement and clear leadership potential. Diverse industries and specializations are represented in every incoming class. Students are admitted as part of a cohort that moves through each phase of the program together, learning from each other as much as from faculty, mentors, and guest lecturers.
36 points for degree completion
Combination of on-campus and online instruction
Executive Master’s Schedule*
Fall intake only
16 months to complete
Executive Mentorship Program (one mentor per student)
* Enrollment in this program does not meet the full-time requirements for an F1 student visa.
The Executive M.S. in Technology Management is a 16-month executive format program framed by five multi-day residencies. The curriculum includes required or core courses; elective courses in five areas of focus: C-Level Management, Data Management and Analytics, New Business Ventures, Entertainment Technology Management, and Cybersecurity; executive seminars; and the Master’s Project. Activities during the residencies connect directly to the other program components. Throughout the program, coursework is supported by a leading-edge online learning platform designed to enhance and extend the face-to-face residency experience. Full participation is critical for degree completion.
Core Courses (Required for all Students)
Required or core courses provide all students, regardless of their backgrounds, with the knowledge and skills technology executives must have to succeed in today’s fast-paced global environment. Through the study of relevant theoretical frameworks, strategies, and tools, students acquire the ability to consider technology challenges from varied perspectives. Case studies help students to apply these theories, strategies, and tools to develop solutions to challenges they face in their own industries and work environments and become highly effective leaders.
Electives include courses designed expressly for the program’s areas of focus. Students may also select related courses offered at the University that may help them advance their professional and academic interests.
The Mentor-Led Master’s Project
The Master’s Project demonstrates students’ ability to apply their coursework towards a specific technology solution based on the area of focus chosen by the student — usually in the form of a product or service — to a complex, real-world business challenge, objective, or scenario. A unique feature of the M.S. program and this project is the pairing of each student with an executive mentor drawn from the program’s vast network of CIOs and technology executives. Faculty approve students’ proposals for the Master’s Project during the first term of study. By a “draft” process, students are then matched with a mentor, who is interested in the student’s project. Then one-on-one work with the executive mentor over 3 semesters of the program develops and strengthens the idea into a project plan that will ultimately produce a complete and entirely portable professional asset. Master’s Projects are based on real-world business opportunities or challenges and are often centered on a business scenario the student knows firsthand from his or her own professional experience.
Over the course of the program, and in partnership with the program’s community of faculty, peers, and industry leaders, students research, develop, test, and refine their Master’s Project solutions over three sequential academic terms, completing three chapters in succession: product or service realization, strategic planning and marketing, and operations management. These online Executive Seminars immerse students in additional knowledge regarding current trends and issues in high-level technology management, taught by multiple instructors, all of whom are industry experts in one of the program’s areas of focus.
After each Executive Seminar, mentors review and discuss the progress of the Master’s Project with the student, offering the opportunity to seek advice about any aspect of the Project, from logistical business concerns to strategies for presentation and defense of the project before a review panel. Every student must “defend” each chapter orally in front of a panel of executives.
The mentor approaches and critiques the Master’s Project from the perspective of a seasoned executive, providing business context, identifying practical problems, honing solutions, challenging assumptions, offering guidance and contacts, and managing expectations. Meetings with the mentor simulate the real-world experience of working out complex solutions with a senior colleague.
Many courses are enhanced through a highly interactive online experience that uses the School’s innovative distance learning platform. Students and faculty communicate through a unique social networking function in ways that extend and enhance the impact of traditional learning experiences. Courses typically include a combination of live events, asynchronous community-driven activities, and self-study. The online component does not substitute for the in-person residencies and coursework.
The residency component is an essential part of a student’s development and preparation for a career as an executive. The face-to-face sessions provide group discussions and debates so that students can challenge their own views and benefit from the diversity of ideas put forth by their colleagues. Students are provided access to senior IT executives who present contemporary issues facing the profession. The experience allows students to assess their own views and develop new perspectives on their leadership style. The residencies also offer students the opportunity to network with industry leaders, get to know fellow students from around the world, and build a lifelong network of alumni, mentors, and faculty from the program.