Can you become a CTO? Not sure what is required for a CTO position, This state of confusion is common in the tech industry due to a lack of detailed and up to date information.
So to address this, we reverse engineered the job descriptions provided by employers for the CTO position to find out the key patterns and skills one needs for the role today.
For this analysis, we have extracted close to 150 job ads from various job boards in the USA. as CTO is more of an executive role. And although it is a known fact that a Chief Technology Officer would be more hands on in technical operations of an organization,
it is challenging to present the ideal technologies required for Chief Technology Officer because every company has its own specific requirements.
Nevertheless, there are quite a few non technical skills that are listed as crucial by almost all companies, And hopefully by the end of this Article, you have a clear idea of what you need to kickstart your career as a Chief Technology Officer.
As part of this analysis, we did our best to find the answers to the most important questions, Every aspiring CTO needs to know.
- What are the companies with more openings?
- Which are the locations with a higher concentration of job offers?
- What education is expected for a CTO role?
- What is the ideal experience required for a CTO role?
- What are the skills that typical CTO should possess?
If any of the above questions are on your mind? Stay tuned, because you’ll find the answers by the end of this Article.
Who is a CTO?
let’s quickly define the role itself. Who is a CTO? If we search through Wikipedia, we will see that a CTO is the highest technology executive position within a company that leads the technology or engineering department.
To define the role in our own terms,
CTO stands for Chief Technology Officer, a CTO usually handles all the technical related aspects of the organization and guides other employees in developing the right products or technology that serves the organization needs.
What are the companies with more openings?
Alright, now that you’re familiar with the definition of the role, let’s jump in to see what we have found while analyzing the data from the CTO job descriptions. Starting with companies, our data shows that there are most openings in Microsoft at the moment, followed by the Federal Reserve Bank.
Overall, there are very few openings company wise, but this makes perfect sense since multiple openings for a Chief Technology Officer role in a single company is very rare.
In terms of company types, almost 33% of the job offers are from large scale companies with more than 10,000 plus employees.
What makes an impression, however, is that there are some considerable offers from small scale organizations as well, which indicates that an increasing number of startups are currently looking for CTOs.
What about industries, it is easy to spot that the largest number of openings belong to the financial services and information technology industries.
But these are far from the only options as there are considerable openings under the health care and education industries.
Which are the locations with a higher concentration of job offers?
we can easily draw the following conclusions from the data at hand, First, the majority of openings for CTO positions are in California and New York.
Second, there is a significant number of openings from Washington and Virginia states. So it’s safe to say you now know which flight to book if you’re aiming for the CTO title.
To narrow things down. Let’s take a look at the cities with the most CTO offers at the moment. Currently, the best opportunities are undisputedly in New York City.
However, don’t rule out San Francisco and Redmond as data suggests they offer a reasonable number of openings to Okay, we have mapped out the best industries, companies and locations to consider if you have set your sights on the Chief Technology Officer role.
What education is expected for a CTO role?
What degree do you need to fulfill the CTO position? According to the data, almost 50% of job offers mentioned bachelor as the required degree for the CTO position.
However, the master’s degree is mentioned in almost the same number of offers as bachelor’s, so that might be a trend worth following up in the future.
On the other hand, very few companies are expecting PhD candidates for the CTO position, probably because business acumen and experience are considered more important for that dynamic role.
What about specialization? Well, the majority of the companies have listed computer science as the preferred educational background for Chief Technology Officer, Other more prominent fields of concentration include mathematicsand statistics.
What is the ideal experience required for a CTO role?
let’s talk about the experience you need to become a CTO, Since CTO is more of an executive role companies are looking for experienced candidates.
On average, the overall industry experience expected for CTO position is 10 plus years, besides candidates with relevant experience in senior roles of seven plus years are preferred by the companies.
What are the skills that typical CTO should possess?
Alright, it’s time to dive into the practical aspect of the CTO role skills, Our research outlines six distinct categories
- Programming languages
2. Front end technologies
Continuing with front end technologies to trends jump off the page. First, it is observed that front end technologies are mentioned in a good number of openings.
This adds up as these days most of the small scale companies are interested in building web based products.
And second, Angular, React js and Node JS are mentioned in quite a few openings.
When it comes to other technologies and tools, companies need candidates that are well aware of the currently popular technologies like machine learning SAS and DevOps, AWS and Azure are also mentioned in a few offers as cloud technologies are trending in the industry these days.
5. Domain knowledge
Naturally, companies are expecting the candidates to know about certain domains as this helps them build the right products to satisfy customer needs.
So in tune with the latest developments and trends in business and economics, healthcare and finance are mentioned in quite a few job offers.
That said the technical aspect of the CTO job is only half of what it takes to move up the ladder and become one.
6. Soft skills
Soft skills are probably the most important skills for CTO position, Most of the companies are looking to recruit candidates with strong leadership qualities in managing the employees.
What’s more, many companies are expecting candidates for a CTO role to be experts in the design and architecture of the products.
strategic thinking and an innovative mindset are some of the most prized qualities and are in huge demand for the role.
7. Communication skills
Finally, as we approach the end of the list of qualities a CTO needs to possess, we shouldn’t forget that communication skills and soft skills go hand in hand.
As a CTO, you are bound to interact with various teams and other leaders in the organization. So top communication skills are a must.
Our data confirm that with more than 50% of companies requiring communication skills. Now you’ve got a good idea about the skills and education required to become a CTO.
To recap, this is more of a role oriented job, So if you have good knowledge in any domain and front end technologies prior experience in a senior role, and you’re capable of handling an organization with good leadership qualities, then you stand a fairly high chance to get an interview call for the CTO position.