Earning CIO Certification as Part of Your Technology Management Degree

Whether or not you want to become a CIO or simply take on a senior IT leadership role, CIO certification not only enhances your career prospects, it also speaks to the strong educational foundation you’ve received–an education that ties together the core competencies of IT management.

To be a technology leader in today’s rapidly changing IT landscape, you need to be more than just tech savvy; you also need to understand how technology influences and integrates with all aspects of your organization from an operational and strategic business sense. You need to be able to manage technology as well as the people implementing the technology. You need to be able to translate your IT language into the business language of your company’s executives.

At George Mason University School of Management’s MS in Technology Management program, graduates are awarded CIO certification (in partnership with the Federal CIO Council) along with their degree. Mason’s MS in Technology Management program was one of the four founding CIO university partners in 1999 and today is one of only seven programs that are part of the US CIO University.

What is CIO University?

CIO University is a virtual consortium of universities, coordinated on behalf of the federal government, that offer graduate level programs that directly address federal executive core competencies in order to prepare business leaders for top IT jobs in government and private sector. The purpose of the CIO University is to improve the leadership  of information technology in the federal government by enhancing the skills of its top executives. University partners in the consortium include George Mason, Syracuse, George Washington, Carnegie Mellon, LaSalle, the University of Maryland-University College, and National Defense University’s IRM College (iCollege).

CIO University first opened in fall of 1999 with its first class graduating in June of 2000. The motivation for CIO University resulted from the passage of the Information Technology Management Reform Act of 1996 (also known as the Clinger-Cohen Act) which had the goal of more effective application of technology in government. Following on from the Act, the federal government spearheaded a review process of the key components of CIO and IT executive leadership which resulted in the development of the CIO Core Competencies.

This was the first time the government outlined its requirements for its senior information management corps allowing universities to develop a special curriculum to meet these demands.  The U.S. government then founded CIO University and partnered with the initial CIO University partner universities, including George Mason, to integrate the Core Competencies into the curricula of established master’s degree programs and then to officially launch CIO University with the first entering classes in 1999.

Since CIO University’s establishment, more than 1,400 individuals have received CIO certification.

CIO Core Competencies

The CIO Core Competencies are revised and updated every two years with the most recent update in 2012. This update increased consideration of cyber security and information assurance, social media, cloud computing, and open government in line with many of the trends and new challenges and opportunities for the application of technology.

George Mason’s technology management program satisfies all requirements for federal government CIOs. No additional coursework is required in order to achieve CIO certification with Mason’s program; the skills and learning objectives are built directly into the program. The twelve Core Competencies outlined as fundamental to the effective management of information technology and integrated into our program’s curriculum include:

  1. policy and organization
  2. leadership and human capital management
  3. process and change management
  4. information resources strategy and planning
  5. IT performance assessment: models and methods
  6. IT project and program management
  7. capital planning and investment control (CPIC)
  8. acquisition
  9. information and knowledge management
  10. cybersecurity/information assurance (IA)
  11. enterprise architecture
  12. technology management and assessment

CIO certification is just one more way to distinguish yourself in the workforce, and bring unique skills that strengthen your qualifications. Mason’s Master’s in Technology Management program offers you the unique ability to earn your master’s degree and CIO certification at the same time and in just 16 months. And you have the assurance of knowing that the courses you take in our program are strongly tied to the Core Competencies you need to operate as an IT leader.

Learn more about earning your master’s in technology management and CIO certification at Mason.

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Clodagh Bassett

I am the assistant program director of the Master of Science in Technology Management program. In my more than 13 years working with this program, I have seen students grow and mature within the program to achieve their career goals. My goal is to always have a satisfied customer/student.

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