Leadership skills may come natural to some, but even natural born leaders will need to develop their leadership skills for a career in IT management. And it’s important for organizations to have employees with strong leadership potential rising the corporate ranks, ready to fill leadership roles as IT leaders retire or move on to other opportunities.
As you climb the IT ladder, you’ll need to constantly evaluate your leadership style to ensure you are developing the right set of skills to effectively lead your IT team. Of course, leadership skills can be learned through experience and mentorships, but if you want to develop stronger leadership skills and discover new tools and resources, several programs are designed to help you become the best leader possible.
[ Learn from your peers: Check out our State of the CIO 2020 report on the challenges and concerns of CIOs today. | Find out the 7 skills of successful digital leaders and the secrets of highly innovative CIOs. | Get weekly insights by signing up for our CIO Leader newsletter. ]
Top 10 leadership development programs
- Citi Bank Technology Leadership Program
- Cornell University Technology Leadership Certificate
- Global Knowledge Active Leadership for IT Professionals
- ITMLP and ITMLE Certification Training
- Johnson & Johnson Technology Leadership Development Program
- Microsoft Aspire Experience
- MIT Essential IT for Non-IT Executives
- MIT Technology Leadership Program
- Oulette and Associates Technology Leadership Experience
- Vanguard Technology Leadership Program
Citi Bank Technology Leadership Program
The Citi Bank Technology Leadership Program is designed for aspiring technology leaders in the financial industry. Citi Bank offers a full-time two-year program that consists of three eight-month rotations in different Global Consumer Technology roles, with the option to choose your role or to work with a manager to create your own. Possible roles in the rotation include development, information security, data science, technical product management, platform engineering, Scrum master, software architect, project manager, risk control, demand management, API catalog management, and robotics. You can also opt for the 10-week Summer Internship program, which will place you in a role based on your interest and give you hands-on experience in a shorter time frame. While you can apply directly to the two-year TLP program, those who excel in the 10-week internship program will also be invited to join the full-time program.
Cornell University Technology Leadership Certificate
Cornell offers a six-course technology leadership training certificate program to help you develop your soft skills and balance out your analytical and problem-solving skills. As a leader, you will need to not only possess the technical and analytical skills for the job, but also be skilled in communication, empathy, strategic thinking, creativity and flexibility. The six courses cover topics such as finding your strengths as a leader, developing your values, honing your decision-making skills, developing collaborative communication, communicating bold ideas and learning how to be influential and motivational as a leader.
Global Knowledge Active Leadership for IT Professionals
The Global Knowledge Active Leadership for IT Professionals is a three-day course designed for IT managers, IT professionals and business managers who are charged with leading IT teams. If you don’t have months — or years — to invest in a leadership development program, this three-day course can help you get comfortable in a leadership role fast. The course focuses on developing the skills to become a high-impact leader who can effectively “coach, empower and lead individuals and teams to higher levels of performance.” You’ll asses your own leadership behaviors, learn how to deliver clear and concise communication and learn how to understand what people need to perform better through different styles of leadership. The program is offered in thee formats: face-to-face classroom setting, virtual classroom and on-demand.
ITMLP and ITMLE Certification Training
The IT Management and Leadership (ITML) Institute offers certification training for IT leaders and executives through three-day bootcamps. The programs aren’t designed to replace management training in your organization; instead they should be used to complement your organization’s regular training. The ITML Professional (ITMLP) certification is aimed at IT managers and focuses on technical leadership, IT methodology and innovation and the business of IT. The ITML Executive (ITMLE) certification is designed for more seasoned IT managers and IT directors who are candidates for future executive positions. This course focuses on knowledge, roles, methodology and change as well as process, productivity, governance and innovation.
Johnson & Johnson Technology Leadership Development Program
Johnson & Johnson offers a two-year Technology Leadership Development Program (TLDP) that is designed for IT professionals with at least one year of full-time postgraduate work and a bachelor’s or master’s degree. The training modules include on-the-job, virtual and in-classroom training opportunities. You will gain hands-on experience with software engineering, data analytics, data science, development, programming, digital media, e-commerce, supply chain, architecture, infrastructure, service operations, user experience design and much more. Throughout the program you will have access to professional development services and one-on-one mentoring opportunities.
Microsoft Aspire Experience
The Microsoft Aspire Experience is a two-year learning and development experience designed for college, MBA and PhD graduates who are hired at Microsoft. The program helps new hires build a network, accelerate their careers and find new opportunities within the company. Microsoft offers two tracks for undergraduates and MBA students, so you will work alongside your peers during your time in the program. The program is designed to prepare early-career IT professionals for a future in leadership roles by establishing fundamental IT leadership skills at the start of your career.
MIT Essential IT for Non-IT Executives
IT has become such an important part of day-to-day business operations that IT skills and knowledge are bleeding out to other non-IT executives, which is why MIT offers an Essential IT for Non-IT Executives course. If you’re an executive or leader who finds yourself confused or frustrated by the state of IT in your organization, this program can help open and strengthen the lines of communication with your IT leaders. The two-day course takes place online and covers everything non-technical senior business managers need to know about working with, overseeing and generating value from IT. The course helps business managers build better transparency and communication around IT and can help you better understand how IT impacts the business. MIT says the course won’t “make an IT specialist out of every manager” but that it can help ensure that every manager is “confident in resolving IT issues and working with IT staff” to make better business decisions.
MIT Technology Leadership Program
MIT offers a year-long Technology Leadership course designed for technology leaders and experienced IT professionals, including C-level positions, heads of engineering and technology, engineering managers, product managers and team leaders managing large teams and budgets. It’s also a good fit for senior functional managers, delivery heads with large teams, leaders focused on technology management and growth and anyone who has extensive experience leading in a technical setting. To qualify, you’ll need at least six years of work experience in functional, technical or business roles and a graduate degree with a strong academic track record.
Oulette and Associates Technology Leadership Experience
The Oulette and Associates Technology Leadership Experience development program is designed for mid-level IT leaders. The six-month program involves a combination of workshops, peer connections, mentoring and “robust microlearning.” Through the program, you will also be able to develop your network alongside other IT leaders. You’ll attend IT leadership development workshops that help you develop your IT consulting, marketing and leadership skills for a technology organization. Through one-on-one mentoring, you’ll be matched with experienced leaders in the industry and gain real-world advice from regular mentoring sessions. You’ll also be able to learn hands-on through sets of problem-solving sessions with your peers. CIOs and other executives can host networking and workshop events on-site, nominate mid-level managers to participate, become mentors or sponsor a participant from a nonprofit.
Vanguard Technology Leadership Program
Vanguard offers a Technology Leadership Program (TLP) in application development, technology operations and risk and security through The Vanguard Specialty Program (VSP). The VSP is a two-year rotational development program designed for those who recently completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree and are looking to enter the technology industry on a leadership track. The programs are designed to develop your leadership skills in specific job areas through technical capstones, hackathons and will allow you to gain hands-on experience working on solution-oriented projects. Each program track will give you the opportunity to network with people in the organization through dedicated coaching and mentoring from industry professionals.