by Edward Qualtrough

How an MBA is beneficial to a CIO of 16 years

Jan 27, 20142 mins
CareersIT Leadership

Whether or not it is necessary for a CIO to complete an MBA was well documented in Julian’s Goldsmith’s 2010 article Is an MBA really worth it? Polarising and fence-sitting views were predictably expressed by business technology executives and thought leaders.

Indeed, the common response was well demonstrated by former Highways Agency director of information Denise Plumpton, who said that taking the time off may not be cost effective and that the course clearly wasn’t a necessity.

Similarly Jane Scott, then an IT executive at Baker Hughes, said that an MBA and private coaching can be very useful but are certainly not essential.

CIO at Severn Trent WaterMyron Hrycyk, however, described completing his MBA as “the most absorbing and rewarding learning experience” of his working life.

And in a recent interview Janet Day, 16 years a CIO at law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner, espoused the benefits that discipline and rigour can give an IT leader following a return to academia.

Day, the 2005 BCS IT director of the year who completed her MBA specialising in competitive advantage in the legal sector in 1993, said:  “One of the dangers of a role like CIO is you can be compartmentalising yourself.

“Whereas if you look at something like an MBA I think that helps you take a broader perspective on things.

“I think it does something about your language – it turns you a bit into the equivalent of a renaissance man.

“I also think it’s quite good to put yourself through some kind of discipline; it puts some intellectual rigour back into what you are doing,” she said.

You can read the full interview with Janet Day here.