IT people need business skills?

davidvoyagedavidvoyage Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello,

I heard from many people that "business" knowledge is important for any career, including IT. However, what kind of "business" they refer to? International Business?, Financial Accounting?, Business Management, Business Entrepreneur skills, etc?

I'm currently planning to take a certificate courses(part-time) in business management.(8 courses in total, may take 1 year or more to complete).
For your information, here are the list of courses for the certificate of Business Management at University of Toronto:
-Accounting: The fundamentals
-Business Management
-Financial Management
-HR Management
-MIS
-Marketing: An Introduction

and 2 more electives from the list below:
-Business Law
-Business Strategy
-Economy: Introductory
-Effective communication and Negotiation

*EDIT*
Also, I found 2 other business management certificates in another college:
http://db2.centennialcollege.ca/ce/certdetail.php?CertificateCode=7298
and
http://db2.centennialcollege.ca/ce/certdetail.php?CertificateCode=7036

If possible, please give your opinion on which certificate is better. Thx ;)

Centennial college's certificate is around 2500$ and the one at University of Toronto is around 4500$(Pretty expensive icon_sad.gif )
*/EDIT*

However, I'm still a fresh grad and I'm in a entry-level position that doesn't require any business knowledge yet. So I think I may not use those business knowledge for another 3 years. I don't know if I should start now or wait until my job need it...what do you think? Would it be waste if I get the business certificate now but not using it for 3 years?
Thx.

Comments

  • iowatechiowatech Member Posts: 120
    I heard from many people that "business" knowledge is important for any career, including IT. However, what kind of "business" they refer to? International Business?, Financial Accounting?, Business Management, Business Entrepreneur skills, etc?

    Complete the business cert. in my opinion. This will help you in the future when you are thrown into a new career and you have to quickly grasp what your company's business model. Then take that knowledge and try to understand how it relates to the IT infrastructure. An example of system administration by taking the business model into account would be: know what systems do what, where, when, why and what event causes what reaction on the systems and to the clients.

    Any of those courses (with the exception of business law) would be relavant, especially the business communcation degree.
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Are you a high school or college graduate? Why don't you go for an MBA or business degree?

    I know a lot of people I've talked to have put an emphasis on soft skills. Personally, I haven't heard too much about requiring business knowledge. However, there is a great deal of variety in IT responsibilities, and business knowledge could certainly aid you in certain areas.

    Also, whatever route you take, do it now. There's no point in waiting until you need it to begin. I would probably advise you otherwise if it was a certification, but things like economics won't change too drastically in a few years.
  • davidvoyagedavidvoyage Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thx for your replies guys. FYI, I'm a fresh grad with a degree in computer science. Currently living in Canada and plan to move to Asia/Hong Kong in the future. I'm already mid-20 and don't want to waste 3 more years for a business degree, so instead I go for a certificate. On the other hand, M.B.A requires a minimum of 2 years work experience.(some College even needs up to 5 years work experience). So I can't do MBA for now...and I might not have time in the future to do the M.B.A...

    Another thing that I'm concern is if I do the certificate now and not use it until 3+ years, I may end up forget most of it right? That's what I'm afraid...

    *EDIT*
    Also, I found 2 other business management certificates in another college:
    http://db2.centennialcollege.ca/ce/certdetail.php?CertificateCode=7298
    and
    http://db2.centennialcollege.ca/ce/certdetail.php?CertificateCode=7036

    If possible, please give your opinion on which certificate is better. Thx ;)

    Centennial college's certificate is around 2500$ and the one at University of Toronto is around 4500$(Pretty expensive icon_sad.gif )
    */EDIT*
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I've never been too impressed by certificates, but I'm interested to see what others think about supplementing your degree with a one.

    Have you thought about adding a business minor on to your degree?
  • jbayne3jbayne3 Member Posts: 45 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'm still young, and I am probably not the best one to offer advice, however, I do see the need to have both the business skills and the technical skills within IT. This is very important if you see yourself going in a management direction one day. I graduated last May with a degree in Information Systems. I did not go for a Computer Science degree b/c I really didn't like all of the programming: P (though I still took a several courses), and I wanted to learn about the business side of IT. However, I knew that I would gain practical technical experience with my certifications and through my various internships/tech positions that I have held.

    A degree in Information Systems seemed like the perfect fit. I am a Systems Administrator now, but I feel valuable when I meet with various IT project managers and directors. The info systems degree has helped me understand the relationship between technical requirements and business needs.

    I'm not raising debate whether certs are more valuable than degrees or vice versa, but having a degree and understanding business concepts is good for anyone. Likewise, pursuing certifications isn't bad either. If you see yourself one day as a project manager, director, CIO, etc., you may want to learn the business stuff too. Heck, I learn something new everyday whether its IT or business related! Ultimately, I hope to have a management position in the future!
  • royalroyal Member Posts: 3,352 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Only reason I do certs is because it gives me the motivation to learn a new technology. Otherwise, I couldn't care less about them. As soon as I finish my Exchange 2007 certs, MCITP in Server 2008, and possibly OCS 2007, I am planning on enrolling into DePaul University for my Business Information Systems master's degree. I really think it'll help with soft skills, help me understand business more, and really help me out in the future. Only thing that i don't want is the added debt since I owe $40K in school loans already, but I know the degree would help out long-term.
    “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Don't waste your time with a useless cert. Just go out and start getting work experience, and when you have more years under your belt go for the MBA if you are still so inclined.

    "Business knowledge" from a book isn't going to make a bit of difference if you're just as entry level as the next entry level tech.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • TeslTesl Member Posts: 87 ■■■□□□□□□□
    blargoe wrote:
    Don't waste your time with a useless cert. Just go out and start getting work experience, and when you have more years under your belt go for the MBA if you are still so inclined.

    "Business knowledge" from a book isn't going to make a bit of difference if you're just as entry level as the next entry level tech.

    I disagree.

    This all depends on what goals the OP has. If he wants to be nothing more than a helpdesk lacky like our good friend Blargoe here, then correct, he doesn't need any business knowledge whatsoever. When your reimaging windows machines all day you don't need to be too hot on anything really.

    Now, if he actually wants to make good money and have a more interesting career, I would wholeheartedly suggest becoming more familiar with the business world. One of the problems IT people have is they just don't get it. They don't focus resources properly, and tweaking their Linux install is more important than the needs of the business. This makes them less valuable. Too many people don't understand their own value, and don't understand how to market themselves properly. You could do worse than to learn these things (apparently Blargoe hasn't).

    If you have any ambitions towards management or holding any real responsibility, getting that knowledge definitely won't hinder you.
  • NetstudentNetstudent Member Posts: 1,693 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I agree that business skills are important in the IT industry. But like others stated it depends on where you work. If you work for an outsourcing company or entry level, then you may not need business savvy that much. IF you work in an IT dept. for a company, then business skills are important because the technology and data are the backbone of the company. You as an IT person directly influences the business goals and business decisions. IF the IT person is responsible for buying equipment and buying software, then you are probably on a company budget, which means you need to be aware of the company's business objectives. A company can lose people, and a company can even lose it's facility and recover. BUT, if a company loses it's data and records, then it will never recover. Thats one example of how an IT person influences the business. When you can improve IT related processes and streamline things to save a company money, and improve the overall business objective, then you are more valuable to the comapny.
    There is no place like 127.0.0.1 BUT 209.62.5.3 is my 127.0.0.1 away from 127.0.0.1!
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Tesl wrote:
    If he wants to be nothing more than a helpdesk lacky like our good friend Blargoe here, then correct, he doesn't need any business knowledge whatsoever. When your reimaging windows machines all day you don't need to be too hot on anything really.
    .........

    You could do worse than to learn these things (apparently Blargoe hasn't).

    ncool.gif

    Where did you learn how to disagree with someone so nicely tesl? icon_rolleyes.gif
    All things are possible, only believe.
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