Biz management self study?

wes allenwes allen Member Posts: 540 ■■■■■□□□□□
So, if I want to learn networking, programing, security, and even project management, there is a pretty well defined self study path, along with a certification process to provide some level of validation of that study. Is there an equivalent, other then college, to gain that with business skills? Not MBA level stuff, more like CCNA/CCNP level knowledge of business process, management, risk assessment, etc.


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    kanecainkanecain Member Posts: 186 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Western Governors has a decent business program. Cheap, accredited, and they're very good on transfer credits.
    WGU - Bachelors of Science - Information Security
    Start Date: Jan. 1st, 2012
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    Master Of PuppetsMaster Of Puppets Member Posts: 1,210
    kanecain wrote: »
    Western Governors has a decent business program. Cheap, accredited, and they're very good on transfer credits.

    I think he didn't mean getting a degree. What springs up in my mind are courses like the ones available on Coursera. They may not dive as deep as you might want but it is an option. Books are another option.
    Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.
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    ChooseLifeChooseLife Member Posts: 941 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I'd imagine good ol' books would do, along with certs (e.g. Project+), but I am interested in hearing what others would advise, too.
    “You don’t become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great in the process.” (c) xkcd #896

    - discounted vouchers for certs
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    dave330idave330i Member Posts: 2,091 ■■■■■■■■■■
    For IT stuff you can look at ITIL. For general business CAPM, PMP, Prince2 comes to mind.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
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    paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    There are some great opportunities for self-study if you have an interest in business management. Like in IT, the topics will vary greatly depending on what aspect or area you are interested in. Also like in IT, most degree programs that I've come across don't really give you the real-world experience that is needed. Mastery of the concepts come with experience especially since the concepts are less binary and based on judgement and can be more subjective unlike with IT.

    Is there some aspect of management that you are interested in?

    From the perspective of an IT manager, I am breaking down some of the business management topics based on my own experience. And these are some of the books and resources which I would recommend.

    Finance and Accounting - depending on role, IT managers are expected to have a basic understanding of finance and accounting concepts. Even understanding the differences between finance and accounting would be useful. The best primer that I've ever found is "The Portable MBA in Finance and Accounting" - it's a good reference and easy to read.

    Organizational Effectiveness - for most managers, I've always felt that this topic is glossed over. There are plenty of books on the topic. But I don't think that it's a topic taught in a school because organizational cultural plays such a big role IMO. And more so, there's no right or wrong way, it largely depends on the organization's maturity in it's lifecycle. The few books that I've enjoyed include - "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" and "A Sense of Urgency".

    Sales and Marketing - Everyone sells! Even if it's not to an end-customer, understanding the techniques and having an appreciation for it is important. I've had these 2 books for over 20 years and I still refer back to them every once in a while. "Getting to Yes" by Fisher and Ury and "Secrets of Closing the Sale" by Zig Ziglar.

    IT Frameworks - I feel that understanding various frameworks related to IT governance can be helpful. Not all frameworks work for all organizations so exposure to several can be useful. This would include ITIL (mentioned by @dave330i), COBIT (see www.isaca.org) - related certification if you are interested is CGEIT, COSO controls framework (www.coso.org), TOGAF, and CMM.

    Risk Management - The concept of IT risk management has become increasing important; especially when it comes to IT out-sourcing and internal controls. There are several certifications which provide good foundational knowledge such as ISACA's CISM and CRISC certifications.

    Business Development - understanding how to align with the business goals is one of the items that I feel most IT professionals do not always get. If you have never been in the position to sell or manage a business plan, it's tough to get the experience. These are a few books that were helpful to me from over a decade ago. I believe that they are still in print and they are easy to read - "Business Plans for Dummies" - although a "for Dummies" book, it's simple and easy to follow if you have never built a business plan. I also have a copy of "Term Sheets and Valuations" by Alex Wilmerding which I found incredibly useful. It's a dry read but very concise.

    Legal and Regulatory - most IT managers are typically faced with data protection, so having a basic grasp of the "why" and legal obligations is a good background. If you are in a regulated industry (healthcare, financial services) - a good resource is the IAPP - www.privacyassociation.org. The CIPP/US certification may be a good goal. Another related management topic is contract law. I have never found any good resources so my experience there has primarily been on-the-job. I did come across this book a while back "Drafting Contracts" by Tina Stark but I haven't read it.

    Also - an interesting read which covers many facets of management is "The Phoenix Project". While I don't entirely agree with all the assumptions made about IT and it narrowly focuses only on IT Operations. It does a good job weaving a lot of different concepts into an easy to read book about IT management. It kinda reads like a thriller if you are a geek at heart. And the book actually makes references to several other concepts presented in different books.
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    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    There are business admin certificates from some really prestigious Universities. The great thing about this, is if you end up really liking it you can roll those classes into the University and continue with your bachelors. If not you can have a nice certificate from a helluva University and proudly display that baby while learning entry - mid level business related concepts and skills. A lot of times you can customize them to the direction you want to go in. Heavy lean in finance or supply chain, not a problem, more interested in strategic and operational management, we got your back. Some of the programs require bachelor degrees but others allow you to take a couple of courses scoped for professionals with no formal business training. Paul has some great suggestions as well. This gets me thinking I may purchase a business development book down the road. Thanks Paul!
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    wes allenwes allen Member Posts: 540 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Thank you all for the great ideas and feedback!

    I don't think I necessarily want to be a manager or a "business person", but I do want to learn how to frame things, esp. infosec, in terms and frameworks that will allow me to make an effective case for anything I feel would improve a companies IT/infosec footprint. While I enjoy getting into the "wires and pliers" of networking and infosec, more and more, I am interested in understanding how decisions are made and influenced at a higher level. I would like to think I could eventually knock out something like OSCP, but more and more, something like CISA seems like a better path to affect change. And having the knowledge and ability to frame why certain controls are warranted within a business orientated framework seems like a useful skill to have. Even if means talking to, even wearing, suits.

    So, I have signed up for a couple of coursera classes, looking into cobit, CISA material, and ITTL for now, and will be ordering some books soon.
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    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I've read some high level documentation around COBIT and my former boss really spoke highly about COBIT and the certification. In fact when I was with the MSP as a team lead he thought I should get the COBIT certification. He was convinced it would snap right in with my ITIL and PMI knowledge. I never got a round doing it, but sometimes I wish I had.
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    UnixGuyUnixGuy Mod Posts: 4,567 Mod
    PMP, ITIL,Project+, CISA, CISM, CPA, CA, CFA, CMA, Six Sigma,...etc. Plenty of certs available, depending on what you want.

    Learn GRC! GRC Mastery : https://grcmastery.com 

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