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What is a Technical Degree and Why is it Beneficial?

Large yellow robotics on an automobile assembly line where a manager with a technical degree might work.

In all kinds of fields, from electronics to construction to manufacturing, technical and logistical knowledge is crucial for the job, but advancing to a management position often requires a technical degree. Such a degree can give you the credentials and know-how that businesses are looking for when they promote someone into a management track.

Getting an online bachelor's in technical management can help you make that jump without interrupting your career. You'll gain skills by taking courses in project management, principles of management and supply chain management, along with core business programs. There are also technical degrees in technology fields, such as information technology (IT), computer science and many more.

A technical degree program might be the way to win a big promotion or find a position at a different firm that lets you take on a leadership role.

Benefit #1: Help Lead Your Company

An infographic with the text BLS reports industrial production managers earned a median salary of $103,150 in 2021The benefits of seeking a management position are clear. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) finds that construction managers, who typically need a bachelor’s degree, earned a median salary of $98,890 in 2021. The equivalent position in manufacturing, industrial production manager, had a median salary of $103,150 in 2021, according to BLS.

Beyond the financial rewards, becoming a manager means having the power to help influence your company’s operations and make sure processes go smoothly for employees and customers. The technical degree program will teach you skills such as planning a major project’s costs, scheduling, logistics and risks, and shepherding it through from start to finish.

Additionally, courses cover ways to optimize resource usage, keep expenses down and troubleshoot issues that may arise. You’ll also learn about the Six Sigma methodology, an in-demand skillset at many businesses of all sizes. If you wish to learn more about Six Sigma you could consider earning

Benefit #2: Prepare for the Jobs of the Future

In an increasingly global economy, more is needed for businesses to do the same things they’ve always done. Manufacturers must update their technology and supply chain practices to compete with firms in China and India — not to mention the firm next door constantly introducing new techniques. Construction companies are creating new divisions to install solar panels and maximize building efficiency to meet customer demand for green buildings. A new industry is emerging because of environmental sustainability to harness wind energy and reduce our dependence on coal and oil.

Technical professionals who understand the complicated questions that come out of these changes are poised to find exciting new work to do. There’s enormous demand for employees ready to take on leadership roles.

For example, a 2022 Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) survey found that 83% of contract firms had trouble filling salaried and hourly craft positions, including project managers and supervisors (AGC PDF source).

Managers with technical degrees understand the challenges of becoming leaner, managing budgets for growth or entering a new market, and are valuable assets.

A bachelor's in technical management can provide you with the skills you’ll need to handle these big-picture issues and apply them in real-time at your own company.

Benefit #3: Build Critical Management Skills

You need more than technical skills if you want to take on leadership roles or executive positions on the business side of your organization. Among the areas covered in an online technical management degree program are:

  • Accounting and finance: Keeping financial records is essential for internal optimizing processes and providing the necessary documentation to outside parties. Understanding intelligent strategies for making investments and managing money can mean the difference between success and failure for any project.

  • Human resources (HR): Managers need to know how to build effective teams, motivate workers and communicate within and across departments. Effective companies keep employees engaged and productive without creating undue stress.

  • IT: You’ll learn how to manage computer systems that can improve efficiency in a modern business environment, including becoming familiar with various spreadsheet and database management tools. You’ll also have the opportunity to branch out into linear programming and learn commonly used techniques that apply digital tools to project management.

  • Marketing and service operations: From market research and pricing to effective front-office procedures, these courses will help you work with clients and customers to provide high-quality service and keep new business coming in.

  • Project management: Going from an idea to a completed project demands step-by-step planning, monitoring and attention to detail. You’ll learn how this process works, including using technical tools to keep everything flowing smoothly.

  • Six Sigma quality management: Popularized in the U.S. when Jack Welch used it to improve operations at GE in the 1990s, Six Sigma is a proven methodology for gathering data and using it to maximize efficiency and raise quality in any industry. You’ll learn the “Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control” (DMAIC) process and see how methods to identify areas for improvement can help make your company function better.

Make Your Schedule

An online program means flexibility for you to get your work done in the evenings, on your day off or whenever it makes sense. In addition, by remaining at work while pursuing your education, you’ll be positioned to apply for jobs at your company or elsewhere that demand a bachelor’s degree. Meanwhile, you’ll be able to show what you know by using your new understanding of project management software or Six Sigma on the job.

If you’ve always wanted to expand your skills in the technical realm and become a company leader, this could be the time to make a move. A solid grasp of management skills can open the door to salary increases and provide the chance to guide a company toward tremendous success in an increasingly complex market.

Discover more about SNHU's technical management degree: Find out what courses you'll take, the skills you'll learn and how to request information about the program.

Livia Gershon is a freelance writer focused on education and healthcare.

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About Southern New Hampshire University

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SNHU is a nonprofit, accredited university with a mission to make high-quality education more accessible and affordable for everyone.

Founded in 1932, and online since 1995, we’ve helped countless students reach their goals with flexible, career-focused programs. Our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH is home to over 3,000 students, and we serve over 135,000 students online. Visit our about SNHU page to learn more about our mission, accreditations, leadership team, national recognitions and awards.