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5946 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Oct 10, 2009 10:38 AM by Prajit G Nair RSS

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What type of education and qualifications I need to become a expert in networking(to become a CIO/CTO)

Oct 9, 2009 6:39 AM

Prajit G Nair 107 posts since
Aug 30, 2009

Hello there evryone.I'm from India and doing my BSc Computer Science (second year) of graduation. I have posted once  question a lit bit similar but that time I wasn't sure of what I want to do exactly? I want to become a professional and expert in networking career. I want the knowledge of people like the CIO/ CTO of a company. What education and qualifications or certifications I need to become myself a CTO of a company. What I am exactly saying is the knowledge for core networking? How should I plan and what should I do? etc?


I am doing CCNA right now and planning to do RHCE or MSCE after my CCNA. Really confused what to do whether RHCE? or MSCE? Any advise?
After my graduation and having an experience of two three years, I am planning to do my masters in Networking Management from Middlesex University UK .
Can anyone share some experience who themselves are top profesional in their comapany or anyone give any advise who are able to understand what I am actually saying?


Thanks in advance.



  • Scott Morris - CCDE/4xCCIE/2xJNCIE 8,426 posts since
    Oct 7, 2008

    Well, that's kind of a floating concept.  Are you going to be in direct contact with a series of highly technical people?


    Are you going to expect that you need to make highly technical decisions?  Or will you have enough qualified people working for you?


    A CIO is most focussed on business.  The information systems drive/carry business.  The CTO may be more technical in nature, but again will have many business-savvy expectations.


    The larger the company, the larger the technical side of the organization, I'd venture to say the less technical the "in-charge" guy needs to be.


    It's good to have exposure to all the things, but not necessarily a need to be an expert!


    My two cents.



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  • Conwyn 9,634 posts since
    Sep 10, 2008

    Hi Prajit


    The first question do you want to be CIO/CTO of an IT company or a non IT company say compare Cisco with a Bank or Car Manufacturer.


    CIO/CTO of an IT company is easy - know you product, know your market and present it.


    CIO/CTO of non IT is more difficult because nobody on the board will question your technical decision but you have to show business value.


    So for example if we ran Video Conferencing over our network we could save X USD on travel, hotels, roaming charges, wasted time etc.

    CIO/CTO will choose the VC technology.


    For both you need these things - understand technology at a high level

                                                    understand people - picking winners

                                                    understand management protocol

                                                    understand finance and contracts.


    Now you could throw in foreign languages and culture.


    Back to technology this is a mixture of Hardware  (Cisco) , Software (Microsoft, SAP etc), Development Cycles and Project Management.


    Unfortnately you can not spend your life on courses, you have to learn in the field and those experiences will influence your future.


    Finally you need to sack people so you need to be prepared to live with the consequences.


    Regards Conwyn

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  • TheOtherTomJones, CCNA, CCDA, CCNAS 317 posts since
    Sep 6, 2009

    I would say that a true CTO would have a very holistic technical background holding an expert or consultant level background in at least one technology area - systems, networking, programming, etc. A CTO candidate will have a technical bachelors degree, a technical masters degree, and an MBA.


    A CIO would hold the same technical bachelors degree, but the masters level education would be focused on business, understanding market dynamics and economics. A CIO may also have a journalism or social media background compounded with a business degree of sorts. The range of education and fields who qualify for a CIO is much more broad than that of a CTO.


    Either way CIO/CTO roles are usually gained toward the later parts of ones career. You have quite some time to prepare for that.


    As for your MCSE or RHCE questions - the RHCE is much more valuable, and the momentum in that area in the enterprise environment is far superior than the Windows environment.


    I would also caution you from receiving degrees from institutions in 2 different countries. That does not translate very well from one country to another, unless its well known like Oxford.


    American employers dont know, and I would even say dont really care about a masters degree from the UK. This is mainly because many American companies and their HR representatives/hiring managers do not know or understand the value of that degree in the UK.

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  • Darwin R CCNA/CCDA 580 posts since
    Jun 22, 2009

    Hello Prajit,


    You've received some pretty good information thus far...


    This is a tough world with concern to employment and there are not very many slots at the top just as with any avenue of interest. As these gentlemen have stated, you will have to have a keen sense of technology with an acute/astute business acumen. That can be proven in time with lots of diligence to the trade. In the business world, proof is in the pudding...grinding through major (and I mean MAJOR) initiative after initiative showing what you're made of. Taking a leadership role at every turn and make notice of your accomplishments not only during evaluations, but with positive updates throughout any assignment. Other than that, I suggest when applying for employment, you should go for any 'fast track' programs that a company offers. These programs are built to take up and coming young minds and turn them into tomorrows leaders. The normal prereq is a 'Masters'.


    Not to turn this into a 50 page novel, I would also suggest you look at what's required of the Cisco Certified Architect. The position I do believe embodies most what an organization may look for in a potential leader.


    That's my wooden nickels worth,



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  • GSauls 825 posts since
    Nov 3, 2008

    Hi Prajit


    The thread is interesting.


    Everybody has given vaulable input here.


    You must decide where you want to work before you do all of your degree and certification. Why you ask?


    Here is a bit of my Story and how i become CTO for the company i work for.


    i decided to get my masters in project management. Great all went well and there i was with my maters Degree and what caught my fancy IT. So there i was doing IT projects... What did my company say to me go get your CompTIA ProjectIT Certification because they saw my Masters as a High level business  project management qualification which meant nothing to them...


    Once i started that i got so entranched into IT that i started handling IT service Managemnet projects So back to school to get my ITIL Certifications specialising in SLA's.... then things got technical and i ended up doing my Cisco design certifications and Juniper certifications. once i started working inside the enviroment i had to get my MCSE and MCSA as well as my MCITP DA..... i then ran six sigma projects which meant i had to become Six Sigma qualified which i did... As Data Center started becoming popular i have to become a Certified Data Center Design Specialist handling the complete build from start to finish.... i design and project managed a Tier 3 DC which meant i had to become fluent in Cooling, HVac, Fire etc... which also meant i had to become and SHE Rep (not to serious).


    Working ok Canary Whalf IT design i had to obtain my City and Guild Communications Engineers qualification and my PRINCE2 qualification to be accept on the project so that i would be in alignment with UK OGC standards...


    Well you can see where i'm going.... today i am CTO for this company...


    Good Luck on your journey.



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  • Conwyn 9,634 posts since
    Sep 10, 2008

    Hi Parjit


    You are studing Network Management and you will have a MSc but I suspect all you will know is somebodiy's theories and have studied a few case studies. Reality  is very different to theory and the case studies. There is much to learn in the workplace.

    Every company sees their employees as a return on investment. If they believe by investing in your training that you will be more productive then they will invest in you. If they believe the training is a waste of money they will not invest.

    It is good you have ambition but as Grant said it is all about working on different projects and learning from those experiences.

    You may be very intelligent but you also need people and business skills. It is always difficult to understand the workplace from the lecture room. I read a book once by two Lockheed Software Engineers and they said you do not understand the workplace for ten years of your career. When I was young I could not understand that but I think in hindsight its is correct.


    Regards Conwyn

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