But technology careers can vary depending on which area you choose or company you work for, so it can be tricky to work out whether a career in technology is right for you.
To help you decide whether technology is a good career path for you, we’ve broken down the key benefits of technology jobs, listed some of the highest-paying roles in the industry, and showcased what your career path could look like as you progress.
Technology careers | pros and cons of tech jobs
A career in the tech industry comes with a host of advantages. It offers the potential for competitive salaries, rapid career growth, and the opportunity to work on cutting-edge innovations that shape the modern world.
“It’s an incredibly attractive career route for MBAs particularly because there is an opportunity to work with organizations that are fast growing and developing. The job that you will do today, you won't be doing in five years’ time,” says Christian Dummett, executive director of the London Business School Career Center.
The ever-evolving nature of technology ensures that learning and skill development are constant, making it an intellectually stimulating field.
However, tech careers can also be demanding, often requiring long hours and intense workloads. The fast-paced environment can lead to high stress levels, and the constant need to stay updated can sometimes feel overwhelming.
Although jobs in technology may require fewer intensive hours than other sectors such as finance, anonymous Glassdoor reviews from managerial employees at Amazon note long hours and work-life balance challenges.
Tech jobs can also offer a less structured career path than other sectors, since roles in tech are highly innovative and often formed around new advancements in tech.
“It’s a ‘create your own path’ sort of thing, it really depends on the company,” explains Zeynep Flouret, head of employer engagement at INSEAD.
This could be perceived as either a pro or con—many business school grads might relish the lack of rigidity that the tech sector affords.
The perks of working in technology are not to be understated either. If you’re fortunate enough to land a job at one of the Big Tech firms such as Amazon, Apple, or Google, you could be eligible for employee benefits such as unlimited annual leave or access to a wealth of on-site sports and wellbeing facilities.
There are a range of traditional and less traditional options within the world of tech.
One of the most typical careers in technology is product management, which involves leading the development of new products, forming marketing strategies, and managing a team of developers.
Operations management is another popular route for those forging careers in tech. Here, you’ll oversee identifying areas where operations can be improved and streamlined.
Some other key jobs in tech include business development manager, marketing manager, human resources business partner, and finance business partner.
On the less traditional side, there are jobs such as artificial intelligence engineer and blockchain developer, with more and more emerging as technologies evolve.
Best paying jobs in technology
Jobs in tech don’t just allow you to be at the center of cutting-edge innovation, you’ll also be well compensated for your efforts.
In the US, product managers earn an average salary of around $147k while business development managers can expect to earn around $117k, according to data from Glassdoor.
Business school grads can expect to land particularly high paying tech jobs. For example, according to the MIT Sloan 2021-2022 MBA employment report, grads who landed jobs in tech earned a median salary of $150k.
Some of the major tech employers of MIT grads were Amazon, Apple, and Google.
Typical path for technology career progression
While the typical path for career progression in tech may not be as structured as other dominant sectors such as finance or consulting, careers in tech still offer great opportunities for progression.
The innovative culture means that tech companies often operate in a meritocratic way, with career advancement largely based on performance factors.
Addy Bhagra is an associate partner at IBM and a Master in Management graduate from Bocconi University. He says one of the best aspects of his career in tech is the change and opportunity it affords.
“One day I could be advising a client in the aviation sector and another day I could be advising a large investment bank,” he says.
Typically, as employees’ experience grows in tech, they might advance to more specialized roles, honing their expertise in skills such as software development or data analysis, or technical areas including blockchain, AI, or cybersecurity.
“There’s a lot of flexibility within companies to pivot to a new function,” says Mary Simon, career advising and education director, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.
Progressing further, mid-level positions beckon, where graduates might take on greater responsibilities, often supervising projects and collaborating with teams.
With time, those who excel may ascend to senior roles, guiding complex initiatives, making strategic decisions, and leading innovation. Many MBA grads opt for management tracks, overseeing teams and projects, while others may look to entrepreneurship, launching their own companies or joining a tech startup.
A highly innovative approach that the tech sector breeds is not without its challenges. Some may view technology as a more risky path than other sectors, as shown by the layoffs that affected tech companies in early 2023.
Key skills you need for jobs in technology
To succeed in technology, you’ll need an array of skills. Tech careers require employees to bridge the gap between technical skills such as data analysis and data visualization, and management and leadership abilities. ‘Softer’ skills such as communication and leadership are also important—this is especially the case for MBA grads who tend to take on less specialist roles in the industry.
“You need to have both aspects, the technical knowledge, and the business side of it. You need to understand what’s happening if you want to give insights to the business,” says Edwin Nguyen, business intelligence engineer at Amazon and Master in Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence grad from EDHEC Business School.
You’ll also need to be someone who keeps a keen eye on continually evolving developments within the tech world.
“Recruiters are looking for people who are curious and motivated,” says Mary from Kellogg School of Management.
Is technology a good career path?
Careers in tech are highly innovative, ever-changing, and fast-paced, which is why it’s one of the most popular career destinations for business school grads.
Employees can benefit from the breadth of opportunities that the tech sector provides and curate their own career path to success.
The tech sector demands a variety of skills, which can mean that grads need to be well-versed across technical skills and communication skills. If you’re someone who prefers to have a narrow set of specialist skills—you might face obstacles progressing in the tech sphere.
For more information on how to launch your career in tech, including free advice from b-school careers experts, download our BusinessBecause Careers Guide: What's Next After Business School?