How to become an effective Chief Technology Officer (CTO)


If the Operating System could be a person, it would have been a Chief Technology Officer, also known as CTO. A CTO is known for carefully considering the business acumen when planning, implementing and managing an organization’s technical goals and objectives.

How to become a chief technology officer
How to become a CTO

In the C-suite industries, it is one of the most sought-after executive roles. Despite being well-paid, it requires a strong understanding of the tech industry, business acumen for long-term objectives, and leadership experience.

If you are someone whose answer to, ‘Where do you see yourself ten years from now?’ is, CTO, this blog is for you. The blog discusses how to become a chief technology officer after 12th, educational qualifications (degrees and colleges), skills, and experience required to become a CTO. The certifications requirements, top hiring industries in India and abroad, and insight on payscale

Who is a CTO

A CTO supervises product strategy and technological advancement to increase business output while lowering production time and costs. A role that is often confused with CTO is CIO, Chief Information Officer. A CIO is someone who oversees all the aspects of the IT department as opposed to the technological aspects managed by a CTO. 

How to Become a Chief Technology Officer[4 Step guide]

Step 1: Stream to select

Qualification required to become a CTO
[source] Qualification required to become a CTO

One should select science stream post Grade 10 if they aspire to become a CTO in future. A person can start his/her journey after the 12th by enrolling in a Bachelor’s program in computer science, software engineering, or related fields. 

During and after Grade 10 or 12, one can enroll in certificate courses related to computer science, coding or technology to develop skills expected in the field. You can check out Clever Harvey’s Junior MBA course on Chief Technology Officer for hands-on technical and problem solving skills. 

Step 2: Certification

Though certifications aren’t compulsory to become a CTO. Recruiters prefer and appreciate candidates who have managed to gain the following certifications. An individual who constantly upskills oneself in the tech field is always looked up for a C-suite position. 

Sr. No.Name of the courseValidity
1. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)5 years
2.Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT)3 years
3.Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)3 years
4.Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)3 years

Step 3: Educational Qualifications

How to become a CTO after Grade 12?
[source] How to become a CTO after Grade 12?

It is an executive-level role that demands ten to twelve years of experience with a minimum of bachelor’s level educational qualification. An ideal candidate is one who has a master’s in Business Administration and relevant experience in senior technological roles.

How to become a CTO after 12th

After the completion of 12th grade, a candidate can apply for a graduate program in computer science, software engineering, or related fields. One has to score a minimum of 55% overall to be eligible to apply for the course. And JEE, CET score. 

  • UG courses in India to become a chief technology officer

The programs one can apply for are:

Name of courseDuration
Bachelors in Software engineering3 years
Bachelors in Computer Science3 years
Bachelors in Information Technology3 years
Bachelors in Digital Forensics3 years
Bachelors in Web Development/ Web design3 years

Also read: SAT Exam Sample Papers & Practice Papers – How to prepare

  • Top colleges

Here’s a list of the top Universities in India from where you can pursue degrees to become a Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

Name of the InstituteLocationEstimated Fees
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay)Mumbai8,33,000
Indian Institute of Technology – KharagpurKharagpur8,32,000
Vellore Institute of TechnologyTamil NaduTamil Nadu4,50,000
Indian Institute of Science – BangaloreBangalore3,00,000
Amrita UniversityVellore1,67,000
Thapar Institute of Engineering and TechnologyPunjab13,04,000
Indian Institute of Technology, RoorkeeRoorkee6,96,000
Indian Institute of Technology, MadrasMadras8,04,000
National Institute of Technology- TiruchillapalliTiruchirappalli5,71,000
National Institute of Technology- KarnatakaSurathkal5,48,000

To become a chief technology officer abroad 

Post 12th grade, a candidate can apply for a graduate program in computer science, software engineering, or related fields. The eligibility criteria are as follows:

  1. A minimum of 55% in 10 + 2 grade from recognized board and university/institution.
  2. IELTS score of  7 or above. Or TOEFL score of 80 or above.
  3. PTE score of 66 or above.

Apart from the above mentioned criteria, one will be expected to submit relevant documents such as Letter of Recommedation (LOR) or Statement of Purpose (SOP) and portfolio. 

  • UG courses abroad 

The programs one can apply for are:

Name of courseDuration
Bachelor of Applied Science in Computer Engineering3 years
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (Software Engineering )3 years
Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.) in Electronics and Data Engineering3 years
Bachelor of Design in Computing3 years
Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence MSci/BSc (Hons)3 or 5 years
Computer Hardware and Software Engineering BEng (Hons)3 or 4 years
  • Top colleges abroad

Here’s a list of the top Universities abroad from where you can pursue degrees to become a Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

Name of UniversityLocation
Harvard UniversityUSA
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyUSA
Coventry UniversityCoventry, UK
University of TorontoToronto, Canada
The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, Canada
University of AlbertaEdmonton, Canada
Arizona State UniversityTempe, USA
The University of MelbourneMelbourne, Australia
Stanford UniversityStanford, USA
York UniversityToronto, Canada

Step 4: Job Prep required to become a CTO

Job prep required to become a CTO
[source] Job prep required to become a CTO
  • Internships

Most of the growing companies offer internships in technical fields. One can apply for these internships after the second year of their under graduation. Internships strengthen your knowledge and skills which can encourage you to work on individual or team projects

  • Portfolio creation

A portfolio should include relevant certifications, case studies with mapped inputs and design best solutions. Any projects or internships you have worked on and the skills you have acquired from these experiences. 

It is never too early to start making a portfolio, check out the Clever Harvey Junior MBA Program on Future CEO that one can enroll in right after Grade 10! 

  • Freelance

CTO is a challenging job that requires a skilled, experienced person from the field to overlook and coordinate various teams. Though most companies require the CTO to be a full time, there are freelance opportunities that are available in the job market. 

Skills to become a CTO (bulleted list)

Technical Skills

CTO is one of the top most positions with respect to technology in a company. Thus, this position requires a person to have excellent technical skills

What are the skills of a CTO?
[source] What are the skills of a CTO?
  • Awareness of the Exisiting and New Technology
  • Knowledge of Software Development 
  • Knowledge of System Architecture and Development
  • Knowledge of Product development
  • System Analysis
  • Research and Development

Business Skills

A CTO works with the other executive leaders to plan strategies and objectives for a profitable endeavour. It requires knowledge in subject areas such as,

  • Finance
  • Business modelling
  • Project management
  • Tech marketing

Interpersonal Skills

  • Leadership skills
  • Mentoring
  • Communication Skills
  • Time Management
  • Critical thinking

Salary of a CTO in India and Abroad

Based on the payscale data available on ambition box, payscale and glassdoor. The estimated average salary of a CTO are as follows:

Currency(in INR)(in dollars)(in pounds)(in Australian dollars)(in canadian dollars)(in SGD )(in euros)
Avg. Annual Salary31.7 lakhs$258,676£93,901 per year$110818$117697SGD 2,25,000 €97,324

Top recruiters in India for CTO

Top Hiring Companies for CTOs in India
Tata Steels
Birla Chemicals
Kotak Mahindra
Larsen & Tuubro
Bajaj Finserv

The roles and responsibilities of a Chief Technical Officer (CTO) may differ from one industry to another. Few of the industries that hire CTOs are

  1. Finance
  2. Tech companies
  3. Healthcare/ Pharmaceutical
  4. Defense
  5. Software Architecture 
  6. Consultancy 
  7. Food Industry
  8. Ecommerce
  9. Automobiles

Top recruiters abroad CTO

Top recruiters abroad CTO
JMJ Philip
Stanton Chase
Spencer Stuart
Dell Technologies
Y Scouts
Job outlook of a CTO
[source] Job outlook of a CTO

Due to the rapid advancement of technology, the chief technology officer position is rapidly changing.  Given the extensive training and experience needed to become a CTO, businesses understand how crucial it is to compensate CTOs well. Beyond a good salary, becoming a CTO has other advantages.

A CTO has the authority to foresee how technology can help a business succeed. According to Forbes, a passion for learning and the capacity to see the big picture are crucial characteristics for any CTO.

How to be a Teen Entrepreneur

FAQs related to become a Chief Technology Officer

Who is a CTO?

A CTO is the Chief Technology Officer of a company.

What does a CTO do?

A Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is the person in charge of overseeing and managing a company’s technical decisions.

Is  a CTO job stressful?

Yes, it is a stressful job because of the sheer number of tasks and responsibilities a CTO has to handle. But it is also one of the most highly paid jobs.

How much does a CTO earn?

A CTO earns a minimum of 14 lakhs a year to a maximum of 102 lakhs a year.

Is a Masters’ degree compulsory to become a CTO?

Traditionally a Masters’ degree wasn’t compulsory. In today’s time, candidates with an MBA are preferred for the position.

How many years of experience are required to become a CTO?

Apart from a Bachelors’ and Masters’ degree, a CTO is required to have relevant experience in tech and leadership-related fields.

Does a CTO position require certification?

CTO positions do not require a certificate. However, a candidate who  has honed the skills and acquired a certification such as CAPM, CSIM, etc. is preferred.

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