Study Technical Management: Bachelor, Associate & Online Courses Info

About this article
What will you learn in a technical management associate's and bachelor's degree program? Read about technical management degree program requirements, the pros and cons of an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree and potential careers.
View available schools

Technical Management Associate's and Bachelor's Degrees at a Glance

If you enjoy working with computers, database systems, aspects of IT and other technical fields like manufacturing, then an associate's or bachelor's degree in technical management may be for you. Although an associate's degree may enable you to apply for certain entry-level technical positions, you'll need to earn at least a bachelor's degree to go into most areas of technical management.

The demand for skilled technology managers with strong skills in marketing support, information and library science, customer service support and general management is increasing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of jobs available for computer and information systems managers was projected to increase by 18% from 2020-2020. This was slightly above average. Job growth for medical and health services managers was projected to be 22%, while growth for industrial production managers and architectural and engineering managers was somewhat low at 9%.

Associate's Bachelor's
Who is this degree for? People interested in pursuing entry-level technical positions or going on to earn a bachelor's degree Individuals who want to work as a technical manager in a wide variety of industries in the private and public sectors
Common Career Paths (with approximate mean annual salary) - Various entry-level technical positions (unavailable) - Computer and information systems manager ($126,000)*
- Medical and health services manager ($96,000)*
- Industrial production manager ($96,000)*
Architectural and engineering manager ($129,000)
Time to Completion 1-2 years full-time 3-5 years full-time
Common Graduation Requirements - General education courses
- Technical management courses
- Fieldwork requirement
General education courses
- Technical management courses
- Fieldwork requirement
- Research project
Prerequisites High school diploma or equivalency High school diploma or equivalency, sometimes transferable college credits
Online Availability Yes Yes

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures).

Associate's in Technical Management

There are a variety of different kinds of associate's degree programs in the field of technical management to choose from because it's a broad degree. For example, you could enter an associate's program in mechanical design technology, industrial and manufacturing technology, electronics technology or computer technology, just to name a few. There is even technical management programs designed specifically for aviation technology, so your choices are plentiful. In a typical associate's degree program, you'll be required to complete general education coursework, technical management coursework and exams.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Earning an associate's degree in technical management isn't too time-consuming and can be accomplished on a part-time basis
  • An associate's degree program will often set you up to earn your bachelor's degree
  • You may be able get the field experience required by many technical management positions while earning your degree

Cons

  • Many available technical management positions require degrees higher than an associate's degree
  • If you want to go on to earn your bachelor's degree, the credits may not be transferable
  • Many associate's degree programs have large class sizes and limited access to help from professors

Courses and Requirements

The courses that you'll end up taking in a technical management associate's degree program largely depend on the program's area of focus. For example, a design technology program will offer a considerably different course load than an industrial technology program. The following are just several of many classes that you could encounter:

  • Management principles and methods
  • Digital electronics and computers
  • Managing computer systems
  • Design drafting
  • Manufacturing with computers
  • Testing electronic instruments
  • Robotics and automation
  • Wireless communications

In addition to the coursework, you'll need to pass numerous exams and in some cases, you can choose to gain certification.

Online Degree Options

If your time is limited by employment or other factors, there are a diverse number of online technical management associate's degree programs for you to choose from. Earning your associate's degree online is a simple and straightforward process the vast majority of the time, although in some cases you may need to go to a test center for certain exams. The drawback to an online technical management program can be the lack of hands-on experience or fieldwork that many employers ask for.

Getting Ahead With This Degree

There are a variety of actions that you can take while earning your associate's degree to get ahead in the field of technical management. For example, many of the technical management jobs that are available are related to IT. For this reason, entering a program that focuses on computer technology may often help your chances in the job market. Even if IT isn't your specialization, computer literacy and a strong knowledge of current technologies are usually helpful.

Bachelor's in Technical Management

With a bachelor's degree, you could seek employment in technical management or you could use it set yourself up for various related master's degree programs. This could wise in some cases, as certain technical management-related jobs prefer a master's degree to a bachelor's degree.

As a graduate of a bachelor's degree program in technical management, you have the potential to come away with skills that are attractive to many employers, though the skills that you acquire will vary depending on your specialization of choice. A few examples of these skills include practical technology skills, a solid understand of IT management, the ability to design database systems, troubleshooting and maintenance, information desktop management, understanding of database management systems and the ability to manage and support network systems.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Your bachelor's degree will qualify you for more jobs that an associate's degree will not
  • It's possible to earn your bachelor's degree part-time while maintaining employment and possibly gaining experience in the field
  • Once you've earned your bachelor's degree, you can decide if you want to enroll in a master's degree program in a field related to technical management

Cons

  • A bachelor's degree in technical management is often not enough when not combined with fieldwork and experience
  • Earning your bachelor's degree can be time-consuming and very expensive
  • Higher-level management positions may prefer job candidates who hold a master's degree

Courses and Requirements

The general education classes you take will often depend on whether or not you already have college credits. There are several electives needed when earning your bachelor's degree in technical management and you may be able to apply already earned credits to these.

Your chosen area of expertise will typically have a large impact on what the bulk of your coursework will cover. Specialized areas include accounting, criminal justice, health management, operations management, finance, marketing and much more. Computers and technology are important in many programs. A few courses focusing on technology that you may encounter are:

  • Computer hardware, software, support and maintenance
  • Introduction to information technology
  • IT management
  • LAN and WAN networks
  • IT servers using Windows or Linux
  • Desktop applications
  • Database systems, processing and administration
  • Office productivity software
  • Security management and technologies
  • Computer network technologies

In some programs, coursework, exams and papers aren't all that will be required for graduation. You may also need a certain amount of fieldwork, which may be provided on campus.

Online Degree Options

If you're looking for online technical management bachelor's degree options, there's a fair chance that you may find what you need. As is the case with associate's degree programs, there are a number of online technical management and related bachelor's degree programs to choose from. However, these programs may lack the hands-on aspect that a campus-based program provides.

Stand Out With This Degree

While you're still earning your bachelor's degree in technical management, it can be useful to already be taking measures to stand out in the job market. The following are simply a few ways that you may be able to accomplish this:

  • Complete an internship or volunteer over the summer for a company. This will look solid on your resume and help you get more of the work experience required by many employers.
  • Computer literacy and a strong basis in current technical management technologies are essential to be a viable candidate for many positions.
  • Earning a minor in computer science could be useful when applying for certain positions.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Purdue University Global

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • AASIT: Network Admin
      • AASIT: Network Admin
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Saint Leo University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • AA: Information Technology
      • AA: Cybersecurity
  • Campus and Online Programs
    3. South College

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate of Science in Network Administration & Security
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Colorado Christian University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Computer Information Technology, A.S.
  • Knoxville, TN

    Pellissippi State Technical Community College

  • Online Programs Available
    6. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate of Science - Information Technology Admin and Management
      • Associate of Science - Technology Studies
  • Yakima, WA

    Yakima Valley Community College

  • Shell Lake, WI

    Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College

  • Milwaukee, WI

    Milwaukee Area Technical College

  • Valdosta, GA

    Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

Featured Schools

Purdue University Global

  • AASIT: Network Admin

Which subject are you interested in?

Saint Leo University

  • AA: Information Technology
  • AA: Cybersecurity

What is your highest level of education completed?

South College

  • Associate of Science in Network Administration & Security

What is your highest level of education completed?

Colorado Christian University

  • Computer Information Technology, A.S.

What is your highest level of education completed?

Herzing University

  • Associate of Science - Information Technology Admin and Management
  • Associate of Science - Technology Studies

What is your highest level of education?

Yakima Valley Community College

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College