Lets begin with what i am doing right now and how i see my career progressing, if I do not go for an MBA. This way i will be able to decide if i even need an MBA or not? Am I mad in spending more than $100,000 for a degree?
Fortunately, my new company defines a career path for people at my position and defines 4 levels which i can climb. Below is the way my company defines those positions :
- Application Consultant 1 : I have focused myself in an area of domain and technology or a tool and i have started on the learning curve by taking part in the software projects
- Application Consultant 2: I am responsible for building, maintaining and improving client applications. I have played a role in charting out the technical or functional design out of client’s requirements.
- Senior Application Consultant: I am now considered as an expert in my technology(tool) and domain practices. I play an important role in charting out functional and technical designs out of client’s requirements. Since, i am a stream lead, I am responsible for operational and technical issues.
- Managing Application Consultant: Here, in addition to the responsibilities of SAC above, I also drive the sales opportunities with in my technology and domain.
Now analyzing the above roles, i see myself in the second role which is Application Consultant 2 where i have done some of the implementations and now doing one more as well. But to move to further roles, i will have to either do some more implementations to understand the diversity of scenarios that in the similar implementations and switch or be in support role for a long long time but in an IT industry, you are kinda stuck there because of huge number of people.
Now, this progression may seem easy, but practically, the situation is entirely averse, specially in India where IT boom is in its maturity. This implementation would land me up the support role as currently, as there is not separate support team for now which, as i explained above is a sticky role.
Although, i can reach to level 3 by remaining the support role itself and eventually becoming a lead but this can take up least 3 years from where i can move towards the role project manager and further. Eventually, reaching at about level 4 can take an average of 6 years from now where i may end up doing sales or either, being a project manager, which is exactly where I do not want to be. For me, both of the above mentioned roles take me too far from the technology and make me an operations or a marketing person altogether.
In spite of managing the application, I relate my self to the people working in a more strategic position in a domain companies such as Healthcare or manufacturing firm (customer side) who choose which solution to implement and why? They act as the channel between the IT and Business while aligning the IT strategy according to Business strategy. This is more of a CIO like a role.
I see myself working in Tech product company actually taking a call whether to design the product or not according to the consumer behavior, and competition.I want take a call what should be the features in that product and analyse what problems those features may solve. This is more of a Product Manager kind of role.
I understand that i have talked on a much granular level and thing may differ across domains and companies but these are the roles that provide me the opportunity to be technical, strategic, entrepreneurial and managerial at the same time. And, i do not see myself moving in either of the direction in next 10 years, if i do not do an MBA. I will be talking about these roles in my next post.