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Anatomy of a Top CTO: Education & Work Experience, Salary, Essential Traits & Characteristics and More

Angela Stringfellow

Last updated on

As technology becomes increasingly prominent in day-to-day operations, the role of the chief technology officer (CTO) has emerged as an essential visionary who guides technology adoption and innovation in businesses across all industries. Responsible for strategic planning and investments in technologies that serve the company’s customers, chief technology officers play a significant role in the success (or failure) of their respective organizations.

The CTO role is actually an offshoot of the chief information officer (CIO) role. Traditionally, the CIO handled the tasks of CIOs and CTOs, but technology advancements made it necessary to split the role. Today, the CTO typically focuses on external (customer-facing) technologies and technologies that improve customer-facing products or services. The CIO, on the other hand, focuses mostly on internal technologies and operations.

CTOs come from a variety of educational backgrounds and work experiences today. There’s no single proven path to becoming a CTO and no single undergraduate or graduate degree program designed specifically to prepare you for that role. Instead, most CTOs have taken on increasingly complex technology roles as their careers advanced, eventually earning the experience and technological know-how necessary to become a successful CTO.

We took a deep dive into the role of the chief technology officer to learn what sets a highly successful CTO apart from the rest. We’ll explore the various paths professionals can take on the journey to becoming a CTO, CTO salary data, and other insights to reveal what it takes to become a successful CTO in today’s technology-driven world.

In this guide, we’ll explore:

Read on to learn what we discovered about the educational background, skills,and experiences of the world’s most accomplished CTOs, where some of today’s leading CTOs got their education (and their areas of study), top companies that employ CTOs, earnings potential for chief technology officers, and more.

An Overview of Chief Technology Officers

The CTO is responsible for analyzing the company’s technology requirements, challenges, and opportunities. The CTO’s focus is on uncovering needs and opportunities and identifying the technologies to address them with an eye toward improving performance and efficiency.

Chief technology officers are also known as chief technical officers or chief technologists. CTOs may report to the chief information officer (CIO) or directly to the CEO. The chief technology officer is the highest technology executive role within an organization, leading the IT or engineering department and finding ways to leverage technology to enhance customer-facing products or services. They’re also tasked with developing revenue-boosting strategies and analyzing the potential return on investment (ROI) of innovative customer-facing technologies.

The most successful CTOs have a variety of skills such as leadership, project management, product development, IT management, and software architecture. It’s typically a high-earning role, with average salary estimates in the 6-figure range. Plus, it’s also a satisfying role: Payscale reports that the CTO role receives a job satisfaction rating of 4.2 out of 5, based on 287 responses, indicating that, on average, chief technology officers are highly satisfied with their jobs.

Job descriptions for CTO roles often include the following technical skills:

  • Information security management
  • Cybersecurity
  • Big data engineering
  • Network architecture
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • Software development

But CTOs need more than just technical know-how to thrive in this executive position. Job descriptions for CTO roles often include the following business and management skills:

  • Statistics
  • Analytics and research capabilities
  • Marketing
  • Finance and economics, budgeting
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Leadership capabilities
  • Strategic and visionary thinking
  • Innovative mindset
  • Adaptability
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines

Educational Background and Work Experience

As the CTO is a technology-focused role and professionals tend to work their way up the technology ranks before becoming a CTO, it’s no surprise that many CTOs have undergraduate degrees in technology-focused fields such as information technology, computer science, computer programming, software engineering, cybersecurity, and similar areas of study.

Zippia degrees for CTOs screenshot
Screenshot via Zippia

According to Zippia, the most common degree held by CTOs is a bachelor’s degree, although about one out of five CTOs hold a master’s degree:

  • Bachelor’s: 64%
  • Master’s: 21%
  • Associate: 7%
  • Doctorate: 5%
  • Other Degrees: 3%

While it may not be a requirement in every case, many organizations require that CTO candidates have a master’s degree, either an MBA or an MA in a relevant field of study such as technology management, computer science, or information technology. Graduate degrees provide a stronger foundation in business and management, while undergraduate degrees focus more on the basics such as mathematics, programming, and software development. In some cases, employers may consider relevant work experience as an alternative to a graduate degree. Industry certifications can also give candidates a leg up in the hiring process.

As CTOs are C-level executives, they’re typically professionals with a great deal of professional experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many employers require candidates to have 15 or more years of experience before considering them for the CTO role. The amount of experience required varies based on factors such as the industry, the size of the company, and even the geographic location. For example, smaller companies may require less experience but offer a lower starting salary compared to major enterprises that are seeking the most qualified, proven, and experienced professionals.

Crunchbase News analyzed its data to determine the top universities among funded startup CTOs. They looked at colleges and universities in the U.S. attended by startup CTOs who work for companies that raised $500,000 or more in funding between August 2017 and August 2019. Compared to CEOs and founders, they found that “CTOs are much more likely to graduate from technical universities and other schools renowned for their engineering and computer science departments.” According to Crunchbase News’s findings, the top 20 universities for CTOs of venture-backed companies in the U.S. include:

  1. Stanford
  2. MIT
  3. UC Berkeley
  4. Carnegie Mellon
  5. Cornell
  6. University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
  7. Harvard
  8. University of Michigan
  9. UT Austin
  10. University of Washington
  11. Columbia
  12. USC
  13. Penn
  14. Georgia Tech
  15. Princeton
  16. UCLA
  17. Caltech
  18. UC San Diego
  19. Northwestern
  20. Yale

While there are several notable Ivy League schools on the list, there are also a number of smaller, specialized and state universities. Also, keep in mind that this ranking focused on CTOs of funded startups, and the majority of CTOs work for established companies.

The university or college attended is often less important than the field of study and work experience. According to Zippia, the best majors for students who aspire to become chief technology officers include:

  1. Computer Science
  2. Electrical Engineering
  3. Business
  4. Computer Engineering
  5. Computer Information Systems
  6. Information Technology
  7. Mechanical Engineering
  8. Physics
  9. Mathematics
  10. Chemistry
  11. Management
  12. Management Information Systems
  13. Finance
  14. Engineering
  15. Information Systems
  16. Economics
  17. Accounting
  18. Communication
  19. Psychology
  20. Political Science

Zippia also identifies the top colleges and universities attended by chief technology officers who have resumes posted on the platform. Along with the percentage of CTO Zippia users with resumes listing their educational experience, these include:

  1. University of Maryland - College Park: 9.42%
  2. University of Phoenix: 7.99%
  3. New York University: 6.20%
  4. University of Texas at Austin: 5.84%
  5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: 5.84%

Let’s take a look at a few fields of study and degree programs that can put students on a promising path toward becoming a chief technology officer.

Computer Science & Computer Information Systems

Most colleges and universities have a basic computer science degree program along with other specialized technical programs. Degrees in this broad area of study now come in many variations, from computer systems technology to computer information systems and more. A few computer science degree programs to consider include:

Information Technology

Information technology is another field of study that overlaps with other types of computer science-related degree programs. There are a number of innovative degree programs in this area offered by leading colleges and universities. Here are a few examples to consider:

Electrical/Computer Engineering

Some colleges and universities offer combined majors in computer science and electrical engineering. These are great options for students who want to pursue a CTO career, as well as stand-alone electrical engineering programs and stand-alone computer engineering programs. Here are a few degree program options to consider:

An undergraduate degree in business is a versatile option that can prepare students for a variety of career paths. Aspiring CTOs with undergraduate degrees in business may want to pursue more technical graduate degrees or certifications as well as gain hands-on experience in the field. Business degrees come in many variations, from business administration to business management, management information systems, corporate innovation and entrepreneurship, and more. Here are a few examples of degree programs to consider:

Salary Information for Successful CTOs

CTO salaries are impacted by a variety of factors, including:

  • Education
  • Years of relevant experience
  • Geographic location
  • Industry
  • Certifications
  • Additional skills

As such, there’s variation in estimated average and median CTO salaries from different sources. For example, Glassdoor’s CTO salary data is based on 563 CTO salaries submitted anonymously on the platform, while Indeed’s data is based on 259 reported salaries (at the time of writing). These may not be random and representative samples of the full CTO population. Still, these insights can provide a good idea of how much CTOs can expect to earn, particularly when examining the differences in salary based on the factors listed above.

Based on Glassdoor’s data, the average base salary for CTOs is $191,126 per year in the United States with a range of $113,000 to $322,000 per year, while Indeed reports an average CTO base salary in the U.S. of $164,350 plus $20,000 in profit sharing per year.

Payscale reports a lower average CTO base salary of $164,350, based on 2,350 salary profiles, with a range of $90,000 to $248,000 per year. Bonuses, profit sharing, and commission earnings increase the total earnings per year to a range of $91,000 to $297,000 per year. And according to, the median CTO salary in the United States is $254,308, with a typical range of $213,268 and $297,448.

Let’s take a look at how some of the factors noted above impact a CTO’s earning potential.

Indeed highest paying cities for CTOs screenshot
Screenshot via Indeed

The cost of living in an area impacts salaries, as well as local market factors. For example, in an innovation hotspot like Silicon Valley, more companies are likely looking for qualified CTOs, meaning employers are competing for the top candidates. And one of the easiest ways to attract top talent is by offering competitive salaries. CTOs in bigger cities and metro areas also often earn more than the national average. The cost of living tends to be higher in larger cities, and there’s more likely to be competition between multiple companies trying to secure the most talented and experienced CTOs.

Indeed reports on the highest paying cities for CTOs in the U.S., including:

  1. Austin, TX: $192,677/year based on 9 reported salaries
  2. Chicago, IL: $178,732/year based on 23 reported salaries
  3. New York, NY: $170,223/year based on 11 reported salaries
  4. Los Angeles, CA: $165,376/year based on 12 reported salaries
  5. Atlanta, GA: $154,157/year based on 6 reported salaries
  6. Arlington, VA: $148,968/year based on 7 reported salaries
  7. Oakland, CA: $143,956/year based on 9 reported salaries
  8. San Diego, CA: $142,282/year based on 9 reported salaries
  9. Salt Lake City, UT: $131,607/year based on 7 reported salaries

Likewise, Payscale offers some insight into where CTOs earn the most based on their reported salary data. According to Payscale, professionals with the job title of chief technology officer typically earn 20% or more above the national average (reported by Payscale) in the following cities:

  • Waltham, MA: 59%
  • San Jose, CA: 45%
  • Ashburn, VA: 45%
  • San Mateo, CA: 38%
  • Redwood City, CA: 37%
  • Hartford, CT: 31%
  • Redmond, WA: 27%
  • Boston, MA: 24%
  • Palo Alto, CA: 22%
  • White Plains, NY: 22%
  • Santa Monica, CA: 22%
  • Bellevue, WA: 22%
  • Plano, TX: 22%
  • Sarasota, FL: 22%
  • Atlanta, GA: 21%
  • San Francisco, CA: 20%
  • Lisle, IL: 20%
  • Philadelphia, PA: 20%
  • Chicago, IL: 20%
Payscale pay by experience level for CTOs screenshots
Screenshot via Payscale

Another factor that impacts CTO salaries is the number of years of experience. Companies may offer a higher starting base salary to a candidate with 15 or more years of experience, for example, while someone in their first CTO role may start at a lower base salary. Education level has a similar effect, although CTO earnings seem to peak at the master’s level. In other words, a CTO with a doctorate degree probably won’t earn significantly more than a CTO with a master’s degree. In fact, the average salary is lower for CTOs with doctorate degrees according to some estimates.

Payscale breaks down average CTO salaries based on experience level:

  • Less than 1 year: $103,000
  • 1-4 years: $119,000
  • 5-9 years: $136,000
  • 10-19 years: $164,000
  • 20+ years: $185,000

And Zippia offers a breakdown based on education level:

  • Master's Degree: $172,091
  • Doctorate Degree: $169,782
  • Bachelor's Degree: $158,898
  • Some College/ Associate Degree: $129,778

Of course, pay isn’t the only thing candidates look for when job searching. Other benefits can make a big difference in the quality of candidates a company attracts. According to Indeed, chief technology officers typically also receive a number of non-salary benefits such as:

  • Stock options
  • Visa sponsorship
  • Family and bereavement leave
  • Gym memberships and massage services
  • Flexible work schedules
  • Health insurance
  • Paid sick leave

According to Payscale, medical is the most common health benefit included in CTOs’ compensation packages. Below is the percentage of CTOs who report having each type of health benefit:

  • Medical: 85%
  • Dental: 73%
  • Vision: 66%
  • None: 15%

It’s also common for employers to seek CTO candidates with specific skills, and these skills can impact a CTO’s earning potential as well. In the screenshot below, Payscale lists common skills that can affect CTO salaries and what percentage above the national average CTOs with each skill can expect to earn.

Payscale skills that affect CTO salaries screenshot
Screenshot via Payscale is an excellent resource for estimating your expected CTO salary, allowing you to filter the data by education level, years of experience, location, the number of direct reports, and performance. Once you’ve made selections, calculates the average CTO salary you can expect and how much lower or higher than the national average the figure is.

Where Chief Technology Officers Work

As companies spanning practically every industry today leverage technology in some form or another to improve or deliver products and services, more companies have a CTO or a similar technology executive on staff. Smaller organizations may have a CIO who handles the typical tasks of both CIOs and CTOs, for example. Large companies are more likely to have both a CIO and CTO as separate roles.

Chief technology officers work for government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Air Force, financial institutions, healthcare organizations, educational institutions, media companies, creative agencies, utilities, and more. Essentially, any company that uses technology to support customer-facing activities, whether that’s improving products or services, delivering products or services, or delivering technologies to customers, may hire a CTO.

In an article published at Forbes, Timour Procopovich explains, “Every company looking to implement software solutions needs one tech-savvy person who can make essential decisions around the technological aspects of the software. It's important to have someone on the business's side who understands both the nuanced needs the system should meet and the technological aspects of meeting those needs.”

However, smaller companies may lack the budget to hire a qualified CTO. Some may have other executives who handle the typical CTO tasks, such as a CIO, but others don’t have a team member to make these vital decisions. In that case, Procopovich proposes an alternative: partner with a software vendor that can assume the CTO role. In other words, choosing the right software vendor can solve some of these issues for companies that don’t have a CTO. But who typically makes the decision on which software vendors to partner with? You guessed it: the CTO. The bottom line is practically every company needs a technology-savvy executive or partner who can ensure that technology investments are aligned with business objectives.

Yet another solution – as well as an opportunity for aspiring chief technology officers – is to hire a fractional CTO. A fractional CTO can act as a consultant who you can consult periodically, or they may have regular part-time hours. In fact, many businesses first hire professionals as fractional CTOs who end up helping them identify the best candidates and make a hiring decision when the company is ready to hire a full-time CTO. Of course, if both parties are in agreement, the company can also choose to hire the fractional CTO for the full-time role.

Below, we’ve listed some examples of top companies that employ CTOs along with the average CTO salary at each company as reported by Glassdoor or Indeed.


Average Salary: $265,493/year (11 salaries)

Salary Range: $102K - $513K


A well-known technology company, IBM’s headquarters is located in Armonk, New York, and the company operates in 171 countries around the world.

Explore careers at IBM

Marcus Theatres

Average Salary: $217,218 (10 salaries)

Salary Range: $107K - $376K

Marcus Theatres

Marcus Theaters is the fourth largest theatre circuit in the U.S., owning or operating 1,106 screens at 91 locations in 17 states under the Marcus Theatres, Movie Tavern® by Marcus and BistroPlex brands, as well as one family entertainment center in Wisconsin.

Explore careers at Marcus Theaters


Average Salary: $255,712/year (8 salaries)

Salary Range: $101K - $738K


Best known for its search engine behemoth, Google has many other offerings as well, from smartphones to Chromebooks, Google Classroom, Google Earth, Google Drive, and much more.

Explore careers at Google


Average Salary: $295,290/year (5 salaries)

Salary Range: $200K - $1M


Microsoft is another behemoth that dabbles in a variety of areas including operating systems, hardware, SaaS products, and more. The company is “dedicated to advancing human and organizational achievement.”

Explore careers at Microsoft

DXC Technology

Average Salary: $245,504/year (4 salaries)

Salary Range: $206K - $273K

DXC Technology

DXC Technology provides “mission-critical IT services that transform global businesses” and “helps global companies run their mission critical systems and operations while modernizing IT, optimizing data architectures, and ensuring security and scalability across public, private and hybrid clouds.”

Explore careers at DXC Technology


Average Salary: $205,608/year (3 salaries)

Salary Range: $142K - $295K

ABC Network

The ABC Television Network airs many popular series as well as awards shows such as The Oscars and The Country Music Awards. ABC Studios is the company’s production arm, handling the development, production, and distribution of entertainment content. ABC Studios is the key provider of content for the ABC Entertainment Group.

Explore careers at ABC

Farmer's Fridge

Average Salary: $177,350/year (3 salaries)

Salary Range: $160K - $194K

Farmer's Fridge

Farmer’s Fridge “started with a network of smart Fridges, designed to make finding fresh & healthy meals as simple as vending a candy bar.” The company also launched a home delivery service in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and has delivered hundreds of thousands of meals to 40+ states.

Explore careers at Farmer’s Fridge


Average Salary: $149,579/year


The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) is a “democratic, voluntary federation of 57 national and international labor unions that represent 12.5 million working men and women.”

Explore careers at AFL-CIO


Average Salary: About $204K -$218K


TextUs is a provider of text messaging services for businesses to engage with leads, customers, employees, and candidates in real-time.

Explore careers at TextUs

Wells Fargo

Average Salary: About $261K -$282K

Wells Fargo

A multinational financial services company, Wells Fargo offers a variety of banking and financial services including personal, small business, investing and wealth management, commercial banking, and corporate and investment banking services.

Explore careers at Wells Fargo


Average Salary: About $239K -$407K


Smarsh provides “future-proof capture, archiving and oversight solutions that help you manage risk and unleash the intelligence in your electronic communications data.”

Explore careers at Smarsh

Neurobehavioral Systems

Average Salary: About $201K -$220K

Neurobehavioral Systems

Founded in 2000, Neurobehavioral Systems provides software tools to create behavioral and psychological experiments. The company’s product, Presentation®, has “become the premiere platform at research institutions around the world, with 105492 registrations and 237190 downloads.”

Explore careers at Neurobehavioral Systems

Average Salary: About $257K -$279K

Blink Health

Blink Health is “the digital health company on a mission to make prescriptions more affordable and accessible for everyone.”

Explore careers at Blink Health

Hub Technical

Average Salary: About $141K -$153K

Hub Technical

Hub Technical is an IT services company that has developed proprietary tools and strategies that allow them to provide higher quality services at a lower cost, particularly to state agencies, municipalities, and school districts.

Explore careers at Hub Technical


Average Salary: About $235K -$261K


A premier wholesale management platform, JOOR has “digitalized the entire wholesale process—from connection to invoicing—to make the experience smarter and more seamless for both brands and retailers.”

Explore careers at JOOR

Who Are Today’s Top CTOs

To gain some insight into today’s CTOs, we reached out to a sample of CTOs and asked them about their education, work experience, and what they think are the top essential skills needed for success as a CTO and the most essential traits or characteristics necessary to succeed in a CTO role.

Swetank Sisodia

Swetank Sisodia
LinkedIn: Swetank Sisodia

CTO at Lumiere32 Pte Ltd

Education: Btech (VTU), MBA (Executive IIM Lucknow)

Years in Current Role: 4

Years of Experience Prior to Becoming a CTO: 0

Total Years in a CTO Role (including current & previous companies): 4

Other Work Experience:

  • Lead Consultant (Genpact)
  • IT Specialist (MetLife)
  • System engineer (Infosys)

Top 3 Essential Skills for Success as a CTO:

  • Managing Time
  • Multitasking and prioritizing work
  • Understanding the product you are building

Essential Traits or Characteristics for Success as a CTO:

In my opinion, success comes with experience. You should have knowledge of the tech stack and should be able to think more than lines of codes.

Chirag Lathiya, B.Tech, ABA IIM-A

Chirag Lathiya, B.Tech, ABA IIM-A
LinkedIn: Chirag Lathiya

CTO at E-Therapy

Education: ABA from Indian Institute of Management (IIM-A) & B.Tech in Electronics and Communication from DDIT, India

Years in Current Role: 6

Years of Experience Prior to Becoming a CTO: 2

Total Years in a CTO Role (including current & previous companies): 6

Other Work Experience: Sr. Software Developer at Capgemini

Top 3 Essential Skills for Success as a CTO:

  • Communication (Tech & Non-Tech)
  • Tech Architect (Pros & Cons)
  • Integrity

Essential Traits or Characteristics for Success as a CTO:

  • Second and Third Order Thinking
  • Engineered Marketing
  • Execution over Analysis

Neha Kishore

Nimble (Neha Kishore)
Twitter: @NimbleRemote

CTO at Nimble Remote Subscription Staffing

LinkedIn: Neha Kishore


Education: Master of Arts from Delhi University

Years in Current Role: 3

Years of Experience Prior to Becoming a CTO: 8

Total Years in a CTO Role (including current & previous companies): 3

Gus Fune

Gus Fune
Twitter: @gusfune

CTO at Divbrands

Education: Bachelor in Communications from University of Brasilia

Years in Current Role: 0

Years of Experience Prior to Becoming a CTO: 9

Total Years in a CTO Role (including current & previous companies): 4

Other Work Experience: Product Manager, Project Manager, Senior Developer, Lead Developer

Top 3 Essential Skills for Success as a CTO:

  • Leadership
  • Business Understanding
  • Technical Skills

Essential Traits or Characteristics for Success as a CTO:

  • Patience
  • Listening Skills
  • Detail Oriented

Ben Harries

Ben Harries
LinkedIn: Ben Harries

CTO at Nomad Cooks

Twitter: @NomadCooks

Education: CS degree from Durham University (UK)

Years in Current Role: 1

Years of Experience Prior to Becoming a CTO: 2

Total Years in a CTO Role (including current & previous companies): 1

Other Work Experience: Software engineer intern + machine learning engineer intern (MedShr and UK Space Agency)

Top 3 Essential Skills for Success as a CTO:

  • Ability to listen to customer feedback
  • Quick uptake of different tools that get the job done
  • Quick dev times

Essential Traits or Characteristics for Success as a CTO:

  • End to end ownership
  • Scrappiness
  • Lack of stubbornness

Mohamed Habib

Mohamed Habib
LinkedIn: Mohamed Habib

CTO at Digger


  • BSc Computer science University of Bahrain
  • MSc Computer science University of Birmingham
  • PhD Computer Science Kingston University

Years in Current Role: 1

Years of Experience Prior to Becoming a CTO: 2

Total Years in a CTO Role (including current & previous companies): 1.5

Other Work Experience: Software Engineer at Amazon

Top 3 Essential Skills for Success as a CTO:

  • Leadership
  • Technical depth
  • Tech hiring

Essential Traits or Characteristics for Success as a CTO:

  • Empathy
  • Assertiveness
  • Good planner

Robin Warren

Robin Warren
Twitter: @robinwarren

CTO at Cherry Wood Software Ltd.

Education: BEng from Sheffield University

Years in Current Role: 7

Years of Experience Prior to Becoming a CTO: 12

Total Years in a CTO Role (including current & previous companies): 9

Other Work Experience: Software Developer, Head of Development at Covalent Software and Electsys

Top 3 Essential Skills for Success as a CTO:

  • Generalist technical skills
  • Delegation
  • Communication

Essential Traits or Characteristics for Success as a CTO:

  • Low ego
  • Good communicator
  • Inquisitive

Harishankaran K

Harishankaran K
LinkedIn: Harishankaran K

CTO at HackerRank

Education: B.Tech

Years in Current Role: 12

Years of Experience Prior to Becoming a CTO: 1

Total Years in a CTO Role (including current & previous companies): 13

Other Work Experience: Software Engineer

Top 3 Essential Skills for Success as a CTO:

  • Technical skills
  • People management skills
  • Hiring skills

Essential Traits or Characteristics for Success as a CTO:

  • Ability to deep dive on technical challenges when needed and ability to look at the overall tech map. In other words, ability to look at the forest and the tree (based on the needs).
  • Understanding the needs/ambition/next steps of the team and handling the expectations in the right way.
  • Understanding the overall business. CTO is not just about tech. It is about leveraging tech to grow the business.

Manisha Raisinghani

Manisha Raisinghani
LinkedIn: Manisha Raisinghani

CTO at LogiNext

Twitter: @ManishaRaisingh

Education: Masters from Carnegie Mellon, BE from Mumbai university

Years in Current Role: 8

Years of Experience Prior to Becoming a CTO: 5

Total Years in a CTO Role (including current & previous companies): 8

Other Work Experience:

  • Senior consultant - IBM
  • Solution architect - C2L biz

Top 3 Essential Skills for Success as a CTO:

  • Prioritization
  • Hiring
  • Architecture decision making

Essential Traits or Characteristics for Success as a CTO:

  • Talking to the customer
  • Leading customer success with product and processes instead of people
  • Documentation, documentation, documentation

Traits & Characteristics of the Most Successful CTOs

As you can see from the variety of responses from today’s leading CTOs, success in this challenging role requires a broad range of hard and soft skills, as well as important traits and characteristics that allow you to think strategically, lead a team, serve as a visionary to gain buy-in from stakeholders, and exceptional organizational and multi-tasking skills to juggle the many tasks and responsibilities CTOs manage on a daily basis.

Other traits and characteristics today’s leading CTOs commonly possess include:

The list could truly go on and on, but you get the picture: a CTO must be a leader who’s always up to date on the latest trends, is an innovator, and possesses all the excellent business and technical skills as the top professionals in those respective fields. Yes – it’s a tall order, but that’s what makes the chief technology role so rewarding and fulfilling.

Do you have what it takes to become a successful CTO? There’s no shortage of educational opportunities, job opportunities, and career paths to explore on your way to the top. Once you’ve gained the necessary education, skills, and experience, you can join the ranks of these highly qualified, versatile professionals who play a significant role in the direction and success of their companies.