Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
LAST UPDATED 04 Jul 2022
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The role of chief technology officers today


Chief technology officers (CTOs) run the technical departments of an organisation. As a c-suite executive job, CTOs comprise technical with interpersonal skills to manage systems and teams. They consistently observe present hardware and software processes within a company and ensure these are running smoothly. Additionally, CTOs build technological systems that can be sold as part of businesses’ services. To do this, CTOs collaborate with various teams to ensure optimal technological operations.

Whilst many of these procedures are important for internal teams, systems must operate efficiently for clients as well. In this way, CTOs balance their role between satisfying both internal and external parties of a business. Individuals looking to develop within their IT jobs must be prepared to encounter numerous challenges and adaptations to continue to improve an organisation’s function. 


Summary of steps to become a chief technology officer


The demand for CTOs is increasing as the world of work continues to evolve around technological means to support everyday business needs. As a senior role, becoming a CTO can take several years of relevant work experience and a stellar educational background. In summary, becoming a CTO can present the following path:

  • Attain a bachelor’s degree: like many executive jobs, CTOs earn at least a bachelor’s degree in a technological field such as computer science, information technology, or in another related discipline. Degrees offer jobseekers the opportunity to comprehend how diverse systems work and how to apply these in the real world.
  • Consider a master’s degree: as the demand for CTOs continues to grow, so too does the competition in this field. To expand your knowledge in relevant areas such as programming, database management, cybersecurity practices, and so on, a master’s degree can be worth pursuing to impress employers. It can also be an opportunity to earn a degree in technology if your bachelor’s was not IT related.
  • Get to work: actualising the career path of a CTO is not without years of relevant work experience. The earlier you begin gaining work experience in the field, the better your chances of reaching this senior IT job in Malta or elsewhere. Start by looking at industries you’re interested in and work your way up the career ladder over time.
  • Upskill: CTOs gather many years of valuable work experience, including technical skills, to support their daily role and responsibilities. However, it’s also important for these individuals to gain interpersonal skills as well, especially leadership and communication skills to support teams. You can learn these skills with practice over time and consider training opportunities as you develop within your career.
  • Begin applying for CTO jobs: when you’ve gathered the right work experience and skill set, look for IT jobs in this area. Use this time to expand on your network and learn the kinds of job applications that are necessary to achieve the CTO role.

Overall, actualising a CTO career takes many years of hard work and discipline in learning the ropes of the technological world. Explore the education, skills, and work experience that is relevant to such an IT job, which is illustrated throughout this article.


Duties and responsibilities of chief technology officers


CTOs combine their technical skills with leadership responsibilities in overseeing and supervising diverse internal processes. With this in mind, CTOs are able to effectively develop strategies and monitor progress over time. Whilst their specific duties and responsibilities will differ depending on the organisation’s size and industry, commonalities between them include:

  • Lead technology teams across diverse responsibilities,
  • Design and implement strategies related to technological development of a business,
  • Monitor the workings of hardware, software, and similar technical features of an organisation,
  • Update organisational systems for improvement and development purposes,
  • Review novel technologies and determine whether these can be implemented to current systems,
  • Be part of decision-making opportunities and guide stakeholders for matters pertaining to technical strategies,
  • Remain up-to-date with technical trends and the market generally,
  • Ensure all technologies of a business adhere to legal guidelines, especially those related to protection of privacy and cybersecurity, and
  • Report to the CIO or CEO regarding technical matters and other general successes.

Overall, the CTO job in Malta or elsewhere can be highly dynamic, for these individuals work with numerous personnel to ensure smooth business operations. Their role is integral within organisations and the demand for talent in this area is increasing, especially as organisations adopt novel technologies to conduct tasks. 


Salary expectations 


The demand for CTOs is rapidly increasing, leading the career with fast-paced growth capabilities alongside impressive salary raises. The Castille Salary Survey is based on the average gross basic salary ranges we have seen offered in the local market over the last 12 months. This survey is updated quarterly, remaining representative of current market trends.  

For example, CTOs can expect a salary that ranges from €100,000 to €150,000 euros. It is worth consulting with our salary survey for further insights into IT jobs in Malta. 

For a global perspective, it is worth keeping in mind that sources vary and are subject to change with time. Considering these variances, salaries for CTO jobs consistently reflect an average salary ranging from $90,000 to $170,000 a year. These numbers vary according to level of experience, specialisation, and other associated living costs. 


Education and qualifications of chief technology officers


Like many c-suite and executive jobs, CTOs are expected to possess numerous qualifications to successfully undertake their role. They typically own a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in computer science or a similar discipline. CTOs demonstrate extensive work experience, especially in areas related to database management, programming, cybersecurity, and so forth. 

The career ladder for CTOs can represent diverse backgrounds, depending on the industry the individual is looking to specialise in. For example, individuals can choose to work specifically in cybersecurity, focusing on privacy and data legal procedures. Organisations focusing on this discipline would typically require certifications related to these areas. Interested applicants for the CTO job should continue to research their options within this space. 


Trending technologies and skill sets 


As a collaborative job, it’s no wonder that CTOs gain their skills in ones such as communication and problem-solving. In working with various office functions, other trending technologies and skill sets include:

  • Leadership: CTOs provide guidance in technical planning and evaluate decision-making related to technological strategies.
  • Communication: CTOs communicate and collaborate with internal and external parties of a business. Communication skills are vital to ensure employees, stakeholders, and other senior management members understand the reasoning involved with certain technical decisions.
  • Problem-solving skills: in working closely alongside internal teams, CTOs encounter diverse organisational challenges. It’s important that CTOs work to mitigate any risks associated with a business and help teams develop successful technical solutions.
  • Analytical skills: CTOs frequently devise plans and strategies that focus on short- and long-term business outcomes. With an analytical mindset, CTOs are able to carefully plan and promote business growth steadily over time.
  • Technical skills: it goes without saying that the CTO comprises several technical skills to succeed in this IT job. Usually, CTOs possess great coding skills and similar programming capabilities to conduct their role.

The above illustrates the general skills of such a job that is focused around supporting business professionals whilst ensuring internal structures operate well. They understand current business objectives and help amend these during shifting workplace trends. 


Career prospects as a chief technology officer


CTOs typically work in various office environments, including a work from home job. They collaborate with diverse personnel frequently and facilitate internal and external communications. The consistent use of valuable hard and soft skills employed by the CTO is transferable across organisations, meaning these individuals are able to work in diverse workplace settings.

For jobseekers interested in pursuing a career path as a CTO, individuals should work to gain valuable work experience in any preferred industry. Applicants must consider their area of specialisation thoughtfully and apply for jobs that are relevant. CTOs can continue to improve their technical and soft skills through independent learning and keeping up with workplace affairs.


Begin your chief technology officer career today with Castille 


Now that you’ve critically assessed what working as a CTO is about and whether it is right for you, you are able to kickstart your career in this ever-growing field. As technology and the workforce continues to rapidly advance, the role of a CTO remains a career suitable for the long-haul.

Chief Technology Officer (CTO)