August 12, 2007

How do CIOs advance their careers? There is a small but growing number of courses intended to show experienced CIOs how to negotiate a seat at the executive table and walk the walk of business innovation and growth.

In mid-July, for example, The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) announced a partnership with Gartner on a boot camp of sorts for CIOs, the CIO Academy. Wharton will also launch an executive program called "CIO as Full Business Partner," a weeklong course starting this fall.

"For years, CIOs have been told that they wouldn't have a job unless they transform from 'chief technology mechanic' to business executive," said Thomas Gerrity, professor of management at Wharton and academic director of the new program, in a statement. "But many [still] focus on cost containment at the expense of making important contributions to the CEO's vision for achieving business advantage through product innovation or new growth platforms."

The course features Wharton professors from a variety of disciplines -- including marketing, finance, management, economics and psychiatry -- as well as research directors in Gartner's executive development program. It's also for the high rollers.

"The program is exclusive to CIOs who report into the CEO," according to details on Wharton's Web site, and it's intended for "corporate CIOs of large global organizations, as well as business unit CIOs from multinational organizations, with revenue in excess of $2 billion." It costs $12,500.

Courtesy of InformationWeek's "CIOs Uncensored" newsletter. InformationWeek is a CMP Technology property.