The chief technology officer (CTO) of a corporation is the executive in charge of all issues related to technology and science. The CTO is responsible for turning the money of the company into profitable scientific and technological initiatives. In many cases, the CTO will oversee the research and development operations of a company, and will correspond in great detail with, if applicable, the engineering, energy, and regulatory departments. The CTO usually reports directly to the chief executive officer of the company.
The job duties of the CTO include having a big picture outlook on how the efforts and initiatives of the company in relation to scientific and technological initiatives will affect company profits. The CTO necessarily needs quite an in depth understanding of the more academic parts of his job, and many actually come from engineering departments. The CTO must direct the efforts of both the academic and experimental portions of research and development, making sure that in creating new initiatives, the company's money is efficiently spent, and that the findings can somehow be made profitable.
Becoming a C-Level Technology Director requires several years of both managerial and technical security roles. Many CISOs have a wide range of certifications under their names too, the most common being the CISSP.
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The job outlook for the CTO position is always best in positive economies of scale, when companies are well in the black with room to experiment with new initiatives. In down times, CTO turnover is often high when compared to other C level executives. In this economy, one of uncertainty and little growth, the CTO job outlook = C-
Executives with both the technical expertise of an engineer and the social skills of a C level executive are in high demand, as most companies, no matter their industry, have quite a sizable technological research or marketing component. Depending on the size of the company, A CTO can easily break the mid six digits, but many salaries are also tied heavily into performance bonuses based on the outcome of research initiatives. As the CTO closely rides the line between the more qualitative functions of a company (research information is always power) and answers to the qualitative (can we turn a profit on that power), his salary is often the first to be cut or frozen if initiatives go bad, as he is quite easy to scapegoat.