Aspiring CIOs get 'learn to be an IT chief' course

City Uni launches Masters for tomorrow's info leaders

...Strategy and Governance; Portfolio, Programme and Project Delivery; and Information Law and Compliance.

"How many IT people know how to brief lawyers?" asked Chan. "Do they really understand the issues around regulatory compliance?

"Technology will rapidly change but the managerial issues will be more or less the same."

The need for organisations to have a CIO or an "information leader" is growing, according to Chan, even as the complexity of such information-centric roles is increasing.

"One of the major issues in organisations at the moment is that CEOs and the top team are looking at quite an impossible situation," he said. "You've got major challenges in terms of market and the revenue growth, you've got cost pressures caused by the recession and financial performance and the only way you can go is to transform the way the enterprise operates - that can only work if you transform businesses' processes.

"My argument is that the folk who're best placed to guide organisations through this are its information professionals - whether you call it IT or business change specialists - and yet, there is very, very little education provision or training for people in that sphere."

Chan also believes information leadership skills are in short supply in the UK - and it's this high level skills gap that the MIL is targeting.

"Cleary there is a major skills shortage," he told silicon.com. "The universities are pumping out graduates and post-graduates who are equipped to be programmers, maybe code monkeys and business analysts but the reality is nothing's hitting the leadership level."

The cost of the Masters has not yet been finalised but Chan said it is likely to be around the cost of an MBA - some £30,000. He hopes the MIL will gain a similar caché to the Harvard MBA in the 1960s. "It's going to be very very selective, we're going for quality not quantity," he said. "It'll be extremely demanding both intellectually and time-wise."