Executive Education
Online Graduate Certificate in IT Business Strategy

Fisher College of Business aerial photo

Advances in technology are continual, accelerating and impacting businesses like never before. 

Information Technology (IT) used to be a support function within the business providing a technology infrastructure, but moving forward, IT must also be a driver of business strategy and growth. So the question becomes do leaders residing in the technical areas of the organization have the requisite business knowledge and strategic skills to successfully drive the organization into the future?

Participants in the online Graduate Certificate in IT Business Strategy will learn how to anticipate, assess and prioritize how a company responds to market forces through the lens of business strategy, ultimately earning a voice at the strategy table.

As technology has rapidly evolved, IT is no longer seen as a support unit, but is the engine that drives most companies’ strategy. In this new role as critical players, IT leaders must be recognized to have a solid foundation in finance, operations, strategy, and communications in addition to data analytics, leadership and management so as to have not only a seat at the executive leaders’ table, but a voice!

John M. DeaneManaging Director, Clipper Advisory Group
35+ years experience in executive management and applied information services leadership

Why this program?

  • Value to IT Leaders

    By participating in this graduate certificate program, you will walk away with newfound skills that will prepare you for career advancement and set you up for success in an everchanging business landscape. Upon completion of the program, participants will walk away with:

    • Increased confidence to lead organizations by harnessing technology and IT systems to fulfill business imperatives
    • The knowledge needed to anticipate, assess and prioritize how your organization responds to ever-changing market forces
    • Expertise on how to solve problems and make informed decisions using your knowledge of finance, data-driven decision-making and strategy
    • Development of leadership skills and knowledge of your personal leadership style
    • New connections within the IT industry (senior IT leaders, CIOs, technology consultants, etc.) through fellow cohort members 
    • Up to 6 hours of transferrable credit towards the Fisher College of Business Online Working Professionals MBA Program
  • Organizational Value

    During this program, you will learn new information, network with other executives, and generate new ideas and solutions that will provide immediate value to your company. Here are several ways that participating in this program will be valuable to the company you work for:

    • Development of technical CIOs to be able to translate business strategy into IT strategy and drive strategic initiatives throughout the organization
    • Broaden succession planning within the potential C-suite talent pool by developing high-potential leaders with business acumen and leadership, while leveraging their technical and functional IT skills
    • Ensure that the CIO has the tools and competencies to provide data-driven insights and future-proof technology investments to shape short and long-term business strategy

Program details

Major components of the program

  • Leadership Development

    The Leadership Development portion of the program utilizes the BUILD Leadership Assessment and Personal Development program that includes a pre-assessment, a personal development plan, support resources, individual coaching, and a post-assessment.

    Created in 2017 by researchers at Max M. Fisher College of Business, the BUILD Leadership Model utilizes decades of research and behaviors that have been proven to increase leadership effectiveness.  

    The BUILD Leadership Model measures 18 core leadership competencies to lead oneself, to lead groups and teams, and to lead organizations and communities. The BUILD Leadership Assessment is a behaviorally-based instrument designed to help leaders understand opportunities to improve their leadership skills through individual and observer ratings. Upon completion, each student will receive an individualized report that includes a breakdown of their results for each of the BUILD competencies along with recommendations to improve their leadership performance and effectiveness. 

    Students will complete a BUILD Leadership Assessment at both the beginning and the end of the program to measure behavioral changes across the 18 competencies within BUILD. Over the course of this program, participants will engage in a robust debrief experience to interpret their results; receive 1:1 coaching to set a goal for their leadership development and to support their individual growth; and receive additional training on core leadership competencies throughout the curriculum. 

  • Core Curriculum

    The Core Curriculum for this program consists of thirteen and a half (13.5) credit hours, across eight (8) courses.

    Courses include:

    • Critical Thinking
    • Data Analysis for Managers
    • Strategy Formulation and Implementation
    • Technology and Innovation Strategy
    • IT Discipline Fundamentals
    • Professional Development
    • Accounting for Decision-Making
    • Finance

    Per the Graduate School guidelines, each student has the opportunity to apply credits that are earned in a Graduate Certificate program to another graduate-level program of study at The Ohio State University. The Graduate School currently has a limit of 50% of the total credit hours earned in a Graduate Certificate program (earned when in a non-degree status) that can be applied toward a graduate degree program. As such, up to six and one half (6.5) credit hours from this Graduate Certificate in IT Business Strategy program can be applied to another graduate program, subject to the approval of that graduate program’s director/committee. 

  • Capstone Project

    A capstone project for each candidate that is identified and qualified as part of the admissions process, with approval and support from that candidate’s sponsor. Work on the capstone project commences at the start of the program and continues through to the program’s conclusion, with a coach provided by The Ohio State University. Each candidate will make an oral presentation and defense of the project in front of the sponsor and faculty from Ohio State. This presentation addresses three key dimensions: 1) the strategy question, 2) the implied/required organizational changes, and 3) the resulting implied/required process changes.

    The inclusion of a capstone project represents a key element of the program. First, it allows students to apply what they are learning, with support from a coach, as they progress through the program. (Note: The project work runs on a parallel path to the core curriculum, and projects will not be shared or discussed directly in class sessions. This maintains full confidentiality across all aspects of the projects.) Secondly, the outcome from each of these projects contributes real value to the sponsoring company, increasing the ROI that they receive from the program. 

Delivery Method This program is an online offering that will utilize a combination of synchronous and asynchronous online learning.

The program is just over 10 months in total, beginning in August and concluding in June.

Start date for Fall 2022 cohort: August 23, 2022

End date for Fall 2022 cohort: June 30, 2023

Information Session

Join our next virtual information session on June 30 to learn more about the program curriculum and ask any questions you have. 

Thursday, June 30, 2022 | 12 - 12:30 p.m. via Zoom

Register here


In-state tuition: $19,570 | Out-of-state tuition: $20,170

The program tuition includes all components of the program listed above, along with course materials/readings/books. 

Tuition reimbursement benefits can be used to help cover the cost of this program. Ohio State University employees can learn more here.

Prospective Student Profile

Candidates should have 7+ years of relevant business experience in Information Technology-related jobs, with increasing levels of experience, including management and project oversight responsibility. Candidates should also possess demonstrable skills and experience in implementing strategies and deployments within their discipline.

Application Deadlines

Application deadline for fall 2022 cohort: Friday, July 15, 2022

Apply Today

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions           IT Podcasts

Program Fact Sheet             Sample Program Calendar

  • Program Advisor

    Lori Kendall headshotLori Kendall, Ph.D., serves as the Academic Director for the Graduate Certificate in IT Business Strategy. She has spent 30+ years as a serial entrepreneur and technology executive for venture-backed and publicly traded firms in B2B software, hardware, and networking. Lori has held VP and senior leadership positions responsible  for new product development, portfolio management, and cloud services.  
    She currently serves as faculty at the  Ohio State University and is an operating partner at Orchid Black. At Ohio State,  Lori teaches courses in entrepreneurship, leadership, and business consulting. She completed her Ph.D. in Management, Building Sustainable Systems from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and she holds an MBA from Holy Names University in Oakland, CA. 


Jennie McAndrew
Program Coordinator