How Does CTO Academy Compare With The Berkeley CTO Program?

Andrew Weaver
September 28, 2023

Why would you choose a CTO Program?

Historically and still commonly mistaken as a purely technical role, the chief technology officer (CTO) has come to play a crucial part in the c-suite ensemble by playing critical roles in business strategy, organizational structure, and culture.

It makes sense since whole industries are becoming increasingly automated and rely more and more on tech – making tech leadership crucial. 

The CTO still needs to focus on using technology as an enabler for value generation. However, what’s equally important to technology in the modern role is a focus on the people and the process, two skills that make such a difference at the senior level.

So these are the most crucial skills for effective CTOs to master and achieve the impact and success they want in their career.

It’s for these reasons that special programs and course providers like CTO Academy are able to provide executive leadership programs specifically for technology leaders needing to develop these skills.

At the end of the day, success in senior technology roles is rarely about the tech, it’s almost always about the people and the process.

Finding the best CTO program for your needs

What options are available for a senior technology leader wanting an executive-level leadership course?

Generic leadership and business programs such as the traditional MBA are not nuanced enough to deliver the specialist training needed for the modern CTO or tech leader.

The market is moving towards specialist programs which is why CTO Academy, now in 97 countries, are often compared with the Berkeley CTO Program as buyers consider the best executive education programs for their HIPO tech leaders.

So we thought it useful to provide you with a comparison between (Executive Level) The Digital MBA for Technology Leaders from CTO Academy with the Berkeley CTO Program. We will highlight the key differences and create an overview for you to judge what program is the best option for you, or your colleagues.

Our aim is to provide a comparison of the two chief technology officer (CTO) programs to enable you to judge the best options at this stage of your career. 

Key Differences Between the Two Executive Education Programs for CTOs

The main differences between these two CTO programs are depth, impact, cost, and longevity (aka prestige.)

Depth of the CTO Programs

Both courses provide an extensive range of lectures and supporting material relevant to different elements of the CTO role.

The main CTO Program from CTO Academy, The Digital MBA, is designed to provide those already in senior technology roles to enhance their existing technical skills across areas like leadership, strategy, personal development, business fundamentals, as well as data, and analytics, information management, and digital trends. We focus on the CTO role as a hybrid leader bridging the technical and the commercial leader, with a 360 business perspective covering both.

The Berkeley CTO Program is a high-level, academic-driven course with a curriculum based on systems, technology, and digital transformation.

CTO Academy tends to be more broadly focused on building up those soft skills so crucial for CTOs at a senior level.

Most CTO Academy lecturers work in senior tech and business roles which enables them to deliver an up-to-date, hands-on experience to the lectures alongside all of the supporting materials, case studies, and frameworks whereas the Berkeley Lecturers, whilst hugely impressive, have been drawn into their CTO program from different faculty within the organization.

Impact and Applicability

At CTO Academy, we focus on high-impact, micro-content, and a learning experience that fits alongside busy working schedules and can be immediately applicable for day-to-day operational challenges, as well as long-term career growth.

The Berkeley CTO program delivers high-level, expert insight, though not always immediately applicable.

Cost and Value

You might suggest the comments above are subjective but what’s clearly available as a direct comparison is the significant difference in cost between the CTO programs on offer between our organizations.

The full Berkeley CTO Program is approx. $30,000 (+ costs for attending campus sessions).
The recently launched online version is available for $7,500.

This compares to similar programs in the UK with Cambridge (Judge Business School) CTO Program coming in at $20,000 – though they sometimes offer an early bird discount.

By comparison, the CTO Academy Digital MBA for Technology Leaders is priced at .

And even if you strip away the huge price differential you might find the CTO Academy course – with 234 high micro-lectures, live cohort sessions, and a dynamic global community – delivers a significant punch when it comes to value.

Hey, we can’t beat Berkeley for prestige being a recently launched startup, but we believe that’s the only comparable where we’re unable to compete.

Prestige sure comes with a heavy price tag. 

A Visual Overview of the Different CTO Programs

At CTO Academy we are 100% online and alongside the course material we provide slack groups, online forums, group and private coaching – aimed at any level of role and focused on driving that individual to the next stage of their career. 

The Berkeley CTO Program is an impressive presence in the executive education market for technology leaders.

Other Executive Education Programs to Consider

Whilst we believe that CTO Academy is now the market leader for technology leadership training, we’re happy to be compared with Berkeley or indeed any other options.

As mentioned above Cambridge offer a comparable CTO program, as does Stanford ad Wharton – indeed, many CTO Academy members have been on these courses and given us some of the comparisons we’ve shared in this article.

MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) like Linkedin Learning, Udemy, and Coursera cover elements of tech leadership but are more generalist and quite lightweight within this niche.

Localized Courses and Meet-Ups: There also exists more localized networking, mentoring, and support organizations that you can find to help build your network and knowledge base.


No one doubts the quality of the Berkeley CTO Program and the faculty who deliver it. We are in awe of their experience and expertise. But that comes with a price tag and often a lack of immediate applicability versus the more dynamic, CTO-led courses delivered by CTO Academy.

We not only provide a broad and deep perspective on what’s needed to succeed in senior technology roles but with coaching and a community that supports each member to achieve their goals and receive the best ROI for their investment of money and time.

We might not have the Berkeley branding or prestige, but we pack a mighty punch for a recent entry in the market and you shouldn’t be buying one, without comparing it with the others.

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