Computer and information systems managers coordinate computer-related activities in an organization. Sometimes called IT managers or IT project managers, these professionals define the information technology goals of their organizations and plan, implement and maintain computer systems that can help each organization meet those goals. If this career sounds appealing to you, read on to find out how you can become a computer and information systems manager and thrive in the role.
Skills Required to Become a Computer and Information Systems Manager
Of course, computer and information systems managers need IT qualifications. However, they also need many other professional and soft skills. These include analytical skills, which allow computer and information systems managers to find the best solutions to the problems their organizations face. They must be able to create and implement strategic plans to help their businesses succeed.
In addition to professional and IT skills, computer and information systems managers must also have strong people skills. To work in this role, you must have good communication skills that allow you to explain your work to top executives in the organization, as well as leadership skills to manage the teams working under you. Finally, computer and information systems managers must also possess decision-making and organizational skills, as part of the job involves allocating scarce resources and coordinating the work of multiple departments to ensure the success of the whole organization.
Education and Training Requirements to Become a Computer and Information Systems Manager For many people, the first step in becoming a computer and information systems manager is to study for a bachelor's degree in computer or information science. Courses in computer programming, software development and mathematics can all be good bachelor's programs for young people who want to work as computer and information systems managers.
Most computer and information systems manager jobs also require a master's degree. Many graduates with a bachelor's degree in a computer or information science related field study for an MBA. This kind of degree requires at least two years of study beyond the undergraduate level. Working while studying for an MBA can increase the time it takes to complete this qualification. If you want to become computer and information systems manager, you may alternatively choose to take a master's degree in information systems and technology.
Most computer and information systems manager jobs require at least a few years of experience in an IT job. The number of years of experience depends on the size of the organization that the computer and information systems manager will be expected to manage. For example, becoming a chief technology officer (CTO) may require 15 or more years of experience working in IT, whereas lower-level IT management jobs are likely to require only a few years of experience. If you have less experience, you may be able to find a computer and information systems management job at a small start-up. Professional Licensing Requirements and Associations for Computer and Information Systems Managers
There is no official licensing system for computer and information systems managers, although professional associations do exist to bring together individuals working in these roles. The Association for Information Systems helps computer and information systems managers stay up to date with the latest trends in the information systems industry, access industry conferences and network with other people working in this industry.
Who Hires Computer and Information Systems Managers?
Companies of all sizes hire computer and information systems managers. In today's computer-dominated world, companies all over the world need professionals to manage their IT systems. In big companies, computer and information systems managers can aspire to become a chief technology officer (CTO) in charge of a vast budget and responsible for making important decisions about information management and security across the organization. In smaller organizations, including start-ups, computer and information systems managers perform similar roles but on a much smaller scale. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 22 percent of computer and information systems managers are employed by companies in computer systems design and related services. Another 11 percent work in the information industry, and yet another 11 percent are employed by finance and insurance companies. Eight percent of computer and information systems managers work for manufacturing companies, which shows the broad demand for these professionals.
What Do Computer and Information Systems Managers Earn?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for a computer and information systems manager is $135,800. However, the level of pay can vary widely depending on the size of the company that you choose to work for, your qualifications and experience, and the city or region in which you work.
According to Glassdoor, the average base pay for an information systems manager is $103,113. Meanwhile, in San Francisco, you could expect to earn $118,116 on average working in the same role. Gaining a master's degree could increase this pay rate compared to having only a bachelor's qualification.
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- Summary. (n.d.). Retrieved February 15, 2018, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm#tab-3
- Salary: Information Systems Manager in New York City, NY. (n.d.). Retrieved February 15, 2018, from https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Salaries/new-york-city-information-systems-manager-salary-SRCH_IL.0,13_IM615_KO14,41.htm