How to Become an IT Manager
What Is an IT Manager?
Information technology managers supervise an organization’s computer-related needs and activities. They may also be referred to as computer and information systems managers. IT managers oversee departments or teams of other computer and IT-related staff members who work on a company’s security, information systems, communications, intranet and more.
It addition to other IT staff, an IT manager works with managerial and administrative staff to assess what kinds of technological needs they may have. IT managers negotiate with product vendors to meet those needs and stay within budget and capacity. IT managers generally work on-site. However, some may have the capability to work remotely. Because this job can be project-specific, some overtime is common depending on priorities within the company.
An IT manager may advance to become an IT director, chief information officer or chief technology officer. These administrative positions require more strategic thinking and planning. The difference between a CIO and a CTO is that CIOs help to determine what technology an organization invests in, while CTOs have more technical expertise on the best practices of using technology.
How to Become an IT Manager
Though there is no set career path for IT managers, many start out as an IT staff member for an organization or company, and after a few years and earning a master’s degree, they move up to managerial positions.
An IT manager generally holds at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology or a related field. Many prospective IT managers pursue a Master of Business Administration degree from a university that offers an Information Technology Management concentration.
Because staying relevant on the latest trends and developments in technology is essential to success in the IT field, many individuals choose to pursue their master’s degree while maintaining their professional career. An online MBA program offers students a flexible way to earn their degrees while maintaining their work schedule.
Most jobs relating to computer and information systems require years of experience in a related position. Lower-level management positions only require a few years of experience, while an IT manager position, especially in a larger organization, may require up to five or more years of experience.
Career Growth and Salary Potential
The employment of computer and information systems managers is projected to grow 15 percent by 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is in response to the demand for managers who can keep up with companies that are expanding their digital platforms and identities.
The average annual salary for computer and information systems management positions is $131,600.