The computer and information technology systems field is experiencing substantial growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that computer and information technology jobs generally will grow by 12% by 2024, and approximately 488,000 jobs will be added.
One of the most popular and growing professions is computer and information systems managers. Professionals with advanced computer skills will usually find that they have plenty of good-paying jobs available.
Information Systems Manager Overview
An information systems manager, who may also be called an information technology manager, is responsible for planning, coordinating, and directing all computer related activities in a company or organization. Information systems managers help to determine the IT goals of the company, and are in charge of implementing and installing updated computer systems to meet organizational goals.fmba
As an information systems manager, you will handle the following roles:
- Perform analysis of a company’s computer needs and recommend upgrades for upper level managers to consider
- Direct and plan computer hardware and software installation
- Ensure that the organization’s network and electronic documents are fully secure
- Determine what the costs and benefits will be for new technology projects and justify proper funding to management
- Learn about new computer and software technologies and look for affordable ways to upgrade technology systems that will enhance company performance
- Direct the work of all other IT professionals, including software developers, information security professions, and computer systems analysts.
The above is just a general list of duties that you may be responsible for in information systems management. Keep in mind that you will likely be relying on other computer system management professionals to handle all of the IT needs of your organization or department.
Also note that there are several types of information systems managers; which will be your exact job and title will depend upon the size and organization of your company:
- Chief information office or CIO: This is a high paid senior manager who is in charge of the overarching technology strategy for the company. The CIO is responsible for determining the information and technology goals of the company. Many CIOs may focus on a technology specialty, such as information systems or electronic data processing.
- Chief technology officer or CTO: Responsible for evaluating all new technology in the company and determining how it can be used to meet company goals. The CTO usually has more technology expertise, while the CIO has more experience in business management.
- IT director: This professional is in charge of the IT department for a company, and is usually a direct supervisor of many other employees. IT directors handle figuring out the business requirements for IT systems, and they also implement the policies that have been selected by the company’s top executives.
Information Systems Manager Pay
The median pay for all information systems managers was $131,500 in 2015. The top 10% earned at least $187,000 per year. The top paid professionals in this field usually work for information-related companies, as well as computer systems design and service companies.
Information Systems Manager Demand
Employment of computer and information systems managers will increase by up to 15% by 2024, which is much faster than average.
It is believed that demand will soar for these managers as companies are expanding their operations to digital and technology platforms. Information systems managers must be on hand to implement these systems.
Employment also will grow due to the need to increase cybersecurity in IT systems in large companies. Industrial sectors such as retail and healthcare will be implementing stronger security systems and policies as cyber attack continue to grow.
A strong growth sector for information systems managers is in healthcare, which is implementing a large amount of modern information technology. Healthcare organizations are being mandated to transfer patient records to electronic format. This industry is also expected to be greatly increasing its use of sophisticated IT systems, given federal mandates and privacy laws. This will result in a high level of job growth in health care organizations.
In insurance companies, including health care, employment for information systems managers is expected to soar by 26% by 2024.
How to Become an ISM
Most information systems managers earn a bachelor’s degree or advanced degree in computer or information science. Some of the courses that you would typically complete in these programs would be in:
- Computer programming
- Software development
- Business management
Many companies will expect their information systems managers to have a master’s degree if they want to move into upper level positions. Lower level IT management positions may require three or four years of experience, while directors, CIOs and and CTOs may require more than 10 years of experience and suitable education.
The information management landscape is changing every year. New technologies are being brought to market, and existing technologies evolve and sometimes disappear. This makes it very important for information systems professionals to continue to develop their technical skills.
Experts say that the biggest information management system changes that are affecting business today are:
- Big data analytics: The collection, organization and analysis of massive data sets.
- Cloud computing: Shared computing resources, and not local servers and PCs.
- Mobile computing: Smart phone and tablet usage has increased 2100% since 2010, and it is having huge effects on business practices.
- Smart machines: Smart machines can learn on their own, and they will start to have substantial business impact through 2020 and beyond. You will need to be able to work with and troubleshoot these devices.
A good option for an experienced manager who wants to move into an executive information management role is an master’s in business administration with a focus on information technology.
A good choice for an online MBA in information technology is the master’s program offered at the Florida Institute of Technology. This is a two year, fully online program that will teach you all of the necessary fundamentals to be a successful business manager in the information technology speciality.
One of the unique aspects of this program is the Essentials of Business Development 1 and 2 courses that you are required to take. These classes eventually culminate in the development of a fully integrated business plan.
You have the option of developing a business plan for you current position at work. You also can choose another business and progressively bring the plan to completion during these two classes. You will be able to learn and implement critical business concepts, from business statistics to managerial economics and marketing.
Other required courses in this information technology MBA are:
- BUS 5421 Managerial Economics
- BUS 5431 Managerial Accounting
- BUS 5440 Financial Management
- BUS 5450 Organizational Behavior
- BUS 5470 Marketing Management
- BUS 5460 Management Information Systems
- BUS 5610 Database Management Technology
- BUS 5611 Global Information Technology Management
- BUS 5618 Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation
Information systems managers held approximately 349,000 jobs in 2014, and as noted before, there is a strong growth trend in this field for years to come. The fields that employ the most information systems managers are:
- Computer systems design and related computer services: 20%
- Finance and insurance companies: 12%
- Information related companies: 11%
- Management of companies: 10%
- Manufacturing: 10%
You should expect that this field will continue to produce many solid job opportunities, especially for professionals with a graduate degree and significant business and technical experience.