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How to Become a Information Technology Manager

January 1, 2017 12:19 am0 commentsViews: 63
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The IT and computer technology field overall is seeing a great deal of growth in the US. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS, information technology jobs will see an increase of 12% in demand by 2024. This means that nearly 500,000 jobs will be added.

One of the most rapidly growing professions in the computer and IT field is information technology manager. Computer professionals who have a strong background in technology and at least a computer science bachelor’s degree will find many top paying jobs available.

Information Technology Manager Overview

An information technology manager is in charge of the planning, coordination and general directing of all activities related to technology and computers in a company. Among their most critical roles, they determine what the current and future IT goals are for the company. They are then responsible for implementing appropriate computer systems and technology to meet the goals of the company.

Common duties of an information technology manager include:

  • Do a regular analysis of the computer and technology needs of the firm. Recommend necessary upgrades to the company’s upper level managers.
  • Evaluate and order new computer software and hardware, and direct how it is installed.
  • Determine the long term IT personnel needs for the company or department
  • Keep up to date on new technology that will allow the company to better meet its goals
  • Conduct regular assessments of available technology and do a cost analysis to determine if it would be worth bringing this new technology into the company
  • Handle the supervision and direction of other information technology workers. These may include security professionals, software developers and network analysts

Bear in mind that the majority of information technology managers will probably not handle all of the above duties on their own. Depending upon the size and scope of the company, you could have many information technology professionals in your company that you will need to work with as a team.

Further, there are different titles of information technology managers at various companies. Your exact title will depend upon your experience level, as well as the size of the organization. Some of the most common job titles for a professional with extensive information technology expertise are:

  • IT security manager: Oversee the network and data security for the organization. You will work with senior executives to plan new security policies and to promote better information security in the company. It is very important for this professional to regularly come up with new programs to keep all employees aware of possible security threats.
  • IT director: In charge of the IT department and many employees. IT directors must implement effective policies that have been selected by senior executives at the company.
  • Chief information office (CIO): This is a senior level executive who is in charge of the technology vision and strategy for a company. They determine what type of technology and information is needed at a company and then oversee how the technology is used to meet company goals.

Information Technology Manager Pay

Median pay for information technology managers was $131,000 in 2015, and the highest earning professionals in this field was $187,000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the highest paid information technology professionals tend to work in companies that deal in the processing and interpretation of information, followed by computer systems design organizations.

Information Technology Manager Demand

BLS states that the demand in this field will rise by 15% by 2024, which is much faster than average. It is thought that demand will increase for managers with technical expertise as companies expand their scope to technology and digital platforms. To succeed in the global marketplace today, it is very important to fully harness the potential of advanced technology platforms.

It also is anticipated that job growth will occur as there is a need to boost cybersecurity in the information technology systems of corporations. Also, the retail and healthcare sectors will be developing much better security systems because cyber attacks are more frequent than ever.

Note that the growth of cloud computing will often result in organizations outsourcing their IT services from employees on site to cloud based computer professionals and companies. Thus, the most growth for information technology workers in the future could be more in cloud based contracting companies.

How to Become One

The general path to become an information technology manager is to earn your bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in computer science. Some of the most important classes that you will take in both of these degree programs may include:

  • Advanced computer programming
  • Software development
  • Algebra and calculus
  • Business management

If you want to move into the higher paying information technology roles, you should expect that you will need to have a master’s degree in information technology. Another option is an MBA specialized in information technology.

For those who aspire to the director level, expect at least seven years of IT experience to be required. For the CIO role, you will need 10 years of experience or more.

The majority of information technology managers started out as programmers or developers, and after several years, eventually move up to the information technology manager or director role.

To become an information technology manager, experts advise to earn an MBA with a specialty in information technology or information management. A great choice is the online MBA in Information Technology Management from Western Governors University.

This fully online MBA with a focus on IT management will make you a valuable resource in the information technology world. You will hone the skills that you need to take on a top level IT management position in many settings in all industries.

This program is perfect for an experienced information technology professional who needs to obtain an MBA to move into upper level IT management. It also is a good degree for the IT professional who has at least five years of experience in information technology.

Some of the key subject areas in this program include the following:

  • Managing Organizations and Leading People
  • IT Project Management
  • Managing Human Capital
  • Marketing
  • Global Economics for Managers
  • Accounting for Decision Makers
  • Ethical Leadership
  • Financial Management
  • Data-Driven Decision Making
  • IT Strategic Solutions

A critical part of this highly rated IT MBA is the successful completion of a capstone project. This project is the culmination of two years of hard work. It will allow you to combine everything you have learned in information technology and apply it to a real business situation.

Also, you will spend part of your program focused on IT project management. This will provide you with the skills that you need to handle typical technology projects in a company; both projects that have not begun yet, and projects that are already underway and need to be managed are covered. You will use real world case studies to study project management in the second semester of the program.

This information technology MBA was developed with a large degree of input from WGU’s Business Program Council. Another major input source was the National Advisory Board, which has many major foundations and corporations in its membership. This ensures that the program provides students with a completely up to date and useful curriculum so that you gain the technical skills you need to advance – today.

Summary

The information technology professional role is incredibly important today. All companies and organizations in the global marketplace need to use modern information technology effectively to stay competitive. You will find you are in the running for all types of excellent IT opportunities by focusing on this growing field.