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Become A Branch Chief

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Working As A Branch Chief

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $98,306

    Average Salary

What Does A Branch Chief Do

Computer and information systems managers, often called information technology (IT) managers or IT project managers, plan, coordinate, and direct computer-related activities in an organization. They help determine the information technology goals of an organization and are responsible for implementing computer systems to meet those goals.

Duties

Computer and information systems managers typically do the following:

  • Analyze their organization’s computer needs and recommend possible upgrades for top executives to consider
  • Plan and direct the installation and maintenance of computer hardware and software
  • Ensure the security of an organization’s network and electronic documents
  • Assess the costs and benefits of new projects and justify funding on projects to top executives
  • Learn about new technology and look for ways to upgrade their organization’s computer systems
  • Determine short- and long-term personnel needs for their department
  • Plan and direct the work of other IT professionals, including computer systems analysts, software developers, information security analysts, and computer support specialists
  • Negotiate with vendors to get the highest level of service for their organization’s technology

Few managers carry out all of these duties. There are various types of computer and information systems managers, and the specific duties of each are determined by the size and structure of the firm. Smaller firms may not employ every type of manager.

The following are examples of types of computer and information systems managers:

Chief information officers (CIOs) are responsible for the overall technology strategy of their organizations. They help determine the technology or information goals of an organization and then oversee implementation of technology to meet those goals.

CIOs may focus on a specific area, such as electronic data processing or information systems, but CIOs tend to focus more on long-term or big picture issues. At small organizations a CIO has more direct control over the IT department, and at larger organizations other managers under the CIO may handle the day-to-day activities of the IT department.

CIOs who do not have technical expertise and who focus solely on a company’s business aspects are included in a separate profile on top executives.

Chief technology officers (CTOs) evaluate new technology and determine how it can help their organization. When both CIOs and CTOs are present, the CTO usually has more technical expertise.

The CTO is responsible for designing and recommending the appropriate technology solutions to support the policies and directives issued by the CIO. CTOs also work with different departments to implement the organization’s technology plans.

The CTO usually reports directly to the CIO and may be responsible for overseeing the development of new technologies or other research and development activities. When a company does not have a CIO, the CTO determines the overall technology strategy for the firm and presents it to top executives.

IT directors, including management information systems (MIS) directors, are in charge of their organizations’ information technology (IT) departments, and they directly supervise other employees. IT directors help to determine the business requirements for IT systems, and they implement the policies that have been chosen by top executives. IT directors often have a direct role in hiring members of the IT department. It is their job to ensure the availability of data and network services by coordinating IT activities. IT directors also oversee the financial aspects of their department, such as budgeting.  

IT security managers oversee their organizations’ network and data security. They work with top executives to plan security policies and promote a culture of information security throughout the organization. They develop programs to keep employees aware of security threats. These managers must keep up to date on IT security measures. They also supervise investigations if there is a security violation.

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How To Become A Branch Chief

Typically, a bachelor’s degree in computer or information science, plus related work experience, is required. Many computer and information systems managers also have a graduate degree.

Education

Computer and information systems managers normally must have a bachelor’s degree in a computer- or information science–related field. Such a degree usually takes 4 years to complete and includes courses in computer programming, software development, and mathematics. Management information systems (MIS) programs usually include business classes as well as computer-related ones.

Many organizations require their computer and information systems managers to have a graduate degree as well. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is common and takes 2 years beyond the undergraduate level to complete. Many people pursuing an MBA take classes while working, an option that can increase the time required to complete that degree.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Most jobs for computer and information systems managers require several years of experience in a related information technology (IT) job. Lower level management positions may require only a few years of experience. Directors are more likely to need 5 to 10 years of related work experience. A chief technology officer (CTO), who oversees the technology plan for a large organization, may need more than 15 years of experience in the IT field before being considered for a job.

The number of years of experience required varies with the organization. Generally, smaller or newer companies do not require as much experience as larger or more established ones.

Computer systems are used throughout the economy, and IT employees may gain experience in a variety of industries. However, an applicant’s work experience should be in the same industry they are applying to work in. For example, an IT security manager should have previously worked in information security. A hospital IT director should have experience in the healthcare field.

Advancement

Most computer and information systems managers start out as lower level managers and advance to higher positions within the IT department. IT directors or project managers can advance to become CTOs. A CTO or other manager who is especially business minded can advance to become a chief information officer (CIO), the person in charge of all IT-related decisions in an organization. CIOs can advance to become top executives in an organization.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. IT managers must be able to analyze problems and consider and select the best ways to solve them.

Business skills. IT managers must develop and implement strategic plans to reach the goals of their organizations.

Communication skills. IT managers must be able to explain their work to top executives and give clear instructions to their subordinates.

Decisionmaking skills. Some IT managers must make important decisions about how to allocate resources in order to reach their organizations’ goals.

Leadership skills. IT managers must be able to lead and motivate IT teams or departments so that workers are efficient and effective.

Organizational skills. Some IT managers must coordinate the work of several different IT departments to make the organization run efficiently.

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Branch Chief Demographics

Gender

Male

81.5%

Female

16.4%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

62.0%

Black or African American

15.1%

Hispanic or Latino

13.0%

Asian

6.2%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

36.0%

German

12.8%

French

9.3%

Portuguese

5.8%

Arabic

4.7%

Mandarin

3.5%

Russian

3.5%

Chinese

3.5%

Japanese

3.5%

Korean

2.3%

Dari

2.3%

Italian

2.3%

Czech

2.3%

Swahili

1.2%

Vietnamese

1.2%

Cherokee

1.2%

Cheyenne

1.2%

Carrier

1.2%

Tagalog

1.2%

Persian

1.2%
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Branch Chief Education

Schools

Webster University

17.6%

Troy University

9.2%

University of Phoenix

8.4%

University of Maryland - University College

5.7%

Community College of the Air Force

5.3%

Air Force Institute of Technology

5.3%

George Washington University

4.5%

Naval Postgraduate School

4.5%

Central Michigan University

4.3%

Michigan State University

4.1%

Air University

4.1%

Florida Institute of Technology-Melbourne

3.5%

National Defense University

3.3%

Trident University International

3.3%

American University

3.3%

University of Oklahoma

3.1%

U.S. Army War College

2.9%

Strayer University

2.9%

Defense Acquisition University

2.7%

Syracuse University

2.2%
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Majors

Business

28.7%

Management

9.2%

Human Resources Management

6.2%

Computer Information Systems

5.9%

International Relations

5.6%

Criminal Justice

4.9%

Public Administration

4.5%

Supply Chain Management

4.0%

Political Science

3.7%

Project Management

3.4%

Law

2.9%

Education

2.9%

Information Technology

2.9%

Homeland Security

2.7%

Finance

2.4%

Aviation

2.2%

Computer Science

2.1%

Liberal Arts

2.1%

General Studies

2.0%

Electrical Engineering

2.0%
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Degrees

Masters

51.8%

Bachelors

21.7%

Other

12.8%

Doctorate

6.3%

Associate

3.6%

Certificate

3.6%

Diploma

0.3%
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Branch Chief Videos

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Police Chief talks about officer involved shooting involving Farmers Branch officer

A day in the life of a Victoria Police recruit

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Top Skills for A Branch Chief

  1. Personnel
  2. Procedures
  3. Policy
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided higher headquarters assistance for personnel at three bases regarding communications maintenance, helicopter maintenance, and technical guidance.
  • Provided authoritative interpretation and instructions on laws, regulations, policies and procedures, and developed command policies and procedural guidance.
  • Facilitate internal/external briefings and presentations to company and government customer regarding policy changes, mandated requirements, and other necessary communications.
  • Provided senior oversight of materiel management to include Theater opening contracts, materiel sourcing, supply distribution and redistribution of excess.
  • Developed and delivered training to all managers, offering open-house sessions to all business units.

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Top Branch Chief Employers

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Branch Chief Videos

Cruz calls on Obama to 'do his job' as commander in chief

Police Chief talks about officer involved shooting involving Farmers Branch officer

A day in the life of a Victoria Police recruit

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