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Become A Computer Systems Manager

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Working As A Computer Systems Manager

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

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $114,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Computer Systems Manager 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.


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 Computer Systems Manager

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.


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.


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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Computer Systems Manager Career Paths

Computer Systems Manager
Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Infrastructure Project Manager
14 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Director
Global Director Of Information Technology
14 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager
Regional Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Information Systems Director
Vice President Information Systems
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Information Technology Director
Executive Director, Information Technology
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Director Chief Information Officer
Deputy Chief Information Officer
12 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Manager
Director Of Information Services
9 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Manager Director Of Technology And Services
Vice President Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Manager Technical Support Manager
Supported The Director
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Manager Network Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Manager Information Systems Director
Information Technology Systems Director
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Manager Director Of Technology And Services
Director Of Infrastructure Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Senior Information Technology Manager
Corporate Director Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
Senior Manager Infrastructure
12 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Computer Systems Manager?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Systems Supervisor 4.5 years
Computing Manager 4.3 years
Systems Manager 4.2 years
MIS Manager 4.1 years
Top Careers Before Computer Systems Manager
Consultant 7.0%
Programmer 6.6%
Manager 4.8%
Owner 3.9%
Designer 3.5%
Top Careers After Computer Systems Manager
Consultant 8.5%
Manager 6.4%
Owner 5.8%

Do you work as a Computer Systems Manager?

Average Yearly Salary
View Detailed Salary Report
Min 10%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Avg Experience Level
4.8 years
How much does a Computer Systems Manager make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Computer Systems Manager in the United States is $114,777 per year or $55 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $86,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $152,000.

Real Computer Systems Manager Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Computer and Info. Systems Manager (Software Devel Oracle America, Inc. Dublin, CA Oct 15, 2012 $210,000
Computer and Info Systems Manager Issam Tina Solutions, Inc. DBA I.T. Solutions, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Oct 25, 2011 $192,525
Computer&Info Systems Manager(Sr.Director, Product Admobius, Inc. San Mateo, CA Apr 01, 2012 $190,000
Comp. & Info. Systems Managers Bank of America New York, NY Jan 26, 2011 $175,302
Computer and Informatino Systems Managers Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA May 23, 2012 $175,000
Computer & Info Systems MGR. (Consulting Practice Oracle Financial Services Software, Inc. Edison, NJ Dec 17, 2012 $172,446
Computer & Info. Systems Managers Smith Micro Software Mountain View, CA Jun 30, 2011 $166,587
Computer Systems Design Manager Sysazzle, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Jul 21, 2014 $163,800
Comp & Info Systems Manager (Consulting Practice M Oracle Financial Services Software, Inc. Edison, NJ Mar 15, 2014 $160,446
Computer Systems Information Manager Resolve Tech Solutions Inc. Dallas, TX Mar 13, 2015 $153,566
Comp. & Info. Systems Managers Yahoo! Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Oct 21, 2011 $152,250 -
Comp. & Info Systms. Managers Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Jan 14, 2011 $152,061
Computer & Info Systems Manager(Director, Product M Yahoo! Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Sep 28, 2011 $123,200 -
Computer & Info. Systems Manager Galaxe.Solutions Somerset, NJ Jun 19, 2012 $123,011
Computer & Info Systems Manager Symantec Corporation Mountain View, CA Feb 17, 2011 $121,972
Computer Systems Analytics Manager, PS Technology Apttus Corporation San Mateo, CA May 23, 2016 $120,000
Computer Systems Manager Initio Corporation San Jose, CA Apr 29, 2013 $120,000
Computer Systems Manager Vortx Inc. Ashland, OR Oct 01, 2011 $120,000
Comp and Info Systems Manager Logical Paradigm LLC Herndon, VA Jul 24, 2012 $120,000
Computer Systems Manager Knights of Columbus New Haven, CT Mar 09, 2015 $118,810
Computer Systems Manager Vassit Services Us Inc. Boston, MA Mar 23, 2015 $115,000
Computer Systems Manager Saven Technologies Incorporated Deerfield, IL Oct 19, 2015 $115,000
Computer System Compliance Manager Bristol-Myers Squibb Company New Brunswick, NJ Mar 17, 2014 $115,000
Comp. & Info. Systems Manager Open Systems Technologies Philadelphia, PA Jan 20, 2011 $114,525
Comp & Info Systems MGR Microsoft Corporation Mountain View, CA Jan 20, 2011 $112,000
Computer and Info. Systems Managers Mindspeed Technologies, Inc. Newport Beach, CA Aug 08, 2011 $111,655
Comp. and Info. Systems Manager Multivision Inc. Fairfax, VA Mar 09, 2011 $110,448
Computer Systems Manager Merz North America, Inc. Raleigh, NC Oct 26, 2015 $110,000

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Top Skills for A Computer Systems Manager

  1. Computer Hardware
  2. Computer System
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Coordinated all installations relating to operation and maintenance of microcomputer hardware and network connectivity.
  • Provided consultation/advice to staff in other departments to assure that the computer systems represented the maximum quality and reliability.
  • Managed staff of customer service representatives.
  • Developed and executed plans for tactical data communications systems and database integration.
  • Assisted in development of programs using CAD/CAM to control automated machine tools.


Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Computer Systems Managers

  1. New York
  2. California
  3. Colorado
  4. Virginia
  5. Rhode Island
  6. District of Columbia
  7. Washington
  8. Delaware
  9. Texas
  10. Georgia
  • (392 jobs)
  • (1,043 jobs)
  • (209 jobs)
  • (365 jobs)
  • (39 jobs)
  • (116 jobs)
  • (313 jobs)
  • (22 jobs)
  • (459 jobs)
  • (289 jobs)

Computer Systems Manager Demographics










Hispanic or Latino


Black or African American





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Computer Systems Manager Education


Community College of the Air Force


University of Phoenix


Webster University


New York University


University of North Texas


Pennsylvania State University


Louisiana State University and A&M College


Strayer University


National University


Arizona State University


Texas A&M University


Northeastern University


University of Alabama


Illinois Institute of Technology


Southern Illinois University Carbondale


University of Colorado at Boulder


Saint Edward's University


University of New Mexico


University of California - Berkeley


Baruch College of the City University of New York

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Computer Science




Information Technology


Computer Information Systems


Electrical Engineering




Drafting And Design




Information Systems




Mechanical Engineering


Graphic Design




Computer Programming


Management Information Systems


Electrical Engineering Technology


Project Management


Computer Applications




Criminal Justice

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