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Become An Information Systems Director

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Working As An Information Systems Director

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

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $132,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Information Systems Director 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 An Information Systems Director

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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Information Systems Director Career Paths

Information Systems Director
Information Technology Director
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Chief Information Officer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Vice President
Executive Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Vice President Information Systems
9 Yearsyrs
Chief Technology Officer
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Vice President Of Information Technology
Vice President And Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Director
Director, Technical Operations
10 Yearsyrs
Operations Director
Vice President & General Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Director Of Information Services
9 Yearsyrs
Chief Finance Officer
Chief Finance And Operating Officer
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Director
Marketing Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Vice President
President & Chief Operating Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Operations Vice President
Senior Vice President-Operations
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
14 Yearsyrs
Managing Director
Chief Marketing Officer
10 Yearsyrs
Director Of Information Management
10 Yearsyrs
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Marketing Director
Director Of Strategy
11 Yearsyrs
Chief Executive Officer
Business Director
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
Executive Director, Information Technology
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Systems Director
10 Yearsyrs
Executive Director
Development Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
President/Chief Executive Officer
Global Director
14 Yearsyrs
Director Of Technology And Services
Vice President Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Director, Technical Operations
Vice President Of Technical Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Executive Vice President
Chief Administrative Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Service Director
Director Of Service And Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Director Of Information Technology Services
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Director, Applications
Product Management Director
12 Yearsyrs
Director, Network Operations
Director Of Network Services
10 Yearsyrs
Director, Network Operations
10 Yearsyrs
Project Director
Director Of Project Management
12 Yearsyrs
Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Assistant Vice President
Finance Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Director Of Project Management
Director Program Management
12 Yearsyrs
Business Development Director
Senior Director Of Business Development
13 Yearsyrs
Development Director
National Director
10 Yearsyrs
Director Of Business Systems
13 Yearsyrs
Finance Director
Senior Director Of Finance
14 Yearsyrs
Director Of Information Technology Security
12 Yearsyrs
Finance Vice President
Corporate Vice President
12 Yearsyrs
Director Of Software Development
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Program Director
Director, Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Director Of Systems Integration
12 Yearsyrs
Corporate Director Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Director Of Information Management
Director Project Management Office
13 Yearsyrs
Application Development Director
Vice President Of Application Development
11 Yearsyrs
Application Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Director Of Business Systems
Systems Director
11 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
MIS Director 4.6 years
Systems Manager 4.2 years
Top Careers Before Information Systems Director
Manager 5.5%
Director 4.9%
Consultant 4.6%
Programmer 3.3%
Top Careers After Information Systems Director
Consultant 9.0%
Director 3.4%
Owner 2.6%
Manager 2.5%
President 2.2%

Do you work as an Information Systems Director?

Information Systems Director Demographics

Gender

Male

75.3%

Female

17.7%

Unknown

7.0%
Ethnicity

White

62.9%

Hispanic or Latino

14.2%

Black or African American

11.6%

Asian

7.8%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

33.9%

French

13.6%

Carrier

8.5%

Italian

8.5%

German

6.8%

Japanese

5.1%

Chinese

3.4%

Romanian

3.4%

Cheyenne

3.4%

Arabic

3.4%

Swahili

1.7%

Comanche

1.7%

Kinyarwanda

1.7%

Greek

1.7%

Mandarin

1.7%

Cantonese

1.7%
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Information Systems Director Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

25.1%

University of Maryland - University College

6.6%

Webster University

6.0%

George Washington University

5.4%

University of Houston

5.1%

Pace University - New York

3.9%

University of Southern California

3.9%

Texas A&M University

3.9%

DePaul University

3.9%

Michigan State University

3.6%

Northwestern University

3.6%

Capella University

3.6%

Northeastern University

3.6%

Arizona State University

3.3%

American University

3.3%

University of Arizona

3.3%

Ohio State University

3.0%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

3.0%

Purdue University

3.0%

University of Texas at Austin

3.0%
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Majors

Business

29.8%

Computer Science

14.4%

Computer Information Systems

8.3%

Information Technology

5.3%

Management

5.3%

Accounting

5.2%

Management Information Systems

5.0%

Information Systems

4.3%

Project Management

3.0%

Finance

3.0%

Electrical Engineering

2.5%

Education

1.8%

Mathematics

1.8%

Computer Engineering

1.8%

Computer Programming

1.5%

Computer Networking

1.5%

Health Care Administration

1.4%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.4%

Marketing

1.4%

Economics

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.9%

Masters

34.8%

Other

14.5%

Associate

5.0%

Certificate

3.8%

Doctorate

2.2%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.0%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$132,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$91,000
Min 10%
$132,000
Median 50%
$132,000
Median 50%
$132,000
Median 50%
$132,000
Median 50%
$132,000
Median 50%
$132,000
Median 50%
$132,000
Median 50%
$192,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Senior Care Centers of America
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
5.0 years
How much does an Information Systems Director make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Information Systems Director in the United States is $132,680 per year or $64 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $91,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $192,000.

Real Information Systems Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
SR. Information Systems Director Familia Development LLC Schaumburg, IL Dec 01, 2014 $210,000
Director of Information Systems Picatcha, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jun 15, 2016 $190,000
Information Systems & Technical Sales Director Waltz Networks Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 10, 2016 $184,500
Director, Information Systems Cisco Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA May 24, 2013 $174,609 -
$245,300
Director, Flight Controls & Information Systems MA Rockwell Collins, Inc. Tustin, CA Oct 17, 2014 $172,877
Director, Flight Controls & Information Systems Marketing Rockwell Collins, Inc. Tustin, CA Oct 17, 2014 $172,877
Applications Director, Information Systems Covidien LP Miami, FL Oct 02, 2015 $167,835
Director, Information Systems Masco Corporation Taylor, MI Aug 22, 2016 $165,000
Information Systems Director Upstream Downstream Specialized Services, Inc. Pembroke Pines, FL Aug 22, 2016 $163,850
Information Systems Director Flextronics International USA, Inc. San Jose, CA Apr 15, 2013 $150,494
Director of Information Systems Infrastructure Gates Corporation, A Wholly-Owned Subsidiary of To Denver, CO Oct 01, 2012 $150,000 -
$175,000
Director of Information Systems Smart Jets Inc. Fort Lauderdale, FL Sep 11, 2015 $150,000
Director of Information Systems Jetsmarter Inc. Fort Lauderdale, FL Sep 12, 2015 $150,000
Director of Information Systems Guard-All Building Solutions LLC Dallas, TX Oct 01, 2010 $130,000
Director of Information Systems USA Shade & Fabric Structures, Inc. Dallas, TX Oct 01, 2010 $130,000
Director of Information Systems Predictix LLC Atlanta, GA Oct 01, 2012 $130,000
Director of Management Information Systems Judlau Contracting, Inc. NY Jul 20, 2016 $125,000
Director of Computer & Information Systems JNJ Citro Corp. NY Jun 11, 2010 $122,090
Director-Information Systems Sage It, Inc. Frisco, TX Jul 01, 2014 $120,286
Director of Information Systems & Operations The Childcare Foundry LLC Santa Clara, CA May 27, 2011 $120,000
Director of Management Information Systems GBS Consultants, Inc. Pembroke Pines, FL Mar 17, 2010 $108,000
Director, Management Information Systems Starz Media Burbank, CA Apr 11, 2008 $105,000
Director of Information Systems Treefrog Developments San Diego, CA Nov 21, 2011 $104,562
Director of Information Systems USA Vein Clinics of Chicago, LLC Elk Grove Village, IL Nov 08, 2010 $103,000
Director of Information Systems City of Chicago, Department of Buildings Chicago, IL Jun 14, 2014 $102,000

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Top Skills for An Information Systems Director

  1. Information Technology
  2. Infrastructure
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Led an Information Technology Department for a manufacturing company that included a corporate office and ten facilities.
  • Coordinated, implemented and maintained Computer Network Infrastructure for Main Hospital and two satellite offices.
  • Established document management and archiving procedures to ensure data integrity, continuity of service, and security.
  • Project Management of several initiatives including construction of new Corporate Headquarters, relocation and consolidation of three buildings into new Headquarters.
  • Achieved superior levels of user performance by contributing to training efforts targeted toward customer service representatives.

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Top 10 Best States for Information Systems Directors

  1. Virginia
  2. New York
  3. New Jersey
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Colorado
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Texas
  9. California
  10. Maryland
  • (873 jobs)
  • (933 jobs)
  • (535 jobs)
  • (298 jobs)
  • (411 jobs)
  • (83 jobs)
  • (711 jobs)
  • (1,251 jobs)
  • (2,448 jobs)
  • (481 jobs)

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