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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:
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.
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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Information Systems Manager
Top Careers After Information Systems Manager
Hispanic or Latino9.4%
Black or African American0.6%
Information Systems Manager
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University of Phoenix29.8%
University of Maryland - University College7.5%
Community College of the Air Force4.9%
George Washington University4.2%
University of Houston3.8%
Michigan State University3.3%
New York University3.1%
University of Arizona3.1%
Texas State University2.8%
George Mason University2.8%
University of Washington2.6%
Southern Illinois University Carbondale2.6%
Georgia State University2.6%
Rochester Institute of Technology2.6%
Information Systems Manager
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Computer and Information Systems Manager||Thoughtworks, Inc.||Chicago, IL||Nov 21, 2016||$235,000|
|Computer and Information Systems Manager||Libremax Capital, LLC||New York, NY||Feb 16, 2016||$195,208|
|Computer and Information Systems Manager||Prospance, Inc.||San Jose, CA||Dec 31, 2016||$192,500|
|Computer Information Systems Manager||TSR Consulting Services, Inc.||Edison, NJ||Jul 10, 2015||$190,000|
|Computer and Information Systems Manager, USA||Novactive Corporation||San Francisco, CA||Aug 25, 2015||$185,000|
|Computer and Information Systems Manager||Apple Inc.||Cupertino, CA||Jun 14, 2016||$184,122|
|Information System Manager||Inspyrus, Inc.||Redwood City, CA||Jan 20, 2015||$182,000|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||LOGC2, Inc.||Springfield, VA||Aug 01, 2015||$174,553|
|Information Systems (IS) Manager-Enterprise Financial Systems||Westlake Chemical Corporation||Houston, TX||Jan 10, 2015||$173,056 -
|Information Systems Manager||Hydus, Inc.||Missouri City, TX||Feb 02, 2016||$173,056|
|Manager, Information Systems (Is/Financial Systems)||Westlake Chemical Corporation||Houston, TX||May 01, 2015||$171,115|
|Information Systems Manager||Apple Inc.||Cupertino, CA||Oct 15, 2015||$170,130 -
|Computer and Information Systems Manager||Trianz Consulting Inc.||New York, NY||Jan 06, 2016||$138,000|
|Computer and Information System Manager||Joonsung Trading||Portland, OR||Feb 18, 2016||$137,155|
|Information Systems Manager||Allied Fitting, LP||Houston, TX||May 12, 2016||$135,655|
|Computer and Information Systems Manager||CRCM L.P.||San Francisco, CA||Aug 01, 2015||$135,000|
|Computer and Information Systems Manager||Interactive Broadband Consulting Group, LLC||Philadelphia, PA||Jun 15, 2015||$133,723 -
|Information Systems Manager||Olayan America (Delaware LLC)||New York, NY||Jan 15, 2016||$133,723|
|Computer and Information Systems Manager||Interactive Broadband Consulting Group, LLC||Philadelphia, PA||Apr 13, 2015||$133,723 -
|Information Systems Manager (IS Manager)||Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc.||Atlanta, GA||Dec 29, 2016||$113,318|
|Computer and Information Systems Manager||DGN Technologies Inc.||Fremont, CA||Sep 16, 2015||$113,090|
|Computer and Information Systems Manager||DGN Technologies Inc.||Fremont, CA||Mar 17, 2016||$113,090|
|Computer and Information Systems Manager||DGN Technologies Inc.||Fremont, CA||Dec 20, 2016||$113,090|
|Computer and Information Systems Manager||DGN Technologies Inc.||Fremont, CA||Nov 15, 2016||$113,090|
|Information Systems Manager I||Mphasis Corporation||Berkeley Heights, NJ||Sep 27, 2016||$112,986|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||Benyoucef LLC||Baton Rouge, LA||May 16, 2016||$112,343|
|Computer Information System Manager||Acretix Inc.||Herndon, VA||Oct 19, 2015||$112,000|
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