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Become An Information Technology Director

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Working As An Information Technology 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

  • $138,318

    Average Salary

What Does An Information Technology 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 Technology 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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Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Information Technology Director
Manager 5.3%
Consultant 5.3%
Director 3.3%
Top Careers After Information Technology Director
Consultant 8.0%
Director 3.9%
Owner 3.2%

Do you work as an Information Technology Director?

Information Technology Director Demographics

Gender

Male

85.6%

Female

12.3%

Unknown

2.2%
Ethnicity

White

61.0%

Hispanic or Latino

14.8%

Black or African American

10.9%

Asian

9.1%

Unknown

4.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

40.6%

French

8.0%

German

7.3%

Portuguese

6.1%

Chinese

6.1%

Carrier

4.8%

Italian

3.5%

Japanese

3.5%

Mandarin

3.2%

Russian

3.2%

Cheyenne

1.9%

Hebrew

1.9%

Arabic

1.9%

Korean

1.6%

Swedish

1.3%

Thai

1.3%

Polish

1.3%

Hindi

1.3%

Dutch

0.6%

Turkish

0.6%
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Information Technology Director Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

28.7%

Georgia College and State University

5.0%

University of Houston

4.5%

American InterContinental University

4.5%

Western Governors University

4.5%

Purdue University

4.5%

Pennsylvania State University

4.2%

Villanova University

3.9%

George Washington University

3.9%

New York University

3.9%

University of Maryland - University College

3.8%

Northeastern University

3.7%

Arizona State University

3.6%

Colorado Technical University

3.2%

Webster University

3.2%

Capella University

3.2%

Michigan State University

3.0%

University of Texas at Austin

3.0%

University of Maryland - College Park

2.9%

Texas A&M University

2.9%
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Majors

Business

24.4%

Computer Science

17.4%

Information Technology

9.8%

Computer Information Systems

9.3%

Management Information Systems

4.7%

Management

4.0%

Electrical Engineering

4.0%

Finance

3.6%

Information Systems

3.6%

Accounting

2.7%

Project Management

2.7%

Computer Engineering

2.2%

Computer Networking

2.0%

Education

1.7%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.4%

Mathematics

1.4%

Communication

1.4%

Marketing

1.3%

Political Science

1.2%

Economics

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.5%

Masters

29.1%

Other

16.7%

Associate

7.0%

Certificate

3.1%

Doctorate

1.8%

Diploma

0.8%

License

0.0%
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Real Information Technology Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Director of Information Technology Partner Fund Management, L.P. San Francisco, CA Sep 21, 2016 $245,000
Director of IT Houweling Nurseries Oxnard, Inc. Camarillo, CA Oct 01, 2015 $207,500
Director of Strategic IT Projects 1St. Financial Funding & Investment Corporation New York, NY Jun 15, 2016 $201,000 -
$261,000
Director of IT Trinet Hr Corporation San Mateo, CA Jan 10, 2016 $200,000
Director, IT, Application Architecture & Process Integration SPX Flow, Inc. Charlotte, NC Dec 18, 2015 $200,000
Director IT Nordstrom, Inc. Seattle, WA Jan 06, 2016 $196,100
Director, Audit IT Royal Bank of Canada Jersey City, NJ Dec 09, 2015 $193,800
Director of IT & Facilities Malwarebytes Inc. Santa Clara, CA Oct 15, 2016 $190,195 -
$200,000
Director, Healthcare IT & Research Programs Weill Cornell Medical College New York, NY Sep 12, 2016 $190,000
Director, Healthcare IT & Research Programs Weill Cornell Medical College New York, NY Dec 09, 2016 $190,000
IT Director Oracle America, Inc. CA Dec 07, 2016 $185,876 -
$252,492
Director IT, Application Architecture and Process Integration SPX Corporation Charlotte, NC Jan 10, 2015 $181,764
Director, Information Technology Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company Sunnyvale, CA Jan 01, 2016 $181,197 -
$235,365
Director of Information Technology Central Grocers, Inc. Joliet, IL Apr 18, 2016 $180,000 -
$192,000
Director of Engineering & Information Technology Apmex, Inc. Oklahoma City, OK Jan 11, 2016 $156,082
IT Director Spring Studios New York LLC New York, NY Jan 02, 2015 $155,000 -
$205,000
IT Infrastructure Director Mechatron Solar, Inc. Redwood City, CA Sep 18, 2016 $155,000
IT Director Oracle America, Inc. Atlanta, GA Jan 18, 2016 $154,565 -
$227,243
Director, Information Technology Blackhawk Network, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Apr 02, 2016 $154,440 -
$166,000
Director, IT Applications Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford Menlo Park, CA May 31, 2016 $154,000 -
$255,000
Information Technology Director Uniters North America, LLC West Palm Beach, FL Jun 01, 2016 $153,754
IT Service Director (Health Applications) Erickson Living Management, LLC Catonsville, MD Feb 24, 2015 $153,296
IT, Director, Product Management The Children's Place Services Company, LLC Secaucus, NJ Apr 30, 2015 $130,000 -
$160,000
Finance Area IT Director IngenierÍA de Software Bancario, S.L. MA Nov 27, 2015 $130,000 -
$150,000
IT Director Produban Servicios Informaticos Generales, S.L. MA Apr 25, 2016 $130,000
IT Director Orion International Technology USA, Inc. Placentia, CA Aug 14, 2015 $128,648
Director, IT Quality Assurance Cydcor, LLC Agoura Hills, CA Apr 18, 2016 $128,190 -
$170,000
IT Director Tiburon Media Group, LLC Tiburon, CA Mar 16, 2015 $127,000
Director, Information Technology American General Life Insurance Company Houston, TX Apr 11, 2016 $126,693
Director of IT APRO, LLC Gardena, CA Sep 13, 2016 $125,653 -
$185,000

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Top Skills for An Information Technology Director

  1. Infrastructure
  2. Customer Service
  3. Computer
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Consolidated computing and network infrastructures from the various acquisitions driving to a shared service model to reduce ongoing operating costs.
  • Introduced new technical and operational infrastructure into the organization, resulting in increasing efficiency/customer service and reducing costs.
  • Consult with business executives to analyze and determine computer technology needs for all company locations.
  • Worked with College Information Technology Team to strategically determine needed technology in the college to support business students.
  • Considered and implemented critical backup and recovery strategies and operational procedures to safeguard against data loss and ensure data integrity.

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Top 10 Best States for Information Technology Directors

  1. North Carolina
  2. Virginia
  3. District of Columbia
  4. Delaware
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Washington
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Illinois
  9. California
  10. Texas
  • (743 jobs)
  • (1,002 jobs)
  • (360 jobs)
  • (71 jobs)
  • (94 jobs)
  • (838 jobs)
  • (865 jobs)
  • (1,128 jobs)
  • (3,193 jobs)
  • (1,592 jobs)

Top Information Technology Director Employers

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