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Become An Information Technology Systems Director

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Working As An Information Technology 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

  • $139,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Information Technology 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 Technology 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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Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Information Technology Systems Director
Consultant 7.1%
Manager 3.3%
Director 2.8%
Top Careers After Information Technology Systems Director
Consultant 4.5%
President 3.4%
Owner 3.1%
Director 3.1%

Do you work as an Information Technology Systems Director?

Average Yearly Salary
$139,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$96,000
Min 10%
$139,000
Median 50%
$139,000
Median 50%
$139,000
Median 50%
$139,000
Median 50%
$139,000
Median 50%
$139,000
Median 50%
$139,000
Median 50%
$201,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
The Walt Disney Company
Highest Paying City
Hartford, CT
Highest Paying State
Connecticut
Avg Experience Level
4.2 years
How much does an Information Technology Systems Director make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Information Technology Systems Director in the United States is $139,338 per year or $67 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $96,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $201,000.

Real Information Technology Systems Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Director of Corporate IT Systems Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA May 25, 2012 $225,000 -
$275,000
Director, Technical Systems 1 EBAY Inc. San Francisco, CA Nov 19, 2016 $215,504
Director, IT Store Systems Dunkin' Brands Inc. Canton, MA Feb 05, 2016 $180,000
Director of IT Systems JGC America, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 21, 2016 $180,000
IT Systems Maintenance Director Saks Fifth Avenue LLC Jackson, MS Mar 10, 2016 $180,000
Director of IT Systems JGC America, Inc. Houston, TX Jul 13, 2016 $180,000
Director of IT Systems JGC America, Inc. Houston, TX Aug 01, 2014 $180,000
IT Systems Integration Director Dell Marketing L.P. Round Rock, TX Jul 27, 2015 $162,578
IT-Director Security & Compliance and HR Systems Discovery Communications, Inc. Silver Spring, MD Sep 19, 2012 $158,826
Director IT Revenue Systems COE National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) Washington, DC May 16, 2016 $153,000
Director, IT Systems Travelzoo Inc. Mountain View, CA Jan 03, 2014 $150,000 -
$165,000
IT Systems Director Airborne Systems North America of Nj, Inc. Pennsauken, NJ Oct 31, 2012 $131,583
Director Systems Technology .09) Sittercity Incorporated Chicago, IL Sep 07, 2015 $130,000
Director, IT and Systems Poster Publicity, Inc. New York, NY Sep 27, 2010 $130,000
It-Systems Engineering, Associate Director The Corporate Executive Board Company Arlington, VA May 02, 2015 $125,500
IT Director-Supply Chain Systems Cummins Filtration, Inc. Nashville, TN Aug 20, 2013 $121,000 -
$148,400
Director, IT Quality Systems and Compliance J Knipper & Company, Inc. Somerset, NJ Jul 15, 2015 $120,500 -
$130,000
Director of Information Systems and Technology DFG Investment Advisers, Inc. New York, NY Sep 01, 2015 $120,000
Director of Information Systems and Technology DFG Investment Advisers, Inc. New York, NY Aug 27, 2016 $120,000
IT Systems Director Airborne Systems North America of Nj, Inc. Pennsauken, NJ Oct 31, 2009 $114,192
Director, IT Quality Systems and Compliance J. Knipper and Company, Inc. Somerset, NJ Nov 25, 2015 $110,000 -
$135,000

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Top Skills for An Information Technology Systems Director

  1. Infrastructure
  2. Customer Service
  3. Windows XP
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided leadership in the implementation of infrastructure improvements projects including Capacity Planning, Availability, Systems Monitoring, and Disaster Recovery.
  • Provided attentive customer service while diagnosing, troubleshooting and solving technical issues.
  • Implemented and supported a network based on Windows Active Directory, Linux file servers and Windows XP workstations.
  • Managed all aspects of information technology including educational systems and Network infrastructure.
  • Managed development, implementation, and training of several SQL-based applications.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Information Technology Systems Directors

  1. Virginia
  2. New York
  3. California
  4. New Jersey
  5. District of Columbia
  6. Washington
  7. Delaware
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Colorado
  • (1,143 jobs)
  • (1,106 jobs)
  • (2,877 jobs)
  • (640 jobs)
  • (408 jobs)
  • (806 jobs)
  • (62 jobs)
  • (79 jobs)
  • (853 jobs)
  • (445 jobs)

Information Technology Systems Director Demographics

Gender

Male

80.8%

Female

11.1%

Unknown

8.1%
Ethnicity

White

63.2%

Hispanic or Latino

15.0%

Black or African American

10.8%

Asian

7.8%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

46.2%

Danish

7.7%

Chinese

7.7%

French

7.7%

Norwegian

7.7%

Mandarin

7.7%

Arabic

7.7%

Italian

7.7%
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Information Technology Systems Director Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

22.5%

George Washington University

7.9%

Southern New Hampshire University

6.7%

Capella University

5.6%

Michigan State University

4.5%

Northeastern University

4.5%

Villanova University

4.5%

Western Governors University

3.4%

California State University - Los Angeles

3.4%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.4%

Harvard University

3.4%

Brigham Young University

3.4%

University of Missouri - Columbia

3.4%

Pennsylvania State University

3.4%

Saint Louis University-

3.4%

Johns Hopkins University

3.4%

University of Houston

3.4%

University of Southern California

3.4%

University of Miami

3.4%

Illinois Institute of Technology

3.4%
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Majors

Business

28.9%

Computer Science

13.1%

Information Technology

10.6%

Computer Information Systems

7.2%

Electrical Engineering

5.7%

Management Information Systems

5.2%

Project Management

4.2%

Finance

4.0%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

3.0%

Management

2.7%

Information Systems

2.7%

Accounting

2.5%

Computer Networking

2.0%

Education

1.5%

Biology

1.5%

English

1.2%

Computer Engineering

1.2%

Fine Arts

1.0%

Photography

1.0%

Computer Programming

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

37.2%

Masters

30.5%

Other

18.0%

Associate

6.1%

Certificate

5.7%

Doctorate

2.0%

Diploma

0.6%
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