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Become A Practice Leader

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Working As A Practice Leader

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

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $138,582

    Average Salary

What Does A Practice Leader 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 A Practice Leader

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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Practice Leader Demographics

Gender

Male

72.2%

Female

25.0%

Unknown

2.9%
Ethnicity

White

60.2%

Hispanic or Latino

12.6%

Asian

11.9%

Black or African American

10.9%

Unknown

4.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

French

28.6%

Spanish

28.6%

German

8.6%

Mandarin

8.6%

Cantonese

5.7%

Tamil

5.7%

Italian

5.7%

Portuguese

2.9%

Chinese

2.9%

Japanese

2.9%
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Practice Leader Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

10.2%

New York University

9.6%

Villanova University

6.0%

University of Pennsylvania

5.4%

Stanford University

5.4%

Texas A&M University

5.4%

Case Western Reserve University

4.8%

University of Chicago

4.8%

Northwestern University

4.2%

University of Southern California

4.2%

Carnegie Mellon University

4.2%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

4.2%

Cornell University

4.2%

University of Iowa

4.2%

DePaul University

4.2%

University of Houston

4.2%

Michigan State University

3.6%

Pennsylvania State University

3.6%

George Mason University

3.6%

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

3.6%
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Majors

Business

27.1%

Finance

9.4%

Computer Science

7.2%

Management

5.9%

Accounting

5.4%

Marketing

5.1%

Computer Information Systems

4.1%

Management Information Systems

3.7%

Electrical Engineering

3.5%

Information Systems

3.2%

Economics

2.7%

Communication

2.7%

Psychology

2.7%

Political Science

2.7%

Information Technology

2.6%

Law

2.6%

Nursing

2.4%

Project Management

2.4%

Engineering

2.4%

Education

2.2%
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Degrees

Masters

39.4%

Bachelors

37.9%

Other

12.3%

Doctorate

5.9%

Certificate

2.3%

Associate

1.3%

Diploma

0.9%
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Real Practice Leader Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Global Leader, WWF Markets Practice World Wildlife Fund Us Washington, DC Jul 11, 2016 $270,893
Global Leader, WWF Markets Practice World Wildlife Fund Us Washington, DC Dec 26, 2016 $270,000
Practice Lead-Facilities Management Practice Noah Consulting LLC Katy, TX Sep 15, 2014 $250,000
Practice Leader-Operations Excellence Maine Pointe, LLC Duxbury, MA Aug 01, 2013 $220,000
Practice Leader, Data Analytics and Security Funnelcloud Technologies LLC Englewood, CO Jan 15, 2016 $200,000
Practice Leader, Data Analytics and Security Funnel Cloud Technologies LLC Englewood, CO Jan 15, 2016 $200,000
Practice Leader Fujitsu America, Inc. New York, NY Sep 10, 2015 $195,208
Practice Area Lead Slalom, LLC Seattle, WA Jun 18, 2015 $177,000 -
$300,000
Practice Area Lead Slalom, LLC Seattle, WA Dec 10, 2014 $175,000 -
$300,000
IOT Practice Technical Leader Ciklum, Inc. Pleasanton, CA Jul 13, 2015 $170,000
IOT Practice Technical Leader Ciklum, Inc. Carlsbad, CA Aug 15, 2016 $170,000
Practice Leader Fujitsu America, Inc. Edison, NJ Sep 10, 2015 $169,978
Mobility Delivery Practice Lead Sap America, Inc. Newtown, PA Jul 29, 2014 $167,166
Global Services Geoscience Practice Lead Landmark Graphics Corporation Houston, TX Aug 31, 2016 $147,014
Biotech Practice Lead Aurionpro Solutions, Inc. San Ramon, CA Feb 11, 2013 $146,250
Practice Lead-Engineering Ameresco, Inc. Walnut Creek, CA Jan 10, 2016 $145,954
Practice Lead Rxlogix Corporation Irvine, CA Jan 04, 2016 $145,000
HCM Practice Lead Intelenex, Inc. Santa Rosa, CA Sep 24, 2013 $144,000
HCM Practice Lead Intelenex, Inc. Santa Rosa, CA Sep 18, 2013 $144,000
Practice Lead-Analytics Delivery Infosys Limited Sunnyvale, CA Dec 26, 2015 $143,538
Offensive Security Practices Lead Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Jun 09, 2016 $142,596 -
$170,987
Microstrategy Practice Lead Prime Software Technologies, Inc. Woburn, MA Oct 09, 2014 $126,000
Ediscovery Practice Leader Essex Technology Group, Inc. Rockville, MD Feb 11, 2015 $125,000 -
$135,000
Practice Lead-Engineering Ameresco, Inc. Walnut Creek, CA May 30, 2014 $125,000
Senior Practice Lead-US Infosys BPO Ltd. Plano, TX Aug 29, 2013 $124,426
Practice Leader, CEB IT Leadership Council (Midsized Companies) CEB Inc. Arlington, VA Mar 11, 2016 $124,197
SAP Practice Lead Gemini Consulting & Services, LLC Sunset Hills, MO Oct 01, 2015 $124,000
Practice Lead Aurionpro Solutions, Inc. Woodbridge, NJ Mar 05, 2016 $123,490 -
$145,000
Business Practice Lead and Information System Mana Technosoft Corporation Bellevue, WA Feb 02, 2014 $122,000

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Top Skills for A Practice Leader

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  1. Business Strategy
  2. Delivery
  3. Financial Services
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Gather functional and business requirements to ensure alignment with business strategy.
  • Manage concurrent projects and project teams, methodically ensuring adherence to delivery schedules and fulfillment of customer needs and contract requirements.
  • Sell and manage engagements with public utilities, global manufacturers, financial services and technology firms on a global scale.
  • Co-Authored internal and external marketing, business development and sales channel material to improve customer acquisition and brand identity.
  • Conducted interviews of potential consultants and attended sales meetings with prospective clients to provide quality assurance or agile expertise.

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Top 10 Best States for Practice Leaders

  1. New York
  2. Virginia
  3. California
  4. Texas
  5. Delaware
  6. Rhode Island
  7. District of Columbia
  8. New Jersey
  9. Pennsylvania
  10. Colorado
  • (412 jobs)
  • (241 jobs)
  • (933 jobs)
  • (416 jobs)
  • (21 jobs)
  • (33 jobs)
  • (70 jobs)
  • (248 jobs)
  • (274 jobs)
  • (122 jobs)

Top Practice Leader Employers

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Jobs From Top Practice Leader Employers

Practice Leader Videos

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