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Become A Systems Director

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Working As A 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

  • $155,690

    Average Salary

What Does A 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 A 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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Systems Director jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Systems Supervisor 4.3 years
Systems Manager 4.2 years
Systems Director 4.0 years
Director 3.7 years
Top Employers Before
Director 12.3%
Manager 9.5%
Consultant 5.4%
Top Employers After
Consultant 8.7%
Director 7.9%
President 4.4%

Systems Director Demographics

Gender

Male

71.6%

Female

26.2%

Unknown

2.2%
Ethnicity

White

80.7%

Hispanic or Latino

8.6%

Asian

8.0%

Unknown

1.9%

Black or African American

0.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

43.8%

German

12.5%

French

12.5%

Carrier

6.3%

Russian

6.3%

Cheyenne

3.1%

Turkish

3.1%

Gujarati

3.1%

Hindi

3.1%

Arabic

3.1%

Italian

3.1%
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Systems Director Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

15.4%

University of Florida

6.5%

Webster University

5.7%

University of Kentucky

5.7%

University of Pennsylvania

4.9%

University of Miami

4.9%

Ohio University -

4.1%

University of Saint Francis

4.1%

Villanova University

4.1%

Michigan State University

4.1%

Northwestern University

4.1%

San Francisco State University

4.1%

Arizona State University

4.1%

State University of New York Buffalo

4.1%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.1%

Walden University

4.1%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

4.1%

University of Georgia

4.1%

Boston University

4.1%

University of Oklahoma

4.1%
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Majors

Business

37.2%

Computer Science

6.6%

Accounting

5.9%

Management

5.8%

Electrical Engineering

5.4%

Finance

5.1%

Computer Information Systems

4.4%

Health Care Administration

4.2%

Nursing

3.9%

Project Management

2.5%

Mechanical Engineering

2.2%

Information Systems

2.2%

Mathematics

2.0%

Marketing

2.0%

Biology

1.9%

Public Health

1.7%

Education

1.7%

Management Information Systems

1.7%

Economics

1.7%

Human Resources Management

1.7%
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Degrees

Masters

39.9%

Bachelors

34.5%

Other

12.7%

Doctorate

4.6%

Associate

4.5%

Certificate

3.0%

Diploma

0.6%

License

0.2%
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Part Time
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Real Systems Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Automation Systems Director Mechoshade Systems Inc. Islandia, NY Jan 04, 2016 $212,000
Director of Pressure Drilling Systems National Oilwell Varco, L.P. Houston, TX May 15, 2013 $183,340
Director of Systems Architecture Ruckus Wireless, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Sep 25, 2013 $180,000
Director-SAP Systems Utegration, LLC Houston, TX May 12, 2016 $175,000
Director, Systems Vadata, Inc. Herndon, VA Jun 05, 2015 $170,206
Director, TV Scheduling Systems NBC Universal, Inc. New York, NY Mar 01, 2010 $170,000 -
$190,000
Systems Consulting Director ACS State Healthcare, LLC Atlanta, GA Apr 11, 2011 $165,000
Systems Consulting Director Xerox State Healthcare, LLC Irvine, CA Jun 01, 2013 $165,000
Director of Front End Systems Wickr, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 08, 2016 $165,000
Systems Director FIS Management Services LLC Addison, TX Sep 08, 2014 $163,814
Systems Director FIS Management Services LLC Addison, TX Jul 14, 2014 $163,814
Quality Systems Director Bard Peripheral Vascular, Inc. Tempe, AZ Sep 10, 2011 $163,647
Quality Systems Director Bard Peripheral Vascular Tempe, AZ Jun 23, 2010 $163,647
Director of Backend Systems Wickr, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 08, 2016 $155,000
Director, Power and Propulsion Systems Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd. Santa Clarita, CA Jan 13, 2015 $151,360
Director of Systems Architecture Mileweb, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Feb 01, 2014 $150,000
Systems Consulting Director Xerox Business Services, LLC Fremont, CA Feb 01, 2016 $149,211
Systems Consulting Director Xerox Business Services, LLC Fremont, CA Jan 02, 2016 $149,211
Financial Systems Director Holland & Knight LLP Brandon, FL Mar 09, 2016 $145,000
Systems Director Team Lead The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation Jersey City, NJ Jan 11, 2016 $143,575
Director, Power and Propulsion Systems Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd. Santa Clarita, CA Jan 12, 2012 $140,552
Systems Consulting Director Xerox State Healthcare, LLC Atlanta, GA Feb 11, 2015 $128,003
Systems Consulting Director Xerox State & Local Solutions, Inc. Atlanta, GA Nov 10, 2014 $128,000
Liberty Management System Director I Liberty Mutual Insurance Company Boston, MA Oct 20, 2014 $127,317 -
$169,500
Director Smartcards and Systems Abnote USA, Inc. Boston, MA Jan 16, 2014 $126,000
Director, Systems Analysis AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company Secaucus, NJ Aug 10, 2015 $125,000
Health System Director Comprehensive Pharmacy Services, Inc. Mount Vernon, WA Jul 19, 2013 $125,000 -
$160,000
Director New System Platform Launch Schneider Electric Buildings LLC North Andover, MA Nov 15, 2009 $120,000

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Top Skills for A Systems Director

FinancialProceduresEnsureComplianceHospitalSystemWebDataWarehouseCustomerServiceHealthSystemOversightSafetyProjectManagementResourceAdditionalWindowsServerPayrollDisasterRecoverySQLServerManagementSystemBusinessUnitsSystemDirector

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Top Systems Director Skills

  1. Financial
  2. Procedures
  3. Ensure Compliance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Managed internal and external financial management reporting.
  • Implemented systems and organizational procedures for day to day operations.
  • Worked closely with outside auditors to ensure compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley ACT and ensured SAS-70 certification for Lawson Payroll/HR system.
  • Designed, created, and implemented the new Mail Delivery department for the hospital system.
  • Transformed agent commission statements via secure web presentment with updated statement for 70K agents.

Top Systems Director Employers

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