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Become A Systems Manager

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Working As A Systems Manager

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

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $120,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Systems Manager 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 Manager

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 Manager Career Paths

Systems Manager
Information Technology Specialist Operations Analyst
Assistant Vice President Operations
8 Yearsyrs
Principal Consultant Solutions Manager
Business Solutions Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Product Management Director
Chief Product Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Consultant Customer Relationship Management Consultant
Customer Relationship Management Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Deputy Director
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Director
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Human Resources Manager
Director Of Human Resources Operations
10 Yearsyrs
Engineer Senior Mechanical Engineer
Facilities/Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Finance Manager
Finance Director
10 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Director
Global Director Of Information Technology
14 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Clinical Director
Health Director
9 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Distribution Center Manager
Logistics Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Director Operations Director
Operating Partner
8 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
14 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Operations Manager
Senior Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Portfolio Manager
Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Operations Manager
Supply Chain Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Manager Information Systems Director
Vice President Information Systems
9 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
MIS Director 4.4 years
Systems Supervisor 4.3 years
Systems Director 4.1 years
Systems Manager 4.0 years
MIS Manager 4.0 years
Top Careers Before Systems Manager
Manager 7.0%
Consultant 6.3%
Programmer 4.3%
Supervisor 3.1%
Top Careers After Systems Manager
Consultant 11.0%
Manager 6.2%
Director 3.6%
Owner 2.7%

Do you work as a Systems Manager?

Systems Manager Demographics

Gender

Male

74.9%

Female

23.0%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

61.0%

Hispanic or Latino

14.2%

Black or African American

11.1%

Asian

9.6%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

37.7%

French

12.3%

Carrier

8.9%

Chinese

6.8%

Japanese

4.8%

Russian

4.1%

Portuguese

4.1%

Mandarin

3.4%

Korean

2.7%

Italian

2.7%

Hindi

2.1%

German

2.1%

Urdu

2.1%

Arabic

2.1%

Lithuanian

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Romanian

0.7%

Dutch

0.7%

Ukrainian

0.7%

Yoruba

0.7%
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Systems Manager Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

21.8%

Community College of the Air Force

11.3%

Webster University

5.0%

Northeastern University

5.0%

University of Houston

4.8%

New York University

4.3%

University of Maryland - University College

4.3%

Villanova University

4.3%

Purdue University

4.1%

Pennsylvania State University

3.9%

George Washington University

3.8%

Syracuse University

3.6%

Pace University - New York

3.3%

University of Washington

3.3%

Strayer University

3.1%

Texas A&M University

2.9%

Western Governors University

2.9%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

2.9%

Temple University

2.7%

Nova Southeastern University

2.7%
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Majors

Business

26.5%

Computer Science

15.8%

Computer Information Systems

6.9%

Electrical Engineering

6.5%

Management

4.9%

Information Technology

4.7%

Accounting

3.8%

Project Management

3.7%

Finance

3.5%

Information Systems

3.3%

Management Information Systems

2.8%

Mechanical Engineering

2.6%

Computer Engineering

2.2%

Marketing

2.2%

Education

2.0%

Communication

2.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.8%

Mathematics

1.6%

Psychology

1.5%

Human Resources Management

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.8%

Masters

26.0%

Other

18.3%

Associate

8.6%

Certificate

3.9%

Doctorate

1.5%

Diploma

0.9%

License

0.0%
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Real Systems Manager Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Systems Completion Manager Gibson Applied Technology and Engineering, LLC Houston, TX Oct 15, 2015 $215,000
Systems Software Manager Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Jan 06, 2016 $215,000 -
$233,744
Manager, Autopilot Embedded Systems Tesla Motors, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Dec 12, 2016 $190,000 -
$200,000
Manager, Autopilot Embedded Systems, Firmware Tesla Motors, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Oct 08, 2016 $190,000 -
$220,000
Systems Software Manager Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Nov 14, 2016 $180,000
Manager, System Reliability Public Service Electric & Gas Company Newark, NJ Aug 04, 2016 $178,048
Systems Software Manager Nvidia Corporation Westford, MA Sep 05, 2016 $175,000 -
$181,202
Manager, Systems Epson America, Inc. Long Beach, CA Oct 20, 2015 $175,000
Manager, Metadata Systems Warner Bros. Technical Operations Burbank, CA Jul 10, 2015 $173,826
Systems Customer Manager Segment.IO, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jan 12, 2016 $173,056
Warehouse Control Systems Manager Amrapur Overseas, Inc. Garden Grove, CA Dec 17, 2015 $172,875
Manager, System Reliability Public Service Electric and Gas Company Newark, NJ Dec 11, 2016 $168,355
DPM Control Systems Manager M-I LLC Aka M-I Swaco Houston, TX Apr 25, 2015 $168,100
Systems Software Manager Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Feb 16, 2016 $164,780 -
$212,673
Systems Manager Blackhawk Network, Inc. Pleasanton, CA Apr 15, 2015 $131,938
Decision Systems, Manager Homeaway.com, Inc. Austin, TX Nov 21, 2016 $131,263 -
$142,000
Manager, Systems Analysis Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Jul 16, 2015 $130,395 -
$184,100
Manager, ERP Systems TYCO Electronics Corporation, A Te Connectivity Ltd. Company Corcoran, MN Dec 10, 2015 $130,000 -
$134,000
Materials Management Manufacturing Systems Manager Shire Human Genetic Therapies Inc. Lexington, MA Nov 28, 2016 $130,000
Manager, Asset Trust Systems Amazon Corporate LLC Seattle, WA Apr 27, 2015 $130,000 -
$160,000
Associate Systems Manager Pemco Mutual Insurance Company Seattle, WA Jun 22, 2016 $128,500 -
$141,500
Systems Manager Texas Instruments Incorporated Dallas, TX Sep 25, 2015 $128,000
Ramco System Manager Era Helicopters LLC Houston, TX Feb 14, 2015 $109,242
Systems Manager Foodcomm International Swedesboro, NJ Apr 15, 2015 $107,682 -
$108,000
Systems Manager Foodcomm International Swedesboro, NJ Apr 23, 2015 $107,682 -
$108,000
Systems Manager Mphasis Corporation Jersey City, NJ Nov 04, 2016 $106,746
Systems Analysis Manager Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company Bloomfield, CT Sep 27, 2016 $105,000
Vehicle Control System Manager Hummingbirdev Inc. Livermore, CA Dec 21, 2015 $105,000
Systems Analysis Manager Cigna HLIC Bloomfield, CT Apr 20, 2015 $105,000
Distribution Systems Manager GAF Materials Corporation Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ Dec 23, 2015 $105,000

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AVERAGE SALARY FOR A Systems Manager

Average Yearly Salary
$120,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$87,000
Min 10%
$120,000
Median 50%
$120,000
Median 50%
$120,000
Median 50%
$120,000
Median 50%
$120,000
Median 50%
$120,000
Median 50%
$120,000
Median 50%
$164,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Sidley Austin
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Oregon
Avg Experience Level
4.2 years
How much does a Systems Manager make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Systems Manager in the United States is $120,401 per year or $58 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $87,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $165,000.

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Top Skills for A Systems Manager

  1. Procedures
  2. Project Management
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Restructured and managed business and clinical data management as well as organizational/operational policies and procedures.
  • Conduct project management activities for new system requirements on various projects for deployment of business functions.
  • Developed PeopleSoft user training manuals and provided campus wide customer service and user support training.
  • Manage systems support team and data entry operators to ensure timely processing of Consumer Applications.
  • Set up and maintained Linux server hosting 20 virtual machines with Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows 2003.

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Top 10 Best States for Systems Managers

  1. Virginia
  2. California
  3. Washington
  4. Colorado
  5. Texas
  6. District of Columbia
  7. Rhode Island
  8. Maryland
  9. Delaware
  10. North Carolina
  • (2,530 jobs)
  • (4,683 jobs)
  • (1,466 jobs)
  • (1,130 jobs)
  • (2,375 jobs)
  • (505 jobs)
  • (121 jobs)
  • (1,398 jobs)
  • (79 jobs)
  • (1,055 jobs)

Top Systems Manager Employers

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