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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

  • $113,204

    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.


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.


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.


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 jobs

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Systems Manager Career Paths

Systems Manager
Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Director Of Information
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Network Manager
Director Of Infrastructure Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Systems Analyst
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Operations Manager
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Senior Network Engineer
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Construction Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Director Of Information
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior System Administrator Infrastructure Manager
Senior Manager Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager President Of Operations
Vice President & General Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Director Of Information Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Manager Vice President Of Information Technology
Vice President Technology Services
13 Yearsyrs
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Systems Manager Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Asian

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Carrier

  • Chinese

  • Japanese

  • Russian

  • Portuguese

  • Korean

  • Italian

  • Mandarin

  • German

  • Arabic

  • Cheyenne

  • Dutch

  • Turkish

  • Lithuanian

  • Vietnamese

  • Romanian

  • Ukrainian

  • Yoruba

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Systems Manager

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Systems Manager Education

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Real Systems Manager Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Systems Software Manager Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Jan 06, 2016 $215,000 -
Systems Completion Manager Gibson Applied Technology and Engineering, LLC Houston, TX Oct 15, 2015 $215,000
Manager, Autopilot Embedded Systems Tesla Motors, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Dec 12, 2016 $190,000 -
Manager, Autopilot Embedded Systems, Firmware Tesla Motors, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Oct 08, 2016 $190,000 -
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
Manager, Systems Epson America, Inc. Long Beach, CA Oct 20, 2015 $175,000
Systems Software Manager Nvidia Corporation Westford, MA Sep 05, 2016 $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 -
Associate Systems Manager Pemco Mutual Insurance Company Seattle, WA Jun 22, 2016 $128,500 -
Systems Manager Texas Instruments Incorporated Dallas, TX Sep 25, 2015 $128,000
Manager, Systems Architecture T-Mobile USA, Inc. Bellevue, WA Apr 16, 2015 $128,000 -
Senior Systems Manager Valley Proteins, Inc. Winchester, VA Nov 20, 2015 $125,112
Manager, ERP Systems TYCO Electronics Corporation, A Te Connectivity Ltd. Company Shakopee, MN Apr 10, 2015 $125,000 -
Manager, Systems Analysis Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Jul 13, 2015 $123,053 -
Manager, Metadata Systems Warner Bros. Technical Operations Inc. Burbank, CA Apr 19, 2015 $120,890
Systems Manager Camico Mutual Insurance Company San Mateo, CA May 21, 2015 $120,530
Project Manager/Marine Systems Manager Audio Visual Innovations, Inc. D/B/A AVI-SPL Deerfield Beach, FL May 24, 2016 $105,500
Enterprise Systems Management Manager American Greetings Corporation Cleveland, OH May 15, 2015 $105,000
Systems Analysis Manager Cigna HLIC Bloomfield, CT Apr 20, 2015 $105,000
Vehicle Control System Manager Hummingbirdev Inc. Livermore, CA Dec 21, 2015 $105,000
Financial Systems Manager Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, Inc. Cambridge, MA Sep 08, 2015 $105,000
Systems Analysis Manager Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company Bloomfield, CT Sep 27, 2016 $105,000
Distribution Systems Manager GAF Materials Corporation Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ Dec 23, 2015 $105,000
Financial Systems Manager Glaxosmithkline LLC Cambridge, MA Apr 09, 2015 $104,208 -

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Top Skills for A Systems Manager


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Top Systems Manager Skills

  1. Hardware
  2. Procedures
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed validation checks on computers to collect executable files and verify hardware/software identification analysis.
  • Restructured and managed business and clinical data management as well as organizational/operational policies and procedures.
  • Implemented organization focused on customer service, throughput, and technical reporting
  • Planned a phased implementation of an automated scheduling and job submission software to reduce cost and errors of manual data entry.
  • Installed all endpoints from Windows XP to Windows 7 and beyond to version 8.1.

Top Systems Manager Employers