In today’s society, nearly all businesses and companies require technology in order to keep up with the outside world. These enterprises require computers to communicate from employee to employee, to communicate with outside connections, to organize and interpret data, to advertise their product or service, and much more. However, the employees working at these companies are usually specially trained in the company’s specific field, not in technological practices. These employees are far too busy with their own work to puzzle out the technological issues that their company’s system may encounter. Therefore, it is vital for all enterprises to possess an IT, or Information Technology department, to organize and maintain the business’s technological needs.
The computer and information systems manager is in a sense the leader of the IT department, overseeing the technology’s research, planning, and engineering. These managers help a business run smoothly by ensuring the good operation of its technological systems.
The salary of a computer and information systems manager varies based on experience, education, and location of work. (The larger the IT department that these managers must oversee, the larger the salary they receive.)
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the bottom ten percent of computer and information systems managers earn less than $47,440, while the middle fifty percent of these managers earn between $88,240 and $109,950 per year. The top ten percent of computer and information systems managers earn over $141,890 annually.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Job Description and Outlook
It is the job of a computer and information systems manager to make sure that their department provides the company with all of their technology related needs. This could include Internet maintenance, website upkeep, network security, or software creation and development. If a problem arises concerning the company’s technology, it is the computer and information systems manager’s job to ensure that this problem is solved. These managers must constantly lead their department in an orderly, efficient manner that will result in a smoothly operating company.
Computer and information systems managers must make sure that the company’s computer network is in good function at all times. The company’s network is vital for communication, both within and outside of the business. If there are defects in the network, the computer and information systems manager must identify the issue and make sure that it is fixed. They must also anticipate any possible failures or disasters, implementing preventative measures and planning emergency back-up plans should something ever go wrong.
Computer and information systems managers must also work closely with the company’s top executives to ensure that all of the company’s needs are being met. These executives may have specific requests, such as the development of programs and software to help employees perform their jobs more efficiently. The computer and information systems manager must take these requests into account and strategize the IT department accordingly. Because of this, computer and information systems managers must have excellent communication skills in order to comprehend the enterprise’s individual needs.
The job outlook for a computer and information systems manager is quite positive. The amount of jobs available for this career is expected to grow at a faster than normal rate, with an increase of about seventeen percent through the year 2018. As technology continues to become more and more advanced, companies will require additional workers to implement these new innovations. The more technological workers there are, the more managers there must be to organize and oversee them.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Training and Education Requirements
To become a computer and information systems manager, one must normally obtain at least a bachelor’s degree in a pertinent field of study, such as computer engineering, computer science, or mathematics. Employers generally prefer applicants to possess a graduate degree, and managers who have obtained this degree enjoy larger wages and greater benefits than those who have not.
One usually cannot start off his or her career as a computer and information systems manager. It is oftentimes required that employees possess at least a few years of experience working in a subordinate IT department position before achieving a managerial status. This experience usually constitutes as sufficient preparatory training for a position as manager.
Certification is not required to become a computer and information systems manager, but the possession of such certification demonstrates a proficiency in a specific technological area, which may increase one’s chances of being hired. Companies generally want their computer and information systems managers to have some expertise regarding the company’s specific technological needs. There are many certification programs available which help computer and information systems managers gain this expertise through rigorous educational programs. These programs are administered by private software or technology companies, specified according to the software that the company wishes the manager to understand with special proficiency.
Because technology is constantly becoming more advanced, there is always something new for computer and information systems managers to learn. Professional associations are available for these managers to share their knowledge of technological advancements and practices. These associations include the Information Technology Association of America, the Computer Technology Industry Association, and other such organizations. These associations are invaluable for managers who wish to consistently improve their skills and quality of work.