IT Manager: Salary and Career Facts

Research what it takes to become an IT Manager. Learn about education requirements, job duties, average salary and job outlook to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Industrial Technology Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is an IT Manager?

IT (information technology) managers supervise the computer needs for a company. IT managers help clarify an organization's goals for using technology and computers. Depending on the size of the organization and the computer needs, IT managers plan and execute projects to ensure that the computer facilities help achieve the organization's business goals. IT managers could do activities related to computer programming, electronic data processing, or information systems, among others.

The following table gives you an overview of what you need to know about entering this field.

Education Requirements Bachelor's degree; master's degree recommended
Fields of Study Information systems management, computer science, business administration
Job Responsibilities Operate and maintain computer systems, oversee a crew of IT professionals and ensure project goals are met, and communicate with business managers and owners about technological issues
Certifications Certifications in certain types of software or hardware may be preferred by some employers
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 15%*
Average Salary (2015) $141,000*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Would My Job Duties Be As an IT Manager?

As an IT manager, you're responsible for overseeing all of the computer systems and technologies used by a particular business or organization. You oversee the day-to-day operation and maintenance of computer hardware, software, networks and databases. You may be responsible for determining the technological needs of a particular organization and then selecting the appropriate systems to meet those needs.

You're generally responsible for overseeing a crew of IT professionals, such as programmers, software designers or technicians. You must communicate the configuration parameters of IT-related projects to your team, and ensure that the project goals are met in a timely fashion. You might also be responsible for communicating technological issues and needs to business managers and owners and laying out plans for addressing those concerns.

What Educational Programs Are Available to Me?

In order to obtain a position as an IT manager, you're often required to have at least a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field, such as information systems management or computer science. You may consider enrolling in courses in business administration to learn management skills and theory.

You might need to obtain a graduate degree for employment with some organizations. A Master of Business Administration in Information Technology can provide you with an advanced understanding of business principles while also preparing you to address complex IT problems that might arise within a business organization. Such programs typically take two years to complete and include courses covering information systems strategy, knowledge management, systems development, database management and project management.

Will I Need Certification?

You usually aren't required to have certification in order to gain a position as an IT manager. However, some employers may prefer certifications in certain types of software or hardware. You can obtain certifications at various skill levels directly from vendors like Microsoft. In order to gain certification, you must complete a series of exams.

What Is the Average Salary and Job Outlook?

As of May 2015, computer and information systems managers earned an average annual salary of $141,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). According to the BLS, as an IT manager, you can work for independent businesses and computer systems design services. The BLS predicted that job growth for IT managers will rise much faster than average at 15%, between 2014 and 2024.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

As an alternative career, you may consider being a database administrator or a computer analyst. Just like an IT manager, a database administrator helps companies function efficiently by organizing relevant data and making them accessible to relevant users within the organization. A computer analyst, on the other hand, helps improve an organization's computer and IT systems to make its business processes more efficient and cost-effective.

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