What Is a Director of Computer and Information Systems?

A director of computer and information systems oversees and leads activities related to computers and technology for an entire organization. Read on to learn about job duties, required skills and potential wages for this occupation. Schools offering Business Information Systems degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Director of Computer and Information Systems?

A director of computer information systems is responsible for overseeing the computer-related activities of an organization. Information systems directors often manage IT professionals who install, maintain and repair computer software and hardware for a particular company. As a director, you might be responsible for setting a company's technological goals and making sure those goals are met on time. Additional duties could include hiring and training IT staff, developing technical standards and evaluating whether new technologies will suit a company's business needs.

Take a look at the following chart for an overview of how to enter this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's or master's degree
Education Field of Study Computer science or related field
Business administration
Key Responsibilities Researching company's IT needs, setting IT goals, coordinating IT activities and managing IT professionals
Job Growth (2014-2024) 15% (for all computer and information systems managers)*
Median Salary (2015) $131,600 (for all computer and information systems managers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Types of Programs are Available?

You'll usually need at least a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field. It's possible to obtain an entry-level position as an IT professional with just a bachelor's degree and then work your way up to a management position. However, many managerial roles in the industry are given to individuals who have a master's degree in the field.

If you're interested in becoming an information systems director, you might consider earning a bachelor's degree in information science, computer science or management information systems. Many 4-year universities also offer master's degrees in these same subjects. Completing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program could also give you the managerial and business-related acumen needed to work as a director.

What Skills and Knowledge Will I Need?

In addition to having a strong knowledge of computer operating systems, networking systems and Internet operations, you'll also need to have strong people skills. You might be responsible for collaborating with or managing a variety of people, including computer programmers, software engineers, systems analysts, support analysts and other IT professionals. Most information systems directors have extensive experience in a computer-related occupation.

What Will My Salary be Like?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were around 341,250 computer and information systems managers working in the United States in 2015 (www.bls.gov). During that year, information systems managers earned a median annual salary of $131,600. The number of employed information systems managers was expected to increase by 15% from 2014-2024, as reported by the BLS.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Computer hardware engineers are tasked with designing and testing new hardware to make computer systems more efficient. This may include processors, circuit boards, memory devices and routers. These professionals may start a career with a bachelor's degree in computer engineering, electronic engineering or computer science. Computer network architects use network hardware and software to create networks for organizations. These include local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs). They may have a bachelor's degree in computer science, information systems or engineering.

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