Computer Information Systems Managers
Computer and information systems managers, often called information technology managers (IT managers or IT project managers), plan, coordinate, and direct computer-related activities in an organization.
Sample of Reported Job Titles
Information Technology Manager (IT Manager), Information Technology Director (IT Director), Information Systems Director (IS Director), Data Processing Manager, MIS Director (Management Information Systems Director), Information Systems Manager (IS Manager), Information Systems Supervisor (IS Supervisor), Computing Services Director, Director of Application Development, Technical Services Manager
Computer and information systems managers typically do the following:
- Analyze their organization's computer needs and recommend possible upgrades to top executives
- Plan and direct installing and upgrading computer hardware and software
- Ensure the security of an organization's network and electronic documents
- Assess the costs and benefits of a new project to justify spending 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 technology vendors to get the highest level of service for their organization
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 planning to implement technology to meet those goals.
They may focus on a specific area such as electronic data processing or information systems, but they differ from chief technology officers (CTOs; see next) in that the CIO is more focused on long-term, or “big picture,” issues. CIOs who do not have technical expertise and focus solely on the business aspects of creating an overall company vision are included in a separate profile on top executives. For more information, see the profile on top executives.
Chief technology officers (CTOs) evaluate new technology and 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 also 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. They help to determine the business requirements for IT systems and they implement the policies that have been chosen by top executives. It is the IT director’s 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 training for employees. These managers must keep up to date on IT security measures. They also supervise investigations if there is a security violation.
IT managers typically need a bachelor's degree in computer or information science, including coursework in computer programming, software development, and mathematics. Many organizations also require their IT managers to have a graduate degree, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Most spend five to 10 years in an IT occupation before being promoted to manager, but smaller companies generally do not require as much experience as larger companies. Successful IT managers can further advance to IT directors, chief technology officers, and perhaps even chief information officers.
Salary Information 2018
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following information corresponds to the salaries of Computer & Information Systems Managers in 2018. The bottom 10% of earners made less than $85,380, the median salary was $142,530, and the top 10% of earners made more than $208,000.
Want to know more?
- U.S. News-Best Technology Jobs
- Bureau of Labor Statistics-Computer and Information Systems Managers
- O*NET-Computer and Information Systems Managers
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