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CAREER GUIDE Master of Science, Information Technology Management

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Career guide: IT management.

Where and how far will your IT experience take you? You've worked hard, kept your skills current with industry standards and put yourself in position to take the next step in your career. That could mean setting your sights on an executive or management position in the IT department of your company or organization, and if you do, it might also require an entirely new skillset to qualify for the position.

Beyond your knowledge and expertise in IT, you'll need to show prospective employers you have the communication skills, technical competence, and strategic vision to be an effective leader. As a computer and information systems manager, your role will be to direct and coordinate other IT workers to make your company run more efficiently. That means having business skills as sharply honed as your tech expertise. If you can assemble a resume that showcases both, you should be in good shape to take advantage of the growing need for IT professionals prepared to move into management positions.

So are you executive material? If you're not right now, you could be with the right courses in IT management. Combine market-relevant leadership skills with your technical expertise, and you'll likely find yourself in high demand as a CIS manager.

Job listing growth 2016–2026.

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Career opportunities.

Dedicated professionals who have the capacity to plan, direct, and coordinate the technological and operational activities of companies and organizations may be qualified for a number of different IT management careers. Depending on the level of education and years of experience you have, you can set your sights on the following leadership positions:

Positions in the field.

  • Chief technology officer
  • Management information system (MIS) director
  • IT director
  • Project manager
  • Computer systems analyst
  • Director of information technology services
  • Senior systems administrator
  • Information security analyst
  • Director of application development
  • Technical services manager
“WGU’s advantage is its flexibility. The education itself is top-notch, and the flexibility allows busy people to get through school. I recommend WGU to everybody, particularly in IT fields. The certifications you get at WGU are fantastic—some of the best in the industry.” Ken Krauss
M.S. Information Security and Assurance, 2015

Job market forecast.

The market for computer and information systems managers continues to be robust as more companies require senior level employees with specialized skills to assist upper management in determining and achieving business and technological goals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the employment of computer and information systems managers will grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026. Clearly, if you have the knowledge and experience to help a company develop an IT strategy that meets short and long term goals, you'll be well positioned for a successful career.

Job growth 2016–2026.

Work environment.

Computer and information systems managers work in a range of office environments, planning and directing the work of other IT professionals. It's a full time position that, because of its numerous responsibilities, may require overtime to solve problems. About one in three IT managers works more than 40 hours a week. Also, lots of IT professionals work from remote locations, so you may end up managing employees who work from home or in other cities.

Professional organizations.

Careers in business administration can be pursued in any industry as long as you have the knowledge and experience to plan, direct, and coordinate all necessary operational activities. Here are a few organizations that can help you point your career towards a position of leadership.

Job search resources.

If you're ready to launch your career as an IT manager, here are a few places to start. With the right credentials and connections, you'll be on your way to personal and professional satisfaction.


Salary stats.

Generally speaking, IT managers are compensated well for their advanced knowledge, skills, and experience. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for computer and information systems managers was $139,220 in May 2017. The industry in which you work can also play a role in your earning capacity. Upper level IT management positions may also come with additional perks, such as stock options, performance bonuses, and expense accounts.

Average salary of jobs with related titles


Summary.

A career in IT management is often the goal of technology professionals ready to expand their roles and responsibilities beyond the IT department. Certainly, your technical expertise will provide the platform upon which to build your executive-level career, but as a manager you'll be responsible for people, not just machines. That means acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to work with and direct a diverse group of people, from CEOs and business men and women to computer systems analysts, software developers, information security analysts, and computer support specialists.

You might also be expected to bring something to the table in terms of determining your organization's strategic vision and the role IT will play in it. But if you're up to the challenge, the opportunities are there. Many senior-level IT managers have a graduate degree, and numerous schools offer a master's degree in IT management. Just make sure you choose a curriculum that's designed to help you develop a high level of competence across a full range of IT subject matter areas and also offers industry-current courses in technical, financial, management, and human relations disciplines.

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Jul 1

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Your career’s next step: Earn a degree.

Ready to jump-start your career in network management? The next step could be earning your M.S. Information Technology Management. Accredited, competency-based WGU offers this degree online for at a surprisingly affordable flat-rate tuition. Flexible enough for a working adult’s schedule with the option to accelerate, your degree may be closer than you think!