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Learn more about the M.S. Information Technology Management degree and see why it could be the right fit for your future.Learn More
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 wide variety of IT management positions.
Jump to career:
Chief Information Officer
A chief information officer or CIO is in charge of a company's information technology and computer systems. They assess software processes, recommend upgrades, and direct the executive team with best practices for technology. A big part of their role is to develop goals and strategies for the IT team, monitor changes in the technology sector and see where the company needs to improve. They provide leadership and counsel to IT specialists and other staff in the company.
Chief information officers earn an average annual salary of $160,000 per year. The bottom 10% earn $95,000 per year, while the top 10% earn more than $250,000 per year. The size of the company you work for and the industry you are in are major factors in determining your earning potential.
If you want to become a CIO, you will almost certainly have to have a master's degree. An IT management degree can be extremely beneficial for this career, giving you important experience in IT knowledge as well as management and leadership techniques. As a CIO you'll need to learn about IT financials, communication, trends, and management strategies, all of which you can learn with an IT management master's degree.
Employment for CIOs and other IT executives is expected to grow 11% by 2028. Very few organizations today can get by without a CIO or other top IT executive. More software programs and technological needs mean that most organizations need to have a CIO to help direct their efforts.
job growth by 2028
IT managers are responsible for recruiting and training IT staff including system administrators, computer programmers, and database administrators. They work with upper-management to determine what the IT department needs and then work with budgets and timelines to make it happen. An IT manager's roles and responsibilities will vary based on where they work. Some IT managers will focus directly on the computer networks, while others will work with telephone and electronic systems as well. IT managers oversee the routine use of technological systems, testing, upgrades, and more.
IT managers make an average annual salary of $122,000, with the entry-level salary sitting at $98,000 per year and the top 10% earning more than $146,000 per year. This salary level has a great chance of varying just based on the size of the organization and the industry where you work. Your education level is also key in determining your salary.
IT managers will be more seriously considered for positions if they have a master's degree. A master's degree in IT management can be a home run, as it will give you the specific knowledge and experience you need for this role. Courses in managing technology operations, IT sourcing, project management, and emerging technology will all help you be better prepared for a role as an IT manager.
IT management will grow about 15% by 2024, much faster than the national average. Virtually every organization in every industry now needs to have an IT manager to help them run their digital devices and systems. That means IT managers are incredibly in-demand, and will only continue to be in demand as technology continue to evolve.
job growth by 2024
IT directors are responsible for the management, strategy, and execution of IT projects for an organization. They will oversee the technical projects, direct the delivery of network and development processes, and work with information engineers to find solutions to problems. They often work with external vendors and advisors, as well as lead the IT workers. IT directors often work right below the chief information officer or the chief technology officer in an organization.
IT directors earn an average annual salary of $119,000 per year. The bottom 10% earn $68,000 per year, while the top 10% earn more than $171,000 per year. The industry where you work and the specific organization you work for will impact how much you can make. Larger organizations with complex IT infrastructures will likely pay more than smaller companies.
In order to become an IT director, you'll likely need to have a master's degree. A master's degree can help you get the IT knowledge you need about programming and software, while also giving you experience on the management side of IT. You will need to know about technical communication, emerging technology, IT trends, and leadership in order to be a successful IT director. A degree in IT management can help you learn all of these things.
Employment of IT directors and IT executives is expected to grow 11% by 2028, nearly twice as fast as the national average for job growth. Every type of organization is seeing the need for IT directors to help manage their technological needs. As more organizations grow and see the need for larger IT structures in their organization, the need for IT directors will continue to grow.
job growth by 2028
Information Systems Manager
Information systems managers are in charge of managing and coordinating all of the computer-related areas of an organization. They often work with the top executives of an organization to go over the computer needs, and make plans to get those needs met. They will analyze needs and recommend upgrades, direct the installation of hardware and software, work to keep networks secure, review budgets and costs of computer hardware and software, and stay up to date on current technology that could benefit the organization. Often the computer and information systems manager directs the IT or technical support team of an organization as well.
The average yearly salary for information systems manager is over $146,000. This is well above the national average salary in the U.S. which is $56,000. Entry-level positions earn roughly $87,000 per year, while the highest 10% earn more than $208,000 per year. IT careers are highly specialized and generally offer high salaries, even at the entry level. Management positions usually require some experience in the IT world first, and then translate to higher pay.
Most information systems managers will need to have a master's degree. A master's degree in IT management will go over technical communication, globalization, management techniques, and more. These are all key for information systems managers to be able to lead their team in coordinating all efforts for their organization.
Employment of information systems manager will likely grow 11% by 2028, which is much faster than the national average of job growth. Organizations around the world are expanding their digital platforms and will need qualified information systems managers to help them stay up-to-date.
job growth by 2028
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.
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.
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.