In today’s increasingly digital world, the role of the IT manager is becoming an increasingly important one. The IT manager is responsible for taking care of all aspects of the technology infrastructure for a company. They may be part of a team that handles this responsibility or they may be the only person in this role at a company.
There are many different types of organizations that employ IT managers, from small businesses to government agencies to large corporations. No matter what type of company they work for, their responsibilities tend to fall into three categories: network management, security administration, and software support.
Read on to learn more about what it’s like to be an IT manager and what it takes to become one yourself.
IT Manager Job Duties
IT managers are responsible for a wide range of duties, including:
- Planning, managing, and overseeing the use of information technology (IT) to support an organization’s goals
- Managing projects related to IT systems implementation or maintenance using both in-house and outside resources
- Designing new computer hardware and software systems, reviewing current technology trends, implementing upgrades where necessary, and overseeing their continued operation for optimal performance
- Purchasing computer hardware and software applications necessary for the efficient operation of an organization’s IT system
- Acting as liaison between an organization’s IT department and external vendors such as computer repair shops or Internet service providers (ISPs)
- Providing guidance regarding the creation of security policies within an organization’s IT infrastructure that conform with industry standards
- Coordinating with outside parties when problems arise with an organization’s online presence, such as when website hosting services experience outages
IT Manager Salary & Outlook
The median annual wage for IT managers is $90,500. Those earning higher wages tend to work for technology companies, and the top earners are making over $160,000 per year.
Job opportunities for IT managers are expected to increase faster than average over the next decade. This is due to the growing need for digital security and management of data networks. As computer use continues to grow, more IT professionals will be needed to manage these systems and secure data from hackers and other threats.
IT Manager Job Requirements
The requirements for IT managers are as follows:
Education: A bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology or a related field is required. A master’s degree in business administration may also be necessary. Candidates should be familiar with the latest programming languages and have knowledge of computer hardware and networking.
Training: Once hired, an IT manager will generally need to complete additional training related to their role and the company’s specific policies and procedures. The training can be done either in-house or at an outside agency. Topics covered during this training may include: project management, networking, cybersecurity, business management and software applications.
Certifications & Licenses: Not all organizations require certifications or licenses from their IT managers. However, some employers may choose to do so in order to assess their employees’ abilities. Two popular certifications for current and aspiring IT managers include Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).
IT Manager Skills
IT managers should possess the following skills:
Organizational skills: IT managers must be able to organize tasks and projects in a way that is most efficient for the company.
Team leadership skills: IT managers must be able to lead teams of people and coordinate their efforts toward common goals.
Customer service skills: Customer service is crucial for an IT manager. If you’re not able to help clients with their computer problems, they won’t trust you or want to use your services again.
Business sense: IT managers must have an understanding of business and its objectives in order to prioritize work and determine how best to use resources.
Computer knowledge: IT managers must know how computers work so they can understand what problems might arise and how to fix them.
Analytical skills: The job requires an ability to make critical decisions based on facts and data.
IT Manager Work Environment
IT managers typically work in large offices with other IT specialists. Some spend their days working at computers, while others work on the phone or talking to clients about computer problems. They may also spend a good deal of time sitting in meetings and conferences with co-workers, clients, and vendors.
IT Managers often have a lot of responsibility, which can mean being available to workers during all hours of the day and night. When problems arise that need immediate attention, IT managers have to be able to address them quickly. In addition, because technology is always changing, they must be open to learning new systems and programs.
IT Manager Career Advancement
Advancing as an IT manager means taking on more responsibility and assuming a role with a larger scope of authority. For example, you could become a senior IT manager. In this position, you’ll oversee a team of other IT professionals and manage several projects simultaneously. You’ll need to excel at time management and delegation to meet the goals set forth by your higher ups.
If you’re looking to take on even more responsibility, you may want to consider becoming a vice president of IT. In this position, you’ll oversee all of the it functions of a company and be responsible for cutting edge initiatives. You’ll need to have a solid grasp on all of the latest IT initiatives and be able to communicate complex concepts to the C-suite and other executives.
IT Manager Trends
Here are three trends influencing how IT managers work. IT managers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.
Increased Importance of Cloud Technology
The transition to cloud-based technology is likely to continue, largely due to the increased ease of using online resources.
Cloud-based technology makes it easier for employees to work remotely and access resources without having to go through IT departments, allowing businesses to take advantage of more advanced solutions with fewer infrastructure costs.
Increasing Focus on Security
With more and more information being stored online, security will continue to be a top priority for IT managers. As companies and individuals store increasing amounts of data in the cloud, they will also look to IT managers to ensure that their private information is safe.
Increased Value of Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence, or EQ, is increasingly being recognized as a key trait for successful leaders and managers, who must be able to effectively manage and work with their teams.
Employees with higher EQs tend to feel more fulfilled in their jobs and stay longer at the company, both of which lead to increased revenue and reduced turnover costs.
While traditional education might focus on cognitive intelligence (IQ) as the primary measure of an employee’s value, those with high EQs tend to succeed in many different fields where emotional skills are essential for success.
How to Become an IT Manager
1. Planning Your Career Path
If you’re thinking about a career as an IT manager, it’s important to remember that technology is constantly evolving. It is crucial to keep up with new developments in your field and incorporate them into your business strategy accordingly.
For example, an IT manager for a financial services company might use data analysis software to improve the client experience; this could help the company better serve its customers and strengthen customer loyalty, leading to higher profits in the long run.
Of course, knowing what technologies are out there is only half of the battle; it’s also important to understand how they work and how they can be implemented effectively within a business setting. A background in computer science or engineering will be very helpful in this regard. If you aren’t sure where to start, consider reaching out to people in your industry or seeking some independent study through online courses.
2. Writing a Resume
The best resumes for an IT manager position should emphasize the applicant’s ability to interact with clients, provide solutions, and ensure that projects are completed on time. It is important to list the knowledge of your previous employers’ specific technologies, as well as your experience with managing technological resources.
When describing past work history, be sure to include details such as any projects you managed or participated in that were particularly successful. If you have developed processes or other improvements that allowed for more efficient operations at previous jobs, you can highlight these as well. Mention how you solved problems or challenges that arose during this time. If you have received any certifications or awards related to your field of expertise, be sure to include them.
3. Applying for Jobs
It’s important to maintain a high level of engagement with the tech community in your area. This will help you keep your ear to the ground for any new developments in the field. While networking is a great way to find leads on new jobs, don’t be afraid to reach out directly to organizations you’d like to work for.
You can also leverage social media and share stories and content related to the tech industry on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. There are many recruiters who specialize in IT, and a great way to apply is to register with them.
4. Ace the Interview
If you are applying for a job as an IT manager, be prepared to answer a variety of questions about your experience and expertise, as well as what you have been able to accomplish in the past. For example, you may be asked to share anecdotes from your previous work experiences that demonstrate how well you deal with people.
At the same time, it’s important that you emphasize why you would be a great fit for this specific company. Why? Because an IT manager is responsible for managing employees’ IT strategies and needs. If there is not a good fit between the company’s culture and your work style, it can make life difficult for everyone involved. So be sure to highlight how well-suited you are for the role.
In addition, it can’t hurt to familiarize yourself with some of the company’s industry trends and challenges before meeting with its management team. This will ensure that any questions they ask about their current issues will be answered quickly and confidently by someone who has done his or her homework.