Computer Systems Managers
Computer systems managers, also known as computer and information systems managers, have an important role in the implementation of technology in their company or organization. They direct and oversee a company's computer-related activities. They manage Internet and computer operations, create business plans, direct the flow of work and assign projects to workers.
They plan and oversee the installation and upgrading of software and hardware, the development of computer networks, programming and systems design, and the implementation of Internet and intranet sites. Computer systems managers are involved with the maintenance and security of networks.
Computer and information systems managers typically oversee the work of systems analysts, support specialists, computer programmers and other computer related employees. They typically report to top management personnel.
Computer and information systems managers should have a comprehensive working knowledge of system analysis and programming. Computer systems managers should have advanced technical knowledge. They need the skills to translate the requirements of individual departments into an effective computer operation. Computer systems managers need to stay current with the latest developments in computers.
Those with the job title of Chief Technology Officer evaluate the latest technologies and decide how they can improve their organization. The Director of Information Technology oversees a company's computing resources. They ensure the security and availability of data and information technology services.
- Make sure departments have the required personnel and equipment to process information
- Develop budgets
- Plan for new equipment purchases
- Evaluate and approve systems charts and programs before they are implemented
- Assign tasks to personnel
- Review the performance of personnel
- Stay current with the latest technology
- Provide data security
- Review project plans in order to plan and organize project activity
Those in computer systems management positions spend most of their time working in offices. They work at least 40 hours per week and sometimes they have to work in the evenings and during the weekends in order to meet deadlines or to fix problems. They often communicate with department managers that have computer and network systems.
Those in computer systems management positions should have leadership skills. They also need to be detailed oriented, have good communication and organizational skills and be good at making assessments.
The employment growth rate for computer and information systems managers is projected to be 16% between 2006 and 2016, which is faster than average for all occupations. In order to stay competitive, companies will need to continue to install complicated computer networks and create more complex web sites and intranet. Also, just about every organization needs to keep their computer network performing smoothly. Also, the increasing importance of security should increase the need of computer managers.
The median annual earnings for computer systems managers in 2006 was $101,580. In descending order, the median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of computer systems managers are computer systems design and related services, management of company enterprises, data processing, hosting and related services and insurance carriers.
Computer and information systems managers are selected from the companies systems analysts and programmers or sometimes they're hired from outside the company. Some information technology companies have an executive training program. Those in computer systems management positions may move up to chief technology officer and then advance to chief information officer.
Education, Certification, and Licensing
Computer and information systems managers typically have technical knowledge and a solid foundation of business and management principles. Typically a bachelor's degree and numerous years of experience are necessary for the position. Many companies provide training programs for their computer personnel.
Some of the important college subjects are programming, mathematics and business. Some universities provide a degree in management information systems.
Some employers prefer to hire a person that has an MBA with technology as a main component, especially employers at large companies. However, in small companies, employees without degrees that have programming knowledge can move up to a computer and information systems manager position.
Employers often seek candidates that have experience with the particular software or technology utilized by the company and have experience in business management or consulting.
Although certification is not essential for most computer and information systems manager jobs, certification can be useful in finding employment. The certifications are usually product specific and are typically administered by hardware or software firms.
- Association of Information Technology Professionals
- International Association for Computer Information Systems
- International Association of Computer Science and Information Technology
The primary employers are manufacturing companies, government, insurance companies, industry and educational institutions.
Schools for Computer Systems Managers are listed in the Browse Schools Section.