A computer and information systems (CIS) manager coordinates and directs a company's or organization's computer-related activities. He or she may go by one of several titles, each with different responsibilities. For example a chief information officer (CIO) oversees an entity's entire technology strategy. A chief technology officer (CTO) evaluates new technology to determine how it can benefit an organization. An IT (information technology) director manages an IT department. An IT security manager is responsible for network and data security.
Computer and information systems managers held about 333,000 jobs in 2012. Most work in the computer systems design, finance and insurance, and information industries. Jobs are typically full time positions with overtime as needed.
Most employers will only hire computer systems managers who have at least a bachelor's degree with a computer science or information science major. Many others prefer employees who have earned a graduate degree, specifically a master's degree in business administration (MBA) with technology as a core component.
In addition to a degree, employers usually hire job candidates who have several years of experience working in information technology. Computer and information systems managers also need certain soft skills, or personal qualities, to succeed in this field. Strong interpersonal, communication and leadership skills will allow them to be good managers. They must have strong analytical and decision-making skills as well.
Computer and information systems managers start out in lower level management positions and advance to progressively higher leadership roles. For example an IT director may become a chief technology officer and eventually an organization's chief information officer.
Employment of computer and information systems managers is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2022 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
How Much Do Computer and Information Systems Managers Earn?:
In 2012, computer and information systems managers earned a median annual salary of $120,950 (US).
A Day in a Computer and Information Systems Manager's Life:
These are some typical job duties taken from online ads for computer and information systems manager positions, found on Indeed.com:
- Develop strategy and roadmaps for business applications and for all business applications support.
- Lead cross functional multi-site projects.
- Manage the day to day operations and health of company PCs and Laptops.
Chief Technology Officer
- Provide visible technical leadership for the company and within the technology community
- Set IT direction.
- Meet regularly with department heads to ensure accountability regarding all office and department initiatives and projects.
Chief Information Officer
- Participate as a member of the senior management team in governance processes of the organization’s information systems architecture, telecommunications, networks, programming, media, and desktops.
- Lead innovative thought to make technology a company competitive advantage, particularly for cloud-based and mobile platforms.
- Manage operational and capital technology budgets.
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Computer and Information Systems Managers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm (visited January 29, 2014).
Employment and Training Administration, US Department of Labor, O*NET Online, Computer and Information Systems Managers, on the Internet at http://online.onetcenter.org/link/details/11-3021.00 (visited January 29, 2014).