According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2006 to 2016, IT jobs "are projected to grow more than twice as fast as the average for all occupations."
Overall job responsibilities
With the growth of all IT jobs, technology manager jobs will also continue to be in abundance. IT Managers are responsible for identifying and deciding which projects will be undertaken by the company. They also make sure the goals, projected budget, and timeline for all IT projects fit with the overall technology and business strategy of the company. The IT Manager is then responsible for providing appropriate resources to complete all approved IT projects, which includes personnel (programmers, project managers, business analysts, etc.), hardware and software systems, defining an appropriate development methodology, selecting vendors if necessary, and making sure all of those resources are most efficiently applied to complete the goals of the project. Most importantly, the IT Manager has to manage the portfolio of projects as a whole Ė making sure all of the IT projects are working towards the accomplishment of business objectives and communicating the value, status, and impact to the other business leaders of the company.
Managing IT Employees
Another component of a technology management job is, of course, the management of IT employees. Most IT managers handle the hiring and terminating of employees, conduct their performance reviews, and handle damage control when an employee is not meeting their set expectations.
Representative of companyís technology capabilities
Typically IT Management also involves meeting and working with other managers throughout the organization to discuss business needs and ways the IT department can better aid in the companyís success. IT Managers serve as the liaison between the IT Department and the rest of the company, making sure the departmentís goals are aligned with company objectives. But IT Managers donít just serve as a representative of the IT department, they also serve as a spokesperson of the companyís technology capabilities overall.
Meeting with external clients
Another facet of an IT Managerís job is meeting with external customers to explain the companyís technology capabilities. IT Managers oftentimes have to meet with external vendors to discuss projects that need to be outsourced.
Who would be a good fit for this career?
Although many positions in the IT field are a better fit for individuals who enjoy working independently, IT Management jobs are best suited for those who enjoy working with others. These positions involve working one-on-one with others, or in larger groups, more often than independently. Being a successful IT Manager means having effective communication skills, including public speaking, along with organization and time management skills. Being able to address any problems or issues with employees in a direct and effective way is another important quality to have in this field. If you are the type of person who loves technology but thrives on working with others, this field may be a perfect fit for you.
In terms of travel involved for this field, some IT Managers have to do a lot of travel, especially if they manage multiple locations, whereas other IT Managers have essentially no travel involved in their job. So it varies depending on the company you work for.
How to Become an IT Manager
Oftentimes those interested in becoming an IT manager will enter the IT field as a software developer, web designer, database administrator, or any other IT specialty. Many times these individuals will earn their masterís degree while working in the IT field, so they are able to excel into IT Management. While having a masterís degree is not essential, it definitely helps make you more competitive when applying for management positions.
IT Managers usually do not go straight from earning a college degree to being an IT Manager. Like most corporate jobs, they have to ďclimb the ladderĒ per say and put in their time in a lower profile IT job and prove that they can handle management responsibilities. Sometimes these individuals will move into IT Project Management to see how they handle managing a project, before they are given responsibilities to manage employees. There are fewer jobs for IT Managers than other IT jobs since typically only one manager is needed for a whole team of IT professionals.
There are specific IT Management degree programs available for those pursuing this career.
ITIL Certification, which stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, can be a useful certificate for individuals in the IT Management field to obtain. This certificate assists IT Managers in separating administrative tasks from technical tasks so the most appropriate resources are assigned. Technical support performance is able to be better measured by this method. There are three levels of ITIL Certification: Foundation Certificate, Practitionerís Certificate, and Managerís Certificate.
Day in the Life of an IT Manager
Below are examples of individuals who have careers in IT Management and their experiences and viewpoints about the field.
- Lindsey Evans -Director of Information Technology
- Tina Rice -Associate Director of Information Technology
Other IT Management Categories
To learn more about IT Management careers, degrees, schools, and salaries, visit the following links/pages.