Technology Careers

Career in Technology Management
Day in the life of a Director of Information Technology

Name:
Lindsey Evans
IT Specialty:
Technology Management
Job Title:
Director of Information Technology
Company:
IGH Solutions, and division of Taylor Corporation.
Degree:
Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Systems

Q. Do you feel your degree adequately prepared you for your technology career?
A. My degree did not prepare me for the specific applications I would be using, but it did prepare me for the general skills and concepts with which I would be working, including:

  • Database concepts
  • SQL (which is transferrable between many database platforms)
  • Program design
  • Project Management
  • Business Analyst methodologies

Q. Do you have any certifications in addition to your degree?
A. ITIL certification

Q. Have the extra certifications you’ve received prepare you for your IT career?
A. I don’t have that many certificates, but employees who do have them are more valuable and better prepared for the work they are going to do.

Q. How many years have you been in the IT field?
A. 11 years

Q. Have you ever worked in a field outside IT?
A. Ha ha!! Does 4 years serving steaks and 1 year as morning show co-host on a hard rock radio station count???

Q. In what way did working in other fields prepare you for the IT field?
A. Everything I need to know about customer service, I learned as a waitress. Seriously--I’m not even kidding.

Q. What personality traits and skills do you possess that you feel help you in your specific IT field?
A. Flexibility, adaptability, a visionary, a planner, and exceptional communication skills. Personable and able to relate to people and work with different kinds of people (sales reps vs. accountants vs. executives, etc…)

Q. What steps does someone go through to get a job in this field?
A. Gain several years of experience in one or more of the specific areas of IT. Network administration, database management, software development, etc… My experience was in Programming and Database Design. During that timeframe, build up a network of professional associates. Make contacts in other companies (vendors, customers, even competitors). Keep in touch with those contacts even as they move jobs. Also, get involved in the other areas of your business.

Q. What are ways to advance in your field?
A. Certifications are good to have, but most especially those related to management. ITIL certification is a very good, applicable certification for Technology Management. If you already have a Bachelor’s degree, many companies will help pay the cost of obtaining an MBA in Technology Management. Some companies reward this accomplishment.

Q. What is the most enjoyable thing about your job?
A. Being able to coach and develop other people and help them become leaders in their technology field.

Q. What is the biggest challenge regarding your job?
A. No matter what company / industry you’re in, Technology leaders need to be aware and remember that they provide a support service to the company. We have to always be trusted consultants to the other areas of the company (Sales, Operations, Marketing, and Finance).

Q. What are your daily tasks like?
A. The thing I like most about my job is that I can never predict what I will be doing tomorrow. Activities range from:

  • Meet with employees to set goals, review performance, and manage expectations.
  • Meet with internal customers to identify business needs, gather requirements and brainstorm how technology could be applied to meet those needs.
  • Meet with external customers to represent our company’s technology capabilities.
  • Use technology tools to implement solutions (performing data processing, configuring custom forms and tools, programming custom applications)
  • Meet with external vendors to define requirements for outsourced solutions.
  • Work with the senior leadership team of our company to set long-term company strategy and objectives.
  • Damage control and troubleshooting urgent needs and issues.

Q. What skills do you use at work?
A. Communication (written and verbal), presentation and public speaking, strategic planning, system design, hiring, coaching, goal setting, delegation, mentoring, problem solving and troubleshooting, listening, planning and organization, writing evaluations.

Q. What percentage of your day do you spend working independently or in a group?
A. 80% group, 20% independently

Q. What is one thing you didn’t know about your field before getting into it that you wish you had known?
A. The late hours that would be required!!

Q. If you were a person getting ready to choose an IT major for college, what advice/guidance would you give them to help them decide between all the fields?
A. If you are extremely detail-oriented and prefer working with computers more so than people, become a programmer or network administrator. If you’re a big-picture visionary and prefer working with people more so than computers, become a manager, supervisor, project manager or business analyst.

Q. Why do you feel Information Technology is THE field to be in?
A. “If knowledge is power, then the most powerful people in the world are people who know how to turn raw data into useful knowledge.”