How to Become a Computer and Information Systems Manager
A computer and information systems manager is the professional who supervises and oversees an organization’s information technology department. Their fundamental role is to ensure the computer system is running smoothly and efficiently. To become a computer and information systems manager it requires a mixture of education and work experience. Here is some information on how to become a computer and information systems manager.
Although computer and information systems (CIS) managers have been known to possess various degree levels, a bachelor’s degree is the most common. CIS managers may earn a degree in computer science information technology or information science. The degree level may vary from one individual to the next, but the courses are similar. As a student in a computer and information systems manager program, you can expect to take courses in:
- Software development
- Computer programming
- Data analysis and modeling
- Project management
- Network administration
As a candidate for a computer and information systems manager position, you’ll probably need to have several years of experience working in an information technology position. Although the lower-level positions may only require a couple of years, director positions may require from five to ten years or more.
In addition to having a degree and some work experience, computer and information systems managers should possess the following qualifications.
- Organizational skills
- Analytical skills
- Good communication skills
- Leadership skills
- Decision-making skills
- Business skills
Type of Degree Required
There are several different types and levels of degrees if you’re interested in a career as a computer and information systems manager. One of the most popular all-purpose degrees for aspiring computer and information systems managers is the Master of Business Administration (MBA).
This degree, along with many of the other degree options, can be taken online. It’s a popular choice because it will allow you to continue working while earning the degree. Here are a few of the many degree options that can be chosen for this career.
- Associate in Information Technology
- Associate in Science in Information Technologies
- Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology: Network Administration
- Associate in Science in Computer Information Technology
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Technology
- Bachelor of Science in Information Assurance and Security
- Bachelor of Science in Information Technology: IT Management
- Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Administration & Management
- Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and Security: Information Assurance & Cyber Security
- Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems
- Bachelor of Science in Information Technologies: Information Technology Management
- Master of Science in Information Systems: IT Project Management
- Master of Science in Information Technology: IT Management
- Master of Science in Cloud Security Risk Management
- Master of Science in Business Administration: Technology Management
- Master of Science in Information Technology: Project Management
As much as you may learn by completing a degree program, few things are as valuable as on-the-job training, which is usually accomplished by way of an internship. Working in an internship gives you the opportunity to work alongside a qualified CIS manager and learn from a true professional.
It will also give you the chance to work in specific areas in which you may choose to study. As an intern, you’ll also be able to build some networking contacts, which will be very helpful in your career. Internships are usually available to both bachelor and master’s degree students.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), CIS managers should see an 11 percent job growth during the 2018-2028 decade. As companies attempt to grow their networking capabilities and implement stronger cybersecurity, the need for qualified CIS managers will continue to grow, which will put these professionals very much in demand.
Graduates of CIS manager programs typically start off in lower- or entry-level management positions and work their way up the ladder in the IT department. After they’ve obtained work experience, they may advance to become a chief technology officer (CTO) or a chief information officer (CIO). Once they’ve obtained these positions, they’re generally in charge of all the IT-related decisions in the company and are considered top executives in the company with a fundamental role of maintaining the company’s computer system.
A computer and information systems manager has the potential to earn very good wages according to a May 2019 report by the BLS. Computer and information systems managers earned annual wages ranging from $87,480 to $185,610 with the average annual wage at $156,390 and the average hourly wage at $75.19. Certain factors can affect earning potential, including work experience, degree level, employer, and geographic location. Here are the five top-paying states for these professionals as well as the average annual wage in these states.
- New York – $190,390
- California – $185,640
- New Jersey – $181,620
- Virginia – $173,280
- Colorado – $172,810
Choosing a career as a computer and information systems manager can provide you with work that’s rewarding, challenging and lucrative. Another benefit of this occupation is that it can be obtained through various career paths. With the right combination of working experience and education you to could find yourself in your long term dream career.
How to Become a Computer and Information Systems Manager
- Get Educated
Most companies in IT require a formal education. It could be as simple as earning your certification or as difficult as earning a graduate degree.
- Get Working Experience
Employers also require work experience. Most people start by seeking an internship. No matter where you are in your journey learning from others can help you make all the right decisions.
- Progress in Your Career
Education and work experience alone wont help you become a CIS manager. Make sure that there is a clear path to success in every role you select. Having a great resume with an excellent track record makes earning this title much easier.