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HOW TO BECOME
an IT Manager

There has never been a better time to learn how to become an IT manager. All companies need to organize their computer technology and information systems. It is the manager who makes sure that the organization’s information technology department is running seamlessly.

Because computer and information technology has become so central to how modern businesses operate, IT managers play a pivotal role in the day-to-day activities of the entire organization.

Some of the main benefits of becoming an IT manager are laid out below.

  • Information technology management is among the best tech jobs of 2021.
  • These professionals can work anywhere. All modern organizations rely heavily on information technology for their computing needs.
  • Most IT managers are satisfied with their jobs and have a good work-life balance.
  • They are paid well for their services. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, IT managers earn an average salary of $151,150 per year.
What Is Information Technology Management

What Is Information Technology Management?

Information technology management is the supervision of an organization’s hardware, software, and computer networks. It deals with staffing, organizing, and budgeting across various technical domains, including software development, network planning, and tech support.

All modern organizations use IT management to ensure the seamless operation of all systems, hardware, and software. All divisions of an organization, from production to accounting to security, benefit from competent leaders. By improving the information systems that companies use, IT management also improves worker efficiency.

What Do IT Managers Do?

IT managers oversee information technology in a business setting. They are in charge of coordinating, planning, and leading an organization’s computer-related activities. They solve IT problems as they arise and implement necessary changes to keep the organization’s systems in line with industry standards.

However, the scope of the job depends on the nature of the company. In some cases, it may be focused solely on computer networks. In other cases, the focus might be on telecommunications networks or other kinds of systems. That being said, there are a few responsibilities common to all or most IT managers.

IT Manager Job Description

A typical IT manager’s responsibilities are as follows.

  • Plans, controls, organizes and evaluates IT and electronic data operations
  • Designs develop and implements system policies to serve the company’s needs
  • Provides directions for IT staff members, including programmers, analysts, and support specialists
  • Monitors the performance of the information technology systems to determine their effectiveness
  • Makes recommendations to improve IT infrastructure
  • Troubleshoots hardware and software issues to diagnose problems and develop strategies to solve them
  • Works with other key members of the organization to determine IT requirements

What Are the Required Skills for IT Management Careers?

IT managerial positions require a mix of leadership skills and technical skills. You have to be able to communicate with everyone in the company, from the CEO to the newest hire. You should also be able to delegate tasks and meet key deadlines. Below are some of the most important skills you’ll need to develop.

Technical Skills

You’ll need solid technical skills to work in IT. For example, you might have to demonstrate your knowledge of computer languages, advanced algorithms, or assembly languages. Your technical expertise in these areas will allow you to allocate tasks to your team members according to their abilities.

Organizational Skills

The overall efficiency of the IT department depends on how the IT manager has organized the team to handle essential tasks. Managers are expected to set up IT strategies, delegate responsibilities, analyze business processes, and allocate financial resources.

Human Resources Skills

An IT manager must possess high-level people and management skills. You are the link between your team members and upper management. You may even have to relay the requests of your team members to other departments within the organization.

Project Management Skills

The efficiency of your team rests squarely on your shoulders. You must know how to break down a project into chunks, keep your team on task, meet deadlines, and adapt as necessary. To be a successful IT manager, therefore, you should learn project management.

Oral and Written Communication Skills

You should be able to present your ideas clearly, either on paper or in person. Expressing yourself well is a reflection of your managerial and decision-making ability, and it will instill confidence in your team.

How Much Do IT Managers Earn

How Much Do IT
Managers Earn?

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), the median salary for a computer and information systems manager is $151,150 per year. We can expect this figure to rise in the coming years due to the positive job outlook. BLS projects a 10 percent increase in the number of IT manager jobs between 2019 and 2029.

IT manager salaries vary by company and location. Below are their average earnings in different parts of the United States, according to salary data from Glassdoor. Averages are subject to change as more data becomes available.

City Average Salary
San Francisco, CA $132,557
Minneapolis, MN $118,544
Boston, MA $116,975
New York, NY $114,684
Philadelphia, PA $114,474
Atlanta, GA $113,872
Chicago, IL $113,715
Seattle, WA $112,783
Dallas, TX $111,885
Los Angeles, CA $110,326
Cleveland, OH $108,600
Portland, OR $108,408
Milwaukee, WI $105,596
Phoenix, AZ $101,581
Miami, FL $94,057

Just because IT managers start in managerial positions doesn’t mean there isn’t room to grow. As they gain more experience and skills, their earning potential increases. The largest rewards tend to accrue to the most experienced, as the following salary progression shows. Once again, averages are based on Glassdoor data.

Position Average Salary
Entry-Level (0-3 Years) $108,253 – $108,342
Mid-Career (4-9 Years) $95,915 – $101,852
Experienced (10-14 Years) $110,334
Late-Career (15+ Years) $118,531

IT Management Technologies and
Coding Languages

Below are some of the essential languages that IT managers need to know.

SQL

Databases are a crucial component of the IT infrastructure. All modern businesses use databases to manage their information networks, and managers have to sort through data from different parts of the organization. Learning SQL is what allows them to work directly with data, develop robust data strategies, and lead projects more efficiently.

JavaScript

JavaScript is the most popular coding language among developers. It is a text-based language that allows you to improve user experience by making web pages more interactive. Software developers also use it to build apps, web servers, and server applications. IT managers should learn JavaScript to understand what their teams are working on.

Python

Python is one of the easiest programming languages to learn. It is also hugely popular. IT managers employ this language to perform basic tasks like web programming, data science, data visualization, machine learning, and process automation. Having this skill on your resume will increase your chances of landing a job in the field.

HTML

HTML, short for HyperText Markup Language, is a programming language used to create web pages and applications. It’s what allows you to arrange the content on your web page the way you want it. You may have to use HTML for WordPress, creating newsletters, or designing emails. All of these tasks require basic HTML skills.

CSS

Knowledge of CSS, short for Cascading Style Sheets, is also a vital programming skill. CSS is used to manipulate the appearance and formatting of websites. It’s what dresses up websites with fancy fonts, rich colors, beautiful backgrounds, and animations.

How Can You Become an IT
Manager?

You need to have at least a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology or a related discipline to start your career as an IT manager. Internships are helpful, too, as they allow you to work with experts and gain hands-on experience. You should have technical expertise in computer hardware, software, and networking.

You should also have plenty of experience in IT. In most cases, employers choose candidates who have been working on IT teams for several years. There are many ways to learn IT management. A few of the most popular educational paths are outlined below.

IT Management Learning Paths

IT Management Bootcamps

Bootcamps provide an easy way to develop IT management skills. They are a great alternative to conventional education due to their flexibility and relatively low costs.

Depending on their availability and goals, students can choose an online, offline, part-time, or full-time program. If you want to sharpen your technical skills, apply for a coding boot camp. If you’re looking for managerial training, you should explore the best project management boot camps.

College/University

Several colleges offer degrees in information technology that could help you begin your career. Most bachelor’s degree programs take about four years to complete. Some programs include an internship requirement to help you gain experience.

Since many employers require candidates to have a bachelor’s degree, a college degree will give you increased access to job opportunities. It could be pricey, but it’s worth it. To get on a managerial career track, you might want to add a master’s degree or MBA to your resume.

Self-Study

If you prefer to learn the ropes of IT management on your own, you can take online courses or read books from the comfort of your home. Khan Academy, Enki, Mimi, Codeacademy, and edX are massive open online course (MOOC) platforms that you can use to learn.

Learning on your own has its limits. In most cases, it is more beneficial to learn in a classroom surrounded by peers who are working towards the same goal.

What Companies Are Hiring IT Managers?

According to BLS, the largest employers of IT managers are in tech, information services, manufacturing, and finance. Cisco Systems, IBM, NVIDIA, Google, Microsoft, ITC Infotech, HP, and the United States Air Force are among the top employers.

Overall, IT managers are in high demand. Virtually every modern organization needs a manager to oversee its information systems and technological resources.

FAQ

Do I need to have a master's degree to become an IT manager?

No, but a master’s degree can give you a competitive edge in your search for a job. While it is not among the basic requirements, it strengthens your CV and demonstrates your advanced knowledge of information technology in a business setting.

What is the job outlook for IT managers?

Currently, the job outlook looks good. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of computer and information technology system managers is expected to increase by 10 percent from 2019 to 2029. This is much faster than the average rate of growth across all occupations.

Do I need experience to become an IT manager?

Yes. Most companies require candidates to possess several years of experience in the field. It is almost impossible to become an IT manager straight out of college.

What do I need to study to become an IT manager?

You need to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Information Technology Management. Education in a field like software development, data science, or machine learning could also lead to a career.

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