Computer and Information Systems Managers

by Kate Williams

What Computer and Information Systems Managers Do

Computer and information systems managers plan, coordinate, and direct computer-related activities in an organization.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQmsKH7mIqo

Work Environment

Most computer and information systems managers work full time. Some work more than 40 hours per week.

How to Become a Computer and Information Systems Manager

Typically, candidates need a bachelor’s degree in computer or information science and related work experience. Many computer and information systems managers also have a graduate degree.

Pay

The median annual wage for computer and information systems managers was $146,360 in May 2019.

Job Outlook

Employment of computer and information systems managers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for computer and information systems managers will grow as firms increasingly expand their business to digital platforms.

Computer and information systems managers, often called information technology (IT) managers or IT project managers, plan, coordinate, and direct computer-related activities in an organization. They help determine the information technology goals of an organization and are responsible for implementing computer systems to meet those goals.

Duties

Computer and information systems managers typically do the following:

  • Analyze their organization’s computer needs and recommend possible upgrades for top executives to consider
  • Plan and direct the installation and maintenance of computer hardware and software
  • Ensure the security of an organization’s network and electronic documents
  • Assess the costs and benefits of new projects and justify funding on projects to top executives
  • Learn about new technology and look for ways to upgrade their organization’s computer systems
  • Determine short- and long-term personnel needs for their department
  • Plan and direct the work of other IT professionals, including computer systems analysts, software developers, information security analysts, and computer support specialists
  • Negotiate with vendors to get the highest level of service for the organization’s technology

Few managers carry out all of these duties. There are various types of computer and information systems managers, and the specific duties of each are determined by the size and structure of the firm. Smaller firms may not employ every type of manager.

The following are examples of types of computer and information systems managers:

Chief information officers (CIOs) determine the technology or information goals of an organization and then oversee implementation of technology to meet those goals.

CIOs may focus on a specific area, such as electronic data processing or information systems, but CIOs tend to focus more on long-term or big picture issues. At small organizations a CIO has more direct control over the IT department, and at larger organizations other managers under the CIO may handle the day-to-day activities of the IT department.

CIOs who do not have technical expertise and who focus solely on a company’s business aspects are included in top executives.

Chief technology officers (CTOs) evaluate new technology and determine how it can help their organization. When both CIOs and CTOs are present, the CTO usually has more technical expertise.

The CTO usually reports directly to the CIO and is responsible for designing and recommending the appropriate technology solutions to support the CIO’s policies and directives. CTOs also work with different departments to implement the organization’s technology plans.

When a company does not have a CIO, the CTO determines the overall technology strategy for the firm and presents it to top executives.

IT directors, including management information systems (MIS) directors, are in charge of their organizations’ information technology (IT) departments, and they directly supervise other employees. IT directors help to determine the business requirements for IT systems, and they implement the policies that have been chosen by top executives. IT directors often have a direct role in hiring members of the IT department. It is their job to ensure the availability of data and network services by coordinating IT activities. IT directors also oversee the financial aspects of their department, such as budgeting.

IT security managers oversee their organizations’ network and data security. They work with top executives to plan security policies and promote a culture of information security throughout the organization. They develop programs to keep employees aware of security threats. These managers must keep up to date on IT security measures. They also supervise investigations if there is a security violation.

Computer and information systems managers held about 461,000 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of computer and information systems managers were as follows:

Computer systems design and related services 22%
Information 11
Finance and insurance 11
Management of companies and enterprises 9
Manufacturing 7

Work Schedules

Most computer and information systems managers work full time. If problems arise, managers may need to work more than 40 hours a week to come up with solutions.

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of computer and information systems managers.

Occupation Job Duties Entry-Level Education Median Annual Pay, May 2019

Computer and Information Research Scientists

Computer and information research scientists invent and design new approaches to computing technology and find innovative uses for existing technology.

Master’s degree $122,840

Computer Network Architects

Computer network architects design and build data communication networks, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and Intranets.

Bachelor’s degree $112,690

Computer Hardware Engineers

Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop, and test computer systems and components.

Bachelor’s degree $117,220

Computer Programmers

Computer programmers write and test code that allows computer applications and software programs to function properly.

Bachelor’s degree $86,550

Computer Systems Analysts

Computer systems analysts study an organization’s current computer systems and find a solution that is more efficient and effective.

Bachelor’s degree $90,920

Database Administrators

Database administrators (DBAs) use specialized software to store and organize data.

Bachelor’s degree $93,750

Network and Computer Systems Administrators

Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of computer networks.

Bachelor’s degree $83,510

Software Developers

Software developers create the applications or systems that run on a computer or another device.

Bachelor’s degree $107,510

Top Executives

Top executives plan strategies and policies to ensure that an organization meets its goals.

Bachelor’s degree $104,690

Web Developers

Web developers design and create websites.

Associate’s degree $73,760

For more information about computer careers, visit:

Association for Computing Machinery

CompTIA

Computing Research Association

IEEE Computer Society

For more information about opportunities for women pursuing information technology careers, visit:

National Center for Women & Information Technology

CareerOneStop

For a career video on computer and information systems managers, visit

Computer and information systems managers

O*NET

Computer and Information Systems Managers


Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Computer and Information Systems Managers,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm (visited ).


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