Career: Computer and Information Systems Managers

How are worms different from viruses, and how can we protect our computer networks against them? Is the latest technology worth paying top dollar for? What’s the best way to sell products online? The computer questions facing businesses are many — that’s no surprise. But it may surprise you to know that it takes more than computer genius to answer them.

Computer and information systems managers coordinate the work of computer professionals and help top managers make crucial business decisions. And, in some cases, they are top managers.

Computer and information systems managers supervise computer professionals as well as technology projects big and small.

Did You Know?

As a manager, you’ll need great people skills.

Are You Ready To…?

  • Oversee a staff of computer programmers and systems analysts
  • Keep technical projects on schedule and under budget
  • Consult with business executives to determine their computer needs
  • Manage the upgrade of information technology (IT) systems
  • Decide which and how much computer technology to buy
  • Come up with ideas for new and improved computer products
  • Troubleshoot network problems

It Helps To Be…

A great communicator and a technology nut. Computer technology is evolving at astonishing speeds, and it’ll be part of your job to keep up with the changes.

Make High School Count

  • Take calculus.
  • Get a head start in computer science.
  • Sign up for business classes. Employers look for managers who know as much about business as they do about computers.
  • Build great communication skills in English, speech, and drama.
  • Take a foreign language. Some of your clients might not speak English.
  • Volunteer in the school computer lab or at a library, and practice teaching others about computers.

Did You Know?

The Internet is the world’s largest WAN (wide-area network).

Outlook

Government economists predict that jobs for computer and information systems managers will grow about as fast as the average for all careers through 2020. These workers will be needed as companies continue to upgrade their computer networks and improve their computer system security. Computer and information systems managers should be especially in demand in the health care industry. For the best opportunities, keep up with the latest technology — things change fast in this field.

Compensation

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the average yearly salary in 2011 for computer and information systems managers was $125,660.

But salaries range widely depending on employer. Managers working for colleges and universities earned an average of $103,460, for example, while those working for securities and commodity exchanges earned $156,180.

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