What is an IT Manager?
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An IT manager is someone who is responsible for the overall performance of a company's electronic networks and leads the IT department in fulfilling the organization’s information systems requirements. Focusing on a company's in-house computer networks may involve selecting the hardware and software that is needed for the network, updating internal servers, or looking at other electronic support systems that can improve worker's productivity.
How to Become an IT Manager
What does an IT Manager do?
Most IT managers are fully trained and capable of handling any IT task; from evaluating new hardware, to assisting, to running cables for the creation of new work areas.
An IT manager often recruits and trains system administrators, computer programmers, and database administrators. By consulting with upper-management, an IT manager can determine the organization's IT needs and can then lead their staff in a specific and strategic project. These projects typically adhere to a designated budget and timeline.
The exact scope of an IT manager's responsibilities varies from one setting to another. In some companies, the focus is strictly on computer networks. At other companies, the focus may be on the creation or upgrade of telephone systems and other electronic support systems connected with the company operation. Along with helping to establish the overall structure of the company network, an IT manager would also oversee the routine maintenance of the system. This would mean regular testing to ensure that all components are functioning at maximum efficiency.
IT Management Skills:
- Attract, motivate, coach and develop team members for high performance
- Communicate, present, and speak senior management language
- Influence, build relationships, navigate politics, negotiate, manage conflicts
- Understand strategy, business functions, decision-making and workflow
- Budget, forecast, manage cash flow, understand financial statements
- Plan and manage successful projects, manage risks, costs, time and project teams
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How to Become an IT Manager
Educational requirements for IT managers typically include a bachelor's or a master’s degree in computer science, engineering, information science, management information systems or other related majors. A master's degree can help IT managers gain promotions to more senior-level roles. With advanced education, these professionals may go on to become chief information officers or chief technology officers. Several years of experience (at least five years) in computer programming, systems analysis, software engineering and data administration are also required.
While acquiring the work experience needed to become an IT manager, individuals may want to obtain professional certification that can demonstrate their skill and knowledge in software programs, systems and applications. Apple, Microsoft and Cisco offer certification programs, and industry groups, such as the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) offers certification at the mastery, professional, specialty and basic levels.
What is the workplace of an IT Manager like?
IT managers are typically located onsite for the companies they work for, although a few work remotely. Even though most IT managers are able to execute the various jobs of the workers they supervise, they are more likely to be caught in a meeting room than a server room. Working overtime is common in this field.