Support managers create and oversee technical solutions for a variety of different types of companies and organizations. They typically coordinate the activities of a company's IT department. They need at least a bachelor's degree in computer science, but should consider earning an MBA in a technology-related field of study for increased employment opportunities.
Support managers are responsible for the coordination of technical and information systems in an organization. They direct staff, determine necessary technology advances and educate employees on the use of software and hardware used in an organization's day-to-day operations. Support manager positions often require a bachelor's degree in computer science as well as several years of job experience in information technology. Many employers prefer a Master's of Business Administration (MBA) with a technology-related emphasis. Optional certifications specific to software and systems or in business management should also be considered.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree in computer science, MBA with technology-related emphasis preferred|
|Additional Requirements||Several years of job experience in information technology|
|Optional Certifications||Available for a host of software and systems as well as in business management|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||15% for computer and information systems managers*|
|Median Salary (2015)||$131,600 for computer and information systems managers*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job Description of a Support Manager
Support managers work with other management staff to determine and implement specific technical needs and priorities of an organization. Overseeing one or more information technology (IT) departments, support managers are responsible for maintaining a dynamic knowledge base of technical solutions to ensure that the organization's IT infrastructure is as efficient and productive as possible.
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Support Manager Job Duties
Support managers supervise the maintenance and security of technical services and information within an organization, as well as ensuring adequate training and abilities of IT employees. Information and technology services departments, including help desk support, network security administration and IT purchasing may have a single supervisor or a hierarchy of managers assigning tasks, executing projects or handling various IT operations. Often delegating duties, support managers are ultimately responsible for the performance of systems and employees. Some common functions of a support manager include:
- Coordinating IT projects
- Implementing new software and technologies
- Training subordinate and management staff
- Providing guidance for problems and questions
- Participating in business meetings
Educational and Skills Requirements of Support Managers
Employers often require a bachelor's degree in computer science or a similar field for support management roles. A master's degree, especially a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a technology-related emphasis, is extremely attractive to employers. Graduates of an MBA program with IT studies generally receive education with extensive business and management training, as well as technical proficiencies in networking, communications and business systems.
Often, employers prefer familiarity or expertise with specific software or technical resources utilized within their organization. Applicants may demonstrate this expertise by achieving professional certifications, which are usually offered through technology manufacturers or industry standards organizations. Certification in business management may also prove beneficial. Several years' experience in the technology or management fields is often required for support manager positions.
Salary and Employment Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected a 15% increase in employment of computer and information systems managers during the 2014-2024 decade. Additionally, the BLS reported that the median annual salary for computer and information systems managers was $131,600 as of May 2015.
Those who are interested in becoming a support manager should plan to earn at least a bachelor's degree if not an MBA. Earning professional certification can also be a good way to indicate technical skills needed for this type of job to potential employers. During the next decade, jobs in this field are expected to grow at a much faster rate than the national average.