Support Manager: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a support manager. Get an overview of the requirements as well as details about education, job duties and possible certifications to determine if this is the career for you.

Essential Information

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 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 (2012-2022) 15% for computer and information systems managers*
Average Annual Salary (2013) $132,570 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.

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 2012-2022 decade. Additionally, the BLS reported that the average annual salary for computer and information systems managers was $132,570 as of May 2013.

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