If you like computers and are a good manager, a career as a technical manager may be for you. Technical managers lead teams that support technology in a corporate environment. They may also support the infrastructure that runs the computer network and keeps it secure.
Technical managers, also known as computer and information systems (CIS) managers, are at the forefront of technology in an organization. They work with other departmental managers to ensure their team's technological developments align with the company's goals. These professionals typically must have a bachelor's degree in a field related to computer technology, though some employers may accept candidates with an associate's degree and similar work experience.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree in computer technology or similar field; associate's degree with previous experience may also be acceptable|
|Other Requirements||Flexible schedule and strong communication skills|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||15% for all computer and information systems managers|
|Mean Salary (2015)*||$141,000 for all computer and information systems managers|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Technical Manager Job Description
Technical managers are integral to the overall development and success of their workplaces. These CIS managers create company software and ensure the safety of its networks. In addition to managing software and hardware installation and upgrades, technical managers create and maintain an organization's internal and external sites.
Long hours and strict deadlines are common for technical managers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that flexibility and communication may also be needed as managers must work within strict budgets and may encounter unforeseen technical problems (www.bls.gov). Technical managers may have to communicate remotely or with remote employees, according to the BLS.
Technical managers may also be tasked with the following:
- Provide support to users with computer or other technical difficulties
- Hire and train staff or help make hiring decisions
- Supervise information technology (IT) staff
- Consider project proposals and evaluate feasibility
- Generate ideas for improving technical products
Technical Manager Requirements
The BLS notes that while a graduate degree is preferable, most technical managers need only a bachelor's degree in a field based in computer technology. CIS managers may consider a four-year program with a major in management information systems (MIS) or computer or information science. However, some managers are able to obtain positions with an associate's degree and work experience, the BLS states, often continuing their education while on the job.
Continuing education can be found through a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis in technology program that covers related coursework in areas such as marketing, administration, finance and database and systems management. The BLS also notes that additional expertise can be gained through experience or certification with specific products, which can also increase chances of employment.
Technical Manager Career Information
The BLS reported that technical managers accounted for approximately 341,250 jobs in 2015. Technical managers usually work as contractors for financial, government, and manufacturing institutions, among other large businesses and organizations. With growing IT departments, the need for technical managers is great, and BLS statistics project that CIS manager job openings will increase by 15% from 2014 to 2024. Compensation differs based on amount of responsibility and specialization. CIS managers earned an average yearly income of $141,000 as of May 2015, according to the BLS.
Technical managers are required to hold a bachelor's degree in a computer related field. A master's degree may be a requirement for some positions and may aid with career advancement. The job growth outlook for technical managers far outpaces the job market as a whole according to the BLS.