Most organizations have a team of workers in their IT department, and these workers are supervised by computer managers. These managers must be able to make quick decisions, lead others, solve problems, and communicate clearly. The standard academic requirement for the field is a bachelor's degree, though IT experience is essential.
Computer managers, often called information systems managers, are responsible for the computer and technology-related activities at their companies. They typically need knowledge in both computer technology and business practices. A bachelor's degree in a computer-related field is a common starting point for becoming a computer manager, though some employers also require candidates to hold a master's degree. Professional certifications may be helpful for career advancement, and work experience in the computer field is usually required.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree in computer science or other relevant area|
|Other Requirements||Related work experience|
|Certification||Voluntary certifications available|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||15%*|
|Median Salary (2015)||$131,600*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Computer managers handle a wide variety of tasks, including managing backup systems, providing technical support, coordinating projects and developing computer resources for the company. They also review new developments in technology and implement their use in the company. A computer manager may oversee a group of engineers, analysts and other IT professionals, as well as direct this staff in projects involving computer hardware and software, network security and technology updates.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that the median annual salary of computer and information systems managers was $131,600 as of May 2015; however, candidates with multiple years of experience and specific technical knowledge may be compensated more. As computer and Internet technology continue to play an increasingly prevalent role in many industries and businesses, the employment for computer managers is projected to grow 15% from 2014-2024, according to the BLS.
Most computer managers hold a bachelor's degree in a computer related field. Computer science, management information systems and information science are majors that provide an appropriate range of classes. These degree programs typically include classes in computer programming, computer science, computer engineering, mathematics and statistics. Because a computer manager must also have some business knowledge, many companies seek to hire a candidate with a Master of Business Administration (MBA). MBA programs include advanced classes in management, finance, marketing and accounting.
Experience and Optional Certification
Because computer managers deal with many different types of tasks, companies often seek to hire individuals with several years of experience in a related field. Detailed knowledge of specific computer programs may also be helpful in obtaining a computer manager position. Many hardware and software companies also offer program-specific certifications. Though voluntary, computer managers may choose to earn certification to prove knowledge in various areas. Additionally, experience in an office setting may demonstrate the candidate's ability to work well with others and efficiently manage a staff.
Computer managers perform a wide range of duties, including managing projects, monitoring backup systems, and delegating duties to team members. Before becoming managers, most computer professionals gain training from undergraduate degree programs in computer-related fields, and they also acquire years of work experience in the tech industry. Graduate degrees in business administration and experience in leadership roles may also prepare individuals to become computer managers.