Career Definition for a Computer Systems Manager
A computer systems manager is trained in computer systems management technology and works at a strategic and supervisory level, overseeing the application of technology for the employer's business. Computer systems managers may work in almost any environment where computer technology is relied upon for its daily operations. Responsibilities of a computer systems manager may include training staff, troubleshooting, and installation and maintenance of hardware and software for a multi-user computer system. A computer systems manager is relied upon to keep things working smoothly and improve the way an organization utilizes technology.
|Education||Bachelor's degree; MBA with a technology component helpful|
|Job Skills||Analytical, communication, mechanical and problem solving skills|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$139,220 (all computer and information systems managers)|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||12% (all computer and information systems managers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The level of education required for a career in computer systems management depends greatly upon the career goals of the student. An associate degree in computer technology or a related field might be adequate to gain experience in stepping-stone roles such as network administrator, database specialist or computer support. To be employed in a management position, a bachelor's degree will be necessary and an MBA with a core technology component could be helpful.
Those desiring a career in computer systems management should have strong analytical skills, be mechanically and technologically adept and enjoy problem solving. A willingness to train others and familiarity with network email is also helpful.
Career and Economic Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) states that salaries for computer and information systems managers vary by specialty and level of authority; however, the median salary in May 2017 was listed at $139,220. Furthermore, the Bureau projects employment in the occupation to grow faster than the national average, at 12%, from 2016-2026.
An education in computer systems and/or management can prepare you for a variety of similar occupations, including computer system analysis and administrative services management.
Computer Systems Analyst
For those interested in helping organizations create their computer infrastructure but who don't want a lot of management responsibilities, a career in computer systems analysis might be the right fit. Computer systems analysts work with management to determine computer needs. They then look at existing technology and decide what should be modified or replaced. Studying costs, overseeing the setup of equipment, performing tests and writing end-user documentation are among the additional job duties for systems analysts. To enter the field, a bachelor's degree in a computer-related area of study is generally the norm, but requirements vary depending on the employer. Business coursework could also be very beneficial and provide a competitive advantage. BLS data from 2017 shows the median salary of computer analysts to be $88,270 per year. The BLS also predicted the creation of about 54,400 new jobs in this field between 2016 and 2026, an increase of 9%.
Administrative Services Manager
If a management position in a less technical field is desired, consider becoming an administrative services manager. These managers are in charge of the support activities at an office or other facility. They ensure that regulations are adhered to, in addition to managing records, supervising support personnel, creating budgets, buying supplies and implementing company policies. Although someone with a high school diploma and years of experience may obtain a management position, a bachelor's degree in a business or engineering field is usually necessary to enter this profession. Professional certification is also available for workers seeking career advancement. According to the BLS, employment growth of 10% is projected for administrative services managers during the 2016-2026 decade. These managers earned a median income of $94,020, as seen in 2017 BLS figures.