IT Risk Manager: Salary, Job Description & Courses

IT risk managers work closely with the IT department to secure information, and they also develop strategies to minimize a variety of risks to their company. Learn more about what they do, what they earn and what courses they might take to pursue this career.

Career Definition of an IT Risk Manager

IT risk managers play a key role in overseeing the use of technology within a company. Their role includes identifying potential risks and developing protocols that staff must follow to reduce or manage those risks. Part of their job involves ensuring that IT systems are structured in a way that is effective for the company's business goals. IT risk managers then monitor the IT systems to ensure that they are secure, and, if an attack occurs, it is their responsibility to make sure that the systems are not breached.

IT risk managers are not simply focused on external threats to data. They manage all relevant risk factors, such as the risk of a system failure or loss of data. They also consider things such as reputational risk and may play an active role in creating and implementing policies that are designed to demonstrate compliance with industry regulations. The specific nature of the risks that an IT risk manager handles may vary from industry to industry. Those who work in the banking sector, for example, will need to be familiar with applicable banking regulations and how they impact the information technology department.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree
Job Skills Communication skills, computer skills, analytical skills, leadership skills, interpersonal skills, business skills, organizational skills, problem-solving skills
Median Salary (2018)* $118,595
Job Outlook (2016-2026)** 12% (for all computer and information systems managers)

Sources: *PayScale.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

It is common for aspiring IT risk managers to study information technology, computer science or a related field while earning a bachelor's degree, although employers may also consider applicants with a degree in business or finance. Some common courses that an aspiring IT risk manager might take include data analytics, various computer programming languages, computer system security, information security and human-computer interaction. More advanced courses with a focus on IT risk management may include information security strategy design, risk management assessment and disaster recovery.

Since IT risk managers can be employed in a wide range of industries, including banking and finance, they may also need to be familiar with regulations applicable to the industry they are seeking work in. Many employers seek applicants who have significant practical experience, such as 6-10 years, and some may prefer applicants with a master's degree.

Required Skills

Computer skills are essential for this information technology position. Additionally, IT risk managers need to have analytical skills in order to assess information and identify potential risks. They also need problem-solving skills to be able to determine how to reduce those risks. Communication skills are important, because they must develop clear protocols, inform management about potential risk issues and relay information about policy changes effectively. Business skills are also important, because IT risk managers operate in a business environment and must consider business goals and objectives when determining how IT systems should operate or what guidelines should be in place to protect the company.

Career Outlook and Salary

As of 2018, PayScale.com reported that the annual median salary for IT risk managers was $118,595. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides data for IT risk managers as part of its listing for computer and information systems managers. From 2016 to 2026, the BLS expects computer and information systems managers to enjoy a job growth rate of 12%. This is faster than the average job growth rate for all occupations expected during this ten-year period.

Related Careers

Individuals considering a career as an IT risk manager may also be interested in other careers in the IT field, especially those focused on security. Links are listed here that connect to information about some other IT careers that aspiring IT risk managers may also wish to consider pursuing.

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