Recently we discussed what information technology entails and what IT professionals do, and here, we’ll review how to become an IT manager.
This is an excellent career opportunity where you can apply your computer science knowledge to help organizations achieve their strategic objectives.
In this post we'll discuss why you should consider a career as an IT manager, what responsibilities you'll likely have in the role, why you should complete a degree program before attempting to enter the field, what you'll learn, and how to get started.
After you’ve learned everything you need to know about starting a career in this industry, fill out our information request form to receive additional details about our 100% online Master’s Degree in Information Technology Management.
If you’re ready to get started, submit your application today.
What Do IT Managers Actually Do?
Information Technology managers are responsible for handling all computer-related activities at an organization, which could include researching, planning, coordinating, and directing teams of IT professionals, or employees of the organization.
It may be helpful to think of the IT manager as the individual in charge of everything IT-related at an organization, as they’re often responsible for overseeing a series of IT tasks, including electronic data processing, information systems, systems analysis, and computer programming activities.
Accordingly, this is an extremely challenging and important role, requiring not just a great deal of knowledge about technology, but also an intimate understanding of the organization’s business strategy, goals, and needs.
If you’ve got excellent leadership skills, you’re willing to put in the time and effort needed to acquire a series of specialty skills, and your goal is to run all IT-related efforts for an organization, then you may want to consider pursuing a career in this field.
Is Becoming an IT Manager a Good Career Option?
Yes! This is a great opportunity for you to get involved in an interesting, challenging, and rewarding industry helping to improve complex technology products.
There are three specific reasons to consider getting into this field, including:
- This field is growing, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting that employment for the role of computer and information systems manager (a role similar to IT manager) will rise 11% between 2020 and 2030.
- IT managers get to play an important role in pushing the limits of technology, as they are responsible for ensuring a company's IT capabilities are aligned with strategic objectives.
- IT managers tend to earn excellent compensation packages, with competitive salaries and a high average annual income.
Knowing that the field is growing and that you’ll get to put your technology skills to use to ensure organizational success, why wouldn’t you want to get into the industry?
What Skills & Abilities are Needed to Become a Successful IT Manager?
As you can imagine, it takes certain abilities and skills to become a successful IT manager.
Some of these skills are highly technical, while others are focused on soft skills. Here is a look at some of the most important skills for this role:
- Technical aptitude. A deep understanding of computer science principles are essential for success as an IT manager.
- Problem-solving skills. In order to design effective solutions, IT managers must be able to identify and troubleshoot issues quickly.
- Logical thinking. The ability to think logically is essential in any career field but particularly so when working with computers and technology. IT managers must be able to reason through problems and come up with logical solutions that will meet the needs of their clients or employers as efficiently as possible.
- Communication. Successful communication is also key for IT managers since they will be responsible for leading a team, and often work closely with software developers, IT analysts, executives, and other employees within an organization or business setting.
- Analytical thinking. IT managers must be able to break down complex problems into smaller pieces that they can understand and solve
- Strong interpersonal skills: IT managers will need to be able to build positive relationships with employees and resolve any conflicts that may arise.
As the above list makes clear, the role of an IT manager requires one to have a wide range of different skills and abilities, and the best way to develop these skills is to earn a degree in IT management.
Do I Really Need a Degree to Become an IT Manager?
Yes, according to the BLS, anyone looking to land this job is likely to need not just a bachelor’s degree in information technology, but also related work experience.
BLS reports that many IT managers also hold graduate degrees, which is one of the reasons why this is such a competitive position and one that you probably won’t be able to land fresh out of a bachelor’s degree program.
However, as we already mentioned, getting your degree in IT management will set you up to eventually become an IT manager, as an M.S in IT Management will provide you with all the foundational knowledge, skills, and abilities you need to achieve success in the career path that funnels successful professionals into this role.
If you’re serious about becoming an IT manager, you should consider studying Information Technology Management with us at CSU Global. You’ll learn relevant skills, including:
- Aligning organizational and IT objectives to accomplish common strategic business goals.
- Demonstrating effective and efficient technological solutions for issues in a complex enterprise.
- Recommending and executing technology-based solutions that are aligned with the strategic and operational objectives of the organization.
- Evaluating the potential ethical and legal ramifications of information technology in a given environment.
- Communicating IT plans and recommendations to decision-making groups and other stakeholders.
As you might be able to tell already, the topics you’ll study in our online IT management program are perfectly suited to eventually landing a role as an IT manager, since we focus specifically on the skills you’ll need to succeed in this challenging role.
What Will I Learn When Studying Information Technology Management?
As a student in an IT program, you’ll develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to serve as an effective IT manager.
You’ll study and develop advanced computer, mathematics and business skills useful for solving complex organizational problems with information technology solutions, and you’ll graduate from the program prepared to provide real value to any IT department.
Some of the most important skills you’ll develop in an M.S. in IT Management program include:
- Assessing and defining the computing requirements needed to solve complex organizational problems.
- Designing, implementing, and evaluating computer-based systems, processes, components, and programs.
- Leveraging IT best practices for human-computer interactions, information management, programming, networking, and web systems and technologies.
- Understanding and identifying user needs when selecting, creating, evaluating, and administrating computer-based systems.
Completing an accredited IT program will thus ensure that you’re well-prepared to provide effective work in the IT field, but it will also improve your marketability when applying for IT positions.
What Can I Do to Increase My Chances of Success?
Completing a degree in IT management is certainly the best way to prepare for a successful career, but it’s not the only thing you can do to help improve your odds of achieving success.
According to Indeed.com, completing a related IT certification program could help you build key skills and acquire the hands-on experience you need to build a more compelling resume.
Indeed explains that the work you’ll do in a certification program will allow you to demonstrate your mastery of IT concepts and principles, helping make your application more competitive.
They suggest considering the following information technology certification programs:
- Certified Information Technology Manager (CITM)
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
- Project Management Professional (PMP)
- PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)
- Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)
- Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
- Six Sigma
- TOGAF 9
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
- Information Technology Management and Leadership Professional (ITMLP)
While you don’t necessarily need to complete a certification program to get a job as an IT manager, this is an incredibly competitive industry so you should consider doing anything you can to help make sure that your job applications stand out.
The amount of time and level of effort that you dedicate to developing your skills, abilities, and academic credentials could also not just help you get hired, but also improve the chances that you’ll be able to achieve success working in the field.
Should I Get My Degree Online?
Yes, no matter which higher education path you choose to pursue, we suggest getting your degree and credentials online rather than in person.
Studying online offers many benefits to in-person learning, but the most important is that it allows students access from anywhere at any time.
Online learning also gives you the flexibility to arrange your study schedule around your responsibilities, be that a full-time job, family commitments, or other important tasks.
CSU Global’s fully online programs also offer several other excellent benefits, including:
- No requirements to show up at set times or in physical locations.
- Monthly class starts.
- Accelerated courses.
If you're a working professional or you’ve got a busy family or social life, and you’ll need to balance other commitments with studying, then earning your degree online with us may be the ideal approach.
Why Should I Choose to Study at CSU Global?
CSU Global’s online Master’s Degree in IT Management program prepares students to meet the challenges they’ll face working in the field of information technology.
Our program is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and was designed to provide you with industry-relevant, workplace-related training and skills.
Our online M.S. in IT Management program has also won several top rankings, including two top-five awards:
- A #9 ranking for Cheap Master's in Management Information Systems Online from Best Value Schools
- A #9 ranking for Top 25 Best Value Online Master’s of Information Technology Programs for 2022 from Value Colleges
- A #11 ranking for 35 Best Online Master of Information Technology Degree Programs from Master's Program Guide
CSU Global itself is also regarded as an industry leader in higher education, and recently won several important awards, including:
- A #1 ranking for Best Online Colleges & Schools in Colorado from Best Accredited Colleges.
- A #1 ranking for Best Online Colleges in Colorado from Best Colleges.
- A #10 ranking for Best Online Colleges for ROI from OnlineU.
Finally, we offer competitive tuition rates, a tuition guarantee to ensure your rate won’t increase, and for our undergraduate programs, Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) to help save you time and money.
To get additional details about our fully-accredited online Master’s Degree in Information Technology Management, please give us a call at (800) 462-7845, or fill out our Information Request Form.
Ready to get started today? Apply now!