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What Do IT Managers Do? Here’s What to Know Before You Become One

UW Online Collaboratives May 7, 2018
what do it managers do

Becoming an IT manager is certainly a smart career move. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), demand for computer and information systems managers will grow 11 percent from 2020 to 2030–faster than average for all other jobs. This IT manager need comes from firms increasingly expanding their businesses to digital platforms. In this post, we’ll delve into what IT managers do, how much they make, and whether it’d be a good career move for you.

What Do IT Managers Do?

IT managers help guide the technological direction of their organizations by doing tasks such as constructing business plans, overseeing network security, and directing online operations. IT managers may plan and coordinate larger projects, such as installing and upgrading hardware and software, programming and systems design, and implementation of websites.

Another big part of their daily responsibilities usually is directing the work of other IT employees, such as systems analysts, software developers, and support specialists. In larger organizations, they might also report up to the Chief Information Officer (CIO).

What Is an IT Manager’s Salary?

According to BLS, the national median salary for an IT manager is $159,010. (Note that BLS includes high-level management positions such as CIO and chief technology officer (CTO) in this group.)

Where Do IT Managers Work?

According to 2021 data from BLS, the largest employers of computer and information systems managers were:

  • Computer systems design and related services (22 percent of IT managers work for these organizations)
  • Information (11 percent)
  • Finance and insurance (12 percent)
  • Management of companies and enterprises (9 percent)
  • Manufacturing (6 percent)

A search for “IT manager” on results in more than 13,000 job listings nationwide. In summer 2022, Yelp, Mayo Clinic, FedEx Services, Amazon, Snapchat, Hyatt Regency, TikTok, Great Wolf Lodge, Sony Corporation, and many more organizations were hiring IT managers.

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Would You Make a Good IT Manager?

It’s recommended that you have at least five years of experience in a related job, such as software developer, business analyst, or network administrator, before becoming an IT manager. You should also have at least a bachelor’s degree. According to a 2022 Emsi analysis of job postings, 70 percent of IT manager jobs require a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

To be an IT manager, you need specific skills or abilities, including:

  • Technical and functional expertise
  • An advanced understanding of business
  • A history of achieving results
  • Decision-making and leadership ability
  • Interpersonal and communication skills

Overall, IT managers should be analytical, detail-oriented, and decisive professionals with strong people management skills. Their fast-paced and process-driven work demands it. The best candidates have both a technical and business background, because they need to understand their organization’s goals on a deep level. This understanding allows them to problem solve quickly and implement strategic plans for the team they oversee. Also, it’s crucial that IT managers can translate business lingo and software-speak between technical and non-technical groups and give clear instructions to the employees they manage. That means strong communication skills are a must.

Are you thinking you may need to hone some of these skills? Not to worry. You can do so through on-the-job experience and education.

Get the Skills You Need for IT Management in One Degree

If IT manager is the job path for you, consider the 100% online UW Applied Computing bachelor’s degree completion program. The 61-credit curriculum teaches you the computer science, business, and professional skills and knowledge that today’s IT leaders must have.

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Programs: Applied Computing, IT Management