A man on a computer representing steps to being an IT Manager with Tulane School of Professional Advancement's info tech degree program in New Orleans, LA

How To become an IT Manager: Basic Steps and Skills

Professionals who currently work in the IT field may benefit from learning how to become an IT manager. Do you have what it takes to earn a Master of Professional Studies in Information Technology Management? Keep reading to learn what you need to do.

Becoming an Effective IT Manager

IT managers keep their coworkers connected with technology by maintaining the digital systems that their businesses rely on. Their primary responsibilities include managing internal networks, overseeing technology upgrades, and maintaining any physical servers or computers used in their companies.

But far more than keeping the nuts and bolts on track, IT managers are leaders of their departments and important executives in their companies. They are the ones tasked with guiding changes in technology and communicating the need for those changes.

To become an IT manager, professionals should consider earning a Tulane University Master of Professional Studies in Information Technology Management. With this degree, graduates qualify for jobs managing a wide range of different information systems.

Learn More About a Master in IT Management

BASIC STEPS TO BECOME AN IT MANAGER

Information technology is widespread and used extensively throughout most modern businesses. Therefore, the people managing those systems must be informed and up to date on the latest advancements in the IT industry, and be able to communicate their importance and impact to others.

Earning a bachelor’s degree in a computer- or information science-related field provides IT workers with the fundamental skills they need to use complex computer systems and solve basic IT issues. Bachelor’s degree holders may be eligible for lower-level management positions in some companies after they have gained one to five years of experience in the IT field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many organizations require their information technology managers to have a graduate degree as well. The Master of Professional Studies in Information Technology Management curriculum equips current and aspiring IT professionals with cognitive tools they can leverage to advance into IT management. Director positions require an additional five years of experience, and senior executive positions in IT may demand 15 or more years in the field.

WHERE DO IT MANAGERS WORK?

There are several different types of IT management positions, and they span many fields. No matter the industry, the responsibilities can be similar.

For example, healthcare IT managers’ primary duty is managing the extensive information systems that healthcare institutions use to communicate information, such as patient data. Similarly, an IT manager working in a financial institution focuses on managing systems that facilitate transactions or track financial data. Regardless of the specific industry setting, IT managers generally are focused on information hardware and making processes more effective.

IT MANAGER JOB DUTIES

The top executives of organizations won’t always be fully aware of their companies’ technological needs. The IT manager helps executives by assessing the level of computing power a company needs and then suggesting upgrades or performing maintenance when possible. Some IT managers are mainly responsible for network and data security. They are referred to as IT security managers. Whenever there is a network security breach, the IT security manager supervises the investigation. The IT security manager also helps company leadership develop information security policies and implement programs that mitigate security threats over a long period of time.

IT managers can also take part in human resources processes, such as recruiting and training new personnel. An IT manager typically has the best understanding of his or her department’s staffing needs. Therefore, it is the IT manager’s duty to inform the human resources team of the IT department’s long- and short-term personnel needs. Another important duty is directing the work of interdisciplinary IT professionals. IT managers with graduate degrees excel in this aspect, because their coursework should have provided them with a holistic understanding of information technology. This perspective should make it easier for IT managers to inspire and motivate diverse teams of IT professionals.

THE QUALITIES OF AN IT LEADER

While IT managers are charged with overseeing and maintaining a company’s network and data integrity, the evolving nature of IT makes the possession of strong leadership qualities fundamental to the role. IT leaders focus on how to successfully keep moving an organization’s tech vision forward. They must also do this in a way that motivates staff and executives to pursue that vision.

Becoming an effective IT leader demands the cultivation of specific qualities. IT managers must strive to build a level of trust with employees through collaboration. They must also lead with honesty, integrity, and clear communication. Additionally, they need to exude a confident, positive attitude that inspires and motivates employees.

From a technology standpoint, successful IT leaders must be constantly in tune with how the latest industry trends can impact their organizations. They must also be willing to implement the relevant trends into their vision as efficiently as possible for the sake of competitiveness.

IT MANAGER SKILLS

  • Technological Proficiency. In order to effectively manage IT workers, IT managers must be well-versed in using various types of computer technology. While they may receive on-the-job training to learn how to carry out specific tasks, having a foundation of technology skills will make it easier for them to adapt to using new hardware and software tools.
  • Communication. IT managers must communicate the needs of their departments to the executives of their companies in order to ensure that they have the proper resources. They also explain work priorities to their subordinates to keep everyone informed. The mode of communication could be online, in person, or in writing. Therefore, IT managers should sharpen their ability to communicate professionally through different means.
  • Decision-making. IT systems are often critically important to the operations of businesses, so IT managers must be able to make informed decisions that do not compromise their networks. Good IT managers make their decisions strategically using analytics data and relevant information.
  • Financial Acumen. Acquiring or upgrading IT equipment can be costly to the purchaser, as can employing a team of IT professionals. To ensure that finances are under control, IT managers should know how to draft budgets, negotiate for cost-effective deals on equipment, and monitor their budgets for aberrations.

Learning how to become an IT manager is an important step for IT professionals to take, because reviewing the responsibilities and requirements of this job should demonstrate the true value of earning a Master of Professional Studies in Information Technology Management. By pursuing this degree, student professionals can pick up new business skills and hone their IT expertise, putting them on the path toward executive leadership.

You have what it takes to enjoy a challenging career in IT, and the Tulane School of Professional Advancement can prepare you for leadership in the field of Information Technology Management. We’d love to speak with you to help you decide if this is ideal for your professional career. Request information about SoPA or call us today at (504) 303-4224 to learn more.

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