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Highlights for Information Technology (IT) Managers

  • Information Technology Job Highlights
  • Projected job growth in information technology stems primarily from rapid growth among computer-related occupations.
  • Employers prefer managers with advanced technical knowledge acquired through computer-related work experience and formal education.
  • Job opportunities should be best for applicants with a master's degree in business administration with technology as a core component.

    Information Technology
    The need for organizations to incorporate existing and future technologies in order to remain competitive has become a more pressing issue over the last several years. As electronic commerce becomes more common, how and when companies use information technology are critical issues. Computer and information systems managers play a vital role in the technological direction of their organizations. They do everything from constructing the business plan to overseeing network and Internet operations.

    Computer and information systems managers plan, coordinate, and direct research and design the computer-related activities of firms. They determine technical goals in consultation with top management, and make detailed plans for the accomplishment of these goals. For example, working with their staff, they may develop the overall concepts of a new product or identify computer-related problems standing in the way of project completion.

    Computer and information technology systems managers direct the work of systems analysts, computer programmers, support specialists, and other computer-related workers. These managers plan and coordinate activities such as the installation and upgrading of hardware and software, programming and systems design, the development of computer networks, and the implementation of Internet and intranet sites. They are increasingly involved with the upkeep and maintenance of networks. They analyze the computer and information needs of their organization and determine personnel and equipment requirements. They assign and review the work of their subordinates, and stay abreast of the latest technology in order to purchase necessary equipment. IT managers must continue there education and many are choosing the convenience of online continuing education course to keep fresh.

    Network or computer systems administrators design, install, and support an organization's LAN, WAN, network segment, Internet, or Intranet system. They provide day-to-day onsite administrative support for software users in a variety of work environments, including professional offices, small businesses, government, and large corporations. They maintain network hardware and software, analyze problems, and monitor the network to ensure availability to system users. These workers gather data to identify customer needs and then use that information to identify, interpret, and evaluate system and network requirements. Administrators also may plan, coordinate, and implement network security measures.

    Systems administrators are the information technology employees responsible for the efficient use of networks by organizations. They ensure that the design of an organization's computer site allows all the components, including computers, the network, and software, to fit together and work properly. Furthermore, they monitor and adjust performance of existing networks and continually survey the current computer site to determine future network needs. Administrators also troubleshoot problems as reported by users and automated network monitoring systems and make recommendations for enhancements in the construction of future servers and networks.

    In some organizations, computer security specialists may plan, coordinate, and implement the organization's information security. These and other growing specialty occupations reflect the increasing emphasis on client-server applications, the expansion of Internet and Intranet applications, and the demand for more end-user support.

    Management of information systems (MIS) directors manage information systems and computing resources for entire organizations. They also work under the chief information officer and deal directly with lower-level information technology employees. These managers oversee a variety of user services such as an organization's help desk, which employees can call with questions or problems. MIS directors may also make hardware and software upgrade recommendations based on their experience with an organization's technology.

    Computer and information system managers need strong communication skills. They coordinate the activities of their unit with those of other units or organizations. They confer with top executives; financial, production, marketing, and other managers; and contractors and equipment and materials suppliers.