How to Become an IT Manager

Do you have a way about you, not only with people but also with computers? Do people come to you for help with their not so simple computer issues? You could have a promising career as an IT manager. Here’s some more information to help you decide:

Job Overview

Bachelor's Degree
More than 5 years
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Information Technology (IT) managers oversee their company’s computer needs. As an IT manager, you will study and suggest changes to the computer system’s hardware and software. You’ll be in charge of directing new installations and upgrades to the company’s computer assets. Budgets and assessments of the costs and benefits of new projects will be your responsibility. The job can be broken up into several areas in most companies, including Chief Information Officers who are responsible for their company’s strategy for their computer needs, Chief Technology officers who evaluate new technologies, IT directors are in charge the IT department’s administrative needs and IT security managers who manage data security.

Requirements and Qualifications

IT managers often work some overtime hours. Extensive upgrades often take place over evenings or weekends to prevent computer down time during normal operational hours. Positions in this field are often segregated by the variety of IT experience you have; as an example, an individual with hospital IT experience would be hired for a hospital IT manager’s position much more readily than someone with financial IT experience. Important qualities to groom for a position of this nature include analytical thinking, communications, leadership, organizational skills and decision making processes.

Typical Education

Though there are some opportunities for management positions with a bachelor’s degree in an IT-related field, especially with significant experience in the field, many companies are now requiring a master’s degree for IT management positions.

Steps to Become an Information Technology Manager

In addition to your degree, you will need some years’ experience in a related IT field before becoming an IT manager. You may be able to get into a lower-level management position after only a few years’ experience, but director-level positions will require five to ten years’ experience, and Chief Technical Officers often have over 15 years’ related experience.

Similar Jobs

There are many opportunities for computer work in today’s world; if a position as an IT manager isn’t for you, here are some other careers to explore.

  • Do you like engineering? Computer hardware engineers plan, create and test computer equipment.
  • Do you talk in code? Computer programmers use computer languages to create software programs.
  • Room for improvement? Computer systems analysts look at a company’s current IT assets and makes recommendations to improve them.
  • Database Administrators work with data storage, retrieval and security.
  • Information security analysts, web developers, and computer network architects help set up office networks, create a web presence for companies and secure their IT assets against cyberattacks.
  • Just want a desk job? Network and computer systems administrators handle daily operations of office computers, networks and related systems.
  • Want something creative? Software Developers create the programs that run the computer and allow users to perform specific tasks.
  • Top executives provide long-term strategic planning for large businesses and organizations to meet its goals.


The average annual pay for an IT manager was $115,780, nearly four times the average annual wage for all occupations. Over 90% of all IT managers work full time. Overtime is fairly common in this profession, with around 24% working over 50 hours a week.

Job Outlook

It’s expected that positions for IT managers will increase by 18% over the next ten years, about as fast as average for all jobs. Job opportunities are favorable, with many companies having problems finding qualified applicants, including those familiar with cloud computing, mobile application development and the latest technologies.

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