Working in a wide variety of industries – from healthcare to manufacturing – technologies managers apply their knowledge of computer systems and software to keep businesses operating efficiently. Professionals aspiring to this type of role need strong business management skills in addition to information technology (IT) expertise to help firms gain an advantage in today’s competitive global market. Enrolling in a bachelor’s degree in business administration program with a specialization in computer information systems (CIS) can be the first step to a successful technologies manager career.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), overall employment of computer and information systems managers – the category that includes technologies managers – is expected to be very strong in coming years. Job growth will occur as an increasingly complex trade environment spurs demand for professionals who can oversee the sophisticated computer systems, networks and software applications businesses need to remain competitive.
Technologies managers solve business problems with technology-based solutions. They interpret a company’s goals and objectives, and plan and coordinate technology projects designed to meet them. They may specialize in a particular software brand’s package technologies, systems integration or process management.
The primary objectives of technologies managers are to improve efficiency and productivity, thereby helping companies remain competitive. They achieve this by managing and developing computer information resources, and by implementing methods to deliver and analyze information executives need to make key business decisions.
Depending on the employer, technologies managers may direct other computer information systems staff, including programmers, systems analysts and software engineers. They typically evaluate new technology packages to determine suitability, benefits and return on investment.
Other daily technologies manager job duties include planning, installing and upgrading technology systems, implementing and maintaining websites, and ensuring security of networks. They may also supervise user training and provide technical expertise when problems arise.
Most technologies managers report to a chief information officer (CIO) or IT Director; they may also interact with marketing, sales or supply chain department heads. Technologies managers generally work in an office setting. While a 40-hour work week is typical, some overtime may be required, particularly during times when new software is implemented. Some employers may require travel to satellite locations.
According to BLS reports for May 2009, the median annual income for all computer and information systems managers, including technologies managers, was $113,720. The middle 50% earned between $89,240 and $143,590. Salaries for the lowest 10% were around $69,900, while the highest 10% brought in upwards of $166,400. Recent bachelor’s degree program graduates will typically start out in other IT, developer or programmer roles and move into a managerial position with experience and advanced education.
A bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field is generally required for IT and CIS positions. Employers hiring for manager-level positions often prefer candidates with previous experience or an advanced degree. A combination of technical skills and a strong understanding of business and management principles can be an advantage for those aspiring to a technologies manager position.
The path to a technologies manager career can begin with earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialization in computer information systems. Coursework typically includes a survey of software systems, advanced Visual Basic, programming in Java and C++, applied decision methods for business and strategic management.
Employers can be confident that graduates of a business administration/CIS program are able to:
Many employers offer opportunities for continuing education. It’s possible to gain an entry-level position with a bachelor’s degree and use a tuition assistance program to further your education.
Successful technologies managers are skilled in applying the latest technological developments to help businesses compete and succeed. If your interests align with computers, accounting, leadership and technology, you might be an outstanding candidate for this career. Excellent communication skills are essential, as are delegation skills and the ability to explain complex concepts to a non-technical audience. When you complete a bachelor’s degree in business administration/CIS program, you’ll develop expertise in technology and business management that can put you well on your way to a rewarding career as a technologies manager!