How to Become an IT Manager

Information technology (IT) is a rapidly growing field. More than ever before, businesses rely on computers, servers, and software for their daily operations. IT management is a career path for people who enjoy both solving problems and managing people. Becoming an IT manager requires good technical knowledge, leadership skills, business savvy, and interpersonal skills.

What Is an IT Manager?

An IT manager is in charge of managing, monitoring, and overseeing all elements of a company’s information technology assets and services. An IT manager monitors systems performance, supervises hardware upgrades and network maintenance, resolves problems with users, and keeps up-to-date on new technologies or developments.

Read more: 10 Best-Paying IT Jobs in 2021

What Does an IT Manager Do?

The position of IT manager has many responsibilities. Here are 10 key roles and responsibilities of an IT manager:

  • Define company information needs
  • Identify current company information systems
  • Research new technologies
  • Formulate policies on information security
  • Maintain internal control
  • Manage personnel
  • Evaluate, implement, and administer computer systems and software applications used by an organization
  • Manage IT budget
  • Ensure continuous operation of an organization’s computer network and other technology services
  • Integrate technology into business processes

IT Manager Requirements

At their core, an IT manager needs in-depth knowledge of information technology, business, and management. IT managers oversee a team of employees, leading them to do their best work. To perform efficiently as an IT manager, it helps to have some experience in an information technology specialty first, and then be prepared to expand the skillset into areas that require broader management finesse.

IT Management Certifications

Certifications in IT management are a very important qualification for anyone wanting to move up in this field. Here are four certifications we recommend.

Read more: 7 Best IT Certifications in 2021

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Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

The Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification is available to all professionals who are involved in project management, no matter their role — including IT. This certification requires an associate’s degree or its equivalent.

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Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

CISSP is an international, vendor-neutral certification that enables an IT manager to demonstrate mastery of information security. It’s sponsored by (ISC)2. CISSP focuses on five domains: asset security, security architecture and engineering, communications and network security, identity and access management, and security management.

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CompTIA Project+

The CompTIA Project+ certification is aimed at project managers who coordinate or help to coordinate projects in an organization. This vendor-neutral credential validates IT manager skills in five domains: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing.

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TOGAF 9.2 certification is designed for those who manage all or part of an organization’s IT systems and support processes. TOGAF 9.2 is one of the most popular frameworks for enterprise architecture. It was developed by The Open Group, an international, vendor-neutral industry standards consortium. TOGAF is used in IT management, governance, and software development.

Education Requirements

There are no specific education requirements for becoming an IT manager. That said, the majority of IT managers have at least a bachelor’s degree in business or IT-related studies. Some companies may prefer candidates with an MBA. Many employers look for people who can demonstrate strong leadership skills, problem-solving abilities, and management experience within their previous job roles.

Read more: IT Certifications vs Degree — What Should You Do?

IT Manager Skills

Being an IT manager means being responsible for more than just overseeing technical staff — it also means taking on a leadership role that demands both technical knowledge and interpersonal skills. A great IT manager knows how to lead teams of people, manage budgets, prioritize projects, develop software solutions, help clients understand new technologies, deal with compliance issues, and much more. IT managers need to be able to think like an executive, while still having intimate knowledge of the team’s work.

Job Outlook

According to research conducted by the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics,  employment of IT managers is projected to grow 11% from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. About 42,400 openings for IT managers are projected each year over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force in ways like retirement.

IT Manager Average Salary

The average salary for an IT Manager is around $109,000 per year in the United States, according to Glassdoor.

Make the Switch to IT Management

Taking the leap to become an IT manager can be an exciting and challenging journey. With direction, anyone with great work experience and a solid understanding of the IT profession could take charge of technology at their company, and be responsible for supporting both current and future business needs.

Read next: CIO vs CISO: What Are the 5 Big Differences?

Aminu Abdullahi
Aminu Abdullahi
Aminu Abdullahi is an award-winning public speaker and a passionate writer. He writes to edutain (Educate + Entertain) his reader about Business, Technology, Growth, and everything in between. He is the coauthor of the e-book, The Ultimate Creativity Playbook. Aminu loves to inspire greatness in the people around him through his actions and inactions.

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