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Information Systems Manager: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Information systems managers are business executives who both manage and implement computer and information technology (IT) systems. They act as the liaison between an organization's top management and IT specialists. The job outlook for these managers is strong, as organizations are looking to technology to improve productivity and organization.

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Job Description of the Information Systems Manager

As a high-level executive, the information systems (IS) manager is in charge of computer- and technology-related research, development and productivity of business firms. They manage the work of other IT professionals, like computer engineers, systems analysts, data security specialists and computer support specialists. They frequently work directly under the chief operating officer.

Information systems managers can find work at any type of for-profit or non-profit organization. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the majority of these executives are employed in the computer systems and software design industries (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reports that most information systems managers made from $74,940 to more than $187,199 per year as of 2012. The BLS projects a job growth rate of 18% for these professionals between 2010 and 2020.

Job Duties

The IS manager must have a keen understanding of the technological and organizational needs of their company. They are frequently charged with researching and implementing ways that technology and network-based systems can increase company organization and productivity. They must also stay up-to-date with current and emerging technology and computing trends.

The day-to-day duties of IS managers include the top-level planning and coordination of:

  • Hardware and software installation and upgrades
  • Implementation and programming of computer networks and software
  • Development of private intranet and public Internet sites
  • Personnel equipment requirements
  • Digital security

Education Requirements

Typically, companies look for candidates with both a 4-year undergraduate degree in computer science or a related field and a Master of Business Administration degree (MBA). Bachelor's degrees in computer science require courses in programming, mathematics and statistics, in addition to general education requirements. Most MBA programs take two years to complete and require a bachelor's degree. They train the student in fields like finance, management, e-commerce and accounting.

There are some information systems degree programs in business schools that allow the student to learn the fundamentals of computer science and programming while earning an MBA degree. These programs, often referred to as management or business information systems programs, are ideal for those without a prior background in information technology or systems.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics