Information technology management describes a process that manages the different information technology resources to ensure that they are properly utilized to address the needs and goals of the organization. These resources can be tangible, such as hardware, computers, and computer users, and also intangible, such as data and software. The aim is to make sure that technology provides value for money by increasing productivity and efficiency. This is why experts are needed who can align the available technology and also understand business strategy.
Information technology management has numerous general management functions, including control, budgeting, organization, and staffing. And then it focuses on unique IT issues, such as tech support, networking planning, change management, and software development. Organizations use IT in order to complement and support their operations. In fact, for many, it is the central core of the organization as a whole.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer and information systems managers earned an average salary of $135,800 per year as of May 2016 at the bachelor’s degree level. They have also reported that there are currently some 348,500 professionals employed, and that demand for their skills will increase by 15% from 2014 to 2024, which is much faster than average and will translate to 53,700 new jobs.
According to the BLS, the average annual salary for computer and information systems managers stood at $135,800 in May 2016. The bottom 10% of earners had salaries of $82,360 or less, whereas the top 10% earned $208,000 or more. The BLS has also reported on where computer and information systems managers work, and how much they earn in those industries. This showed that those employed in:
- Information, earned an average annual salary of $150,190. 11% of computer and information systems managers worked in this field.
- Computer systems design and related services, earned an average annual salary of $143,040. 20% of computer and information systems managers worked in this field.
- Finance and insurance, earned an average annual salary of $142,890. 12% of computer and information systems managers worked in this field.
- Manufacturing, earned an average annual salary of $139,540. 9% of computer and information systems managers worked in this field.
- Management of companies and enterprises, earned an average annual salary of $136,690. 10% of computer and information systems managers worked in this field.
Payscale.com has made a report on common career paths for those with a master of science in information technology and their associated salaries. These are:
- Senior Quality Assurance (QA)/Test Automation Engineers, earning average annual salaries of $86,963.
- Senior Systems Engineers, earning average annual salaries of $65,000.
- Software Engineers, earning average annual salaries of $90,000.
- Information Technology (IT) Managers, earning average annual salaries of $90,500.
- Project Managers, Information Technology (IT), earning average annual salaries of $73,500.
Geographical location has been found to influence how much someone can earn in the field of information technology management. That being said, it is important to understand that places with high salaries also often have a higher cost of living. Thus, make sure to calculate disposable when comparing jobs in various locations. The BLS has reported on the top states to work as a computer and information systems manager, which are:
- New York, with average annual earnings of $175,530
- California, with average annual earnings of $169,420
- New Jersey, with average annual earnings of $168,520
- Virginia, with average annual earnings of $163,880
- Delaware, with average annual earnings of $161,360
Payscale.com has also reported on salaries associated with different geographical locations. This showed that those working in:
- New York, New York, earned an average annual salary of $93,000
- Baltimore, Maryland, earned an average annual salary of $56,250
- Washington, DC, earned an average annual salary of $102,050
- Fort Lauderdale, Florida, earned an average annual salary of $61,400
- Dallas, Texas, earned an average annual salary of $95,000
While geographical location can have an effect of how much someone can earn, a more important factor would be the company you work for. Indeed.com has created a report on popular employers in the field of information technology management, which showed that:
- Deloitte paid an average of $145,247 per year.
- Starbucks paid an average of $143,846 per year.
- PwC paid an average of $142,125 per year.
- HSBC paid an average of $135,626 per year.
- EY paid an average of $133,174 per year.
- Boeing paid an average of $136,461 per year.
- The Walt Disney Company paid an average of $128,787 per year.
- Department of Homeland Security paid an average of $122,120 per year.
- Capital One paid an average of $135,542 per year.
- Anthem, Inc. paid an average of $120,650 per year.
Naturally, in order to have a gainful career in information technology management, you would need to have a good education. The minimum requirement oftentimes is a bachelor’s degree. Fortunately, things are much easier and more convenient now for students because many schools now offer their degree programs online, although on campus studies are still available. One example of a bachelor’s degree in this particular field is the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Management offered by the University of Minnesota. This degree has been made available online, and the curriculum includes the following subjects:
- Composition I
- Orientation to Online Learning
- College Algebra
- Elementary Statistics
- General Biology
- Web Site Development
- General Psychology
- Public Speaking
- Principles of Accounting
- Introduction to Programming
- Microcomputer Systems Architecture
- Database Management Systems
- Human Diversity
- Introduction to Philosophy
- Legal Environment in Business
- Messaging Systems
- Information Assurance and Systems Security
- Introductory Physics
- Introduction to Management Information Systems
- Microcomputer Operating Systems
- Managerial Finance
- Networking Standards and Protocols
- Analysis and Design of Information Systems
- Principles of Management
- Principles of Marketing
- Culture and Technology
- Senior Project in Information Technology Management
- Project Management
The bachelor’s degree can be regarded as a stepping stone towards a career in information technology management. But if you really want to advance your career, you may want to consider getting a master’s degree. This will give you the opportunity to gain advanced skills and knowledge in your field, and set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd. Just like with bachelor’s degree programs, many master’s degree programs are now also offered online, which makes it easier than ever to complete a degree without having to stop working, although you will still need to make adjustments in your work.
One example of a highly rated graduate degree program in information technology management is the Master of Science in Information Technology Management offered by UT Dallas, Naveen Jindal School of Management. Students can enroll in one of several tracks. While all have to follow the same core curriculum, different courses exist in the list of electives depending on the chosen concentration. The concentrations are:
- Enterprise Systems
- Business Intelligence and Analytics
- Cyber Security Management
- IT Consulting and Services Management
- Healthcare Systems
Some, but not all, of the courses in this degree program can be completed online.
Each college or university has its own admission requirements. Nevertheless, they are usually quite similar because these are used to determine whether or not the student has the capability to complete a program at graduate degree level. For instance, the admissions requirements for the UT Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management are:
- GMAT or GRE score
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
- Official transcripts
- English proficiency
- Letter of recommendation
- Personal objectives statement
There are differences in the curricula offered by various schools. Thus, it is always advisable to check that the school is properly accredited, particularly the degree program that you intend to pursue. Since the accrediting organization ensures that the curriculum complies with certain standards, you are assured that prospective employers will look at your completed course with approval.
For example, the curriculum of the master of science in information technology management offered by the UT Dallas includes:
- Accounting for Managers
- Financial Management
- Business Economics
- Marketing Management
- Quantitative Introduction to Risk and Uncertainty in Business
- Operations Management
- Organizational Behavior
- Systems Analysis and Project Management
- Data Communications
- Object Oriented Programming
- Data Management
The rest of the curriculum that students will follow will depend on the specific track that they have chosen.
It is common knowledge that obtaining a higher education, especially a master’s degree standard, is very expensive. You will both need to invest time and money in the pursuit of a degree. First of all, the time that you will be able to work while pursuing your studies will be reduced, even if you enrol in an online course. Second, tuition fees and other expenses are quite high. Fortunately, most colleges and universities have made special departments or sections that focus on helping students get financial aid. They may also have scholarships and grants available. At the same time, there are a number of external scholarships that you may want to consider. These include the:
- Foundation Graduate Cybersecurity Scholarship, to the value of $5,000.
- ISC Foundation Undergraduate Cybersecurity Scholarship, to the value of $5,000.
- ISC Foundation Women’s Cybersecurity Scholarship, to the value of $5,000.
- Adelante Fund Ford Motor Company/Future Leaders Scholarship, to the value of $1,500.
- Adelante Fund MillerCoors Engineering and Science Scholarship, to the value of $3,000.
- A.B. Noel Endowed Scholarship, to the value of $2,000.
- AAAS Mass Media Science and Engineering Fellows Program, with varying amounts.
- AACE International Competitive Scholarships, to the value of $2,500.
- AAUW Return to Learning Scholarships, to the value of $2,500.
- ABA Academic Merit Scholarship, to the value of $2,500.
It is not really required to become certified in the field of information technology management, but it is generally a good idea. With a certification, you are able to demonstrate that you have expertise in a particular subject, which most employers would find to be in your favor. That said, obtaining a certification does require a further investment of time and money, and you often have to maintain certification through continuous education credits. But it is usually a good investment because of the career opportunities that it brings.
Some certifications that you may want to consider in the field of information technology management are the:
- Certified IS Auditor (CISA)
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
- CompTIA Security
- Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)
- VMware Certified Professional (VCP)
- CompTIA A+
- Oracle DBA
- Information Technology Infrastructure Library
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
- Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP)
Becoming a member of relevant professional organizations as soon as you decide to study towards an information technology management degree, even at bachelor’s level, is also advisable. First, these organizations often offer scholarships and grants that you could significantly help with your expenses. Second, you will always be at the forefront of new developments within your field, so that your skills and knowledge remain up to date. Forth, you may find it easier to obtain some certifications and continuous education credits. Finally, such organizations allow you to build a professional network that will serve to further your career.
Some of the associations in the field of information technology management that you may want to consider are the:
- Information Technology Management Association (ITMA)
- Association of Information Technology Professionals
- Association for Information Systems (AIS)
- Association of Information Technology Professionals
- Occupational Outlook Handbook – Computer and Information Systems Managers. (2016, May). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm
- Master of Science (MS), Information Technology (IT) Degree Average Salary. (2017, Apr. 22). Retrieved from http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Degree=Master_of_Science_(MS)%2C_Information_Technology_(IT)/Salary
- Information Technology Manager Salaries in the United States. (2017, Apr. 27). Retrieved from https://www.indeed.com/salaries/Information-Technology-Manager-Salaries?from=serpsalaryblock
- Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Management. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://online.umn.edu/degrees-certificates/bachelor-science-information-technology-management
- Master of Science in Information Technology Management. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://jindal.utdallas.edu/isom/information-systems-programs/ms-information-technology/