An information system manager is responsible for the creation, implementation and management of a technology system for a client. The manager holds an extensive academic background and experience in computer science and/or information systems management. The position requires an excellent communicator and multi-tasker. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a high job growth rate for the 2008 to 2018 decade.
An information systems manager is responsible for meeting with a client and determining the information technology needs of the company. He must then devise a technological plan that meets those needs and decide how to efficiently delegate the tasks of implementation among the subordinate staff members. The manager must develop and implement a plan that stays within the confines of the budget projected by the client. During implementation, the manager supervises the work performed by the staff members and authorizes deviations from the proposed plan when necessary. He then reports on the progress of the plan to the client and explains its abilities in regards to the client's business. Administratively, the information systems manager may also be responsible for interviewing, hiring and training new information systems analysts.
Expertise in database management, systems design, information security implementation and computer engineering are some of the basic technical skills that all information system managers must have. While the manager's key day-to-day responsibilities are in the management of the information systems staff, he must also report to top management on the implementation and progress of technological plans. The manager must also be able to participate in maintenance of all implemented information systems.
An information systems manager must be comfortable directing a team of subordinate information technology specialists to achieve client operatives. The manager must be efficient in delegating tasks and ensuring accountability among staff members. Excellent interpersonal communication skills are a must as the manager must work as a liaison between the client and technology staff. An ability to explain technological issues to a client in a deconstructed and simplified manner is necessary for maintaining client relations. Excellent multi-tasking skills are also required because the manager must delegate and manage various technology departments on a daily basis.
Education and Training
At a minimum, an information systems manager holds a bachelor's degree in information systems or another computer science-related discipline. The most competitive applicants generally hold a master's in business administration (MBA) with a specialization in management or information systems management. No matter the academic training, an information systems manager should be proficient in computer programming, computer engineering, mathematics, systems design, database management, networking and systems security. An MBA program diversifies the student's knowledge by including knowledge of business practices and management skills that prove helpful in the role as an information systems manager.
Job Outlook and Salary
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects faster than average job growth for 2008 to 2018. This translates to a job growth of 17 percent, which is higher than the national average that is projected to be 11 percent. Increased demand may be attributed to an increase in technology and business reliance on that technology. Information technology firms will increase as a result and a demand for managers to supervise the influx of information technology specialists will ensue. According to Indeed.com, the average salary for information system managers is $93,000, as of May 2010.