Some people talk about, looking for their “calling.” Others are interested in a well-paying career that is challenging and offers satisfaction. If you’re in the latter category, you might consider getting a master’s in information systems. All corporations need computer help and IT manager positions are top jobs in the U.S., according to the statistics.
Start with pay. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median wage was $120,950 in May 2012. The lowest 10 percent made less than $74,940 while the highest 10 percent earned $187,200. The BLS also broke out median wages in a number of subcategories that are top employers of IT managers:
- Information (employs 11 percent of managers) — $133,120
- Computer systems design and related services (employs 19 percent of managers) — $128,830
- Finance and insurance (employs 12 percent of managers) — $126,680
- Management of companies and enterprises (employs 9 percent of managers) — $124,460
- Government (employs 7 percent of managers) — $101,690
Although technical expertise is necessary, these aren’t glorified coding positions, as US News and World Report explains:
Even though most IT managers have the technical chops to execute the various jobs of the workers they supervise, they are more likely to be caught in a meeting room than a server room. Coordinating technology-related matters with top executives, planning upgrades of existing software or hardware and negotiating with vendors for the service of current products or the purchase of new ones are all common tasks IT managers encounter. IT managers also install and upgrade an organization’s computer system and protect the office network from hackers and malware.
It’s often more than full-time work, according to BLS statistics. Many IT managers work overtime to solve problems. In 2012, about a third worked more than 40 hours a week.
The job outlook is robust. According to BLS numbers, the average projected growth of all occupations between 2012 and 2022 is 11 percent. IT managers are estimated to grow 15 percent, while general management occupations are supposed to see 7 percent growth. But the number can vary by industry. In health care, IT manager growth is expected to hit 42 percent.
Some of the growth drivers include a greater reliance on computing and automation, cloud computing, and an increased need to address cyber threats.
Although a bachelor’s degree is a must to get into the IT field, many employers want to see an advanced degree, like a master’s. Important skills include analysis, communications, decision-making, leadership, and organization operations.