Information Systems Management
With the ubiquitous use of technology in the workplace, an information systems manager provides a vital leadership role for companies looking to stay ahead of the competition. Professionals usually enter an information systems management career with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or a related field.
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Significant information technology experience is often necessary for advancement and most mid-career professionals also hold an advanced degree like an MBA. Combining the practical business knowledge with the top computer skills is what this field is all about.
Bachelor of Science Degree
Depending on the level of skill and experience, an information systems professional with a four year degree in this field can expect to work on a team to upgrade software, install new hardware, conduct formal or informal presentations for executives, identify new software applications, and streamline IT efficiency. Security clearance may also be a necessary requirement. Ongoing professional development is a must.
Master of Art Degree and beyond
One of the interesting advanced professional opportunities is to become a chief technology officer (CTO). This company leader tries out brand new technologies and assesses them for viability and applicability to the company’s setting. In addition to seeking out new software, a CTO also supervises others. The CTO’s teams create technical standards and devise implementation strategies for small-scale and large-scale technology adaptations.
Because technology goes hand-in-hand with budgetary considerations, obtaining an IT Management MBA or similar degree is highly valued in this field. The highest paying jobs require an expert level of technology skills coupled with equally impressive business acumen.
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While entry level positions in this field are on par with entry level earnings of those in other business management fields ($40,000), the average mid level salary is approximately $80,000 with earning potentials over $140,000. While salaries may be impressive, it is also important to keep in mind that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that nearly 25% of professionals in this field work 50 hours or more a week.
It is also possible to become an independent consultant in this field to have more control over your schedule, but there will always be busy times and longer hours involved when rolling out a new software application.
As in other professions, networking is a key component of success. The Association for Information Systems offers information to students through student chapters.
When choosing a degree program, it is important to select a path that will lead you to jobs that enhance your natural abilities and will allow you to enjoy your work. Exploring a variety of career paths through networking with professional organizations can be one way to gain a glimpse of what your work life in a particular field might look like. For those students and career changers with a strong interest in cutting- edge technology and a penchant for innovative business models, obtaining a degree in information systems management may offer you the professional growth and satisfaction needed to sustain a long, prosperous and enjoyable professional life.
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