For me it was experience progression. I hired on as a Sr Systems Analyst, and ended with IT Operations and helpdesk manager. It all has to do with grooming and learning what works and what doesn't. The only training that exists is life experiences - IMO. If you are young in college, a BS/EE degree will help a lot along with A+, Cisco (netork+), ITIL, project+ (PMP/PMI) certifications. You will not earn the pay until some of the experience kicks in.
Currently I am 20+ years in the industry, and only seen the manufacturing parts of IT. Though systems are critical here, other industries are going to be more demanding and more critical. Be prepared to put in the time because you will be exempt and 10 hour days are pretty normal in this type of work. Oh yes, I need to mention when the phone rings and your are out to dinner with your significant other, you have to go into work because of the drive crash. Yep, we have doctors hours. This is a must in any high-profile IT manager position - sorry to say. Sometimes you just won't have a life, but that's the best part where you shine with upper management and when you get noticed.