Information Systems Manager: Duties, Salary and How To Become One

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated October 22, 2021 | Published February 15, 2021

Updated October 22, 2021

Published February 15, 2021

Information systems managers lead teams of IT professionals to maintain an organization's computer systems and technology needs. By researching more about the role of an information systems manager, their responsibilities and the necessary qualifications, you can determine if a career as an information systems manager is the right fit for you.

In this article, we define what an information systems manager is, review their key job responsibilities, discuss helpful skills for information systems managers, list how to become an information systems manager and include answers to frequently asked questions.

Related: What Is Information management?

What is an information systems manager?

An information systems manager is an IT professional who oversees the IT department within an organization. They work closely with their team to troubleshoot IT problems, administer computer system updates as well as install hardware and software for different departments.

Related: 17 Management Information Systems Jobs

What does an information systems manager do?

Information systems managers have a variety of job responsibilities as leaders and IT professionals. An information systems manager is often responsible for:

  • Managing IT department budget and prioritizing funds based on primary department goals

  • Hiring and training IT professionals, such as support specialists, network engineers, IT analysts and technicians, to work as members of the IT department

  • Monitoring the productivity and performance levels of IT employees and conducting performance reviews

  • Maintaining efficient relationships with other department heads to determine their technology needs

  • Delegating repair and installation requests among IT employees

  • Monitoring inventory of available hardware devices or computer accessories to assess purchasing needs

  • Creating long-term schedules to determine when to update company computer systems and cybersecurity measures

  • Researching new business technologies and IT software to strengthen the organization's computer systems

  • Creating surveys to gauge company employee IT needs and questions

  • Drafting informational documents to help company employees troubleshoot standard computer problems and navigate new programs

  • Meeting with IT directors and other upper-management staff to propose ideas and relay information to the IT department

  • Assisting IT employees with complex installations or repairs

  • Implementing new software programs and computer technologies that support organizational goals and objectives

Information systems manager skills

There are several technical and interpersonal skills that are required to perform this job well. Here are some examples of skills that information systems managers should possess:

Leadership

Leadership refers to an individual's ability to manage a group of people and guide them in their activities. As an information systems manager, you’ll need to demonstrate excellent leadership to uphold IT standards, encourage employee productivity and maintain a positive working environment. However, you’ll also need to be able to provide a leadership role to other departments when helping them assess their technology needs.

Negotiation tactics

As an information systems manager, you’ll need to be able to negotiate with technology wholesalers to establish price points for computer hardware. Being able to negotiate is also important when you want to advocate for new computer hardware or software that could benefit the company.

Problem solving

Problem solving is the process by which individuals identify problems and develop solutions. As an information systems manager, you have to problem solve in a variety of different situations. This includes problem solving to fix budgeting concerns, enhance productivity or troubleshoot computer system errors on the company level.

Interpersonal communication

Interpersonal communication refers to an individual's ability to adjust the language they use depending on the person they’re speaking with. Information systems managers need interpersonal communication skills as they communicate with IT department employees, business partners, upper management professionals and other company departments on a daily basis. They also have to explain IT terminology and procedures to individuals with little-to-no IT experience.

Written communication

Written communication is the ability to convey clear and concise thoughts in writing. In an information systems management role, you may have to send out department memos and company-wide reports to detail systems updates and recent issues. You may also have to write instruction manuals to help non-IT personnel understand how to use computer systems properly.

Public speaking

Information systems managers host department meetings and give presentations to other departments and upper-management personnel. For this reason, it's beneficial if you know how to speak in front of an audience and hold their attention.

Task delegation

As an information systems manager, you focus on department operations on a broad level. Therefore, it's important that you know how to delegate tasks among your employees, as it allows you to monitor performance, budgeting and other essential department activities.

Systems management

Systems management refers to an individual's ability to use IT hardware and software to help businesses achieve goals and objectives. Including this skill on your information systems manager resume shows employers that you understand the connection between technology and business.

Hardware and software installation

Being able to install hardware and software as an information systems manager ensures you can train new employees. It also helps ensure that you can partake in complex hardware and software installations when necessary. This skill shows employers that you can select and install the right equipment to support their computer systems.

IT project management

In your leadership role as an information systems manager, you may have to lead IT projects and other initiatives to improve your employer's computer systems. IT project management skills highlight your ability to lead IT projects and oversee multiple tasks at once.

Related: Information Technology Skills That Are In-Demand Today

How to become an information systems manager

Use these steps as a guide to determine how to become an information systems manager:

1. Earn a bachelor's degree

To become an information systems manager, you need to first attend a four-year bachelor's degree program in information technology, computer systems management or computer science. In an IT bachelor's degree program, students learn about the fundamentals of information technology and how to install, use and troubleshoot computer hardware and software. They may also learn how to use programming languages to create code.

2. Complete internships and tech support work

As you complete your bachelor's degree, make sure you find additional ways to learn and enhance your IT skills. You can work in entry-level technical support roles during college and complete IT internships to gain professional experiences that enhance your resume.

3. Consider earning a master's degree

Earning a master's degree is an optional step for those looking to become information systems managers. However, some employers require master's degrees for those looking to pursue information system management positions. Earning a master's degree is also a great way for you to expand your knowledge in a specialty area like information systems, computer science or business administration.

4. Obtain a few years of experience in an IT role

Whether you earn a bachelor's degree or master's degree, you need to expand your professional experiences in order to qualify for an information systems management role. Depending on an employer's requirements, a job candidate may need between three to five years of experience before assuming an IT management position. Helpful job titles to pursue include:

  • IT technician

  • Computer programmer

  • IT analyst

  • Systems administrator

5. Determine which industries you want to work in the most

One of the benefits of working in IT is that you can work in a variety of different industries to provide technical support and solutions. Consider your interests and look for information systems management positions in one or more industries you enjoy. For example, if you have an interest in public health, search for information systems management positions in the health care industry.

6. Tailor your resume and cover letter for an information systems manager role

Because an information systems management role requires leadership and in-depth IT knowledge, you need to present yourself as a qualified leadership professional in your resume and cover letter. You can do this by using leadership action verbs when describing your previous job role responsibilities.

Similarly, you can use your cover letter to expand on your professional experiences and give examples that demonstrate your ability to lead a team of IT professionals.

Related: How To Become an IT Manager

Information systems manager FAQs

Review these frequently asked questions and answers to learn more about the role of an information systems manager:

What are the average salary expectations for an information systems manager?

Salary expectations for information systems managers may vary depending on the organization, company location and years of professional experience. However, the average salary expectation for an information systems manager is $88,206 per year. For the most up-to-date salary information, please click on the salary link.

What is the job outlook for information systems managers?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for information systems managers and related job titles may increase by 11% by 2030. This is because businesses continue to use technology to aid their operations.

What are the different types of information systems?

There are several types of information systems available for business use. Here are some examples:

  • Management Information Systems (MIS)

  • Decision Support System (DSS)

  • Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)

  • Transaction Processing System (TPS)

  • Knowledge Management Systems

  • Office Information Systems

  • Database Management Systems

Related: What Is a Management Information System?

What is the typical workday like for an information systems manager?

On a typical day, information systems managers review IT requests and schedule maintenance to remind their team. Throughout their workday, information systems managers answer emails, delegate tasks to their employees and place orders for computer accessories and hardware devices. They also host department meetings and review recurring technical issues their team should know about.

Is there a difference between an information systems manager and an information technology manager?

Technically, there isn't a difference between an information systems manager and an information technology manager. Most organizations use these titles interchangeably. However, some organizations do distinguish between these roles. In organizations with both information systems managers and information technology managers, information systems managers focus on selecting the right hardware and software for the company's business needs. In contrast, information technology managers actually oversee the installation and repair process for computer hardware and software.

What jobs can information systems managers pursue to further their careers?

Typically, the next step up from being an information systems manager is to become an IT director or Director of IT for an organization. In this role, you oversee the Information systems manager and their department. You also set budgets for them and assign projects or initiatives based on directions from other upper-management personnel.

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