We are living in a world that is driven by technology. Ever since the start of the use of computers in our business and day-to-day lives, there has been a constant increase in our dependencies on computers. This has led to the setting up of a completely new industry- the IT sector. Just like other sectors, the sector also has its hierarchies which include an IT Manager. Due to the digitization of most of the work nowadays, the demand in this sector has seen steady growth in the last two decades. It is further expected to increase at a rate of 15% every year. Not just demand for the jobs, the managers in this sector draw good salaries as well. So, what is an IT Manager, and how to become one?
What is an IT Manager?
In most of sectors, a manager is expected to have some general abilities such as managing the team. An additional skill an IT manager should possess is the ability to manage the technical requirements of the business ranging from phones to computers. Also, the security of the equipment comes under the purview of an IT manager. Additionally, there need to be some written guidelines on the correct ways of handling the technological resources of the business. An IT manager needs to ensure that these are written and the team is trained on the usage of the respective equipment in the departments. Contingency plans are also made by an IT manager to keep the business running in case of a system failure. Apart from this, interviews intended for new recruitments for various purposes such as database management or database administration in the team are also handled by an IT manager. The main roles and responsibilities of an IT manager can be summarised as under –
- Recruiting and training new staff
- Managing existing staff and allotting roles and responsibilities
- Security and Backup of Data
- Keeping the business up to date with the introduction of new technologies
- Managing computer systems and other equipment
- Developing new strategies for information systems
- Analysing customer behavior and predicting business trends
- Ensuring compliance of governance and ethics in the business
The Job of an IT Manager
An IT manager possessing sufficient technical knowledge should ensure effective communication with the team. However, the priority of all the roles of an IT manager remains planning the needs of the department, ensuring its smooth functioning, budget management, negotiation with vendors, and above all effective communication. Although it depends on the organization, most of companies require an IT manager to manage both the people as well as the technological aspects of the company. Hence an IT manager needs to wear many hats and understand different roles in the company. The manager is expected to report to either the Chief Operating Officer or the Director of IT. Some specific skills needed to become a good IT manager include –
- Communication Skills
- Leadership Skills
- Planning and Research
- Problem Solving Techniques
- Project Management
- System engineering
- Business process analysis
- Information Security and Systems
- Practical Knowledge of IT systems
- Team Management
- Software engineering and development
So, an IT manager is a blend of various soft as well as technical skills. This is important to ensure that the team can deliver effective solutions following the needs of the company and a good IT manager is the one who can drive this through.
Role of experience in being a good IT Manager
Experience has a role to play in virtually every field. A fresh graduate with practically no work experience has very little chance of landingAnalyzing a job that requires such expertise. Supervising a team along with managing the technical aspects needs a sufficient amount of experience in the concerned sector. In fact, according to different surveys, most of the candidates who apply or wish to apply for the post of IT manager have experience of usually more than 6 years in their respective fields. However, that should not discourage fresh graduates from applying for these posts. There have been instances where fresh graduates or people with less experience have been recruited by well-known companies.
Educational Qualifications by an IT Manager
There are various options available nowadays which can help help you qualify for applying for the post of IT manager. However, a Bachelor’s degree in IT Management is a degree that has an edge over others. Some of the common ways to skill yourself for this post are –
- Getting a degree in IT Management
- Self-Study tools to equip you with the know-how of being an IT Manager
- Attending short camp for learning software engineering
There are benefits as well as shortcomings of each of these paths. The initial days of people being IT managers saw them as being graduates in their fields. However, over the years, this requirement has changed and even people who didn’t go the traditional route were able to become IT managers.