Computer and information system (IS) managers are responsible for the computer technology and data of their organizations. Duties include analyzing the company's technology needs, overseeing operations, determining costs and benefits of new computer hardware and software and recommending new technologies to company executives. Because this is a higher level management position, IS managers generally oversee the day-to-day operations of IT staff rather than doing the work personally. Having an understanding of emerging technologies is also important for this position. Computer and IT systems managers often meet with computer hardware and software suppliers and negotiate prices and service levels on behalf of the organization. IS managers often have a hands-on background in the technologies being used in their organization. For example, manager often move up from network administration or database administration
Job titles for these positions vary from one organization to another. In larger ogranizations, different IS managers may have different titles. Some of these include IS Manager, IT Manager, IT Security Manager, IT Director, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Officer (CIO).
National Salary Overview
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and IS management positions are one of the better management jobs when it comes to salary. In 2010, when the total of all management occupations had a median salary of $91,440, the median salary of computer and IS managers was $115,780. (A median salary marks the point where half make more than this number and half make less.)
In 2011, the median salary of computer and IS managers rose to $118,000. The top 10 percent of all earners made more than $185,100, while the bottom 10 percent made less than 73,100.
This high level income does not come cheaply. More than 90 percent of all computer and IS managers work full time and 24 percent work more than 50 hours per week.
Computer and Information Systems Manager salaries vary from state to state. Here is a sample of twelve median salaries in 2011 according to each state's data. The figures in brackets represent the bottom and top 10 percent earning thresholds, which correspond to the national figures.
California: $137,300 ($84,800 to $187,200+)
D.C.: $136,900 ($85,200 to $166,000)
New York: $133,600 ($82,000 to $187,200+)
Massachusetts: $128,600 ($83,100 to $187,200)
Washington: $122,600 ($81,500 to $185,900)
Texas: $119,100 ($75,100 to $182,400)
National: $118,000 ($73,100 to $185,100)
Florida: $114,900 ($78,400 to $181,800)
Georgia: $111,400 ($68,600 to $172,200)
Ohio: $109,200 ($72,700 to $166,900)
Michigan: $98,700 ($67,000 to $159,300)
Kansas: $93,600 ($61,700 to $146,800)
Kentucky: $89,900 ($53,900 to $141,300)
For information on salaries in states not listed here, you can visit CareerOneStop and select a state from the drop-down menu.
Salaries by Industry
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the computer systems design industry pays the best for computer and IS managers. In May 2010, when the median income for this occupation as a whole paid $115,780 per year, the computer systems design industry paid a median salary of $123,570. The finance and insurance industries paid a median salary of $118,010. The manufacturing sector paid a median salary of $117,050. Government positions paid below the average, with a median salary of $110,030. Health care and social insurance paid a median salary of $101,840.
Salaries by Education
The majority of computer and IS managers have a college education. While about 55 percent of all management positions in the U.S. are held by people with a college degree, about 79 percent of computer and IS managers have a college degree. Forty-six percent have a bachelor's degree. Nine percent have an associate's degree. Almost 22 percent have a master's degree and 2 percent have a doctorate or other professional degree.
Outlook to 2020
Job prospects for computer and IS managers should continue to be favorable over the next decade, according to the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2010 there were 307,900 positions in the United States. This should increase to about 363,700 positions by 2020, representing an 18-percent growth rate. The trend of companies moving operations to countries with lower wages will continue to be a problem in a competitive global marketplace, but this may be minimized as companies begin moving operations to lower-wage regions of the United States.
Staying up-to-date with emerging technologies is essential for those looking for work in any IT position, including upper management positions.