Ashley Wilson
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Become an IT manager!
Last updated: September 24, 2022
Ashley Wilson
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Become an IT manager!
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If you have worked in IT previously or you’re just a tech-savvy person with a knack for solving technical problems, an IT manager position might just be your dream job.

And why wouldn’t it be? IT is a high-paying profession, and the outlook for IT jobs is fantastic: over 500,000 new computer and IT jobs are expected to be created in the next decade.

However the IT industry is also competitive, and to land a manager role, you have to stand out.

This article looks at what an IT manager does and what it takes to become one.

What is an IT manager?

IT (information technology) professionals monitor, manage and repair the hardware, software, and networks of an organization.

As an IT manager, you’re the team leader. You supervise a team of IT staff and work to ensure that your company’s networks and computer systems are running smoothly.

Depending on the size and structure of the organization, you might oversee the whole department or a section of it. For example, database administrators and system administrators might report to different IT managers.

What are the job responsibilities of an IT manager?

An IT manager usually has all the skills and responsibilities of any information technology professional, including:

  • Installing and configuring hardware and software

  • Troubleshooting computer systems

  • Providing technical support for other departments

  • Monitoring and managing IT infrastructure

  • Testing new technology

As the team manager, you have additional job expectations. You’ll need leadership skills to supervise your team effectively. You may also need to train new members of the IT department.

You’ll assess your organization’s computing needs and develop strategic solutions. That involves understanding the IT budget and recommending purchases and upgrades that will help the company reach its goals.

You might be involved in developing IT policies and procedures. For example, the IT department should have a disaster recovery plan in case something catastrophic happens.

What skills do IT managers need?

The top skills you’ll need to work in IT are technical skills. IT managers should be up-to-date on their knowledge of common systems and tools.

A lot of IT work requires problem-solving skills. You need to be able to troubleshoot a system error or figure out how technology could make a department’s processes more efficient.

As the leader of the team, you need management skills. That means you’re highly organized and know what everyone on your team is working on. You delegate IT tasks and communicate well with your team members.

As an IT manager, you may also need some knowledge of finances so you can work with the team budget.

IT certifications

There are many IT certifications you can get to help advance your career. Some certification courses and exams are open to anyone, while others require you to have experience in the field first.

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Putting in the time to get one of these certificates pays off — earning an IT certification can result in a raise of more than $12,000 a year.

Anyone can list skills on a resume, but getting certified proves that you know your stuff. IT certificates show future employers that your knowledge is up-to-date and that you’ve mastered a particular technical skill set.

Information technology and information security are separate but related fields. An IT manager might not be focused on security, but it’s still important to know the basic principles. Information security certifications can help prove that an IT manager knows how to implement technology securely.

How do you become an IT manager?

While it’s not impossible for someone with just a high school diploma or GED to become an IT manager, most people in the profession have a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Many even have master’s degrees.

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You won’t become the manager overnight.

Most people have 5–10 years of experience working in an IT department before getting promoted to IT manager. The professionals who eventually become IT managers often start with titles like:

  • Help desk analyst

  • Computer operator

  • IT operations specialist

  • Network technician

  • Database administrator

What is the typical IT manager salary?

The average IT manager salary in the U.S. is $108,109 per year.

Work experience matters a lot. If you stay in the role for years, you can expect big raises, especially if you get additional certifications.

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IT manager resume tips

If you’ve worked in IT for a while and are ready to make the leap to IT manager, you need a resume that stands out.

Every IT job is different, so it’s important to customize your resume to the position. Look through the job ad and pick out keywords you can add to your resume.

For an IT manager, the keywords are likely to be technical skills you need and technology that you should be familiar with.

Be specific about the hard skills you have. List types of hardware and software you’ve worked with and the types of projects you’ve done.

Certificates make a difference for IT job seekers. If you have some, you can add a “Certifications” section to your resume to showcase them.

Don’t get too wild with the format of your resume — a simple list of your work experience in reverse chronological order is best.

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Find an IT manager job today

As someone with computer skills and technical knowledge, you’re well-positioned to take advantage of the upcoming surge in IT jobs.

Whether you’re ready to become an IT manager or looking to start your career with an entry-level position, you can find an IT job on Jobcase.

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