In our highly informed society, workplaces can't function if an efficient computer system isn't available. Even the busiest office will come to a halt if the information technology systems required to operate it don't work reliably or effectively.
Skilled IT managers are always in high demand, and a career in Information Systems Management offers excellent employment prospects. If you make the right choices, getting into Information System management today is simpler than it sounds.
What are information systems?
Information systems (IS) are a collection of technologies working together to collect, aggregate, process and distribute data. This data is used to disseminate information that support coordination, process management and decision making in an organization.
ISs are usually constituted by a combination of software, hardware, telecommunication networks, computer systems, as well as the people who work to maintain them and collect, analyze and process the data.
From the IT technicians, to developers, programmers, systems analysts and all the way up to the chief information officers (CIOs), the people that make up the world of IS are just as important as the newest piece of hardware or Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology.
ISs are more than the mere sum of their components. At the dawn of the new centuries, computers quickly grew into one of the key technologies that provide value to any modern organization out there.
Working in the IS sector means being able to move forward at the amazing pace of an hyper-connected field that keeps evolving year after year.
What is information systems management?
Information systems managers (IS Manager) are senior IT professionals that focus on implementing and managing complex information technologies within a workplace. Their role encompasses devising IT solutions that meet an organization's strategic needs, optimize business processes, and coordinate the development of complex information systems.
Their responsibilities might include installing, upgrading, and maintaining hardware and software architectures, inspecting and testing the functionality of many technology solutions, and provide ongoing network support.
Today, experienced IT managers are sought by many companies who often offer increasingly competitive salaries. In fact, nearly 80% of CIOs claim it is really difficult to hire an IT manager due to the lack of specialized professionals.
With a median annual wage of $113,720 and significant opportunities for career progress, this profession is one of the most satisfying and remunerative in the IT field.
What kind of education is needed?
Taking the right courses is paramount to learn the necessary skills to navigate through all the hardware and software challenges that an IS manager must face every day. Education is important to develop the ability to recognize the information systems problems a business may deal with, and develop the most efficient and economically-feasible solutions to solve them.
Completing an undergraduate major in information systems is the strongest foundation upon which is built a successful career.
This type of degree is vital to get your skills certified and recognized. A chartered IT status is a key to open many doors in the job marketplace, as it also provides many unique and up-to-date networking opportunities.
Many companies and startups look for new employees to hire and train in universities and campuses, so a certified course may pave your way in finding a new job.
Taking a Master’s degree in Information Systems
After taking the initial courses needed to grasp the basics, a master course is the next step to jumpstart a successful career. To become an IS manager, in fact, an IT professional needs to build additional skills that go beyond the mere use of computer technologies.
For example, he or she may need to build effective communication skills and leadership techniques to coordinate a full team of peers, or develop advanced client management skills and commercial awareness.
A good hands-on, laboratory-based program will prepare students to the unique requirements needed to advance their careers in IT management. Even skilled professional who already possess a certain degree of experience may benefit from undertaking an MS in Information Systems (MSIS) program as they can choose to specialize in different areas.
In any case, as you career progresses, an additional degree is a powerful advancement credential.
Get some on-field work experience
After the necessary degree in information systems management have been obtained, it is important to accrue some business expertise. Many companies often offer summer placements and internships even during the final year of study – which may even be included in the degree course itself.
Getting some initial work experience is immensely important, even if it’s not paid. First thing first, it will help you grasp the difference between theory and practice, and develop all those always-useful practical skills in operating systems, hardware, and software.
Working in a corporate environment can open your eyes on the world of IT, establish a network of contacts, and teach you how to communicate business value effectively. Working for one of the “big names” in the tech field (such as Microsoft, Amazon, or Google), may help you build a robust resume by adding some relevant experiences.
As you put your abilities in practice, you can complete new projects that will make your portfolio even more noticeable to future employers.
The need for IT professionals is not going to decline any time soon since many Baby Boomers are moving into retirement. Despite the current economic downturns, the wages are high and the jobs aplenty.
The right education and the ability to stay competitive will certainly help you build a successful career in the Information System management field.