Just like any other career, professionals with the right interpersonal and management skills can move forward with their careers into an IT manager position. This job opportunity can happen from within the organization or applicants can find the position by applying to outside corporations. IT managers oversee several technical processes and manage employee expectations. They also need the right soft skills to work with other managers who look towards the IT team for updates on software and hardware maintenance and upgrades.
Job Description: What Does an IT Manager Do?
IT managers do fewer hands-on task and more managerial tasks. They work with their team to create projects that help benefit the company’s IT infrastructure. IT spans software and hardware systems, and most managers oversee one type of system. For instance, software development managers oversee software maintenance, upgrades, new additions, and any bug fixes. Hardware IT managers oversee the network, security, authorization, and firmware upgrades.
IT managers can relate to people and still manage expectations. Not everyone is cut out for management, so applicants who want to break into management positions need the right oral and written skills to communicate with teams and other managers.
IT Manager Job Responsibilities and Duties
One complaint that many IT managers have is that they are no longer hands-on. Experienced IT managers sometimes jump in when there are emergencies, but for the most part job responsibilities surround creating new policies, project management, and overseeing employee performance. Most IT managers have some kind of real-world experience in the IT field, so they are able to work effectively with personnel and speak intelligently in meetings.
Job responsibilities include:
- Identify policy changes and execute strategies that help support the system
- Maintain corporate policies and work with key managers to make appropriate updates
- Respond to bugs and infrastructure downtime
- Act as a speaker for your team and communicate changes and updates to other teams
- Organize training for new personnel to familiarize them with the system
- Create company protocols for IT systems
- Test updates and additions to infrastructure to ensure its stability
- Work with budgets and manage estimates for upgrades
- CISM: Certified Information Security Manager
- CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional
- CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker
- CompTIA Network+
IT Manager Soft Skills
Anyone in a management position needs soft skills that build relationships with all members of an organization. IT managers must be able to communicate with other managers and work within their own team including subordinates and peers. Soft skills are oral and written skills. These skills include the ability to write documentation and email messages, attend meetings to express ideas and changes, and the ability to organize meetings with personnel. The IT manager is also responsible for organizing changes to the system to minimize the amount of downtime for the organization.
IT Manager Degree & Education Experience
Managers in any corporation are usually held to a higher standard, so a degree is sometimes required. IT managers don’t always have higher education degrees in just computer science of information systems. Some IT managers have an undergraduate in computer science and then a MBA. MBAs show employers that the manager understands business process and theories. Some managers have hands-on experience with several years as a team lead. Team lead positions then turn into management positions, although finding outside job opportunities still require a degree in most cases.
IT Manager Work Experience
Hard skills are important in an IT management position in case the manager needs to communicate issues with other teams. These hard skills are usually learned in the early years of an applicant’s career. Knowing how hardware and software works makes a stronger IT manager.
Hard skills include:
- Understand hardware and software processes including the development lifecycle
- Networking concepts such as DNS, TCP/IP, authentication and VPN management
- Monitoring software for network and software performance
- Operating systems such as Windows or Linux
- Compliance standards such as SOX, PCI, HIPAA or NIST
- Best practices for coding and hardware upgrades
- Network and software management best practices