How to Become an IT Manager

By Robert Half on December 24, 2019 at 2:00pm

Top IT managers have always been in demand, but with more industries utilizing Big Data and non-traditional IT solutions – especially enterprise-centric mobile applications – more companies are seeking candidates for these IT leadership roles.

And if you don't yet have an IT manager on your team, this might be the time to hire one. Any company that uses large databases needs an IT Manager, not just administrators and support staff. It's important to ask yourself this question: Who do you want managing your company's business-critical data? If it's not a high-caliber, skilled IT manager, your company could be missing out – or at risk.

More than just tech skills: what it takes to be an IT manager

IT managers need both a technical and a business background, as well as strong people management skills. IT managers must be effective advocates for the IT strategy as well as translate non-technical expectations into achievable IT solutions. In other words, these individuals must be fantastic communicators who can decipher business lingo and decode software speak.

An IT manager who thinks analytically is also very important, as this position involves not just problem resolution, but process development around how to prioritize and remediate those issues. In addition, a strong customer service orientation is integral because IT managers often serve as the final escalation point for high-visibility troubleshooting.

IT manager salary

The Robert Half Salary Guide shows the salary midpoint for this position for the coming year.

You can use the latest Salary Guide to adjust an entry-level IT manager salary for your city, as well.

What hiring managers want

Those hiring IT managers look for top candidates with a bachelor’s degree in an IT-related field, plus at least five years of experience with the specific types of business systems, hardware and networking services utilized by the firm. Demonstrated leadership is also a must.

Here is a list of qualifications:

  • Be able to analyze workflow, delegate projects and meet departmental goals
  • Develop and monitor performance standards
  • Provide input on hiring decisions for technical staff
  • Implement and monitor new projects
  • Manage performance of and delegate projects to team members

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