Detailed Guide forComputer and Information Systems Managers in California
May also be called: Information Systems Directors; Management Information Systems Directors; Information Technology Directors; Information Technology Managers; Data Processing Managers; Directors of Application Development; Technical Services Managers; Directors of Data Operations; Information Technology Systems Directors; and Management Information Systems Managers.
What Would I Do?
Computer and Information Systems Managers oversee a company’s technology department. They help plan, design, purchase, and install computer hardware, software, and peripheral technology equipment for business. They administer and coordinate the company’s staff that keeps the equipment humming. They must strive to keep up with the changing technology world so their company does not fall behind the competition.
These Managers work with upper management to facilitate the technology business plan that is adopted by the company. Managers may advise management what equipment and software to purchase to best meet the objectives of the firm. They then help draw up a detailed plan to meet the overall goals as defined by the company’s decision makers. This means they must understand what various systems and products are able to do. They must have a solid understanding of the benefits and limitations of a wide variety of hardware and software products, as well as the means to ascertain the best solution for whatever technology challenge the company will face in the near future.
Most businesses have an Internet presence. Computer and Information Systems Managers are responsible for overseeing the staff that creates and administers the company Internet site. They make sure the site is available to customers who are seeking information or buying the company’s products. Security is vital to the Web users who visit the Internet site, so Managers must put into place firewalls and robust virus and spam protection, to keep the site available. When Web site maintenance is necessary, the work is often scheduled in the middle of the night, when Internet usage is low.
Computer and Information Systems Managers are also in charge of the company’s network, making sure it performs well, stays on-line, and is not compromised by computer viruses or similar threats. They must also make sure the network is upgraded as necessary with appropriate hardware and software.
They are also closely involved in the installation and upgrading of computer hardware and software, programming, systems design, and networks. In some cases, they may be called on to help staff meet goals by assisting in the technical work effort.
Computer and Information Systems Managers use a variety of tools and technology in their work. They utilize computers, servers, printers, network routers and switches, Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) access devices, network interface and peripheral controller cards, as well as teleconference equipment. They use numerous types of software such as, development environment, data base management systems, customer relationship management, file system, object- or component-oriented development, just to name a few.
Managers directly supervise a variety of computer support staff. These workers include systems analysts, computer programmers, and other computer-related workers.
Important Tasks and Related Skills
Each task below is matched to a sample skill required to carry out the task.
|View the skill definitions|
|Task||Skill Used in this Task|
|Manage backup, security and user help systems.||Problem Sensitivity|
|Consult with users, management, vendors, and technicians to assess computing needs and system requirements.||Active Listening|
|Direct daily operations of department, analyzing workflow, establishing priorities, developing standards and setting deadlines.||Administration and Management|
|Assign and review the work of systems analysts, programmers, and other computer-related workers.||Computers and Electronics|
|Stay abreast of advances in technology.||Active Learning|
|Develop computer information resources, providing for data security and control, strategic computing, and disaster recovery.||Written Expression|
|Review and approve all systems charts and programs prior to their implementation.||Reading Comprehension|
|Evaluate the organization's technology use and needs and recommend improvements, such as hardware and software upgrades.||Critical Thinking|
|Control operational budget and expenditures.||Management of Financial Resources|
|Meet with department heads, managers, supervisors, vendors, and others, to solicit cooperation and resolve problems.||Oral Expression|
Below is a definition for each skill.
|View the tasks to skills list|
|Problem Sensitivity||The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.|
|Active Listening||Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.|
|Administration and Management||Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.|
|Computers and Electronics||Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.|
|Active Learning||Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.|
|Written Expression||The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.|
|Reading Comprehension||Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.|
|Critical Thinking||Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.|
|Management of Financial Resources||Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.|
|Oral Expression||The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.|
Computer and Information Systems Managers most often work in comfortable, attractive offices. They generally work a 40-hour week, Monday through Friday. However, pressing deadlines may require overtime hours and work on the weekends.
Stress can be part of the job. Tight deadlines dictated by the marketplace (e.g., the Christmas shopping season) can cause major headaches for a company’s computer staff and its managers. The trend towards reducing the often high costs of managing computer infrastructure can force the Manager to be creative in allocating resources, but can make it challenging to meet the company’s goals.
Virtually every large company, and many smaller ones as well, operate different models of computers in a variety of hardware configurations, from hand-held personal data assistants to large networks that tie together the Internet, laptops, PCs, modems, and servers in a complex array. The Manager must oversee the entire operation and must be adept at solving problems and organizing staff resources to meet the demands of the 21st century global corporation environment.
Computer and Information Systems Managers are generally not members of a union, since they are management.
Will This Job Fit Me?
The job of Computer and Information Systems Managers will appeal to those who enjoy activities that involve starting up and carrying out projects as well as following set procedures and routines. The Computer and Information Systems Manager occupation satisfies those with enterprising and conventional interests. Enterprising occupations involve leading people, making decisions, and sometimes require risk taking and dealing with business. Conventional occupations include working with data and details, while following a clear authority. Individuals working in this occupation are generally results-oriented and value working independently.
What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?
The median wage in 2016 for Computer and Information Systems Managers in California is $157,401 annually, or $75.68 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.
Most employers provide medical and dental insurance as well as vacation, sick leave, and retirement benefits. Many also offer vision and life insurance. Those in higher-level positions may receive additional benefits such as expense accounts and stock option plans.
What is the Job Outlook?
The outlook is quite good for Computer and Information Systems Managers. With the increased reliance on computers, networks, the Internet, and intranets, there will be a steady demand for qualified, experienced Managers who understand the advantages and limitations of a wide variety of technology solutions.
Computer technology is a rapidly changing field. It is imperative that the Manager stays current with changing standards, hardware platforms, and networking equipment, as well as software and programming languages. This will put a premium upon the more highly educated and skilled manager.
Projections of Employment
In California, the number of Computer and Information Systems Managers is expected to grow much faster than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for Computer and Information Systems Managers are expected to increase by 30.3 percent, or 15,200 jobs between 2014 and 2024.
|Estimated Employment and Projected Growth|
Computer and Information Systems Managers
(Estimated Year-Projected Year)
Due to Net
|View Projected Growth for All Areas|
Annual Job Openings
In California, an average of 1,530 new job openings per year is expected for Computer and Information Systems Managers, plus an additional 590 job openings due to net replacement needs, resulting in a total of 2,120 job openings.
|Estimated Average Annual Job Openings|
Computer and Information Systems Managers
|Jobs From Growth||Jobs Due to|
|View Data for All Areas|
How Do I Qualify?
Education, Training, and Other Requirements
There are no formal requirements for obtaining a position in this classification, but the most successful applicants will have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, business, or related field. Holders of master’s degrees in computer science or a related field can be more attractive to the employer.
A broad exposure to a variety of computer technologies such as network, internet development, telephony, databases, and other technology specialties can provide the prospective manager with a strong technical foundation that he or she will need in directing the activities of the staff.
There are many paths to becoming a Computer and Information Systems Manager. Most commonly, the technician who shows a flair for leadership is a candidate for promotion into the position. Management courses at the local college or development programs at the company itself provide a way for the prospective manager to develop his or her leadership skills.
Successful applicants for this occupation not only need to demonstrate familiarity with the effective use of technology in the business world, but they need to show an ability to direct the activities of others. Technology staff are generally quite skilled, but effective leadership is needed to ensure the talents of staff are harnessed for the betterment of the business.
Early Career Planning
English, computer science, electronics, mathematics, communications, business, and public speaking are classes that may help the student seeking a career in this field improve his or her chances of finding a good job.
Although there are no formal requirements for continuing education in this field, the Computer and Information Systems Manager must keep up with the latest developments in computer and information systems technology. There are a variety of methods, both formal and informal, that can assist the Manager in such an effort. Many colleges and universities offer courses in information systems, and various companies offer refresher courses in their particular technology offerings. Some professional organizations provide opportunities to keep up with changing technology.
Where Can I Find Training?
There are two ways to search for training information:
- Search by Field of Study to find what programs are available and what schools offer those programs. You may use keywords such as: Computer Science, Information Systems, Information Resources Management, Information Technology, LAN/WAN Management, Systems Analysis, and Systems Networking.
- Search by Training Provider to find schools by name, type of school, or location.
Contact the schools you are interested in to learn about the classes available, tuition and fees, and any prerequisite course work.
Where Would I Work?
Computer and Information Systems Managers work in small and large firms in all industries in all areas of the State. Most work in larger urban centers, though the adoption of computer resources by virtually all firms means that there is a potential for the Manager to work in a variety of areas. The largest industries employing Computer and Information Systems Managers are as follows:
|Industry Title||Percent of Total Employment for Occupation in California|
|Computer Systems Design and Rel Services ||21.5%|
|Other Information Services ||8.8%|
|Management of Companies and Enterprises ||8.6%|
|Computers and Peripheral Equipment ||5.3%|
|Software Publishers ||4.6%|
Finding a Job
Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods.
Every industry has a need for technical staff to maintain their computer equipment, to incorporate new technology into the mix of existing machines, and to plan for new devices and software as it becomes available. Potentially, there are openings for Computer and Information Systems Managers in every area of the State, and in every industry. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at www.jobcentral.com and CalJOBSSM at www.caljobs.ca.gov.
To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).
Yellow Page Headings
You can focus your local job search by checking employers listed online or in your local telephone directory. Below are some suggested headings where you might find employers of Computer and Information Systems Managers.
- Computer Systems
- Financial Institutions
Find Possible Employers
To locate a list of employers in your area, go to "Find Employers" on the Labor Market Information Web site:
- Select one of the top industries that employ the occupation. This will give you a list of employers in that industry in your area.
- Click on "View Filter Selections" to limit your list to specific cities or employer size.
- Click on an employer for the street address, telephone number, size of business, Web site, etc.
- Contact the employer for possible employment.
Where Could This Job Lead?
Promotion prospects are good for the organized, well-prepared candidate who is looking for a job with more responsibility and a larger staff. Sometimes promotional opportunities are in the same company, but often the Manager needs to look outside of his or her firm. The size of the firm frequently makes a difference in pay and management responsibility.
The top Computer and Information Systems Manager in a large firm is sometimes called Chief Technology Officer and may serve as a member of the executive staff of the company. This position is often highly paid and involves tremendous responsibility.
Below is a list of occupations related to Computer and Information Systems Managers with links to more information.
|Computer and Information Research Scientists||Profile|
|Computer Science Teachers, Postsecondary||Profile|
|Software Developers, Applications||Guide|
|Software Developers, Systems Software||Guide|
|Computer Systems Analysts||Guide|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||Guide|
|Network and Computer Systems Administrators||Guide|
These links are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement by EDD.
For the Career Professional
The following codes are provided to assist counselors, job placement workers, or other career professionals.