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How do I Become a Senior IT Manager?

Article Details
  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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There are three skills required to become a senior IT manager: information technology experience, education, and interpersonal skills. A senior information technology (IT) manager typically reports to the director of information technology within the organization. He or she is expected to manage a team of information technology professionals and provide service and support to the organization.

Information technology is a huge field, and the experience must be obtained in the same area or discipline to be relevant. For example, someone who has a wealth of experience as a system developer does not have the background required to become a senior IT manager responsible for the computer hardware or infrastructure. These fields are quite separate and distinct, with very little overlap in skill set or knowledge. Many people are hesitant to choose a discipline due to concern about narrowing their future career options. However, some specialization is required, simply based on the sheer size of information and knowledge required to complete the tasks of the job.

In order to become a senior IT manager, almost everyone is required to obtain post-secondary training in computer programming, development, architecture, hardware, or computer science. These programs are available from a wide range of universities and community colleges. Look for programs that include a job placement or internship opportunity. Many people find their first paid position with the same firm where they completed their internship.

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Interpersonal skills required once you become a senior IT manager include prioritization, conflict resolution, project management, communication, and negotiations. All these skills are known as soft skills and are not typically included in post-secondary training in information technology. Instead, many people either pick up these skills over time or take additional courses.

The most efficient way to move into a senior IT manager role is to overachieve in your current position. The career path typically starts with a staff position in the firm's information technology department. Promotion to management may occur after five to eight years of working experience. Keep in mind that consistent excellence is necessary to make this transition. The competition in this industry is quite intense, and only candidates who outperform their colleagues on a regular basis will be noticed for promotion.

As a manager, take the time to learn the skills required for this job. Part-time courses are available from a wide range of universities and colleges to obtain the skills necessary to be successful. Many people find a mentor or professional adviser to help them with the challenges of the position and responsibility. The skills learned will be required once you become a senior IT manager.

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