Enterprise Systems Manager Careers: Job Description & Salary Info

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An enterprise systems manager's median annual salary is around $127,640. Is it worth the education requirements? See real job descriptions and get the truth about career prospects to find out if becoming an enterprise systems manager is right for you.
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An Enterprise Systems Manager Career: Pros and Cons

Enterprise systems managers are responsible for implementing and upgrading a company's computer and information systems. Learn about the pros and cons of a career as an enterprise systems manager to make an informed decision about your future.

Pros of an Enterprise Systems Manager Career
High median annual salary ($127,640, as of May 2014)*
Favorable job prospects because of the difficulty of finding candidates who meet the qualifications*
Positions found in many industries (finance, government, manufacturing, healthcare, computer systems design, etc.)*
Opportunity to make major technology-related purchasing designs*

Cons of an Enterprise Systems Manager Career
Significant work experience required, depending on the level of responsibility (directors typically need at least five years' experience, while CTOs may need 15+)*
Can require overtime (almost 33% worked 40+ hours a week in 2012)*
Graduate degree may be needed for some positions*
Supervising remote workers can be challenging*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Career Information

Job Description and Duties

Enterprise systems managers are responsible for planning and designing computer systems for various types of companies, as well as upgrading and maintaining existing systems. Some business systems they work with include those used for accounting, inventory, healthcare services and procurement, and they often need to find ways to integrate these various systems into an existing infrastructure. System planning requires them to analyze user requirements to determine what software or hardware is needed to meet these goals. After determining how long a project will take and how much money needs budgeted, they communicate why the project is needed and continually provide information on the project's progress and any problems that arise. When a system project is complete, they may come up with training plans for end users, which can require collaboration from other IT management professionals and third-party providers.

Enterprise systems managers direct other professionals during the entire system development process, including business analysts, systems analysts and support personnel. They also provide coaching and monitor employee performance to ensure the company's IT goals are met. Since some companies allow technical workers to telecommute, the manager may deal with the challenge of monitoring remote workers. Because of the scope of their duties, enterprise system managers may work long hours; in 2010, the BLS indicated that almost 25% of these professionals worked over 50 hours each week.

Job Growth and Salary Info

The BLS projected average job growth of 15% for computer and information systems managers from 2012-2022. The BLS also expects that enterprise systems managers should have favorable job prospects because of the reported difficulty employers have in finding qualified managers to fill open positions. The need to upgrade outdated systems, especially in the healthcare industry, may also contribute to the need for more managers. While outsourcing can result in some IT professionals being hired overseas, local managers will still be needed to monitor work and plan projects at physical locations.

According to the BLS, computer and information systems managers earned a median salary of around $127,640, as of May 2014. The computer systems design and related services industry had the highest level of employment (21% of labor force), while the securities and commodity exchanges industry offered the highest annual mean wage, at about $201,030 in May 2014. Location also plays a role in income. The top paying states, such as California, New York and Delaware, reported average salaries ranging from about $153,000-$159,000.

What Are the Requirements?

Most enterprise systems managers need at least a bachelor's degree; however, many employers may also require a graduate degree, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Computer science is the most common technical major requested, but employers could also look for candidates with industry-related degrees, such as healthcare or finance. If you decide to pursue an industry-specific degree, you should also take technical courses to ensure you obtain a solid background in both your chosen industry and information technology. Throughout your career, you will also need to keep up with technological changes.

Since this career requires you to make major decisions on proposed systems for the company, analytical skills are needed to come up with hardware and software solutions, and decision-making skills are needed to choose the best system from multiple options. You'll also need strong communication skills to explain concepts in a way nontechnical employees can understand. Helpful management skills include coaching, performance management, team development and conflict resolution. You may also need skills in:

  • Project management
  • Computer operating systems
  • Network architecture
  • Database administration
  • Systems analysis

What Do Employers Look for?

In addition to expertise in managing business systems, employers typically look for a degree and at least five years of experience. The types of systems you need experience in and the college major preferred depend on the type of company offering the job. The following are a few job postings for enterprise systems managers that were open in April 2012:

  • An Atlanta software manufacturing company is looking for an IT enterprise systems manager with a 4-year degree and at least five years of experience. The candidate should be team oriented with systems analysis and design skills, technical leadership skills, troubleshooting skills and project management experience. Expertise in Microsoft SQL, the JDEdwards Enterprise Resource Planning system, network architecture and Microsoft Windows environments is also required.
  • A Portland healthcare company advertised for a manager of information services, enterprise systems with five or more years of experience, including two years with managerial responsibilities. This position requires a bachelor's degree, and preferred majors include computer science, finance or business. The candidate should have experience with enterprise resource planning systems, attendance systems and budgeting systems, as well as project management and, ideally, healthcare experience.
  • A Philadelphia academic hospital is seeking an enterprise systems manager to manage its clinical systems. Requirements include five years of experience managing healthcare systems, project management experience and expertise in health system applications. Two years of experience must have been in a hospital project management role, and the employer indicated a preference for candidates with healthcare IT management experience. Although the employer doesn't require a bachelor's degree, one is preferred in healthcare or computer science.

How to Get an Edge in the Field

According to the BLS, computer and information systems managers with up-to-the-minute knowledge of the latest technology often have the best job opportunities. You can develop your knowledge by attending industry conferences specifically related to enterprise systems, such as the International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems (ICEIS) and the International Conference on Operations Research and Enterprise Systems (ISCORES). Reading industry publications and networking with other enterprise systems professionals are also ways to keep your knowledge current.

Another way to develop and demonstrate knowledge in enterprise systems is to obtain certification. Many product vendors offer certifications for individuals working on enterprise-level systems. Microsoft offers the Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) and the Microsoft Certified Master (MSM) designations for IT professionals who work in sophisticated business environments, designing and implementing solutions. Oracle awards a variety of certifications for applications developers and IT architects. Cisco also grants the Cisco Certified Architect Certification (CCAr) for individuals who can translate complex business needs into software architecture. To earn these advanced certifications, you may need to first earn lower-level certifications and pass an exam or series of exams.

Other Careers to Consider

Network and Computer Systems Administrator

If being responsible for technical personnel sounds too stressful for you, consider a career as a network and computer systems administrator. While these professionals sometimes advise support professionals, they primarily have a hands-on role, which involves installing and configuring systems, troubleshooting issues, performing upgrades and monitoring system performance. While most employers generally look for a bachelor's degree related to technology, some only require industry certifications or an associate degree and related experience.

The BLS predicted that jobs for network and computer systems administrators would increase 28% from 2010-2020, which is better than the projected outlook for enterprise systems managers. The median annual wage for administrators, however, is lower at about $71,000, according to the BLS's May 2011 national estimates.

Systems Analyst

If you want to recommend computer systems to management but don't have enough work experience to be a manager, you could consider a career as a systems analyst. Keeping the company's strategic objectives in mind, these professionals look for innovative technologies that could help a business become more efficient. They also determine the hardware and software that should be used and customize systems. While not all employers make it a requirement, the majority of systems analysts hold bachelor's degrees in a computer-related area or information management.

Computer systems analysts have better job prospects than enterprise systems managers. The BLS predicted that computer systems analysts would see faster-than average job growth at a rate of 22% from 2010-2020. As of May 2011, their median annual wage was about $79,000, which was higher than the salary of network and computer systems administrators.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • PhD in Business Admin - Management Information Systems
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      • PhD-TIM - Information Systems
      • Doctor of Business Admin - General Business
      • PhD in Business Admin - Management of Engineering and Technology
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Management of Engineering and Technology
    Master's
      • MBA - Management Information Systems
      • Master of Business Admin - General Business
      • MBA - Management
      • MBA - Management of Engineering and Technology
  • Online Programs Available
    2. George Mason University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration: Business Analytics Specialization
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA - Information Technology
      • MBA: Project Management
      • MS in Information Technology - Business Intelligence and Analytics
      • MSM in Information Technology
      • Master : Business Admin
    Bachelor's
      • BSBA in Information Systems Management
      • BSBA in Information Assurance
      • BBA: Project Management
      • BS in Health Information Management
    Associate's
      • Associate: Information Technology
      • AASBA in Information Processing
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  • Online Programs Available
    4. Georgetown University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Johns Hopkins University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Geographic Information Systems
      • Master of Science in Government Analytics
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Baker College Online

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Business Administration - DBA (Doctorate)
    Master's
      • Information Systems - MBA (Master's)
    Bachelor's
      • Business Intelligence - MBA (Master's)
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • DBA - Management
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      • Master of Science in Business Analytics
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      • Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems
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  • Online Programs Available
    8. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA: Technology Management
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    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Technology Management
      • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
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      • Associate of Science - Business Management
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  • Online Programs Available
    9. Keiser University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S.s - Management Information Systems
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Colorado State University Global

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MS - Organizational Leadership
      • MS - Management
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Management Information Systems and Business Analytics
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      • BS - Organizational Leadership

Featured Schools

Northcentral University

  • PhD in Business Admin - Management Information Systems
  • Doctor of Business Admin - Management Information Systems
  • MBA - Management Information Systems
  • Master of Business Admin - General Business

What is your highest level of education?

George Mason University

  • Master of Business Administration: Business Analytics Specialization

What is your highest level of education?

Kaplan University

  • MBA - Information Technology
  • BSBA in Information Systems Management
  • Associate: Information Technology

Which subject are you interested in?

Georgetown University

  • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management

What is your highest level of education completed?

Johns Hopkins University

  • Master of Science in Geographic Information Systems
  • Master of Science in Government Analytics

What is your highest level of education?

Baker College Online

  • Business Administration - DBA (Doctorate)
  • Information Systems - MBA (Master's)
  • Business Intelligence - MBA (Master's)

What is your highest level of education?

Grand Canyon University

  • DBA - Management
  • Master of Science in Business Analytics
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems

What is your highest level of education?

Herzing University

  • MBA: Technology Management
  • Bachelor: Technology Management
  • Associate of Science - Business Management

What is your highest level of education?