Becoming a Technology Manager: Job Description & Salary Info

About this article
A technology manager's median annual salary is approximately $128,000. Is it worth the education requirements? See real job descriptions and get the truth about career prospects to see if becoming a technology manager is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of Being a Technology Manager

Technology managers oversee a wide variety of responsibilities in an organization as they relate to the use of technology, including the installation and utilization of software and equipment. Check out the pros and cons below to determine if a career as a technology manager is right for you.

Pros of Becoming a Technology Manager
High-paying job (median salary of $128,000 in 2014)*
A bachelor's degree is sufficient for many positions*
You will play an important role in bringing new technology to an organization*
Many industries need technology managers*

Cons of Becoming a Technology Manager
Several years of related experience is typically necessary even for low-level management positions*
Advanced positions often requires 5-15 years of experience or a graduate degree*
Overtime is often necessary (24% of computer and information system managers worked over 50 hours a week in 2010)*
This occupations is somewhat vulnerable to outsourcing*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information

Job Description

Technology managers, also known as computer or information systems managers, decide what computer systems and other technology should be used by a company and oversee the installation and utilization of the equipment and software. As a manger, you will analyze needs and goals, assess budgetary concerns and address data security concerns in addition to supervising other employees in the department. Technology managers may encounter high stress situations due to personnel performance, budgetary concerns and deadlines. Telecommuting is becoming common and you may be required to supervise employees who work from home.

Salary and Career Prospects

Advancements in technology are causing a majority of businesses, government agencies and other organizations to upgrade the technology they currently use. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected an 15% increase in the employment of computer and information systems managers from 2012-2022. The BLS also stated that the healthcare industry is behind in the utilization of technological advances and will lead the way in hiring computer and information technology (IT) managers for that decade.

The annual median salary for these professionals was measured by the BLS to be about $128,000 in May of 2014. The bottom ten percent of managers received about $78,000 a year or less while the top ten percent earned about $187,000 or more annually.

Career Paths

The BLS recognizes there are many types of computer and information systems managers, and job duties are dependent on the complexity and size of a business or organization. Chief technology officers assess what technology will be utilized and oversee the process of implementation. IT security managers plan and coordinate data security protocols, train employees in proper procedures and handle incidents involving security breaches. Technology managers are employed in a large number of industries, with the highest percentage working for systems design firms. You may also have to gain additional knowledge of regulations, policies and software if you work for government agencies, healthcare companies or financial institutions.

Education and Skills Required

A bachelor's degree is typically the minimum requirement for a technology management position, but a master's degree could be required in some cases and is commonly preferred. Coursework in technology-related bachelor's degree programs can include systems design, database management, business, networking and project management. At the undergraduate level you could pursue a degree in computer science or information technology, while at the master's degree level you could pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in management information systems. Work experience is often required to become a manager and the BLS states that many managers gain expertise working in lower-level computer jobs.

Technology managers must communicate effectively, be highly organized, possess strong problem-solving skills and be able to think outside the box in order to solve complex issues that may arise. Utilizing appropriate leadership techniques, motivating your team and communicating clearly are essential to success.

What Employers Are Looking for

Employers generally prefer to hire a technology manager with at least a relevant bachelor's degree and several years of related experience in a field like programming or system architecture. Leadership and communication expertise are also highly valued skills. Depending on the industry, you may also need to have knowledge of particular computer systems and technology that is used in that field. Below are some samples of real job postings found in April of 2012:

  • A healthcare provider in New York is looking for a technology manager to help oversee the transition to the complex ICD-10 disease classification computer system. A bachelor's degree and six years of industry experience are required but a graduate degree, experience with hospital revenue cycles and knowledge of patient accounting are preferred. Candidates must have excellent communications skills and must know how to use both Microsoft Visio and Powerpoint.
  • A technology company in Connecticut wants to hire a technology manager with a master's degree in a computer-related field and one year of relevant experience. A bachelor's degree and five years of experience can be substituted for a master's degree. The hiring company desires previous experience that includes creating technical drawings, coordinating applications and finding solutions to technical problems. You would also need to use industry standard technology such as Oracle, SQL and JDBC to design data models.
  • A financial services company is seeking an equity data/software technology manager to work in their Chicago office. Upon hire, the candidate will maintain existing data processing technology and head up the creation and implementation of more efficient systems. A bachelor's degree in computer science is needed, but a master's is highly preferred. Candidates must possess knowledge in a variety of computer applications, be a team player and have the ability to motivate others. Five years of computer experience and three years in a leadership role are also among the additional requirements.

How Can I Stand out in the Field?

Technology changes very quickly and managers are expected know about new advancements that may benefit their company or organization. Attending seminars and classes or joining a professional organization may provide you with valuable skills and information that could give you an advantage over others in the same field. Becoming a member of the Association of Information Technology Professionals could provide you with the opportunity to network with other managers, improve leadership and business skills, share ideas, learn about new technologies and show your dedication to the field.

According to the BLS, a graduate degree may be preferred or required for technology management positions, so you may consider completing a master's degree in order to gain an edge over your competition. You may also find it useful to gain your initial work experience in the field that you one day hope to manage in, such as healthcare or finance.

Get Certified

Although certification is not required for this profession, the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering offers the Certified Technology Manager (CTM) and the Certified Senior Technology Manager (CSTM) certifications for professionals who desire career advancement and prestige. To qualify for the CTM certification, you must earn a college degree and pass an exam testing proficiency in the field.

Alternative Careers

Computer Systems Analysts

If you want to work in the computer and technology industry but don't want to become a manager, you might want to consider becoming a computer systems analyst. These analysts research available technologies, determine if they can help improve efficiency, measure costs and assess if existing equipment can be salvaged. The educational requirements are similar to that of a technology manager, and a bachelor's degree may be enough to qualify you for a position as an analyst. You won't have the job pressures of a manager and telecommuting is becoming more prevalent. However, the BLS estimated that the median annual salary of computer systems analysts in May of 2011 was only around $79,000, significantly less than a technology manager. On the upside, job growth for these analysts is predicted to be faster-than-average, and the BLS projected a 22% increase from 2010-2020.

Management Analysts

If you're not interested in working with computers, a career in management analysis may be more to your liking. A management analyst usually assesses organizational problems and goals and recommends structural and personnel necessities. Most analysts have a bachelor's degree in business or management, but some employers prefer analysts who hold an MBA. Management analysts can work as consultants and the BLS determined that 23% of these analysts were self-employed in 2010.

According to the BLS, management analysts are expected to see a 22% rise in employment from 2010-2020, a rate slightly higher than technology managers. In May 2011, management analysts earned a median annual salary of about $78,000, according to the BLS.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctorate: C.S. - Enterprise Information Systems
      • Doctor of Management - Technology Management (Executive Format)
      • Doctor of Computer Science - Big Data Analytics (Executive Format)
      • Doctorate: Computer Science
      • Doctorate - Computer Science: Information Assurance (Executive Format)
    Master's
      • M.S. - Management: IT and Project Management
      • M.S. - Information Technology
      • M.S. - Information Technology - Project Management
      • M.S. - Information Technology - Security Management
      • MS - Management - Information Systems Security
      • MS - Computer Science - Computer Systems Security
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Information Technology
      • BS - Business Administration - IT
      • BS - IT - Security
      • Bachelor: Information Systems Management
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Data Management
      • Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security - Computer Systems Security
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Healthcare Management and Technology Management
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Accounting and Technology Management
      • MBA: Technology Management
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Project/Technology Management
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Business Management and Technology Management
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Public Safety Leadership and Technology Management
    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Information Technology Admin and Management With No Declared Minor or Concentration
      • Bachelor: Technology Management
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Network Management Concentration
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Security Technology Concentration
    Associate's
      • Associate of Science - Information Technology Admin and Management
      • Associate of Science - Technology Studies
    Certificate
      • Networking Systems Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Keiser University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S.s - Management Information Systems
      • Bachelor of Science - Cyber Forensics/Information Security
    Associate's
      • Associate of Sciences - Information Technology
  • Campus and Online Programs
    4. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS - Cloud Technologies (Campus)
      • BS - Game Design (Campus)
  • Online Programs Available
    5. American InterContinental University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of IT: Project Management
      • Master of Science in Information Technology
      • Master of Information Technology - Information Assurance and Security
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
      • Bachelor: IT - Network Admin
      • Bachelor of Information Technology - Digital Investigation
      • Bachelor of Technology: Information Assurance and Security
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
      • PhD in Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Computer and Information Security
      • PhD Technology and Innovation Management Computer Science
      • PhD Technology and Innovation Management Data Science
      • Doctor of Philosophy in Data Science
    Master's
      • MBA - Applied Computer Science
      • MS Technology and Innovation Management Information Systems
      • MS Technology and Innovation Management Computer Science
      • MS Technology and Innovation Management Data Science
      • Master of Science in Data Science
      • MBA - Management Information Systems
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Georgetown University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Utica College

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Professional Studies in Cyber Policy and Risk Analysis
      • MS in Data Science
      • MS in Data Science: Social Science Analytics
      • MS in Data Science: Business Analytics and Data Design
      • MBA - Data Analytics
      • MBA - Cyber Policy
    Bachelor's
      • BS in Cybersecurity - Information Assurance
      • BS in Cybersecurity - Network Forensics and Intrusion Investigation
      • BS in Cybersecurity - Cyber Operations
      • Online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
    Certificate
      • Computer Forensics Cert
      • Cyber Operations Cert
      • Cyber Policy Cert
      • Monitoring, Surveillance, and Intelligence Operations Cert
      • Cybersecurity Technologies Certificate
  • Campus Locations:
    9. Brightwood College

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Computer Networking Technology
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Penn Foster High School

    Program Options

    High School Diploma
      • Penn Foster High School with Early College Courses
      • HS Diploma
      • High School with a Concentration in Information Technology

Featured Schools

Colorado Technical University

  • Doctorate: C.S. - Enterprise Information Systems
  • M.S. - Management: IT and Project Management
  • Bachelor: Information Technology

Are you a US citizen?

Herzing University

  • MBA Dual Concentration: Healthcare Management and Technology Management
  • B.S. - Information Technology Admin and Management With No Declared Minor or Concentration
  • Associate of Science - Information Technology Admin and Management
  • Networking Systems Certificate

What is your highest level of education?

Keiser University

  • B.S.s - Management Information Systems
  • Bachelor of Science - Cyber Forensics/Information Security
  • Associate of Sciences - Information Technology

What is your highest level of education?

Full Sail University

  • BS - Cloud Technologies (Campus)
  • BS - Game Design (Campus)

What is your highest level of education?

American InterContinental University

  • Master of IT: Project Management
  • Master of Science in Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
  • Bachelor: IT - Network Admin

Are you a US citizen?

Northcentral University

  • Doctor of Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
  • PhD in Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
  • MBA - Applied Computer Science
  • MS Technology and Innovation Management Information Systems

What is your highest level of education?

Georgetown University

  • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management

What is your highest level of education completed?

Utica College

  • Master of Professional Studies in Cyber Policy and Risk Analysis
  • BS in Cybersecurity - Information Assurance
  • Computer Forensics Cert

What is your highest level of education completed?