Application development managers keep businesses running smoothly by planning, coordinating and supervising all activities related to an organization’s software applications. By cultivating a broad understanding of business operations, application development managers can help a company reach its goals for productivity and profitability. Enrolling in a bachelor’s degree in business administration program with a specialization in computer information systems (CIS) can be the first step to a successful application development manager career.

Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that overall employment of computer software engineers and computer programmers, the category that includes application development managers, is expected to be very strong in coming years. Demand for application development managers will increase as electronic data processing systems used in business, finance, healthcare, government and other settings become more complex. As the need for computer software and specialty applications grows, the demand for application development managers should increase.

Job Duties for Application Development Managers

Application development managers are typically responsible for a team that monitors, analyzes, designs and develops a company’s computer software applications. They are also usually in charge of maintaining, supporting, and upgrading existing systems and applications needed to keep the business running.

Other job duties include managing development projects to ensure they meet the company’s business requirements and goals, as well as working with other departments to establish their software needs. Application development managers often test new software programs and applications, assist with quality assurance, and identify and resolve program issues and errors.

Some application development managers may report to a company’s chief information officer (CIO). Most supervise workers; staff size generally varies according to the size of the firm. When planning and directing projects with a team, the application development manager will assign work, review and evaluate performance, and meet with staff to identify and solve problems.

Application development managers usually work in an office setting. A fast-paced work environment is typical, and they may work more than 40 hours per week.

Potential Salary

National salary data on Salary.com indicated that the range of average annual salaries for applications development managers was approximately $109,036 as of October 2010. The middle 50% earned between $99,009 and $120,540. Salaries for the lowest 10% were around $89,880, while the highest 10% brought in upwards of $131,014. Recent bachelor’s degree program graduates will typically start out as software application developers (at a correspondingly lower salary) and work their way up to a managerial role with experience or advanced education.

Education and Training

Most application development manager jobs require a bachelor’s degree and related work experience. The typical career path for a college graduate is to obtain a software application developer or software engineer position and acquire a few years of hands-on experience before transitioning into a supervisory role.

The road to an application development manager career can begin with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialization in computer information systems. Coursework typically includes system analysis and design, database concepts and programming, organization theory and electronic commerce.

Employers can be confident that graduates of a business administration program with a specialization in CIS are able to:

  • Streamline information systems and processes.
  • Apply network theory and design principles to real-world scenarios.
  • Demonstrate the technical expertise necessary for today’s complex business needs.
  • Assist with strategic planning and manage a team of software application specialists.
  • Leverage advanced skills and knowledge to succeed as an application development manager.

Many employers offer opportunities for continuing education. It’s possible to gain an entry-level position with a bachelor’s degree and use tuition assistance to further your education.

Considering a Career as an Application Development Manager?

The best application development managers are self-starters who possess excellent oral and written communication skills and an ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships. They are also detail-oriented and good decision-makers. If you have a talent for business and computer applications, a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialization in CIS can put you on the path to a successful career as an application development manager!

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