Information technology (IT) directors manage computing resources for organizations across many industries. These professionals are vital to ensuring that a company’s information technology is continuously available and secure. Enrolling in an MBA program with a specialization in Information Technology Management can help individuals advance to a challenging and rewarding IT director career.

Job Outlook for IT Directors

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that jobs for the category of professionals known as computer and information systems managers, which includes IT directors, will increase by 15% nationwide between 2012 and 2022. That’s faster than the average growth rate (11%) for all occupations during the same period. New technology and expanding business needs will continue to spur demand for IT directors. Individuals with strong business skills and advanced technical knowledge, as well as those with MBAs, will likely have better job prospects.

Job Duties

An IT director is responsible for the management, strategy and execution of IT infrastructure for an organization. Typical job duties include:

  • Overseeing technical projects in alignment with organizational goals 
  • Directing the effective delivery of networks, development, and disaster recovery systems and processes
  • Working with information engineers to find solutions to manage business activities
  • Supervising a team of workers, while working closely with management, external vendors and advisors
  • Preparing financial budgets and presenting proposals for capital projects to senior executives
  • Researching and recommending new products
  • Identifying new market opportunities
  • Leading efforts to improve IT processes

Salary Potential

According to the Robert Half Technology 2015 Salary Guide, average starting salaries for information technology managers nationwide range from $101,750 to $150,750, which is a 4.7% increase from 2014.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average yearly salary for IT directors and other computer and information systems managers was $132,570 as of May 2013, with the top 25% of earners receiving in excess of $156,560.

Prospective students should conduct independent research as salary potential and employment opportunities are affected by numerous factors, including a candidate’s work history and educational qualifications, as well as local market conditions.

Education and Training Requirements

Typically, IT director jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree and extensive experience; however, many employers prefer to hire candidates with a master’s degree.

Individuals competing for IT director jobs can distinguish themselves by earning an MBA with a specialization in IT Management. Coursework may include management information systems, database management technology, global information management and organizational behavior.

Professionals who have earned an MBA with a specialization in Information Technology Management should be able to:

  • Solve real-world technology challenges
  • Evaluate new technologies for competitive advantage
  • Apply contemporary business principles integral to a high-tech organization

Essential Skills for Success as an IT Director

IT directors have a great deal of responsibility, so they need a broad range of skills, from technical knowledge to understanding modern business practices. If you have technical expertise along with leadership and communication skills, plus a background in business management, you could experience success as an IT director. An MBA with a specialization in Information Technology can augment a candidate’s skill set and strengthen his or her ability to land a top IT director position.

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