If you’re interested in learning more about positions in the software industry, read our software engineering career guide.
Coding bootcamps have proven their worth over the past few years as an exciting alternative to a college education. During a bootcamp, you’ll learn the practical skills necessary to succeed in a career in IT management.
There are a few skills you’ll need to develop and refine to become an IT manager. Let’s break them down, starting with the technical skills.
There are several technical skills you’ll need to know in order to become an IT manager:
One of the most basic and important skills an IT professional needs is computer programming. A software or a web development job requires the use of code, so coding skills are a must for any candidate.
Some programming languages you may want to consider learning to become a successful IT manager include:
As an IT manager, you’ll need to be an expert in networking. You should understand how systems come together and work, and understand the anatomy of a network. You should be adept at setting up wireless routers, server setups, cybersecurity, and cloud services, along with being able to navigate and manage a server.
As an IT manager, you’ll likely be responsible for overseeing any internal database. You should have a strong understanding of how databases work, and how to query and amend one. You should also know how to manage, update, and maintain a database.
Computer hardware refers to the physical components of a computer system, such as a keyboard, monitor, mouse, or router. The software provides instructions to the hardware to perform a task. Programs or apps are loaded into the computer, which operates by executing the software.
Both hardware and software are interconnected. One won’t work without the other. Having knowledge of the software and hardware of a computer is essential for an IT worker.
Knowing how to interact with web services is a crucial part of being an IT manager. You should know how web services and application programming interfaces (APIs) work, and how you can use them within the IT department and the broader organization. You should also be comfortable working with cloud services and know how to respond to problems with cloud technologies.
APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces, allow interactions between two applications, so they can communicate with each other. For instance, when you check the weather on your phone or use messaging apps, you are using an API.
APIs are tools that allow programmers to write applications rapidly. Many operating systems and applications have different kinds of APIs. For example, Windows has many API sets that the system hardware or applications use.
IT managers need more than just technical skills to be successful. You’ll need a set of soft skills as well to thrive in any IT management position. The top soft skills you can expect to use on the job include:
Communication is an essential part of any position in technology. You’ll be working with other members of an IT team, who you’ll also need to manage. In addition, you’ll be liaising with other members of the company, from sales to management. As a result, you should know how to effectively communicate and share information with others.
Problem-solving is part of the day-to-day work of an IT manager. For example, you’ll have to fix problems other team members are having with their technology or bugs caused by new updates. You should know how to break down a problem into smaller parts and address them efficiently.
Technology is changing quickly and you need to stay up-to-date to survive as an IT manager. You should be capable of adapting quickly as new technologies are introduced. You should also be willing to train yourself and others on how to use and embrace these new technologies in the workplace.
A part of your job as an IT professional will be to manage multiple tasks and responsibilities. You will be responsible for tight deadlines and deliverables. Self-direction and self-motivation are key traits needed to succeed in this position.
Good project management skills are a secret career superpower. They involve the ability to set goals and reach them in a timely and efficient manner. Successful project management requires being goal-oriented, meeting deadlines, multitasking, and problem-solving.
The curiosity to learn new things, and practice the skills at hand, will help you achieve results. A great IT professional understands the innate workings of computer systems and strives to get better while making suggestions to increase efficiency at work.
Innovation is the key to the biggest breakthroughs in life. Successful people spend time creating innovative solutions and are also risk-takers.
The skills listed above are only a few of the ones you can learn on your IT path. Additional soft and technical skills you can learn to increase your chances of entering an IT field include:
The outlook for IT management positions is strong. Experts predict businesses will continue expanding their digital operations, which means they will have more technology in need of management.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, jobs in computer and information systems management are expected to grow by 10 percent from 2019 to 2029. The bureau describes this growth as "much faster than average.” Due to high demand, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects 509,200 new IT jobs in the fields of cloud computing, big data, and information security.
Here is a list of three other IT careers that are both intellectually stimulating and lucrative:
IT managers command impressive salaries. According to Glassdoor, positions in IT management offer salaries ranging from $74,000 to $142,000. The national average salary for IT managers is $107,300 per year.
The exact amount you can expect to earn as an IT manager will vary depending on the company you work for and your location. IT managers at companies with large technology needs can expect to command higher salaries than those who work at startups, which typically have lower IT demands.
An IT manager will earn an average of $134,700 in San Francisco , but the same IT manager will bring in about $109,500 in Atlanta, GA. It’s clear that location makes a huge difference when it comes to salaries in IT management.
Your income will also depend on your level of experience. IT directors oversee all technology within a business and typically have more experience. They can expect to earn an average of $142,800. These figures do not include employee perks, stock options, or other benefits, which you should take into account when evaluating a job offer.
Taking courses to earn a professional certificate can seem much more practical than dropping thousands of dollars on an academic degree. IT courses are especially handy if you aren’t sure you want to major in technology.
Below are some of the best online IT courses and useful certificate programs:
This IT course, which lasts from six to 10 hours, focuses on network connectivity. It covers topics like networks, hubs, switches, and WANS. At the end of the course, you will receive a certification. This is a fantastic way to build up your resume without attending a four-year university.
Harvard’s cybersecurity IT course teaches students of all ages and walks of life about the importance of cybersecurity and technology systems management. This course is perfect if you want to know more about practical IT strategies. The class covers cyberattacks, threats, and mitigation strategies.
Eric Rosenbach, of the Harvard Kennedy School of Public Policy, will guide you through this fascinating program. At the end of the course, you will earn a certificate directly from Harvard University’s Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning.
Cloud computing is quickly becoming one of the most prevalent ways to store and access data. That’s why it’s a great idea to get on board now and learn everything there is to know about this new field.
In this course, students will gain a foundational knowledge of cloud computing. The course covers the basics of how it works and what it means for businesses and individuals. You don’t need an impressive background in computers to apply, as this is only an introductory course. People with little to no technical background are encouraged to sign up.
The program delves into security measures, the different types of cloud computing, and web applications. You will gain useful experience that will benefit you as you apply for jobs and certificate programs.
Certificates are a great way to show employers that you’re an expert in a specific area. You can earn certifications from many sources, some more reputable than others.
Now that you know a little more about the importance of cloud computing, why not become certified as a Google Cloud Architect? This is one of the most sought-after certifications in cloud computing and could bring a lot of opportunities to budding tech experts.