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Information systems managers, or IT managers, are responsible for the secure and effective operation of all computer systems, related applications, hardware and software that is used within a wide range of public and private sector organisations.

Demand for IT managers is expected to increase as employers continue to expand their use of IT.

What does an information systems manager do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Responsibilities of the job vary according to employment sector. However, typical tasks include:

  • managing a team of staff including programmers, analysts and support specialists
  • evaluating the functionality of systems
  • consulting computer users to ascertain needs and to ensure that facilities meet user or project requirements
  • selecting and purchasing appropriate hardware and software
  • managing IT budgets
  • ensuring software licensing laws are followed
  • implementing and managing security or integrity and backup procedures
  • scheduling upgrades
  • providing user training, support, advice and feedback
  • testing and modifying systems to ensure that that they operate reliably
  • managing secure network access for remote users
  • keeping up to date with new technology
  • designing maintenance procedures and putting them into operation
  • training new staff.

Typical employers for information systems managers

  • Financial organisations
  • IT companies
  • Management consultancy firms
  • Software companies
  • Universities
  • Hospitals
  • Local authorities
  • Central government
  • Online retailers

Any organisation that makes extensive use of computers may employ an information systems manager.

Vacancies are advertised by recruitment agencies, careers services, online, in newspapers and publications such as Computing and Computer Weekly. Further information is available in the TARGETjobs IT & Technology publication.

Qualifications and training required

There are routes into this profession for both school leavers and graduates.

For graduates, a degree or a higher national diploma (HND) in a relevant subject such as information technology, computer science, software engineering, management sciences or business studies is usually required. For graduates without relevant qualifications and/or experience, gaining a postgraduate computing or IT qualification can be helpful.

To become an information systems manager, candidates usually have to work their way up from an entry-level role, such as information systems officer. Such roles are often competitive, so relevant industrial experience (particularly experience gained within the fields of project management, technical support, systems programming or computer operations) is beneficial. You can achieve this through industrial placements, summer internships and insight programmes.

It is sometimes possible to enter this career without a degree or HND. To find out more about getting into IT and technology via a school leaver route, visit the IT and technology section of TARGETcareers, our website aimed at school leavers.

Key skills for information systems managers

  • Analytical and problem solving skills
  • Strong technical skills
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • Attention to detail
  • Teamworking skills
  • Organisation and time management
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Management and leadership skills

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