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Hot MBA Jobs: IT Manager/Director

IT manager

The following post has been republished in its entirety from its original source, metromba.com.

As the lines between business and technology industries continue to blur, more and more information, computer and tech professionals are looking to business schools and MBA programs to achieve a leg up on the competition. An MBA with a focus on information technology (IT) is a great path to landing any number of tech-related jobs. One such position is that of the IT manager/director.

What Does an IT Manager/Director Do?

IT managers oversee information technology strategies by managing the IT staff of a company and researching and implementing technological strategy solutions. They are often responsible and accountable for ensuring that the company’s computer systems function within the limits of certain requirements, specifications, costs and timelines. An IT manager will also oversee the implementation and maintenance of a company’s computing needs.

Obviously, this position requires some tech savvy, but as you can see in the following listing of typical job responsibilities by Workable, IT managers very clearly also need to be business-minded folks:

  • Manage information technology and computer systems
  • Plan, organize, control and evaluate IT and electronic data operations
  • Design, develop, implement and coordinate systems, policies and procedures
  • Ensure security of data, network access and backup systems
  • Act in alignment with user needs and system functionality to contribute to organizational policy
  • Manage staff by recruiting, training and coaching employees, communicating job expectations and appraising their performance
  • Identify problematic areas and implement strategic solutions in time
  • Audit systems and assess their outcomes
  • Preserve assets, information security and control structures
  • Handle annual budget and ensure cost effectiveness

How Can an MBA Help Me Become an IT Manager?

An MBA is by no means a requirement for this career choice, but it can certainly help. Business school skills are becoming an essential part of the IT world as information tech continues to play a larger role in business functions.

John Reed, executive director at Robert Half Technology, expects it will become increasingly desirable for IT pros to earn an MBA.

“If someone is doing it now, they’re probably ahead of the game,” Reed told NetworkWorld. “Having an MBA isn’t mandatory, but it’s certainly advantageous, particularly if you’re looking to be in a leadership capacity. A candidate who brings an MBA to the table—many times that separates you from the pack.”

One of the largest sub-divisions of the start-up world is the tech start-up industry. An MBA with a background in IT who can provide a flexible skill set could be extremely valuable to any small business or team looking to grow.

Michael Morris doesn’t work for a small start-up—he’s an IT manager at a $5 billion tech company who leads a team of engineers responsible for data networks, storage area networks, IP telephony and security. After a decade of networking and communications experience, including four years as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army, he decided to go back to business school and earn an MBA.

He told NetworkWorld:

 “[The MBA] will open up doors in other parts of IT that my technology background can’t take me to,” he said. “The best thing the MBA gives me from a skills standpoint is the ability to really look at business decisions, quantify them from a financial perspective, apply certain principles and derive an ROI from any type of activity. That’s key, because there aren’t a lot of IT people who can really do that.”

What About an MS in IT or an MS in Information Management?

You may think of them as similar, but in fact these degrees are very, very different. Essentially, an MBA in IT is a business degree, focusing more on operations and management. An MS in IT is a technology-driven degree.

Meanwhile, an MS in IM focuses more on running information systems, software and hardware, while an MBA in information technology is a business degree grooming candidates to manage the people who are looking over those systems.

Posted in: Careers, MBA Career Strategy, MBA News, News

Schools: Carnegie Mellon / Tepper, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern, Stanford GSB, UPenn / Wharton, UT Austin / McCombs

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