The demand for IT Directors has grown significantly as technology becomes an integral part of all aspects of business. With the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting growth of at least 18% in the computer and information systems management field, now is a great time to consider pursuing a career in the field while positions are being created and opening up.
If you have a passion for the field of IT but you know your calling is to have more responsibility and supervise an entire department, becoming an IT director may be the right goal to set. Before you start browsing through degree programs and apply for admissions into a degree program that will not properly prepare you, read on and learn the path you should take to achieve your goals as quickly as possible.
Learn Exactly What IT Directors Do
Do you know someone who spent 4 or more years in school studying to enter a specific field just to discover that they really do not enjoy their career? It happens all too often, and studying for a degree in the wrong area of interest can be an expensive and time-consuming mistake. You should consider your personality, your skills and talents, the environment you like working in and what you really enjoy doing when you are pinpointing which career will make you happy.
If you become an IT director, you will be responsible for the management, strategic development, and execution of the IT infrastructure for an organization. As a director, you will oversee the team members within the department, direct the delivery of networks, establish processes for system recoveries and disasters, work with other department heads, and manage activities within the IT department daily. Because IT directors have quite a bit of responsibility, their earnings are much higher than an IT representative or system administrator. In fact, for individuals who like responsibility the obligations will pay off because the average IT Director salary reported by Payscale.com is $106,845 per year, with ranges varying based on geographic location.
Educational Path to Become an IT Director
If you know you have what it takes to manage information and computer systems, the next step is mapping out the path you will take in college. Virtually all employers require that qualified candidates for IT director positions have a Bachelor’s degree in Information Science or Computer Science at a minimum. The first step to becoming an IT Director will be to earn your BS in an Information Technology Field. Once you earn this degree, you will need to find IT-related employment so that you can gain the experience employers require. While you are working as an entry-level IT professional, computer programmer, database administrator, or security analyst, you may want to consider enrolling in a Master’s degree program so that you can gain a competitive advantage when you start applying for director positions.
Getting Professional Experience and Credentials
Most employers require IT directors have at least 5 years of experience in the field, but some will require candidates to possess 10 years of experience. Getting professional credentials is also a great way to demonstrate your skills and add to your resume. By completing certification programs with Microsoft, Apple, Cisco and other companies, you can focus on a specialty and become an expert.
Once you have the degree and the professional experience, you need to start sifting through IT Director positions to choose a position with a reputable company. Take time to build a resume that shows off your experience, achievements, and especially your problem-solving abilities. By showing that you can be a leader, a strategic thinker, and a strong communicator, you can improve your chances of being selected for a position.