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Computer and Information Systems Managers

At a Glance

  • Figure out their company's computer needs
  • Often hire, train, and oversee workers
  • Interact frequently with coworkers
  • May work overtime
  • Have at least a bachelor's degree and years of work experience
  • Many have a master's degree

Career summary

Computer and information systems managers plan, coordinate, and direct the computer-related activities in an organization.

Computer and information systems managers may also be known as chief information officers, chief technology officers, director of information services, data processing managers, MIS directors, computer services directors, and information technology directors or managers.

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Computer and information systems managers determine their company's computer and information needs. Managers talk to technology vendors to get the right equipment.

Managers make sure computers are working and up to date. They plan for hardware and software updates. They direct network security and make sure electronic documents are secure.

Computer and information systems managers oversee workers in their department. They direct projects, assign workers to them, and evaluate the progress of projects. Managers evaluate the performance of workers. They document and record information on employee performance.

Computer and information systems managers estimate the costs and budget for projects. They determine the workers they need for projects. They analyze the costs of new technologies.

Computer and information systems managers may specialize as:

Chief information officers

Chief information officers manage technology strategies. They plan information goals and determine the technology required to meet those goals. They focus on long-term issues.

Chief technology officers

Chief technology officers evaluate new technology. They design and recommend technology solutions to support goals. They may oversee the development of new technologies.

It directors

IT directors are in charge of information technology (IT) departments. They supervise other employees. They help determine and implement computer systems. They manage data and network services. IT directors oversee the finances of their department, such as budgeting.

It security managers

IT security managers oversee network and data security systems. They keep up to date on IT security measures. They supervise investigations if there is a security violation.

Computer and information systems managers are also called information technology managers.

Related careers

This career is part of the Business Management and Administration cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Military careers

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to computer and information systems managers.

Common work activities

Computer and information systems managers perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, computer and information systems managers:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Computer and information systems managers frequently:

It is important for computer and information systems managers to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for computer and information systems managers to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Computer and information systems managers need to:


Reason and problem solve

Use math and science

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Work with people

Work with things

Perceive and visualize

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study directly related to this occupation


To work as a computer or information systems manager, you typically need to:

Education after high school

You need a bachelor's degree for most management positions. Common majors are computer science, information science, and management information systems (MIS). However, majors in math or other specialties, coupled with computer courses, are also acceptable.

In many cases, a master's degree is preferred. A master's degree in business administration (MBA) or management information systems (MIS) is good preparation.

Work experience

Before you can be considered for this occupation, you must first prove yourself in a related occupation. Many computer and information systems managers work for several years as systems analysts or computer programmers before becoming managers.

You should consider participating in an internship while in college. An internship is usually part of a four-year degree program. It offers you a chance to apply what you have learned in the classroom to a work situation. It also allows you to build skills and make contacts with people in the field.

On-the-job training

Many managers receive up to six months of on-the-job training when they switch jobs.

Because of the fast changing demands of technology, employers often provide training or pay for college course work. This is so you can update your technical skills or expand your administrative skills.

Military training

Some branches of the military train people to become computer systems officers. Training lasts from five to 18 weeks, depending on your specialty. You need at least a bachelor's degree to enter this military occupation.

Helpful high school courses

In high school, take classes that prepare you for college. A college preparatory curriculum may be different from your state's graduation requirements.

You should also consider taking some advanced courses in high school. This includes Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if they are available in your school. If you do well in these courses, you may receive college credit for them. Advanced courses can also strengthen your college application.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know

Employers look for computer and information systems managers who have experience with certain types of software or technology used on the job. They also prefer employees with at least a bachelor's degree. Employers look for managers with strong technical skills and experience in the computer field. Finally, they prefer computer and information systems managers with strong business and interpersonal skills.

Costs to workers

Some workers join professional associations, which may have annual dues.

Job listings

Listed below are links to job categories from the National Labor Exchange that relate to this career. Once you get a list of jobs, you can view information about individual jobs and find out how to apply. If your job search finds too many openings, or if you wish to search for jobs outside of Washington, you will need to refine your search.

To get a listing of current jobs from the WorkSource system, go to the WorkSource website (external link).


Computer and information systems managers (SOC 11-3021)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $45.82 $57.22 $71.18 $89.21 (1)
Monthly $7,941 $9,916 $12,335 $15,460 (1)
Yearly $95,310 $119,010 $148,060 $185,560 (1)
    Bellingham Hourly $33.65 $42.34 $51.72 $60.61 $71.77
Monthly $5,832 $7,338 $8,963 $10,504 $12,438
Yearly $69,993 $88,078 $107,589 $126,079 $149,286
    Bremerton-Silverdale Hourly $45.09 $53.19 $64.11 $84.48 $97.43
Monthly $7,814 $9,218 $11,110 $14,640 $16,885
Yearly $93,775 $110,643 $133,349 $175,717 $202,654
    Clarkston-Lewiston Hourly $34.48 $39.56 $49.36 $71.91 $82.19
Monthly $5,975 $6,856 $8,554 $12,462 $14,244
Yearly $71,702 $82,298 $102,668 $149,576 $170,968
    Kennewick-Richland Hourly $43.11 $55.12 $66.08 $85.78 $100.06
Monthly $7,471 $9,552 $11,452 $14,866 $17,340
Yearly $89,675 $114,649 $137,432 $178,427 $208,128
    Longview Hourly $40.08 $46.68 $54.99 $61.74 $67.70
Monthly $6,946 $8,090 $9,530 $10,700 $11,732
Yearly $83,371 $97,082 $114,376 $128,435 $140,818
    Mount Vernon-Anacortes Hourly $42.42 $52.93 $60.39 $75.65 $93.35
Monthly $7,351 $9,173 $10,466 $13,110 $16,178
Yearly $88,221 $110,092 $125,613 $157,355 $194,167
    Olympia-Tumwater Hourly $44.74 $51.84 $58.62 $67.24 (2)
Monthly $7,753 $8,984 $10,159 $11,653 (2)
Yearly $93,053 $107,824 $121,934 $139,858 (2)
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $50.01 $61.09 $74.92 $93.46 (2)
Monthly $8,667 $10,587 $12,984 $16,197 (2)
Yearly $104,020 $127,066 $155,842 $194,389 (2)
    Spokane-Spokane Valley Hourly $40.96 $46.66 $57.34 $71.19 $83.69
Monthly $7,098 $8,086 $9,937 $12,337 $14,503
Yearly $85,194 $97,044 $119,267 $148,092 $174,087
    Vancouver Hourly $40.96 $51.47 $63.07 $77.52 $94.87
Monthly $7,098 $8,920 $10,930 $13,434 $16,441
Yearly $85,203 $107,058 $131,176 $161,254 $197,329
    Walla Walla Hourly $28.33 $31.95 $40.73 $50.32 $59.09
Monthly $4,910 $5,537 $7,059 $8,720 $10,240
Yearly $58,926 $66,443 $84,732 $104,668 $122,920
    Wenatchee Hourly $42.74 $51.75 $57.97 $64.86 $84.61
Monthly $7,407 $8,968 $10,046 $11,240 $14,663
Yearly $88,896 $107,643 $120,591 $134,915 $175,978
    Yakima Hourly $39.64 $43.54 $49.47 $58.29 $64.39
Monthly $6,870 $7,545 $8,573 $10,102 $11,159
Yearly $82,452 $90,560 $102,890 $121,231 $133,929
United States Hourly $41.05 $52.94 $68.53 $86.63 (1)
Monthly $7,114 $9,175 $11,876 $15,013 (1)
Yearly $85,380 $110,110 $142,530 $180,190 (1)

(1) Wages are greater than $90/hour or $187,200/year.
(2) Wage estimate is not available.

Wages vary by employer and area of the country. The manager's level of education and experience also affect wages.

Computer and information systems managers can expect benefits such as paid vacation and holidays, health insurance, and a retirement plan. In addition, people in this occupation, especially those at higher levels, receive other benefits. These include expense accounts, stock option plans, and bonuses.

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook


The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

Computer and Information Systems Managers (SOC 11-3021)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 15,140 35.2% 16.1% 2,349
    Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties 109 30.3% 13.4% 15
    Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties 97 14.4% 8.6% 10
    Benton and Franklin Counties 154 17.5% 15.0% 18
    Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties 143 25.2% 11.9% 19
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 414 22.7% 15.2% 52
    Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties 360 23.3% 14.1% 46
    Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties 181 19.3% 14.6% 21
    King County 11,273 43.7% 19.6% 1,980
    Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania, and Yakima Counties 91 16.5% 13.8% 10
    Pierce County 435 14.0% 15.2% 45
    Snohomish County 896 19.4% 12.4% 106
    Spokane County 546 20.1% 13.9% 65
United States 414,400 11.3% 5.2% 38,800

National employment

Major employers:

National outlook

Demand for this occupation will be very strong due to the increase in mobile and wireless technology. Cyber security issues create demand as more companies do business online. In the health care field, increased use of electronic medical records will create jobs. Cloud technology will also help to create many jobs for computer and information systems managers.

Job prospects are best for people with lots of experience who know the newest technologies.

Other resources

Association for Computing Machinery (external link)
1601 Broadway, 10th Floor1
New York, NY 10019-7434
Association for Women in Computing - Puget Sound Chapter (external link)
3743 S. 170th Street
Sea-Tac, WA 98188
IEEE Computer Society (external link)
2001 L Street NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036
Information Systems Audit and Control Association (external link)
Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP) (external link)
244 S Randall Road #116
Elgin, IL 60123
Institute of Financial Operations (external link)
149 Terra Mango Loop, Suite B
Orlando, FL 32835


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupation

O*Net job zone (external link)

DOT occupations

Strong Interest Inventory

Holland occupational cluster