Information Systems Management Careers
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Handbook, most employers prefer an IT management candidate with advanced technical knowledge and a graduate degree, especially an MBA. Employment in IT management is expected grow faster than for any other industry. Managers also tend to advance to progressively higher positions within their IT department.
IT employees with MBAs usually work as Computer and Information Systems Managers, planning, coordinating and directing research about the computer-related activities of their company. Computer and Information Systems Managers work with other managers within their organization to establish and meet their company's technology goals. They also supervise other IT professionals by planning and coordinating activities like software and hardware installations and upgrades, programming and systems design, network implementation, website development and network security. On occasion, IT managers become managers in non-technical areas such as HR, sales or marketing since those are areas that can benefit from a manager that understands technical issues.
Computer and Information Systems managers generally work in an office setting where long hours (including evenings and weekends) are common. In 2008, 25% of IT managers worked over 50 hours a week. Since more IT work is being done overseas, IT managers often have to communicate with off-site employees via the Internet.
Top MBA Programs
U.S. News and World Report ranks Sloan as the best business school for information systems. In addition to a variety of MBA courses specific to information technology, Sloan also offers an Entrepreneurship and Innovation Track which focuses on developing and launching emerging technology companies.
Tepper offers a MBA/Masters in Software Engineering Dual Degree Program for students with science and engineering backgrounds. Tepper is also home to an Information Systems Group that explores the ways information technology can make organizations more efficient and effective.
McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin
McCombs offers an Information Management concentration for MBA students who want to learn how to manage IT projects in order to improve their businesses. McCombs' Graduate Business Technology Group offers educational, career and networking opportunities to students who want to work in the high-tech sector or industries that are strategically impacted by IT.
Carlson offers a Management Systems Emphasis which teaches students how to use IT to make organizations more efficient. The emphasis is designed for students who want careers in technology consulting, business analytics and predictive modeling, compliance and auditing of business processes, global sourcing management, e-procurement, ERP consulting, vendor relationship management, project management, IT governance, search and computational advertising and social media.
The Robert H. Smith School of Business offers electives in Business Telecommunications, Electronic Commerce, e-Service, Global Business and Knowledge Management, Information Systems and Management Technology. They also offer a dual MBA/MS degree in Information Systems.
IT Job Trends
The growth in the technology sector means that more technology companies are hiring MBAs, as stated in the QS Jobs & Salary Trends Report 2011/12. Apple is the most successful tech company and, like Microsoft and Oracle, has been actively recruiting MBAs into areas like finance, sales, marketing and product management.
MBAs are also in demand at web companies like Google and eBay. While Google still looks for risk takers with experience working for startups (even failed ones), working at Google offers MBAs more stability than what they have experienced during the dotcom boom and bust in the beginning of the milennium.
Telecommunications companies also continue to seek top talent. Avaya Communications is one of the largest telecommunications recruiters, due to the growth of the cell phone industry in Asia. British Telecom and Vodafone are also actively recruiting candidates with MBA degrees.
Most technology industry growth has come from Asia. Many new technology jobs are being created in China, Korea and Taiwan. The big Korean technology companies plan to significantly increase the number of MBAs they hire as part of their long-term strategy.