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Information Systems Overview - Preparation - Day In The Life -
Earnings - Employment - Career Path Forecast - Professional Organizations 

Day in the Life
Computer and information systems managers need strong communication skills. They coordinate the activities of their unit with those of other units or organizations. They confer with top executives; financial, production, marketing, and other managers; and contractors and equipment and materials suppliers.

Job Duties
The duties of computer and information systems managers vary with their specific titles. Chief technology officers, for example, evaluate the newest and most innovative technologies and determine how these can help their organizations. The chief technology officer, who often reports to the organization's chief information officer, manages and plans technical standards and tends to the daily information technology issues of the firm.  Because of the rapid pace of technological change, chief technology officers must constantly be on the lookout for developments that could benefit their organizations. They are responsible for demonstrating to a company how information technology can be used as a competitive tool that not only cuts costs, but also increases revenue and maintains or increases competitive advantage.

Management information systems (MIS) directors manage information systems and computing resources for their organizations. They also may work under the chief information officer and plan and direct the work of subordinate information technology employees. These managers oversee a variety of user services such as an organization's help desk, which employees can call with questions or problems. MIS directors also may make hardware and software upgrade recommendations based on their experience with an organization's technology. Helping ensure the availability, continuity, and security of data and information technology services is the primary responsibility of these workers.

Project managers develop requirements, budgets, and schedules for their firms' information technology projects. They coordinate such projects from development through implementation, working with internal and external clients, vendors, consultants, and computer specialists. These managers are increasingly involved in projects that upgrade the information security of an organization.

LAN/WAN (local area network/wide area network) managers provide a variety of services, from design to administration of the local area network, which connects staff within an organization. These managers direct the network and its computing environment, including hardware, systems software, applications software, and all other computer-related configurations.

The Workplace
Computer and information systems managers generally work in clean, comfortable offices. Long hours are common, and some may have to work evenings and weekends to meet deadlines or solve unexpected problems; in 2008, about 25 percent worked more than 50 hours per week. Some computer and information systems managers may experience considerable pressure in meeting technical goals with short deadlines or tight budgets. As networks continue to expand and more work is done remotely, computer and information systems managers have to communicate with and oversee offsite employees using laptops, e-mail, and the Internet.

Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 Computer Science
 Information Systems


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