How to become an IT manager

Play a crucial role in the future of Australia’s continually-evolving technology landscape. 

Begin your IT career

IT managers are often leaders in an organisation’s IT department and are responsible for organisation-wide systems and information. Qualities such as crisis management, accountability and an ability to prioritise are essential to IT managers. Here’s how you can break into the industry:

  1. Complete one of the many online information technology courses available such as a Bachelor Degree in information technology, computer science, information systems or a related field.
  2. Develop your knowledge even further by earning a postgraduate degree such as a Master of Information Technology, a Master of Cyber Security or a management degree such as a Master of Business Administration
  3. Gain two-to-five years of experience working in IT operations while obtaining excellent knowledge of security, computer systems, phone systems, network and systems administration, and databases and data storage systems. Gain the skills to lead and manage large IT projects and roll out IT infrastructures across various technologies. 
  4. Join industry bodies to enhance your professional development, learn new skills and grow your tech network. 

 

What does an IT manager do?

IT managers oversee an organisation’s technology resources, which typically include networks, phone systems and other software. They monitor operational requirements, technology solutions and build the most efficient and cost-effective systems to achieve business goals. Most work in the information media and telecommunications sector, financial and insurance services or professional, technical and scientific services. 

With career progression, many will go from managing computer networks to managing entire telecommunications and other electronic support systems related to a company’s operations. 

 

Duties and tasks

As an IT manager you can expect to:

  • Run regular checks on data and network security
  • Troubleshoot hardware and software issues
  • Identify and act on opportunities to update and improve systems and software
  • Develop and implement IT policy and best practice guidelines for the organisation
  • Conduct regular system audits
  • Help define IT infrastructure architecture, strategy and processes
  • Run and share regular operation system reports 
  • Oversee and determine timeframes for major IT projects, including upgrades, outages, migrations and system updates
  • Analyse business requirements by partnering with key stakeholders to develop IT solutions
  • Assess vendors and develop test strategies for new software and hardware
  • Provide direction to IT colleagues
  • Manage and report on the allocation of the IT budget
  • Identify opportunities for team training and skills advancement
     

Industry bodies

Australian Computer Society (ACS)

The ACS is a professional association for Australia’s technology sector that represents technology professionals across government, industry and education. Their key aim is to grow the nation’s digital skills and capacity. They are committed to helping IT professionals grow their tech network among the biggest local and global organisations. They also offer an abundance of opportunities for learning new skills across cloud tech, cyber security, AI and more, with over 44,000 online training videos.

Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA)

The AIIA is a not-for-profit organisation that is Australia’s peak representative body and advocacy group for those in the digital ecosystem. Established in 1978, they deliver outstanding member value by providing a strong voice of influence, enabling a network for inspiration and collaboration, and building a sense of community through education and events. 

Many of their former directors remain actively involved with the association and its members through their AIIA alumni program. They use their business experience and relationships to support AIIA members.

The Information Technology Professionals Association (ITPA) 

The ITPA is a not-for-profit organisation that was established to advance the understanding of ICT matters within the corporate, community and government sectors across Australia. Members have access to a range of mentoring programs and training opportunities via conferences, events and online forums. 

The group also runs an ITPA Certified Practicing Member program, which is designed to help members stay relevant as the IT profession evolves and the needs of the industry change. Choose to become a member, and you can demonstrate to the industry and business community that you are fully committed to maintaining your skills with the opportunity to achieve 20 professional development points over 12 months.

 

IT jobs

According to Job Outlook, there were 65,600 IT managers in 2020, with this number expected to grow strongly (to around 71,000) in the next five years. Exciting pathways you can pursue as an IT manager include:

Get help every step of the way

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