Head of IT (IT director)

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Head of computer services, chief information officer

IT directors manage the development of IT systems for their organisation and its customers.

Salary Range: £55,000 to £140,000

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How to become a head of IT (IT director)

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly
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University

You can start by doing a degree or postgraduate qualification in a subject like:

  • computing
  • information systems
  • project management
  • business management

You’d then apply to join a graduate training scheme with a company to get the experience and skills required to manage IT projects at senior level.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

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Apprenticeship

You may be able to become a head of IT by doing a senior leader postgraduate degree apprenticeship.

You’ll normally already be working at a senior management level to do this.

Entry requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements.

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Direct application

You can apply directly for jobs. You’ll usually need at least 2 years’ experience of working at senior management level in IT. You may also need further qualifications or certification with a professional body.

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Further information

You’ll find more on careers in computing through The Chartered Institute for IT.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to work well with others
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications
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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could be

  • planning policies and procedures
  • making decisions about the organisation’s priorities
  • assessing current and future business costs, risks and opportunities
  • negotiating business contracts and monitoring how these are delivered
  • making sure procedures meet legal requirements and technical standards
  • meeting regularly with the senior management team, partners and clients
  • keeping up to date with trends in IT
  • managing budgets

Working environment

You could work in an office.

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Career path and progression

With experience, you may be able to become a chief executive or chair of an organisation.

You could also work as an IT consultant or start your own business.