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
How to become a head of IT (IT director)
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
You can start by doing a degree or postgraduate qualification in a subject like:
- 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.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
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.
Employers will set their own entry requirements.
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.
You’ll find more on careers in computing through The Chartered Institute for IT.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- 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
What you’ll do
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
You could work in an office.
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.