The career path to become a network IT manager is typically five to eight years after graduation and requires a significant amount of time and effort to develop the skills required to function at this level. A network information technology (IT) manager is responsible for the hardware and connectivity of the entire system. This is a position with a great deal of responsibility and often requires long hours.
In order to become a network IT manager, candidates must have a post-secondary education in computer systems, information technology, or hardware configuration. This type of training is available from a wide range of community colleges and typically requires two to three years of full-time study to complete. Programs that include an internship or cooperative job placement program provide the greatest value, as students can gain valuable work experience while still in school.
People who enjoy working with their hands, are good with technology, and can manage conflicting priorities find this type of job satisfying. This career is very demanding, both in terms of time and energy. It is very common for a network IT manager to be on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He or she is expected to be able to troubleshoot complex problems quickly and create a solution that can be immediately applied. Anyone who does not work well under pressure should not look to become a network IT manager.
The experience required for this position is usually gained through a position as a systems operator or network technician. In this job, the candidate is responsible for a specific area or network. He or she makes any required changes and works with clients and other team members to resolve problems. The skill set required for this position varies, depending on the network configuration, complexity of the system architecture, and needs of the organization.
Continuing education is necessary to stay current on the technology used in network administration. This area of information technology is constantly evolving and must be flexible enough to meet the changing needs of business, yet stable enough to be operationally sound. There is a range of different certification programs associated with IT network systems, and it is important to stay current and invest the time and effort needed to achieve these credentials.
The career advancement opportunities available once you become a network IT manager include senior management, information system architect, and information technology director. A solid work history and reputation for excellence and high output are necessary to be considered for these opportunities. Talk with your human resources department to find out what skills are required to advance your career, and work toward meeting your goals.