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Start IT Management Career

By tech ·
I have worked in IT industry for over 6 years. I have a very broad background in almost all aspects of IT. I recently completed my degree in Business Administration and I am currently working on my MBA(while working full-time as a developer).

I am interested in management career. I feel that I have the skills, knowledge, and education to work as project manager or a mid-level manager. However, I found it very hard to get even an interview when you don't have any management experience on your resume.

My question is: Could those of you who worked your way up to management, share how you got there? How long did it take you? What would you do differently if you had to start it all over?

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Specific skill set???

by LizInTexas In reply to Start IT Management Caree ...

Do you have specific technical skills?Todays IT managers have to understand architecture, middleware, when to use certain programming languages, etc. What has been your job decription for the past six years? What specifically is your skill set? If we know that, maybe we can better advise you on a career path that will get you to the IT Manager position. There are many paths to the IT Manager position. Sometimes working in a small company can get you the title more quickly and then keep moving up to larger companies every 3 to 5 years. Then one day you are the CIO of a fortune 500 company!
Good luck!

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Technical Skills

by tech In reply to Specific skill set???

Yes, I have specific technical skills. Right now I am a VB developer/analyst. Previously I have been: PC Technician, Network/System Administrator. I studied for MCSE and I could probably pass the old NT track if they didn't retire it. I also have a lot of relational database knowledge. I have ASP/Coldfusion skills.

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Really ? Management?

by pdavies In reply to Start IT Management Caree ...

Do you really want to be in the management chain? Really? Management is not about managing a great projects or business infrastructure but it is about managing a group of widley varied people and getting them to achieve specific tasks on time and onbudget. The first step in advancing your career to enter a management role is a visible demonstration that you can manage yourself. Outward signs that will be noticed are your puncuality, attendance, the quality of your paperwork and other little indicators like the clutter in your work area will show how well organised you are. If you cannot manage yourself you will not be able to manage other people. because inspite of what anyone else tells you management is about managing people period. To become a manager simply become a good manager of yourself and demonstrate your good practices to others and encourage them to follow your example. Be patient and the rest wil be history.

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by tech In reply to Really ? Management?

Yes, I know. My question was not what management was about. I have great attendance, puncutality, and all those other great skills.
Even though I have all of that, I cannot overcome "No experience" requirement. My current company, for example, hired two new people from the outside for department-level management instead of promoting anyone within.

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'No Experience"

by pdavies In reply to And?

No experience as a reason for declining a candidate is a simple brush off for some other underlying reason. No experience as a reason for not promoting a person into a role is simply not a good enough reason, in fact I would find it almost an insultto be told in applying for a position I don't have the experience. Would your employer look at your CAPACITY to deal with the position and override any experience concerns? How can you demonstrate your CAPACITY in your current role as a prospect forpromotion? I expect any position applied for to be a step foward not a step sidewards so to move forward there should be new challanges and different problems to deal with in a new role. If experience was needed it would not be a promotion. It would simply be doing the same thing again in a different place. This is not a promotion in my view. Take a look at these new hires and feel sorry for them they are stuck in a time warp where they are trying to reproduce past success in a new environmentand cannot move on to new challanges. You might want to consider you may be working for the wrong organisation if they do not have a succession plan that sees training and development of employees to prepare them for more senior roles within the organisation. Ask your HR manager about your own succession plan and where you wil be positioned in the company in three yeasrs from now. Ask them to help you with a development plan to achieve that by exposing you to different aspects of the business and allowing you to gain experience in a low risk manner. Be prepared to do it in your own time "for the experience" If your company is hiring from the outside they obviously have not developed their current staff to fill their HR gaps and are forced to go to the market and employ people they know little about. This would seem a clear indication of no succession planning and a lack of value in current HR resources.

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Think carefully

by NetTek In reply to Really ? Management?

Think carefully before entering management. Many IT technical professionals don't stear towards management for the following reasons:

1. Use it or lose it. Not only do you risk degrading your present technical skills, it is also difficult to become proficient in new technology. If you want to (or have to) go back to the technical side, you are at a disadvantage.
2. Experienced IT staff often make nearly as much in salary as the people they report to, and without as many hassles.
3. If theeconomy goes sour, management is the first to go. It is easier to maintain a business by letting managers go than it is to let go the techs that maintain the infrastructure.
4. Everyone's problems become your problems. If someone who reports to you screws up, you boss is breathing down your neck.

The grass isn't always greener.

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one way to get in

by Jerryus In reply to Start IT Management Caree ...

I read the replies and non really answer your question directly. Try and get a management/technical position in a smallish company that will split your time with both technical work and management, that way you are attractive to the employer and dual post filling, after a year you will have a title to your name.

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Next steps

by gary l white In reply to Start IT Management Caree ...

Well, you want to go into management. Here are some steps that have proven effective in the past. First, volunteer to lead a project in your current position to get practical experience in leading people and projects. They can be small just get the experience under your belt. Second, get advise from current manager you trust in your organization. This person can help you with direction. Once you have a few small to mid size project under you belt, try for a large project, which is usuallyover 1.5 million. The next step is a project manager or management position. Build on prior successes to get you where you want to be.

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Info Systems Manager

by PMercer In reply to Start IT Management Caree ...

I know it has been a while since you posted this question - so I hope you get a chance to read this response.

I have done 'technical' type work in the past and just recently moved into an Information Systems Manager position. I think the key is that this is a management position that doesn't manage people - I am responsible for coordinating/integrating/managing multiple systems with others. This does mean that I matrix with several folks that are responsible for the systems . . . but my job is to represent the group I work with whenever technical/systems changes are coming up that will impact the group.

So, there are 'management' positions that don't necessarily manage large teams of people, rather they manage the structure around many disparate systems . . . in some places these might be considered administrative positions. My last position was as a Data Warehouse Tools Administrator. Again, managing systems/tools not people. But, in a role like that you have to work well with teams, and in that position several different teams. That would certainly help I think in setting you up for an opportunity to manage people - being able to show that you work well with multiple teams, etc. may help.

Hope this gives you alittle different perspective on management.

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Thanks for the info

by Technigirl In reply to Info Systems Manager

I am getting ready to interview for a Director's position at a spin-off facility of a previous employer. They contacted me and I've been extremely nervous because I've never officially supervised anyone. I've been doing system support for a few years and was able a couple of years of System Admin with this employer. They know my work and successes but I have to impress a whole new group of VP's for the new facility.
I feel much better now. I was trying to figure out a way to turn my mini-management experience into something worthwhile. If I promote it correctly I might just win this position!

Sincere thanks!

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