Career Profile: Information Technology Director

What is an IT Director?

What is an IT Director, and what exactly do these individuals do? Information technology directors are in charge of all computer-related activities in a company. IT directors work in offices. Most work full-time, and many work overtime when necessary. Directors may be chief information officers (CIOS) who determine company strategy related to technology. Chief technology officers (CTOs) are another form of IT directors. These individuals implement the strategy created by chief information officers, and may create strategy if a company has no CIO. Security managers are responsible for data and network security, and may be referred to as IT directors. Most directors work for computer systems companies or financial institutions, although some work for government agencies, manufacturing companies or even non-profit organizations.

Experience, Degrees and Training Required

IT directors must work in the IT field for several years before becoming managers. Some small companies may promote workers without a degree, but most directors need at least a bachelor’s in a computer-related field. Larger companies may require a MBA or master’s in computer science. Employees can be promoted to IT management with only a few years of experience, but IT directors are usually required to have five to ten years in the IT field. Aspiring CTOs and CIOs will need decades of experience at lower-level IT management. Of course, smaller companies will have less stringent advancement requirements. Directors at specialized institutions, like finance or healthcare organizations, should have experience related to that field.


Becoming an IT director requires an advanced education and years of experience. Because of this, directors are well compensated. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2010 median wage for IT directors was $115,7980. Computer design employees earned a median of $123,570. Health care IT directors earned $101,840. Most directors are salaried workers who work 40 or more hours per week. Executive directors may work 60 hours per week on a regular basis. Directors with a master’s degree will qualify for more advanced positions with additional compensation. After gaining experience, directors can become highly paid executives. Even with a bachelor’s degree, directors command a respectable salary that is not likely to decrease in the future.

Future Prospects

The Bureau predicts the demand for IT directors will grow 18 percent by 2020. Technological growth will increase the need for directors. The increasing prevalence of hackers and other internet malcontents will prompt a greater need for security managers. As the baby boomers age, the healthcare industry will explode, and additional healthcare IT directors will be needed. Some jobs may be lost as firms send IT departments overseas, but overall demand for IT directors will increase. While it’s not easy to answer the question “What is an IT Director?” it is easy to see that corporations will need these educated, experienced professionals as technology needs increase.