According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), information management (IM) is a fast-growing discipline. How fast? The field is projected to add 42,400 openings each year through 2030. That's an 11 percent growth rate, nearly three times the rate of the overall job market.
No surprise there. As more businesses shift to digital platforms to store and sort big data, the need for information technology, computer engineering, and business analytics professionals to build and manage these platforms cannot help but grow.
Personal technology usage has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020 as well. People spend more time online than ever before, in part because so many have begun working remotely, a convenience that has created new technological responsibilities for businesses and other organizations. Remote work raises novel cybersecurity risks, another area in which information management professionals provide expertise. They help reduce or prevent data breaches, malware, ransomware, or other security risks.
So, what kind of career options are available in information management? This article will help guide you by highlighting some IM career opportunities and discussing how lucrative they can become when you have the necessary skills and competencies to gain an advantage. It also discusses:
Information management roles typically fall under four types of career paths: analysts and consultants, managers, IT specialists, and strategic oversight. Each category requires a foundation of technical savviness. Each position has specific requirements, such as business intelligence and analytical skills. Below, we've outlined ten high-paying information management job titles in high demand.
A business intelligence engineer, also known as a business intelligence analyst or specialist, analyzes data and communicates their findings to company leaders, providing strategic oversight and recommendations. This role requires strong management, leadership, presentation, and problem-solving skills. Many employers require several years of professional experience for this role.
According to Payscale, business intelligence analysts earn an average salary of $71,050. However, the more experience under your belt, the higher the pay. Analysts with ten or more years of experience can earn between $87,000 and $95,000 annually. A bachelor's degree in a related field is essential; a master's degree concentrating in business analytics can provide a competitive advantage and boost pay.
A business systems manager typically leads the team responsible for developing and improving information systems and ensuring those systems are compliant with regulations and policies. Unlike a business intelligence professional, a business systems manager deals with the operational side of platforms (rather than the data the platforms collect and organize). This role requires five to seven years of related experience with at least one to three years of supervisory experience. A background in database management and strategic planning is also beneficial.
The average base salary for this position is $91,472, depending on location, skills, and years of experience. Early career professionals with one to four years of experience can earn an average of $79,655, while experienced professionals with over 20 years of experience can earn $111,099 annually.
A chief information officer (CIO) is part of the C-suite executive team responsible for an organization's decision-making functions. The CIO works closely with business systems managers, business intelligence managers, and additional operational units to make the final purchasing and implementation decisions based on recommendations, best practices, and personal experience.
Due to the seniority of this position, most employers prefer at least five years of IT experience in a leadership or manager capacity. More established employers may seek considerably more in the way of experience and accomplishments. Additional skills include budget management, strategic planning, and IT security. Highly skilled and experienced professionals in this role can earn up to $182,877 annually, while less experienced professionals can still make a rather substantial income of $107,650 annually.
A data analyst collects and organizes data and interprets their findings based on patterns and trends. Most analysts have an undergraduate degree in statistics, information technology, or computer science. However, due to the ever-changing landscape of technology, some analysts pursue continued education through a graduate program specializing in big data management, data science, or data analytics.
According to Indeed, the average base salary for a data analyst is $68,709, potentially earning more through cash bonuses and incentives. The salary range varies significantly based on skills, location, and years of experience.
An IT advisory risk consultant displays strong communication, leadership, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. A consultant gives an external perspective on an organization's internal operations and technology business processes, offering guidance and best practices to maintain systems that decrease or prevent security risks. Most consultants take additional classes to stay current with the latest technological developments.
The average IT consultant salary, including bonuses and incentives, is $92,569 annually, with higher earning potential based on location and years of professional work experience in a related field.
An IT service manager oversees an organization's network and provides recommendations to improve those systems. For instance, implementing new troubleshooting methods and staying up-to-date with technology through software updates can enhance the user experience and reduce maintenance costs. Most employers prefer candidates with experience in IT or computer science to fulfill the role of an IT service manager. In addition, some candidates also have a master's degree or certifications in business administration, software development, and other related fields. The annual salary for an IT service manager ranges from $83,906 to $107,840.
A project manager can work in any industry and functions in a supporting role with occasional managerial expectations. Project managers primarily handle the budget, scope of work, timeline, and deliverables for various projects. Technology project managers earn a median salary of $89,000, plus incentive pay. Those in the top 10 percent can earn salaries above $129,000, plus incentives.
Cybersecurity threats have increased over time as technology usage grows and hackers become more advanced. Security analysts combat these threats. They monitor their organizational infrastructure to detect security breaches and inform users on ways to protect sensitive information through mandatory company training. Occasionally, some analysts may work outside of regular business hours in case of emergency.
The average annual salary for a security analyst is $102,600, with projected job growth of 33 percent from 2020 to 2030. Most employers prefer applicants to have at least five years of experience, a bachelor's degree in a computer science field, and, at times, professional certifications.
A senior information consultant works with their clients to advise them on using their information systems to meet their business objectives. They are also responsible for troubleshooting any hardware or software issues, so problem-solving and critical thinking skills are essential in this position. In addition, these roles require some flexibility,as information consultants may need to work outside the traditional nine-to-five to solve IT problems that arise.
The average base salary for a senior information consultant is $80,909, with the higher end earning up to $128,000. Most information consultants have a bachelor's degree in IT or computer science and computer-related certifications to keep abreast of the latest developments in technology.
Systems engineers are deeply involved in the development of computer and information systems. For example, engineers must ensure that proper firewall protections are up-to-date and troubleshoot any problems. As a result, a bachelor's degree in engineering, computer science, or information technology is critical to performing the job functions of a systems engineer. The average base salary for this position is $81,309, with the potential to earn up to $122,000 based on skills, location, and years of professional experience.
A master's degree in information management is not necessary for entry-level jobs. However, if you want to become a manager, an executive, or a high-powered leader, a master's can be beneficial to reach your career goals. Furthermore, as technology advances, IM professionals need to equip themselves with the necessary knowledge from relevant coursework, elective courses, or graduate degree programs that offer specializations with a more targeted focus.
A Master of Science in Information Management (MSIM), sometimes called a Master of Science in Information Systems program (MSIS), provides IM professionals with continued education to apply to their current roles or help them move up the corporate ladder. Many MSIM or MSIS programs offer flexible learning options from full-time to part-time, accelerated to self-paced, and on-campus to online learning. While most master's programs typically take two years of full-time study, programs like the one offered by University of Washington provide a mid-career accelerated program with fewer credit hours that can take as little as three terms to complete.
Programs that cater to mid-career working professionals with at least five years of relevant experience may waive some of the prerequisites, other required courses, and more detailed degree requirements that would apply to early-career professionals. Conversely, applicants with fewer years of experience may need to take more foundational courses and have hands-on experience through an internship or capstone project. Often, more experienced candidates can take courses early on within their area of expertise through concentrations such as business intelligence, data science, cybersecurity, and additional specializations available within the graduate school program.
In an ever-changing industry, best practices will continue to evolve. Therefore, staying in the know of these changes through certifications coupled with an advanced degree may help your marketability when applying to higher-level roles within technology. Who knows? Having an MSIM credential next to your name may add a boost to take you to the next level in your career.
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