How to Become an IT Manager in Illinois 2024

Table of Contents

Top Schools and Colleges for IT Managers in Illinois 2023

Best College Majors for IT Managers in Illinois 2023

IT Manager Salary in Illinois for 2023

Average Annual Salary: $159,100 Hourly Rate: $76.49

Data sourced from the U.S. Department of Labor via the ONET Web API. Updated at December 8, 2023

Reasons For Becoming an IT Manager in Illinois

Are you passionate about technology and interested in leading teams to drive business success? Becoming an IT Manager in Illinois might be the perfect career path for you. As an IT Manager, you will oversee the implementation and maintenance of technology systems within organizations, ensuring that they align with business objectives and support operational efficiency.

Here are some compelling reasons to consider pursuing a career as an IT Manager in Illinois:

  • Strong Job Market: Illinois offers a thriving job market for IT professionals, including IT Managers. With its diverse economy and numerous industries, such as finance, healthcare, manufacturing, and technology, there are ample opportunities for IT Managers to find rewarding positions.

  • Competitive Salaries: IT Managers in Illinois enjoy competitive salaries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for computer and information systems managers in Illinois is higher than the national average.

  • Career Advancement Opportunities: The role of an IT Manager provides excellent opportunities for career growth. As you gain experience and develop your skills, you can move up the corporate ladder to more senior management positions or even become a Chief Information Officer (CIO).

  • Impactful Role: IT Managers play a crucial role in organizations by implementing and managing technology systems that contribute to their overall success. By aligning technology with business goals, IT Managers help drive innovation, enhance productivity, and improve efficiency.

  • Constant Learning: The field of information technology is dynamic and ever-evolving. As an IT Manager, you will be at the forefront of technological advancements, constantly learning and staying updated with the latest trends and developments in the industry.

Schools and Programs in Illinois

To pursue a career as an IT Manager in Illinois, it is beneficial to acquire relevant education and training. Several schools and programs in Illinois offer degrees and certifications that can equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge. Here are a few notable options:

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: The Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois offers a Master of Computer Science degree program that covers various aspects of information technology management. This program prepares students for leadership roles in the IT industry.

  • Illinois Institute of Technology: The Stuart School of Business at the Illinois Institute of Technology offers a Master of Information Technology and Management (MITM) program. This interdisciplinary program combines technology, business, and leadership education to develop IT professionals with managerial expertise.

  • DePaul University: DePaul University's School of Computing offers a Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) program. This program focuses on the strategic management of information systems and prepares students for leadership roles in IT management.

  • Northwestern University: Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management offers an Executive Education program called "IT Strategy: Building and Sustaining Competitive Advantage." This program is designed for IT professionals looking to enhance their strategic thinking and leadership skills.


Certifications can also enhance your credibility and marketability as an IT Manager. Here are some notable certifications that you may consider pursuing:

  • Project Management Professional (PMP): Offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), the PMP certification demonstrates your expertise in project management, a vital skill for IT Managers.

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP): The CISSP certification, provided by (ISC)², validates your knowledge and proficiency in information security management.

  • ITIL Foundation: The ITIL Foundation certification focuses on IT service management best practices, which are essential for effective IT governance and service delivery.

  • Certified ScrumMaster (CSM): The CSM certification, offered by the Scrum Alliance, demonstrates your understanding and ability to apply Agile project management principles.

Remember, while certifications can enhance your qualifications, they are not a substitute for experience and practical skills. It's crucial to combine formal education, certifications, and hands-on experience to excel as an IT Manager in Illinois.

FAQs: Becoming an IT Manager in Illinois

1. What qualifications do I need to become an IT Manager in Illinois?

To become an IT Manager in Illinois, you typically need a combination of education, experience, and certifications. The specific qualifications may vary depending on the employer, but here are some common requirements:

  • A bachelor's degree in a related field such as computer science, information technology, or management information systems.
  • Several years of experience working in IT roles, such as system administrator, network engineer, or software developer.
  • Strong leadership and communication skills.
  • Knowledge of IT project management methodologies and best practices.

2. Are there any specific schools or programs in Illinois that offer relevant education for IT Managers?

Yes, there are several schools and programs in Illinois that can help you gain the necessary education and skills to become an IT Manager. Here are a few options:

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Offers a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Sciences program that focuses on the design and management of information systems.
  • Illinois Institute of Technology: Offers a Master of Information Technology and Management program that combines technical knowledge with business and management skills.
  • DePaul University: Offers a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program with concentrations in areas like network security, database systems, and software development.

3. Are there any certifications that can enhance my career prospects as an IT Manager in Illinois?

Yes, obtaining relevant certifications can greatly enhance your career prospects as an IT Manager. Here are a few certifications that are highly regarded in the industry:

  • Project Management Professional (PMP): This certification demonstrates your expertise in managing IT projects and can be valuable for IT Managers.
  • ITIL Foundation: ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is a set of best practices for IT service management. This certification showcases your knowledge of IT service delivery and support.
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP): This certification validates your expertise in IT security and can be beneficial if you are interested in managing cybersecurity initiatives.

4. How can I gain practical experience as an IT Manager in Illinois?

Gaining practical experience is essential for becoming an IT Manager. Here are some ways you can gain experience in Illinois:

  • Seek internships or entry-level positions in IT departments to develop your technical skills and understanding of IT operations.
  • Participate in IT projects within your organization or volunteer for IT-related initiatives to gain hands-on experience in managing projects and teams.
  • Network with professionals in the IT industry through events, conferences, or online communities to expand your knowledge and opportunities for growth.

5. Are there any professional associations or networking opportunities for IT Managers in Illinois?

Yes, there are several professional associations and networking opportunities available for IT Managers in Illinois. These organizations provide valuable resources, networking events, and professional development opportunities. Some notable associations include:

  • Illinois Technology Association (ITA): A membership-based organization that connects technology leaders, provides resources, and promotes the growth of the tech industry in Illinois.
  • Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) Chicago: A chapter of AITP that focuses on networking and professional development for IT professionals in the Chicago area.
  • Project Management Institute (PMI) Chicago Chapter: Provides networking events, educational programs, and certifications for project management professionals in the Chicago area.

List of Online Resources For Becoming an IT Manager in Illinois

If you're considering a career as an IT Manager in Illinois, it's important to have access to the right online resources. Whether you're looking for schools, programs, or certifications, these resources can help you take the next step towards your career goals. Here are some online resources that can assist you in becoming an IT Manager in Illinois:

Schools and Programs:

- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Computer Science: This renowned university offers a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science that can serve as a strong foundation for a career as an IT Manager.

- DePaul University, College of Computing and Digital Media: DePaul University provides various programs, including a Bachelor's degree in Information Technology and Management, which can prepare you for a managerial role in the IT field.

- Illinois State University, School of Information Technology: Illinois State University offers a Bachelor's degree in Information Systems, with courses that cover topics such as project management and database systems, providing valuable skills for an IT management career.

- Northern Illinois University, Department of Computer Science: Northern Illinois University offers a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science with a specialization in Information Systems, which can equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills for managing IT teams.


- Project Management Professional (PMP): Obtaining the PMP certification from the Project Management Institute can enhance your credibility as an IT Manager by demonstrating your knowledge and expertise in project management.

- CompTIA Security+: The Security+ certification is recognized globally and validates your skills in securing networks, infrastructure, and applications, which is crucial for IT Managers responsible for protecting sensitive information.

- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM): The CISM certification offered by ISACA focuses on information security management, governance, and risk assessment, making it a valuable credential for IT Managers overseeing security initiatives.

- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA): The CISA certification is designed for professionals auditing, controlling, and monitoring IT systems. This certification can provide IT Managers with a solid foundation in assessing and managing IT risks.

Online Learning Platforms:

- Udemy: Udemy offers a wide range of online courses related to IT management, including project management, leadership skills, and IT strategy. These courses can help you acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to excel as an IT Manager.

- Coursera: Coursera collaborates with top universities and organizations to provide online courses on various IT management topics. From cybersecurity to data analytics, these courses can help you stay updated with the latest industry trends.

- Pluralsight: Pluralsight offers a vast library of video-based courses on IT management and related skills. With expert-led content, you can enhance your technical and managerial capabilities at your own pace.

Remember, these online resources are meant to complement your education and experience. Pursuing a degree, gaining relevant work experience, and obtaining certifications can significantly increase your chances of becoming a successful IT Manager in Illinois.