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The steps required to become an IT infrastructure manager vary, but typically include a combination of extensive, formal training and experience in information technology architecture. The term information technology (IT) infrastructure encompasses computer hardware, wiring, servers, back-ups and other items required to operate and support a computer network. An IT infrastructure manager is typically responsible for all the computer equipment within a building or company. Very large operations may have multiple managers, all who report to a solutions architect or similar position.
People who are detail-oriented, technologically inclined, and enjoy learning are best suited to become an IT infrastructure manager. The primary role of the IT infrastructure manager is to evaluate the technology solutions to the business needs of the organization and find the best possible tools to meet those needs. For example, a growing company may find that more staff need access to the computer sales and accounting systems. This will require increased hardware, networking switches, routers, and servers to support this growth.
Typically, the process to eventually working as an IT infrastructure manager starts with post-secondary education. A university degree in computer science or systems architecture is quite common. Some people have completed degrees in business or other fields, and then completed specific certification or training programs in infrastructure, networks, or related skills.
In order to advance their career into management, many people complete additional education. This may include a Master's of Business Administration (MBA), management certificate programs, or a more specific course of study that focuses on a known area of weakness. For example, someone who has difficulty with written communications may be better off taking a course in this skill than another technology course.
There are two areas of related work experience that can help you to become an IT infrastructure manager: leadership and priority setting. Leadership experience can be obtained through short periods as a temporary or project manager. Leading a large project for a volunteer agency or community organization is a great way to develop these skills in a low-risk environment. There are specific mistakes that almost all leaders make, and it is often valuable to learn from these mistakes outside the work environment.
Priority setting is essential once you become an IT infrastructure manager. There are usually several hardware projects happening simultaneously, with increasing pressure to produce on time, within a limited budget. How to manage and resolve these issues is a challenge for all managers. Practicing and applying communication techniques to manage user expectations and ensure proper timeliness for projects is essential to your ongoing career success.
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