How to Become an Information Technology (IT) Service Manager


Here are the essential steps for becoming an IT Service Manager:


1. Excel at math, communications, computer science and electronics in high school

2. Determine if this career is suited to your interests

3. Pursue a bachelor’s degree related to IT

4. Get an entry-level job in IT while you’re a student

5. Move into roles of greater responsibility as you gain experience

6. Move into a management role 

7. Continuously learn about the field

8. Advance your career as you gain experience, and demonstrate competence


Continue reading below to learn more about what you'll need to get started in this profession, in the U.S. or Canada:



What Education Will I Need to Become an IT Service Manager?

Although the educational requirements can vary, many employers prefer that you have a bachelor’s degree in a field such as computer science, computer engineering or software engineering. A business degree is also attractive to employers, provided you have taken coursework, or have work experience, that has made you familiar with the technical side of software and hardware.


High School Preparations: Doing well in areas such as math, communications, electronics and computer science will serve as excellent preparation for this career.





What Experience Will I Need?

Working in IT in roles of increasing levels of responsibility, such as supervisor roles, will both show employers you are ready to handle the job, and will serve to prepare you to work as an IT service manager. Employers may also accept relevant education in place of some work experience, although ideally you will have both.



What Does an IT Service Manager Do?

IT service managers are responsible for overseeing and managing the design, implementation and/or maintenance of IT services within an organization or on behalf of an external organization. They serve as the liaison between the clients and support technicians to ensure the timely and successful delivery of solutions.



What Are the Duties and Responsibilities Involved?

Information technology service managers are typically responsible for:


• Acting as liaison between customer and support staff

• Acting as point of escalation for issues raised by support staff or users in conflict situations

• Monitoring the performance of support staff by collecting data and comparing it against targets

• Recommending products and services which will help a client organization meet its objectives

• Enabling efficient and effective communication between customers and support staff

• Regularly monitoring customer or company satisfaction levels

• Ensuring timely and effective delivery of technical solutions



Is IT Support Right for Me?

If you have the following traits, you should be a good fit for this career:


• A keen interest in Information technology, and managing workflows

• Able to influence and drive initiatives

• Commitment to providing efficient, professional customer service

• The ability to remain calm in stressful situations

• An interest in staying up to date with developments in the field

• Excellent organizational and leadership skills

• Ambitious and driven professional

• Able to explain technical issues to non-technical people, both in verbal and written communications





Who Employs IT Service Managers?

Job opportunities for IT Service Managers typically exist internally with virtually any medium or large organization that relies heavily on information technology. They may also be employed by external IT and information security companies, or as freelancers, that contract their services out to clients. 


Organizations that hire IT Service Managers may include:


• IT consulting companies and service providers

• Software and application providers

• Law enforcement agencies 

• Banks and financial institutions

• Telecommunications companies

• Government departments and agencies (all levels)

• Educational institutions at all levels (colleges, universities, high schools, etc.)

• Medium and large public and private companies (such as retailers)

• Self-employment 


Success Tip: Employers may use slightly different job titles for the same role, or the same title for different roles. Therefore, when exploring careers in IT service and support management, read each job description carefully to get an understanding of what's involved with a particular role.



What is the Salary of an IT Service Manager?

The salary level you could earn as a IT service manager can vary, typically depending on the following factors:


• Your level of education

• Your level of experience

• The specific responsibilities of your job

• The size and type of your employer

• The region in which you work

• The industry in which you work

• Many other factors


*Unfortunately, reliable salary information for the career “Information Technology Service Manager” could not be found from reliable sources. However, the salary level of closely related occupations gives us a good idea of what you could earn.


IT Service Manager Salary in Canada: According to the 2018 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, the average salary of Albertans working in the “computer and information systems managers” occupational group is $111,709 per year. In British Columbia, WorkBC states that the annual provincial median salary of those in that same occupational group is $90,002. Unfortunately, similar statistics from reliable sources could not be found for the rest of Canada at the time of writing (October 16, 2019).


Salary - United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of Americans working in the “computer network architects” occupational group is $109,020 per year.



IT Service Manager Jobs

Our job board below has postings for IT Service Managers in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Just type in your city and you're set!




What Career Advancement Opportunities Are There?

As you gain more experience and possibly further education and training, you could advance your career by moving into positions involving more pay, greater responsibility, or those that are in a different, but related area. For example, you could move into self-employment, network engineering, database administration, business analysis, training, or technical sales.



What are Careers Similar to This One?

Listed below are careers that may be in the same field, or they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and/or responsibilities as "information technology service manager":


• Computer Service Technician

• Computer Systems Engineer

• Customer Service Representative

• Cyber Security Specialist

• IT Analyst

• IT Manager



What Scholarships Are There for Becoming an IT Service Manager?

All of the scholarships on our Computer Engineer Scholarships and Industrial Engineering Scholarships pages are relevant for this profession.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!




Please consult the following resources to learn more about what it takes to work in this field:


• Resources: “How to build a successful career in IT Service Management.” Priya Dharshini (August 12, 2015). Simpli Learn. Retrieved February 2, 2017.

• Occupational Profile: “Computer and information systems managers.” (n.d.). Alberta Government - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved October 16, 2019. 

• Occupational Outlook Handbook: “Computer Network Architects.” (September 4, 2019). United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved October 16, 2019. 

• Job Profiles “IT Project Manager”, (December 22, 2016). National Careers Service. Retrieved January Retrieved February 2, 2017.

• Explore Careers: “Computer and information systems managers.” (July 5, 2018). WorkBC website - Government of British Columbia. Retrieved October 16, 2019.



Majors in Our Database Relevant for this Career

We have career guides for over 60 university majors in our database. Below we've outlined those that are most relevant to becoming an IT Service Manager. Click on the link(s) to see what else you can do with these majors!


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Information Technology (IT) Service Manager