How to Become a Chief Information Officer (CIO)

Home >> Careers with a Science Degree >> Careers with a Computer Science Degree >> How To Become A Chief Information Officer

 

How to Become a Chief Information Officer (CIO): Career Path Guide

If you want to become a chief information officer, you first need to determine if this career path is well suited to your skills and interests. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as a chief information officer:

 

• You have a degree in a field related to computer science and years of managerial experience

• You are confident and have exceptional leadership and communication skills

• You are knowledgeable in business process development, governance processes and budget operations

• You are able to adapt new and emerging technologies to solve business problems

• You have highly developed negotiation and conflict resolution skills

• You want to have a direct impact on the technical direction of your organization

 

Below we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career as a chief information officer. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!

 

 

Education Needed to Become a Chief Information Officer

There is not necessarily a specific educational path for becoming a chief information officer. However, to qualify for such a position, you typically require at least a bachelor’s degree in a field related to computer science, information technology, or information science, as well as extensive work experience.

 

Many employers show preference to candidates with graduate degrees in one of these areas, as well as candidates with undergraduate degree in one of these areas and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. In some cases, a greater level of education can substitute for some amount of work experience, and vice versa.

 

Coursework that is relevant to a career as a chief information officer includes:

 

• Global information technology management

• Introduction to information security management

• Project management for information technology

• Database systems management

 

 

 

Chief Information Officer Job Description

A chief information officer (CIO) is accountable for leading the information and data integrity, as well as the information technology of their organization. The chief information officer is typically also responsible for maintaining the integrity of all electronic records of the company.

 

Since chief information officers are responsible for steering the direction of their organization from a technological standpoint, they need of working understanding of information technology and information systems, although they do not need to be technical experts in these areas. However, they do need expertise in understanding how to best apply technology for the improvement of business operations. 

 

 

Chief Information Officer Job Duties

• Define information processes, systems and operations of the organization

• Survey all computerized and manual information related systems

• Evaluate information processing equipment and software

• Evaluate revision control systems, database management systems and web server configuration

• Ensure compliance of industry standards related to consumer privacy

• Must recognize, prepare for, and combat security threats

• Oversee information technology staff

 

 

Who Creates Jobs for Chief Information Officers?

Chief Information Officers are typically employed on a full-time basis by many different types of medium and large organizations in almost every industry. These organizations may include:

 

• Small, medium and large private companies and corporations

• Colleges and universities

• Hospitals and healthcare organizations

• Municipal, provincial/state and federal government departments

• Internet and telecommunication service providers

• Information technology and management consulting firms

• Self-employment (as consultants)

• Energy companies

• Medium and large private corporations in almost every industry sector

• Medium and large public corporations in almost every industry sector

• Large IT and computer firms that provide database and computer network services

 

 

 

Chief Information Officer Jobs

Chief Information Officer Jobs - Canada

 

Chief Information Officer Jobs - United States

 

 


 

 

 

Experience Needed to Become a Chief Information Officer

It typically takes many years of work experience in information technology roles of increasing levels of responsibility to qualify for a job as Chief Information Officer. In some cases, a greater level of work experience can substitute for a higher level of education.

 

Progressive work experience will help you gain the leadership, management and communication skills needed for this career, as well as allow you to demonstrate them on a resume.

 

Employees that communicate their career ambitions with their supervisors can often be pointed in the right direction with regards to company-sponsored training programs, leadership events, and opportunities for promotion. With every new level of responsibility you gain, ensure that you are demonstrating initiative, ambition, accountability, and most of all, competence in your duties.

 

Every entry-level employee, department head, and project manager can take advantage of their position to improve efficiency or productivity in some small way, and demonstrate it on a resume. For example, if you have a position in IT department, you can use it to demonstrate how you can effectively use technology to increase the efficiency or profitability of your company.

 

Success Tip: Don’t be afraid to start in an entry-level position with a company if you have your sights on a career as a chief information officer; many successful top executives have built their careers form the ground up. 

 

 

Attributes Needed to Become a Chief Information Officer

In order to become a chief information officer, you need to posses a certain set of personality traits, soft skills and hard skills. As a career as a chief information officer is considered a senior-level career, employers will want to see many of the hard and soft skills demonstrated on your resume through work experience with internal departments or external organizations.

 

Hard and Soft Skills

 

• Demonstrated leadership skills; the ability to lead teams and develop solutions

• The ability to manage complex technology projects from inception to completion

• A proven ability to improve efficiency within an organization

• Ability to organize resources, your own time, and the time of others

• A working understanding of information technology

• Must be able to perform CSS, HTML and JavaScript functions

• A good sense of how to improve business operations using technology

• Good working knowledge of information technology

• Able to adapt new and emerging technologies to solve real-world business problems

• Must be knowledgeable in business process development, governance processes, budget and administrative operations

 

Personality Traits

 

• A strong sense of ethics

• A strong interest in the corporate culture of the organization

• High level of confidence and assertiveness

• Willing to work long hours

 

 

Chief Information Officer Jobs

Our job board below has "CIO" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Chief Information Officer Salary

The salary level of chief information officers can vary, depending on their personal qualifications, the size and type of their employer, and many other factors.

 

Chief Information Officer Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of American workers in the Top Executives occupational group is $101,650 per year, and that of workers in the Computer and Information Systems Managers occupational group is $120,950 per year.

 

 

Careers Similar to Chief Information Officer

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to Chief Information Officer, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.

 

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Data Processing Director

IT Manager

Records Manager

Systems Administrator

 

 

References: How to Become a Chief Information Officer

Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a Chief Information Officer.

 

Florida Tech Online University website: www.floridatechonline.com

United States Bureau of Labor Statistics: www.bls.gov

 

 

Scholarships for Becoming a Chief Information Officer

Scholarships listed for majors that apply to becoming a Chief Information Officer can be found on our All Scholarships by Major page. 

 

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!

 

 

Becoming a Chief Information Officer: Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a Chief Information Officer. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!

 


Popular Degree Programs in Your Area