How to Become a Data Processing Director


To become a data processing director, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for you. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for this line of work:


• Do you enjoy working in a face-paced environment?

• Do you have excellent communication, organization and leadership skills?

• Do you enjoy matching possible business solutions with business problems?

• Do you enjoy working with people and information technology in equal measure?


Those who become data processing directors are typically individuals with a natural aptitude and interest in computers and information technology. They also tend to have the ability to plan, organize, prioritize and delegate clearly and professionally.


The aspiring data processing director is also typically someone who welcomes the idea of having a fast-paced career that allows them to play the role of problem solver, while ultimately being responsible for the success of their team.


This can be an excellent career choice for those who want to pursue a profession which allows them to leverage their leadership, IT and problem solving skills to provide with a competitive edge to their employer by creating technical solutions for reducing inefficiency.


Below we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career as a data processing director. 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 

The educational requirements you'll need to meet will vary from job to job, and may also depend on the other qualifications you bring to the table. However, employers would likely prefer that you have a bachelor’s degree, and preferably a master’s or Ph.D., in one of the following fields:


• Computer science

• Computer systems engineering

• Computer engineering

• Information technology

• Mathematics

• Operational research

• Software engineering 





Data Processing Director Job Description

Data processing directors are responsible for ensuring the quality, consistency and cost-effectiveness of the work performed by the team of data analysts that they oversee. This includes the planning, coordination and supervision of all activities related to the information systems and software applications of their employer. 



Typical Duties of the Job

• Plan, organize and direct data processing activities

• Consult with staff and senior management in order to assess the needs of the organization

• Conduct feasibility studies in order to determine the best means of ensuring needs are met

• Monitor the efficiency and effectiveness of the data processing department

• Develop cost estimates for software and hardware upgrades

• Work with staff to troubleshoot problems within computer systems operations

• Coordinate the installation of hardware, software and data communications systems



Who Employs Data Processing Directors?

Data processing directors are employed on a part-time, full-time or contractual basis by large and small organizations. Most however, are hired as full-time employees by large organizations, with relatively few being self-employed.


The following types of organizations employ data processing directors:


• Construction companies

• Utility companies

• Oil, gas and mining companies

• Hospitals and health care organizations

• Colleges and universities

• Federal, provincial/state and municipal government departments

• Transportation companies

• Telecommunications companies

• Insurance and finance companies





Experience Needed to Become a Data Processing Director

In order to competently execute your job duties, you'll need to be well-versed in the field and have a skill set that is typically acquired as the result of many years of work in the field, in positions of lesser responsibility.


Smaller employers may not require as much experience as larger employers, although you'll likely need at least 5 years of experience in the following areas:


• Computer Programming

• Systems Design

• Computer Hardware Troubleshooting

• Database Management

• Networking



Working Conditions Typical to This Profession

Data processing directors typically work in an office environment. They mostly work normal weekday working hours, although they may be required to work overtime in order to meet projects deadlines. They may face a great deal of pressure and stress at work, such as when their team of data analysts is underperforming, or when a complicated technical problem needs to be solved in a short period of time.



Skills and Traits Needed to Be Successful

To be effective in a career as a data processing director, you'll need to posses a certain set of skills and personality traits. These skills and traits will allow you to perform your job duties with competence, as well as help you to overcome the challenges of this career.


• Enjoy playing the role of ‘problem solver’ within a team

• Enjoy leading departmental initiatives

• Must be knowledgeable about the various Data management software platforms

• Able to effectively manage the detailed communications needed for a successful client relationship

• Comprehensive understanding of database and programming principles

• Knowledge of database reporting solutions such as SQL Server Reporting Services

• Excellent oral and written communication skills

• Ability to manage several very complex projects

• Ability to lead, motivate and manage staff

• Excellent organizational skills, including attention to precise details and accuracy

• Ability to work effectively in a fast paced, deadline driven, highly dynamic atmosphere

• Ability to automate complex data processing tasks reliably



Current Job Openings

Our job board below has data processing director postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, when available:



Average Salary Level

The salary level you would earn can vary based on your qualifications, the size and type of you employer, and where you end up working.


Data Processing Director Salary Canada (Alberta): According to the 2018 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, workers in the Computer and Information Systems Managers occupational group earn an average salary of $111,709 per year. Unfortunately, no similar statistics were available from reliable sources for other Canadian provinces or territories (June 12, 2019).


Data Processing Director Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of workers in the Computer and Information Systems Managers occupational group is $120,950 per year.



Similar Occupational Profiles in Our Database

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


Business Analyst

Clinical Data Analyst

Data Analyst

Database Administrator

IT Manager




Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career in this field:


Wages & Salaries in Alberta:Data Administrator.” (March 31, 2018). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved November 9, 2019.

Management:Computer and Information Systems Managers.” (September 4, 2019). Occupational Outlook Handbook - United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved November 9, 2019.

Information Technology:Data Processing Manager Career and Salary Profile.” (n.d.). Florida Tech website. Retrieved November 9, 2019.



Scholarships for Becoming a Data Processing Director

The 'Applicable Majors' section below shows fields of study relevant to a career as a data processing director. You can search for scholarships matched to those fields of study 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!



Applicable Majors

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


Top Banner Image: