Look around your IT department. Doesn't it seem that every other person is a manager? That feeling isn't too far-fetched. The number of IT managers in recent years is way up. In mid-2006, the government classified 390,000 IT professionals in the United States as managers, up 119,000, or 44%, from mid-2001.At midyear, 11.2% of employed U.S. IT pros were managers, up from 7.8% in mid-2001, according to an InformationWeek analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
Why the shift? I have a few theories:
* The reliance on packaged software and offshore outsourcing means there's less of a need for companies to employ programmers and systems analysts, but the need to coordinate the use of packaged wares within an organization requires supervision.
* The Internet changed how we deal with business partners, whether contracted outsourcers, vendors and suppliers on the supply chain, or joint-venture partners. Tech-savvy pros are needed to help manage those relationships.
* IT is woven into the fabric of every inch of the enterprise, and an IT manager is needed to help coordinate the collaboration among a company's units. An example of this: The use of IT-knowledgeable project managers is on the rise.
* Certain IT skills are rare, and those holding them demand big bucks. In some companies, top pay goes only to managers. Some highly skilled IT staffers, with no supervisory responsibility, are designated managers to get the high salary.
What do you think? Are there other reasons for the growth in IT managers?
Also, are you one of these new IT managers? If so, I'd like to hear from you. I'm writing a story explaining this trend in new managers and am looking for people to be profiled in the story.
E-mail me at [email protected].