The information resource management field offers several occupation options, employment stability and solid earnings potential, but the career path is not right for everyone. Following are some resources that will help you decide if a career in information resource management is right for you.
Today's businesses are driven by information that provides the foundation for critical business decisions. Information resource (IR) managers oversee the management of information storage methods and practices. Many are employed by the government, although some work for data storage companies, Information technology (IT) departments within large organizations or as computer consultants.
IR management professionals use computer hardware, software and other technologies to store, secure and search important data. Depending on the client, that data may include tax information, customer sales records, medical charts or any number of important pieces of data collected over a period of days, months or years. IR management personnel also provide information management support, design complex reports and manage databases.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that information technology positions are expected to grow at about 23% which is much faster than the average growth of all other careers during the 2008-2018 decade (www.bls.gov). The field also offers solid earnings potential. For example, database administrators earned an average $75,730 per year in 2010, according to the BLS.
In order to begin your career in information resources management, you should research your post-secondary education and certification options. Most employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree, at minimum, in computer science, information technology, computer engineering or a related field. If you plan to pursue a managerial position, some employers prefer candidates with a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in information technology, according to the BLS. Jobs may also require previous work experience in IT, ranging from 2-4 years.
You can expect to take courses in programming, operating systems, network management and other advanced computer courses at the undergraduate level. Some programs offer credit for the completion of an internship once you complete the bulk of the degree requirements. Information resource management master's programs offer courses in applied statistics, database management and information architecture, as well as require completion of an independently-researched thesis and seminar. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) requires coursework in managerial accounting and economics, management information systems, strategic management and organizational behavior.
You can also pursue industry certifications to supplement your education. Certification options include Certified Database Administrator, Systems Engineer and Certified Networking Professional. Several vendors, such as Microsoft, Cisco and Oracle, offer certification programs.