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Chief Information Officer

Career Overview

Chief information officers are not company spokesmen; they are responsible for the overall technological direction of their organizations. The information they oversee is the database that is at the core of the company and the information that flows over the company's intranet and wide area net (WAN).

Because CRM software has become a major tool in sales and customer service, the chief information officer is also part of the business strategy team. Computer systems are always changing, either in size, in functionality or in software platforms. It is the CIO's job to see that those changes do not disrupt day to day business, and that employees are properly trained in any new features that appear on the company network.

Education

A chief information officer must know the technology of information networks thoroughly. Generally a master's degree in computer science, information systems or network management is necessary; an MBA with a technology emphasis may be even better.

Employment

Chief information officers are an important cog in corporate machines of any size. Certainly there are tens of thousands of CIOs throughout the country's businesses and institutions, although some may carry other titles.

Job Outlook

This profession puts a technology oriented individual in the executive suite, and the impact has been substantial. Many CIOs don't enjoy the respect that their business oriented colleagues do. However the position is going to remain mandatory for every business that does not choose to outsource their IT management. The major factor for growth in this position is the degree to which the job is kept in-house.

Salary

Lowest 10% $135,696

Median Salary $210,034

Highest 10% $303,910

Source: Salary.com

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