Duties and responsibilities
A Chief Information Officer (CIO) is responsible for determining the technology or information goals of an organization. They are also responsible for overseeing the implementation of the technology needed to meet these goals. They have a huge amount of responsibility, which includes things such as:
- Examining a company’s operations and how technology works within it
- Developing strategies to improve the efficiency and efficacy of technological initiatives
- Working with things such as computers, mobile devices, telephones, and other voice and data communication methods
- Seeking out hardware and software that will help the company
- Overseeing the development and testing of new programs developed specifically for the company
- Reviewing vendor proposals and making decisions
- Ensuring the company’s data remains secure
- Coaching members of the IT team
Ideally, a CIO will have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as computer science or information technology. To have the best opportunities, CIO’s should aim to achieve a masters degree in business administration (MBA).
What is most important, however, is work experience. Most CIO’s will advance up from lower level positions within the company. Therefore, they need be dedicated and committed to gathering suitable work experience in a related field. Experience in Human Resources, or other people-focused roles, is also incredibly beneficial.
Skills and relevant work experience
As well as relevant experience and a good education, CIO’s will need skills such as:
- Leadership skills, as CIO’s are in charge of the IT department and must be able to lead them correctly
- Verbal and written communication skills, as CIO’s will need to communicate with executives and employees. They will also need to respond to emails and keep documents neatly updated
- Technical skills, as CIO’s need to understand different IT systems and be able to implement them
- Organization skills, as CIO’s have a huge amount of responsibility and must be able to manage their time
Most CIO’s will work full time. They may often find themselves working overtime, long hours to meet deadlines. They may also travel a lot to attend meetings.
According to salary.com the median annual salary for a CIO in the United States is $285,754. The bottom 10% can expect to earn less than $191,611 and the highest 10% earn over $402,754 per annum.
CIOs progress from lower-level roles, such as an IT manager or other IT, HR and cybersecurity roles. They may progress to become an expert in one specific area, such as electronic data processing or information systems. Or, they can focus on the big picture and direct their efforts at lots of issues. In smaller organizations, CIOs will progress quicker and will have more control over the IT department. In larger organizations, CIOs may have people working underneath them to handle the day-to-day running of the department.