Along with Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) is one of the principals at a firm under the Chief Executive Officer.
Chief Information Officers oversee all of a firm’s IT, computer, and networking functions. They must be well-versed in the current technologies available, and able to analyze and decide which are best for the firm to invest in and utilize to meet its short- and long-term goals.
CIOs must also be intuitive in thinking about their firm’s evolving technology and cybersecurity needs in the future, and in finding and acquiring the right systems and personnel to be ready to support those needs.
Typical Duties and Responsibilities
- Plan, purchase, coordinate, and manage a firm’s technology infrastructure
- Monitor related project metrics
- Directly manage IT staff
- Oversee IT operations, network administration, service desk, IT security, telephony, and related applications
- A key advisor to the President and CEO
- Liaison with external technology vendors
Education and Background
The career path for a Chief Information Officer (CIO) entails obtaining a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems, IT management, or a related field; an MBA is a plus. To become a CIO, a candidate must have multiple years of experience in technology management in a strategic leadership role, preferably at a law firm.
Skills and Competencies
- Deep and up-to-date knowledge and understanding of IT and related topics
- Strong organizational and project management skills
- Experience leading and managing people
- Highly organized, and able to multitask
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Expertise in time management
- Keen attention to detail
According to Payscale the median annual salary of a Chief Information Officer with
1 Year of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $131,000
- Tampa, Florida: $112,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $115,000
- Miami, Florida: $95,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $85,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $95,000
- Houston, Texas: $105,000
- Los Angeles, California: $140,000
- New York City, New York: $135,000
- Seattle, Washington: $130,000
- Overall: $120,000
5 Years of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $142,000
- Tampa, Florida: $120,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $135,000
- Miami, Florida: $130,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $138,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $105,000
- Houston, Texas: $130,000
- Los Angeles, California: $156,000
- New York City, New York: $155,000
- Seattle, Washington: $145,000
- Overall: $138,000
Similar Job Titles
To become a Chief Information Officer, first earn a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems, IT management, or a related field. Beyond that, most companies and law firms prefer candidates who possess an MBA in one of those fields. Additionally, earning certification as a Chief Information Officer can help advance a career in this field.
According to IT Career Finder, several trends affect the Chief Information Officer occupation. With the ongoing evolution of businesses outsourcing IT services, CIOs must develop their soft skills in vendor management and negotiations. They must also have top-notch technical ability and know-how, plus knowledge of cloud computing. CIOs should also be well-versed in business intelligence and data analysis tools and procedures, and cybersecurity and mobile development.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of computer and information systems managers is projected to grow 11 percent through 2028, which is well above average for all occupations.
The work hours for a Chief Information Officer are usually from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in an office setting. However, many CIOs work longer hours, depending on the needs of an individual firm.
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