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No one can deny the importance of technology in today's world and the increasing globalization has only made it a necessity; especially in the business world. The term Chief Information Officer or (CIO) was first coined in the world of information technology (IT) to identify the person who would be responsible for all the IT related functions of a company.

Being at a high profile designation, the CIO only reports to the Chairman or the Managing Director of the board. It is their primary responsibility to ensure the smooth running of all the technological functions of the company. The CIOs are considered as a valuable asset to companies, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics their demand is only going to grow in the coming years.

Educational Requirements

To be eligible for the post of a chief information officer of a company, an ideal candidate requires a Bachelor's or a Master's Degree in Computer Science and people with a Bachelor's Degree would require extensive work experience. It has been noted that employers show preference to candidates who have a Master's Degree with an impressive work profile. Most employers prefer candidates with more than 5 years of experience handling management and IT responsibilities. Work experience on practice, financial and clinical management is considered as an added advantage.

Job Responsibilities

The main task of a Chief Information Officer is to oversee the development of the IT department of a company. He/she has to ensure the usage of new and improved techniques in technology to increase the productivity of the company. The CIO provides leadership, planning and effective management in all the areas of information technology. He/she has to handle all the hardware and software deals done by the company and also review the performances of other team members. In many organizations the CIO is responsible for hiring, developing and supervising his staff. In some instances, CIOs are given the responsibility of designing the budget of their own department. The CIO also plays an important part in protecting the company from various cyber threats which are quite common nowadays. Depending on the size of the company, the CIO may require a single individual or an entire department to tackle these security threats.

Skills Required for the Position
  • The ability to foresee web-based services that meet consumer needs or solve business issues.
  • Active experience in coding more than one popular web-based application framework.
  • He/she should be familiar with more than one software methodology and should have contributed to more than one open source project.
  • He/she should be well-versed in handling CSS, XHTML, one or more JavaScript frameworks and AJAX.
  • A chief information officer should have a deep understanding and knowledge about web standards and should know UNIX system administration and Web Server Configuration.
  • A CIO should be familiar with Internet protocols and RFC Standards, Revision Control Systems and Database Management Systems, Internet marketing and search engine optimization.
  • A CIO should respect consumer privacy and ensure industry compliance requirements.
  • He should have exposure to business theories, business process development, governance processes, management, budgeting and administrative operations.
Salary of a CIO

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total annual income of a CIO was almost between $150,786 and $200,000. The Bureau also reports that candidates having a Master's Degree and varied work experience had a better salary package then mentioned above. The salary package comes with medical and life insurance for the entire family, stock options (in few instances) and exclusive perks. A CIO works for a total of 40 hours every week and sometimes on weekends depending on the work pressure.

Well, this was all you needed to know about the job description of a CIO. Apart from handling the IT department, he/she has to be present for major board meetings which are frequently conducted to discuss the future of the company.