The Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor projects employment of computer and information systems managers to grow 15 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for computer and information systems managers will increase as firms continue to expand their use of wireless and mobile networks.

(Photo Courtesy of Craig Williams)

(Photo Courtesy of Craig Williams)

Craig Williams was trained as a building architect, and graduated from the University of Illinois. He worked for a series of architectural firms, at the last of these three firms, he was asked to move into the director of technology position for the firm. During his tenure, he also earned a Master of Business Administration degree from North Central College.

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The architectural firm later started a consulting spin-off company, focusing on providing technology services to school districts and colleges. Craig served in management positions as this company grew over the next five years. He also earned technical certifications in cabling and network design.

In 2003, he went to work for one of his clients, a school district. Craig is now working at School District U-46, the State of Illinois’ second largest district, based in Elgin, Illinois, where he serves as the director of information services. Craig shares his insight and knowledge of information services.

What are the responsibilities of your current role?

“In my current role as director of information services, my team manages technical support for all computing equipment and applications at the school district. This currently involves about 18,000 computers, along with the network infrastructure and software that goes along with them. We support the computing devices that teachers and students use to enhance their instruction in classrooms and labs at the district’s 56 schools.”

What is your favorite part of your daily duties?

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“I really enjoy the planning part of my job. I like the fact that our team can make technology accessible to students attending our district who might not have that type of access outside of school, and it can change the way all students learn.”

Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role?

“I use my architectural training every day, especially in designing large technology projects. My education helps me conceptualize and plan a solution to an instructional issue in the same way that I used to design a building. I also use the building construction training that I received on the job to help with managing networking projects.”

Do you have any advice for people who desire to pursue a similar career?

“There are now degrees in instructional technology, technology support and network infrastructure, however, the technology field is still open enough that people with other training have room to add their expertise. I would tell people to pursue an educational path that helps them develop their strongest interests. If they know what technical field they would want to pursue, they can start with that coursework, however, if they want to pursue a liberal arts education, they can still pick up the technical credentials.”

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Michelle Guilbeau is a writer, reviewer, teacher and business owner living in Chicago, Illinois. She also has experience in school administration, literacy coaching and is proud founder of CraftKitsForKids.com and MichelleGuilbeau.com Michelle enjoys sharing her knowledge of Chicago, food, travel, education and parenting issues with her readers. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.