An increase in projects and a need to streamline business operations has resulted in companies hiring project managers across industries. By using project management strategies, project managers help move their organizations into better profit margins while still maximizing the customer experience.
In the IT field, project management was recently named one of the top 10 hottest tech skills. An IT project manager is responsible for planning and executing the organization’s IT goals in a way that increases profit and benefits the company.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of computer and information systems manager, which IT project manager falls under, is projected to grow by 15% from 2014-2024, which is much faster than average. As firms continue to grow and expand their digital reach, jobs in this sector will be in demand.
Managing software development, hardware and software installations, merging databases, upgrading to cloud computing and network additions are just some of the duties an IT project manager is responsible for executing.
By determining which type of IT project lifecycle to use and properly applying project management strategies, the project manager helps companies avoid rework and mitigate risks from new technology processes being implemented incorrectly.
IT project management requires a lot of complexity and attention. Many IT projects fail, and it’s because the project managers face challenges from changing needs in the organization and technology continuing to evolve.
IT project managers can expect to make anywhere from $95,250 to $146,500, according to the Robert Half 2017 Salary Guide for Technology Professionals. More experienced project managers can expect to make a higher salary, as can those with a master’s degree or higher. A senior IT project manager may command a salary as high as $154,250.
Because salary potential and employment opportunities may vary depending on factors such as a candidate’s education and experience, as well as regional market conditions, prospective students are encouraged to conduct independent research.
Many IT project managers have a bachelor’s degree in information technology or computer science, but having an MBA with a Specialization in Project Management in Information Technology can bolster skills and help advance a career. This position typically requires some experience in an IT job, generally anywhere from three to five years. Requirements will vary by organization.
To be successful in this role, it’s essential to work well with others. An IT project manager will often be required to guide other team members to successfully complete organizational goals. Hiring and firing people on the team requires someone who can relate to others.
They will also need to communicate with vendors outside of the company, so communication skills are required. The project manager has to be able to clearly communicate the progress of the project to the stakeholders and must communicate regularly with team members to do so.
Strong self-discipline is also required, as it’s essential for the project manager to stay on top of the project to ensure it doesn’t fail. Persistence is key, as finding the best solution may take a few tries.
Leadership abilities and analytical thought processes are also an important part of the job, as well as decision making. Project managers may need to think fast in a situation requiring a lot of change.