IT project managers ensure that complex technical projects, such as systems upgrades and technology deployments, are completed on time, under budget and to specifications. These professionals plan and coordinate the efforts of the internal project team, third party contractors and consultants to bring IT projects to successful completion.
IT project management skills are in high demand as an increasing number of organizations prefer specialists and project-based methods to get the job done right the first time. Opportunity for advancement and earning potential in this field are excellent; the average salary for IT project managers in the U.S. is over $128,000, and this role can springboard to C-level positions like CIO and CTO where salaries can soar into the high six figures.
Colleges and universities offer degree programs in business and IT project management. Private training centers also offer specialized courses and certificate programs in the latest PM tools and techniques, including prep for industry certifications like PMI's Project Management Professional (PMP), the preeminent credential for project managers. Compare the top-rated IT project management training programs in the U.S. and online.
a.k.a. IT Program Manager | IT Operations Manager | Project Manager | IT Project Lead
IT Project Manager Skills & Responsibilities
Typical day-to-day activities and in-demand skill sets for IT project managers include:
- IT project managers plan, execute and finalize technology projects on schedule, under budget and to scope.
- IT project managers develop and manage a work breakdown structure (WBS) for large-scale IT projects.
- IT PMs write project plans detailing a project's goals, technologies, systems, schedules, budget and personnel.
- IT project managers develop project plans that include cost-benefit or return on investment (ROI) analyses.
- IT PMs coordinate recruitment of project personnel and assign duties, responsibilities and spans of authority.
- IT project managers develop and manage budgets, and subsequent budget updates, for technology projects
- Information technology project managers understand project management concepts and best practices.
- IT project managers monitor, analyze & summarize performance and trends to create project status reports.
- IT project managers hold status and implementation meetings with project personnel and upper management.
- Successful IT project managers build, grow and develop business relationships vital to the success of the project.
IT Project Manager Salary
- Average salary for IT project managers (USA): $128,750
Salary range for IT project managers and related tech pros and executives:
- IT Project Manager: $96,000 - $161,500
- Network/Cloud Manager: $100,500 - $174,750
- Software Product Manager: $104,250 - $177,000
- Technical Services & Operations Manager: $111,500 - $190,750
- Database Manager: $114,500 - $192,000
- Technology Director: $122,000 - $206,000
- Information Security Manager: $124,250 - $213,000
- Chief Technology Officer (CTO): $153,000 - $267,250
- Chief Information Officer (CIO): $175,500 - $300,250
Source: 2021 IT Salary Guide, Robert Half Technology
IT Project Manager Education Requirements
IT project managers typically have at least a bachelor's degree, while some employers require PMs to possess a graduate diploma. A specialized master's degree in project management, or a master's of business administration (MBA) with a technology concentration is often preferred, however an advanced technical degree with a non-business focus can also be effective if the project management job you desire requires strong technical expertise in a specific computing domain, for example a Master's in Software Engineering may be a great fit for a software development PM role.
Earning a respected project management credential - such as Project Management Institute's respected PMP certification - will validate your skills and expertise, making it easier to secure a top position and salary in this space.
Marketable skills to look for in an IT project management degree program include: project management concepts from PMI's PMBOK (project management body of knowledge), leadership, IT strategy & operations, computer systems analysis, software management, and soft skills like effective verbal/written communication and creative problem solving.
With recent technological advancements in online education platforms, the subject matter in IT project management degree programs works well in most online learning formats.
Research and compare IT project manager training programs online and in your area.
IT Project Manager Certifications
Marketable certifications for IT Project Managers include the following:
- CompTIA Project+
- PMI Project Management Professional (PMP)
- (ISC)2 Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Google Project Management Certificate
IT Project Manager Job Outlook
The job outlook for IT project managers is excellent. A recent interview of IT hiring managers and executives by CompTIA discovered that 20% of technology job ads lists project management skills, placing it among the nation's hottest roles alongside juggernauts like cyber security, cloud computing and mobile development.
Organizations everywhere are implementing specialized, project-based methods to achieve technology goals on-time and under budget, skyrocketing IT project manager to one of the fastest growing career paths. The Project Management Institute - the world's largest PM association and preeminent certifying body - forecasts 33% growth (22 million new jobs) in project management from 2017 to 2027.
IT project management is here to stay, and you can feel confident pursuing this career if job security, salary and upward mobility are key concerns.
Sources: U.S. Department of Labor | Project Management Institute | CompTIA
IT Project Manager Jobs
Your IT project management training, experience & certifications qualifies you for a wide range of positions including:
- IT Project Manager jobs
- Project Manager jobs
- Technology Manager jobs
- Agile Project Manager jobs
- PMP Certified Project Manager jobs
- CAPM Certified Project Manager jobs
- Project Manager / Business Analyst jobs
- IT Process Manager jobs