How to Become an IT Project Manager

IT Project Manager

An IT project manager works in the planning and development of computer systems. They will oversee projects for a particular client, with the client’s needs at the core of everything they do.

IT project managers design and develop various ‘projects’, various computer systems for a client. An example of an IT project may be a website or e-commerce store, or it could be a sophisticated IT security package or a system’s IT infrastructure. Clients could be any companies who use IT.

An IT project manager will plan and develop these computer systems according to the individual client’s needs, and oversee every step of the journey from concept to execution.

An IT project manager’s duties will include:

  • Discussing IT needs with clients and confirming that they can meet these needs. 
  • Planning the project in stages, including timescales, budgets, and quality, and assessing the business implications. 
  • Coordinating development projects and ensuring that deadlines are met. 
  • Overseeing the progress of the project, including the termination and changeover of it. 
  • Updating senior managers and clients with progress. 
  • Evaluating any completed tasks. 

To become an IT project manager, candidates should demonstrate relevant knowledge and vocational experience. Some IT project managers are graduates with a degree in a computing-based sector. Graduates are generally able to enter the field at a more senior level than non-graduates.

However, non-graduates can become an IT project manager through vocational means. They may already work in an IT role and have transferable skills, or work in some sort of project management position – for example, on a project support team. 

Candidates who have managing experience and IT proficiency may also be considered for IT project management roles. Some companies offer apprenticeships for similar roles, and candidates on these apprenticeships can climb up the career ladder to IT project manager.

Prospective IT project managers should demonstrate leadership skills, as they will have to manage a team. They should be able to supervise, delegate tasks, and motivate those working underneath them. Communication skills are intrinsic to being an IT project manager, as they need to communicate with their employees and clients.

Time management skills are also essential for IT project managers; they will have to be able to assess what parts of a project should have more time spent on them while still meeting deadlines. Technical understanding, such as being aware of hardware, software, and networks, is essential, as is having analytical skills and being confident with using data. 

IT project managers will typically work for IT firms, although some may set up their own firm and work on a freelance basis. 

What degree is most commonly held by an IT Project Manager ?

  • BA Economics, Marketing and International Relations
  • Bachelor of Management
  • Bachelor of Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Computer Science and Telecommunications

Career Transportability across Countries

Transportability: High
There is a good chance for IT project managers to work overseas. Many multinational companies consider their employees on a global scale when advertising new positions and may offer any experienced professionals the role. With adequate experience, professionals could also apply to foreign-based companies. They may have to speak the local language and have an idea of the country’s culture.

What is the Salary of an IT Project Manager ?

Experience Average salary | year
IT Project Manager 1-3 yrs $65,000 £45,000 $63,440
IT Project Manager 3-5 yrs $71,000 £55,000 $93,781
IT Project Manager 5-10 yrs $90,000 £62,500 $115,000

What skills are needed to become an IT Project Manager ?

  • Project Management
  • Management
  • Change Management
  • Business Analysis
  • Leadership
  • Project Planning
  • Project Delivery
  • Program Management
  • Business Process Improvement
  • Team Leadership
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Microsoft Office
  • Integration
  • ITIL
  • Vendor Management
  • Requirements Analysis
  • Customer Service
  • Process Improvement
  • IT Service Management
  • Business Process
  • IT Strategy
  • Software Project Management
  • Information Technology
  • Agile Methodologies

IT Project Manager Courses

Professionals in this position should have a solid understanding of IT, so it is beneficial for candidates to take some relevant courses. At FutureLearn, we have plenty of IT courses, including Introduction to Web Development and Understanding Digital Workplace Trends.
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  • Introduction to Strategic Doing: An Agile Approach to Strategy

    Learn about 'strategic doing' a new way of creating strategies for open network businesses and organisations

  • Project Management Principles, Practices and Systems

    Grow your project management skills and understand project management methodologies and challenges

  • Getting Started with Agile and Design Thinking

    Get an introduction to agile product development and design thinking so you can build better digital products

  • Successful Agile for Digital Teams

    Discover the purpose principles and benefits of Agile and understand how it really works in practice

  • Business Fundamentals: Project Management

    Gain the basic skills to manage all phases of project lifecycles effectively using the most appropriate methods and tools

  • Foundations of Project Management

    Explore the fundamental aspects of project management and develop your understanding of traditional project lifecycles

  • Project Management: Beyond the Basics

    Build your existing project management knowledge and develop the skills to manage teams and deliver effective projects

IT Project Manager Microcredentials

  • Practical Project Management

    Get a professional accredited introduction to project management from a top UK university

  • Project Management: Managing Front-End Planning

    Build the project planning and management skills to start a career in project management within your chosen professional field

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