IT Project Manager Careers

What​ ​is​ ​an IT Project Manager?

IT Project Managers oversee the process of planning and executing an organization’s information technology goals. As digital technology increasingly advances, IT systems need constant improvements and upgrades, and the IT Project Manager is the professional who manages the budget and timeline of IT projects to ensure seamless implementation of the new or improved systems.

IT Project Managers and upper management work together to determine the parameters and development of IT projects and that they are completed on schedule. They may also work with other departments for resources and support. IT Project Managers might be team leaders or work individually on projects.


What is an IT Project Manager Responsible For?

IT Project Managers guide and lead the work of a technical staff of IT professionals, often serving as a liaison between business staff and technical aspects of a project. They plan project stages and assess the business implications for each stage of project development and implementation. IT Project Managers monitor project progress and ensure timeliness. They review standards and make sure that cost targets remain on budget.

IT Project Managers can expect to work at any of the following tasks:

  • ·        Managing project execution
  • ·        Defining and documenting project scope
  • ·        Ensuring adherence to budget, schedule, and scope
  • ·        Tracking project milestones
  • ·        Developing and updating project plans
  • ·        Developing project objectives, technologies, systems, and IT specifications
  • ·        Developing and managing work breakdown schedules (WBS)
  • ·        Meeting with project personnel to identify and resolve problems
  • ·        Assembling and coordinating project team members and assigning responsibilities
  • ·        Establishing schedules
  • ·        Reviewing funding for major IT projects
  • ·        Developing schedules and methods for measuring project results
  • ·        Planning and overseeing dissemination of project communications
  • ·        Identifying and managing project timelines and milestones
  • ·        Developing and delivering proposals, project progress reports, and presentations
  • ·        Setting and managing project expectations with team members and leadership

To be successful as an IT Project Manager, prospects will need to develop the following skills:

  • Ability to Manage Conflict. IT Project Managers may experience cost limitations, time limits, and staff availability issues. They must decide how to best allocate limited resources for the greatest positive business impact.
  •  Strong Knowledge of Software and Technical Platforms. IT Project Managers must understand the development, design, and delivery of software and applications and how it affects the end user. They should be able to translate changing user functionality based on customer input and feedback, and they must know how to manage IT projects based on an organization’s needs.
  • Excellent Communication Skills. IT Project Managers must be able to speak to people with many different backgrounds, both technical and non-technical. They should be able to quickly and concisely inform management, employees, executive staff, and customers about the status of any given project.


Where Does an IT Project Manager Work?

IT Project Manager jobs can be found in large companies and small ones, where IT Project Managers develop computer networks to help manage day-to-day activities and large scale IT projects.


What Other Career Options are Available to an IT Project Manager?

Careers available to an IT Project Manager include:

Financial Institutions

The banking industry requires state of the art computer networking and therefore require IT Project Managers to manage projects, including updating software and upgrading hardware. They must possess strong communication skills and work with clients to address issues of security while making computer systems accessible to banking staff and consumers.

Government Contractors

Government at all levels requires IT Project Managers to develop their information systems and keep them up to date in the digital age. Government projects generally have tougher deadlines, tighter budgets, and stricter requirements, and they need talented IT Project Managers who can manage project development within their stringent guidelines.


IT Project Managers working in healthcare must manage security concerns of protected patient health records while allowing access to providers and to patients. Hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare providers work to improve patient outcomes and rely heavily on technical resources to assist them with these endeavors. Networking computers, surgical equipment, imaging equipment, and laboratory resources as well as troubleshooting referral tracking and primary care access all depend on strong project management.

Business Project Management

Firms across all business endeavors require contract computer services, systems design, system integration, and custom programming, and IT Project Managers are the professionals who can manage all these projects. Small companies and large corporations rely on their computer networks to complete their business activities, and they need strong IT Project Managers to develop and build their networks.


What Degree is Required to Become an IT Project Manager? What Do They Study?

IT Project Managers typically pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, IT project management, database management systems, IT security, programming, or principles of project management. Business management, communications, and engineering also provide a broad background for those interested in pursuing a position as an IT Project Manager.

IT Project Managers can also pursue certifications for skills such as project management concepts, leadership, IT strategy and operations, computer systems analysis, software management, and effective communications.

Many employers require a master’s degree of their IT Project Managers. A specialized Master of Business Administration degree, or MBA, with a technology concentration is ideal, but a master’s degree with a non-business or management focus can be useful if the project management focus requires strong technical expertise, such as a Master of Computer Science or a Master of Software Engineering.

How Much Money Does an IT Project Manager Earn?

People with IT Project Manager jobs can earn, on average, an annual salary of $85,000 to $125,500. Specialization as a Network Manager can earn someone around $100,000 to $147,000 per year, while Database Managers earn about $118,000 to $170,500 per year. Information Security Managers earn approximately $130,000 to $182,000 per year, and a Technology Manager earns an average annual salary of $106,000 to $159,000.

Executive level IT Project Managers working as Chief Information Officers, CIOs, can earn about $172,000 to $268,000, and Chief Technology Officers, CTOs, earn around $147,500 to $229,500 per year. Chief Security officers earn approximately $140,250 to $222,500 per year, and Vice Presidents of Technology earn, on average, $141,500 to $225,000 annually.