The Project Manager career path prepares students for a management-level role in an organization’s IT department. Professionals on this path will learn how to lead, coordinate, integrate, and be accountable for the success of an organizational project while maintaining alignment with the organization’s priorities. The project manager career path will help individuals develop a core technical project leadership skillset. These technical skills apply to leading an IT team and adopt the essential communication and leadership skills required for the role.
What is a Project Manager?
A project manager in the IT industry is the supervisor who oversees a team of IT professionals who are working on various projects. Essentially, project managers are responsible for planning, supervising, and answering for IT projects while working to achieve an organizational goal. They also delegate work to the project team and ensure that the project stays on time and on budget. An IT project manager must have technical knowledge and skills but must focus on business management and leadership skills.
IT project managers are found in any industry that relies on or uses IT (so that’s pretty much all of them), but they tend to work in larger businesses or those with a very IT-heavy output.
What Does a Project Manager Do?
The role and responsibilities of an IT project manager are often complex and somewhat specific to the organization and its operations. However, there are some duties that most project manager positions have in common. Some of these tasks are:
- Planning projects from the beginning, including delegating tasks, creating schedules, defining milestones, and determining budgets
- Maintaining workflows and project schedules
- Managing team members, including assigning tasks, monitoring progress, and resolving any conflicts
- Leading meetings and being responsible for any follow-up actions
- Maintaining communication between the IT team, managers, and stakeholders
- Running risk assessments
Many additional responsibilities may apply to a specific organization’s unique needs.
How Much Does a Project Manager Earn in Washington, DC?
The average annual salary for IT project managers in the metropolitan Washington, DC area is $179,680, but the high end, for those PMPs with years of experience, can be as much as $300,000. The salary for a specific project manager depends on the organization and the individual’s work experience and education.
What Are Good Qualities for Project Managers to Have?
Successful IT project managers have multiple interdisciplinary skills that include, but are not limited to, the following:
Solid technical ability – Project managers must have a solid understanding and aptitude for the organization's technical capabilities. This is necessary because project managers oversee various technical projects and their teams. This ensures that project managers can effectively lead even the most highly technical members of the team.
Planning and strategic thinking – Project management is extremely strategic by nature, with its focus on the big picture and long-term projects that are aligned with organizational goals. Project managers have to be able to manage projects in a manner that aligns with the company’s bigger strategy. Thus, strategic thinking and high-level planning are foundational for this role.
Risk management skills – A strong risk management skill is also required to become a successful IT project manager. They must be able to identify, measure, and mitigate risks related to their project so they can make appropriate, informed decisions about how to best utilize their organization’s personnel, time, and resources to accomplish goals.
Personnel management skills – Each project has a team of personnel that has to buy into the project to work effectively. The role of the project manager requires interpersonal skills to get that buy-in, make sound decisions, and earn the teams’ trust.
Comprehensive understanding of organizational goals – Of course, the project manager must thoroughly understand the overall goals and objectives, large and small, that an organization has. Otherwise, the project manager won’t be able to make decisions that positively impact the organization.
Communication skills – This role is a management position, so it should come as no surprise that the project manager must have excellent communication skills. The project manager has to communicate with team members, leadership, and stakeholders. In addition, planning, implementation, progress, and any issues that come up have to be communicated so that all personnel involved are on the same page.
Leadership ability – IT project managers have to have very strong leadership abilities. They have many employees and stakeholders who rely on them to successfully guide them through the execution of technical programs.
Become a Certified Project Manager with TrainACE
The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is one of several that distinguishes candidates with all the skills and knowledge needed to perform the project manager position from all the others. Those who complete certification training and successfully complete the certification exam will be much better prepared for project management work and have a leg up on their non-certified counterparts. If you have an aptitude for leading teams to achieve shared goals within an organization and want to pursue a career in project management, then PMP training will set you up for success.
TrainACE’s PMP Training and Certification course is the preparation you need to successfully obtain your certification and guarantee that you will have an advantage over candidates without certification.