Information technology projects involve the development, installation, configuration and implementation of computer systems and applications. In charge of these activities are IT project managers, professionals who also ensure projects are completed within the allocated budgets and timeframe. With many businesses adopting the use of computers systems, the demand for these managers is quite high.
What They Do
The duties and responsibilities of IT project managers vary with the magnitude of a project. Project managers overseeing large and complex IT projects have numerous administrative and technical roles, while those responsible for minor projects, such as the installation of an accounting system in a hospital, have fewer duties.
Regardless of project size, your duties could include;
- Establishing the IT needs of clients to recommend possible solutions
- Advising clients on project costs, timelines and challenges
- Setting attainable goals and objectives for the project
- Supervising project staff, which often involves IT experts, such as web designers and software engineer
- Maintaining communication with clients to inform them on work developments
- Negotiating contracts with vendors
IT project managers have a definite work-schedule, often working 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. When there are deadlines to be met, however, they can work through the weekend. Although IT project managers are usually office-based, they can spend time at client locations throughout the period of a project.
The following table highlights the average salaries of IT project managers at various career levels.
Average Annual Salary
£24,000 - £29,000
£31,500 - £40,000
Source: National Careers Service
Education and Training
IT project managers are well-educated professionals with bachelor and master’s degrees in relevant fields. To join this profession, you will need to complete these steps;
- Complete high school
- Earn a bachelor’s degree in a computer or information-science- related discipline. Computer science, information technology and software engineering are recommendable choices.
- Obtain a master’s degree in project management
Popular universities in the U.K offering undergraduate programmes in IT include;
For a project management masters, consider;
- University of Manchester, Manchester
- University of Warwick, Warwick
- University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth
Essential Skills and Competencies
To perform your duties competently, you will need;
- Strong analytical skills to evaluate various IT problems and create solutions
- Excellent communication skills to confer with project staff effectively
- Good time-management skills to create effective work schedules and beat deadlines
- Well-developed leadership skills to motivate and guide project staff
- Strong decision-making skills to make sound decisions on a variety of issues
Most entry-levels and mid-level workers set their sights on progressing into management positions. However, for IT project managers the script is different. They often focus on securing large and high-profile projects in multi-national companies, a feat that can be achieved by securing professional qualifications from organisations, such as the Association for Project Management, Project Management Institute or Chartered Management Institute.
As an IT project manager, you can work as in-house employee in a various organisations, from health care facilities and educational institutions to government agencies and business corporations. Opportunities are also available in IT consultancy firms. The National Careers Service forecasts that the U.K. economy will create about 188,000 jobs between 2014 and 2020 for science and engineering professionals, meaning aspiring IT project managers have good employment prospects.
Do you fancy being an IT Project Manager? Now you know what it takes!