More companies are expanding operations to digital platforms and taking cybersecurity more seriously. Nearly seven out of 10 organizations don’t believe their antivirus solutions can stop the threats they’re seeing, prompting investments in digital security. The global cybersecurity market is projected to exceed $1 trillion in spending by 2021.
As a result, there are plenty of appealing employment opportunities in computers, including in-demand, lucrative manager-level roles in information technology. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that computer and information systems managers, often called IT managers or IT project managers, typically earn a six-digit salary and have a double-digit percentage increase in job outlook by 2026.
IT Project Manager Responsibilities
The main responsibility of an IT project manager is directing, planning and coordinating different computer-related activities in an organization. In this role, you’ll take the company’s IT goals and then implement the computer systems and solutions needed to meet those goals.
Specific duties will vary based on the size and structure of the organization and its IT department. The BLS lists several tasks that IT project managers typically carry out:
- Recommending computer upgrades for top executives to consider
- Overseeing the planning and installation and maintenance of hardware and software
- Ensuring that the organization’s network and data are safe
- Assessing the costs and benefits of new projects
- Learning about new technology to look into possible upgrades
- Determining personnel needs in the department
- Negotiating with vendors to obtain the highest level of service for the organization’s technology
To excel as an IT project manager, you’ll need to have technical- and industry-related skills. Yet, there are other important skills that are especially valued in this role.
Analytical and decision-making skills will help you analyze problems and figure out the best ways to solve them. For understanding the strategic impact that your work has and to work alongside different IT departments, business and organization skills will be important. Leadership and communication skills will help you motivate and encourage workers while providing the information needed for them to do their jobs well.
IT Project Manager Salary and Outlook
As an IT project manager, you can expect a salary much higher than the average for all occupations ($37,690) and all computer and technology occupations ($84,580). The BLS reported that IT project managers earn a median annual wage of $139,220. The highest 10 percent earn more than $153,090 and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $55,560.
Job outlook figures are also strong. Employment of IT project managers is projected to increase 12 percent by 2026, which is faster than the average for all occupations (7 percent).
How to Become an IT Project Manager
If you’d like to become an IT project manager, you will typically need a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field and related work experience. A graduate degree may also be required.
Jefferson’s online bachelor’s in information technology management can provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to pursue a future as an IT project manager. You’ll receive a well-rounded education in information technology with coursework in networking, programming, database management and more. And you’ll study in a flexible learning environment that allows you to maintain your work and personal commitments.