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 a 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 a IT Project Manager ?

ExperienceEducationAverage salary | year
IT Project Manager1-3 yrs€65,000£45,000$63,440
IT Project Manager3-5 yrs€71,000£55,000$93,781
IT Project Manager5-10 yrs€90,000£62,500$115,000

What skills are needed to become a 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.
  • Functional Programming in Haskell: Supercharge Your Coding

    Get an introduction to Haskell the increasingly popular functional programming language with this University of Glasgow course

  • Artificial Intelligence: Distinguishing Between Fact and Fiction

    How well do you understand artificial intelligence AI Explore how to separate the reality from the hype on this course

Need even more evidence about why you should learn on FutureLearn?

We partner with over 170 world-class universities, institutions and industry leaders to create world-class courses to help you with your career. Whether you’re just starting out, wanting to deepen your knowledge or change direction, FutureLearn and our partners can help. These are just a few of our world-leading partners.

FutureLearn aims to help everyone fulfil their potential in a changing world, by transforming access to education.

Be the first to hear about our latest courses by signing up to our mailing list.
Do you know someone else looking to become a IT Project Manager ? Then why not tell them about FutureLearn!