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Who is an IT Project Manager: Skills, Career and Job Outlook

19th Feb, 2024
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    Who is an IT Project Manager: Skills, Career and Job Outlook

    Advances in technology have created contemporary ways of working viz hybrid, work from anywhere, shared workspaces, etc. and especially since the pandemic, everything has more or less been driven by the way technology functions. Project management has been no exception to this revolution and with to IT and online processes becoming de facto, the project management role has caught more limelight to ensure the desired goals and objectives are realized following a cadence-based governance model established and driven by the project management function.

    What is an IT project manager’s role and how different is it from any other project manager? This question may have been asked during interviews or crossed your mind multiple times. To help answer this question, read this article to the end and get an understanding of everything that you need to know about an IT project manager and its finer aspects. New to project management or looking to advance your career in project management? Take our Project Manager certification online to learn from the experts.

    What is an IT Project Manager?

    An IT project manager is a specific function or role superintendent to overlook day-to-day operations and project activities in an IT project-based setup. IT project managers are responsible for planning, organizing, coordinating, and controlling activities intended to support the organization's IT goals and objectives.

    An organization's IT projects usually include but are not limited to:

    • Software development – Web and App Maintenance, Configuration, Customization, Installation
    • Cloud migration and support
    • Non-Functional requirement implementations - Compliance, Security, Performance
    • Independent Testing and validation
    • Staffing, Staff augmentation & Outsourcing - BPO, KPO, LPO, RPO, etc.
    • Research and Solutioning projects
    • Function-based projects (particular business/technology function)

    The project manager in IT role in these projects, spans planning, organizing, executing, monitoring, controlling, and closing these projects successfully to support business, customers, and the organization to achieve their visions, goals, and objectives. In short, the IT project manager role summary includes acting as a chieftain in upholding customer interests and organizational mission while excelling in their respective business and technological domain. PMP certificate training is a key driver of an IT Project Manager's professional development. It equips them with the skills and knowledge needed to effectively manage projects and lead teams, while adhering to industry best practices.

    What Does an IT Project Manager Do? Tasks and Responsibilities

    Now that you have understood what an IT project manager is, it is time to look at some of the core tasks and responsibilities IT project managers perform in the organization. The role of an IT project manager is a multifaceted one and involves:

    • Identifying stakeholders and aligning their expectations
    • Performing project initiation and kick-off to bring all team members on the project together.
    • Defining project plan and setting the stakeholder expectations
    • Defining baselines and documenting them for project execution, monitoring, and control
    • Project execution, allocation of resources, risk management
    • Monitoring and controlling project progress following planned baselines
    • Serving as a liaison between the business and IT teams to create project deliverables.
    • Managing stakeholder communication and driving positive stakeholder engagement
    • Performing reporting activities and closing projects once the desired outcome is achieved.

    The list can go on and on as there are multiple tasks, activities, and functions an IT project manager has to perform in different phases of the project. To summarize the same, an IT Project manager performs the core functions of project management and serves the business by orchestrating the IT function in terms of resource, delivery, and risk management.

    Essential Skills for IT Project Manager

    By now, you have understood what an IT project manager’s role is and what are their key responsibilities. You might be curious to know who can be an IT project manager i.e., what skills are required to be an IT project manager? At a bare minimum, a professional who is an IT project manager or designated to perform this role has to be adept not only in being a project manager to manage the project activities but must also be dexterous with servant leadership and stakeholder management to be able to manage both project delivery as well as business relationships and stakeholders with ease. Let us look at some of the core skills one must possess to become an IT project manager:

    • Leadership
    • Empathetic Thinking
    • Attention to detail.
    • Attitude to continuously research & improvise.
    • Critical thinking
    • Convincing and negotiating skills.
    • Program management skills
    • Adaptability and Communication skills
    • Business knowledge and Technical know-how
    • Hands-on experience with project management processes

    Accredited PRINCE2 certification can be a valuable addition to an IT project manager's skill set, as it provides a framework for project management that emphasizes control, organization, and risk management. This certification will enhance your career prospects and increase their ability to deliver successful IT projects.

    How Much Do IT Project Managers Make?

    IT project management is a popular career path filled with rewards - the average salary for an IT project manager is close to $120,000 a year while it ranges between $90,000 to $150,000 depending on the professional's education, experience, job location, type and size of the organization, and the kind of specialization and certification in the field.

    Across the United States of America (USA), the federal government and private sector are the highest contributors to jobs and salaries for IT project managers and aspirants. The average hourly pay for these professionals ranged between $60 - $80 depending on various factors as mentioned earlier. Similarly, according to Glassdoor, the average salary for an IT project manager in India is INR 14,00,000 a year and can go up to INR 32,00,000 a year.

    IT Project Manager Job Outlook

    According to the Project Management Institute - PMI (the world's largest PM association and pre-eminent certifying body) Job Growth and Talent Gap report, demand for project managers over the next 10 years is expected to grow faster than demand for workers in other occupations and, organizations, face a risk due to this elongating talent gap. According to another report, the project management-oriented labor force is expected to grow by over 33% resulting in a massive 22 million new jobs.

    While the horizon is wide and positive for overall project management as a career the outlook for IT project managers or IT project manager with a PMP certification is more promising due to the way the pandemic has led to a majority of businesses and functions getting online from offline/paper-based processes. IT project managers are always in demand, no matter what the industry, professionals who can showcase strong skills and expertise are always needed to plan and provision the work.

    Opportunities for IT project professionals and especially managers are very common across business consulting, oil and gas, manufacturing, construction, banking, financial services, insurance, healthcare, education, retail, and other sectors too.

    Why Pursue a Career as an IT Project Manager?

    The demand for IT professionals in project management is growing by the day and skilled project managers/project professionals are being hired across various industries and business functions to support the IT goals of the organization. Earlier, Agile was limited to only software development, but now it has become prevalent across many industries; in this digital era where the onus is more on collaboration and communication, IT project managers play a critical role to enable and symphonize critical activities to support projects and teams.

    Also, with so many advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and process automation space, Organizations tend to work on razor-sharp timelines and constraints; thereby focusing on implementing specialized, project-based methods to achieve the technology goals on time and under budget, making it one of the most aced and fastest-growing career paths.

    How to Become a Project Manager in IT?

    Now that you have understood the IT project manager role, responsibilities, job outlook, and salary range, let's have a look at what you can do to become one.

    1. Develop relevant skills: Both aspirants, as well as experienced professionals in this field, need to keep abreast of the latest developments and upskill or reskill constantly. Obtaining a bachelor's or master's degree in the field of project management can be a good starting point to build the foundation and obtain the required formal education to grow in the profession.

    For experienced professionals, professional certifications are a great way to keep their knowledge and candidature up to date in the field of project management. Apart from education, learning on-the-job skills, getting exposure to core concepts, and understanding real-time project management scenarios also help in building the required skills to get ahead in the profession.

    2. Gain experience: Project management goes beyond merely planning and organizing; it involves working in tandem with the stakeholders and team to bring all of them together to focus on the project goal, sorting dependencies across teams, constantly monitoring and addressing risks, managing conflicting priorities, processes, and issues to create deliverables. A lot can be learned from formal training, but getting hands-on experience is what prepares project management professionals for success in a volatile environment.

    3. Nail the job application process: Once you have developed the relevant skills and gained valuable experience in the field of project management it is just about nailing the job application process. To be prepared for the job interviews, you need to understand the expectations of the particular role, be prepared with relevant credentials/qualifications, and also get a glimpse of the IT project manager interview questions and answers to help understand the scenarios that the interviewer would focus on for the role.

    You’re All Set to Become an IT Project Manager!

    IT project management is an illustrious career any professional may want to choose as it is both challenging and rewarding at the same time. Any professional seeking to apply business or technical acumen to manage projects or one who is passionate about leading projects can look for a career as an IT project manager with the right training and certifications. Project management as a profession is growing significantly and IT project management has just seen exponential growth with the onset of the pandemic, which has changed the way we work and the way we live.

    IT project managers play a pivotal role in enabling functions that require IT support for all kinds of organizations. All one needs to be successful as an IT project manager is to be ahead of the curve in terms of knowledge and skills that can be easily acquired and enhanced with the right career focus. Passionate about project management? Get started today on your next career move by taking a look at the vast resources from KnowledgeHut’s training for Project Managers.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1Is project manager an IT job?‎

    A project manager in a team or organization is responsible for leading teams, defining goals, managing stakeholders, and envisioning a project from start to finish to create the desired outcomes and deliverables. As such project managers can be across any industry - IT or Non IT, manufacturing, construction, healthcare, banking, finance, etc. It is a role not restricted to IT alone.

    2Are IT project managers still in demand?

    IT project management as a profession has noticed tremendous growth and is continuing to be in demand due to cloud computing, artificial intelligence, automation, compliance, and regulatory requirements that have been catalyzed by the pandemic. According to a recent survey from PMI, IT project management is expected to continuously notice buoyant growth in the coming years.

    3Do you need IT to experience to be an IT project manager?

    IT experience may not always be required for IT project managers but they need to have strong project management knowledge and should be able to communicate effectively to build trust with the team and stakeholders.

    4What makes a great IT project manager?

    Leading an IT project as a project manager requires accountability, adaptability, analytical and critical thinking, a decisive approach, a risk-taking attitude, and empathy to drive the team and organization effectively toward the intended goal.

    5Is being an IT project manager hard?

    Project management is a challenging profession as the professionals play a centrifugal role in managing various aspects and balancing constraints in demanding environments and expectations, however, these are not difficult to master and with experience, a project manager starts to understand the art of aligning things to achieve the established goals and objectives.


    Rohit Arjun Sambhwani


    Rohit Arjun Sambhwani is an IT professional having over a decade and half of experience in various roles, domains & organizations, currently playing a leading role with a premier IT services organization. He is a post graduate in Information Technology and enjoys his free time learning new topics, project management, agile coaching, and writing apart from playing with his naughty little one Aryan

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