Project Manager: Job Duties & Career Requirements

Apr 15, 2019

Project managers, who usually have both a bachelor's degree and extensive work experience, oversee and coordinate all of the tasks involved in achieving the goals for a particular business proposal. Keep reading to learn about the requirements and rewards of this profession. Also, learn about similar career options that might interest you.

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Career Definition of a Project Manager

Project management involves setting project goals, establishing tasks and a timeline for completion by assigned parties, evaluating progress and making adjustments as needed to ensure that clients, internal or external, achieve their desired results. Project managers often work in the computer systems or information technology industries, although they can find employment in almost any industry. They coordinate project activities, budgets, personnel and work with other departments to meet deadlines and project goals within set resources and under firm deadlines.

Education Minimum of bachelor's degree in management, business, or related field; many obtain master's degree or post-bachelor's certificate and professional credentials
Job Skills Highly organized, analytical, ability to motivate and manage others
Median Annual Salary (2019)* $72,545 for project managers
Job Outlook (2016-2026)** 12% job growth for computer and information systems managers

Sources: *Payscale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Project managers often hold a bachelor's degree in management, business or a related field, as well as professional certification and extensive related experience. Some project managers obtain a post-bachelor's certificate or a master's degree in project management. They can earn Certified Associate in Project Management, Project Management Professional and other credentials from the Project Management Institute.

Other available certifications include Project Manager and Senior Project Manager through the American Society for the Advancement of Project Management. Potential project managers study cost-benefit analysis, risk management, statistics, general business skills and IT. Depending on their field of employment, some project managers also study construction or engineering.

Skills Required

It's essential that project managers have strong analytical and organizational skills so that they can delegate tasks, motivate colleagues and manage stakeholder priorities in a deadline-oriented environment.

Career and Economic Outlook

According to PayScale.com, project managers in general earned median salaries of $72,545 as of April 2019. In addition to this, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS, reports suggest that the project manager's industry may affect salary. Those working in computer and information systems should expect a 12% job growth between 2016-2026, per the BLS.

Alternate Career Options

If you think you want to work as a project manager in the computer systems industry, you might also check out a career as a computer systems analyst. If you think you would enjoy working in a management role in a business, maybe consider becoming a management analyst.

Computer Systems Analyst

These professionals examine organizations' computer procedures and systems for efficiency; they also recommend and implement necessary changes. Many analysts have a bachelor's degree in information or computer science, while others have related skills along with a degree in business or liberal arts. These analysts earned a median wage of $88,740 per year, the BLS reported in 2018 and could look forward to average growth in available positions, with a 9% increase projected between 2016 and 2026.

Management Analyst

With at least a bachelor's degree in areas such as management, business, political science, accounting, marketing and economics, these analysts, often called management consultants, suggest ways that organizations might improve their efficiency. During the 2016-2026 decade, the BLS anticipated faster than average employment growth for analysts of 14% and reported that they earned an annual median salary of $83,610 in 2018.

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