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IT Program Manager: Certification & Degrees

In this article, you can find out important details about becoming an IT program manager. This information will include certification and degree requirements, salary and the job outlook.

Career Definition

An IT (information technology) program manager is a professional who creates and sustains information web-based systems for companies and who oversees various projects and programs. These might include analytical assignments and providing technical assistance. Other duties can include using resources across projects, continually coordinating main project documentation, and ensuring maintenance of the daily program throughout a program life cycle. Managing program budgets, risks, and related communication with stakeholders are also duties of this role.

IT program managers can earn the Program Management Professional (PgMP) certification through the Project Management Institute. Some of the requirements for this exam include a high school diploma or associate's degree with 6,000 hours of project management experience and 10,500 hours of program management experience. A bachelor's degree with 6,000 hours of both project and program management experience also qualifies.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree
Job Skills Leadership; communication; organizational; decision-making
Median Salary (2019) $111,200*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 12% growth** (all computer and information system managers)

Source: *PayScale.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Education Required

To become an IT program manager, a bachelor's degree from an accredited university in a computer or information science field is typically required. Examples of other related fields could be software development or mathematics. Many employers may want to hire program managers who have a master's degree, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Some IT program managers may take business classes while they are working to continue to gain knowledge and experience in business. As mentioned above, Program Management Professional certification (PgMP) requires certain levels of education, ranging from a high school diploma to a bachelor's degree, in addition to documented hours of job experience.

Required Skills

An IT program manager needs to have the ability to work positively with a wide array of people in the company and with external clients. This also leads to the need for leadership and management skills. These managers should be skilled in handling projects and budgets, in addition to being knowledgeable of resource allocation procedures. IT program managers should have strong problem solving skills and must be innovative.

Career Outlook and Salary

In 2019, PayScale.com noted that program managers in IT earned an annual median salary of $111,200. Jobs for computer and information system managers, which could include IT program managers, are expected to grow by 12% between 2016 and 2026 according to the BLS. This is faster than the average of all occupations. There will continue to be high demand as companies and organizations expand their digital systems for which computer and informational system managers will be responsible for delivering a successful outcome. The employment rate will also increase because of the need to bolster cybersecurity in computer and information systems used by organizations.

Similar Careers

An IT program manager career requires a certain set of skills. The following are other related IT based careers in which you may be interested.


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