IT Program Manager: Job Description, Responsibilities & Salary

The following article provides information for those seeking a career as an IT program manager. The article provides the job description, education requirements, median salary, and career outlook.

What Does an IT Program Manager Do?

Information technology (IT) program managers manage the information technology initiatives for an organization on a large scale. They are directly involved in goal development in an organization's IT department as well as monitoring progress toward overseeing these goals. Program managers in information technology supervise and coordinate system-wide IT upgrades and modifications required for the success of the organization's overall strategic plan as well as ensuring that the IT infrastructure is easily adaptable to an organization's changing needs. IT program managers serve in supervisory roles in projects. They may, for example, supervise a project director and other staff involved in large-scale projects such as system upgrades.

Managers follow standard best practices in a management capacity but also study new approaches that may better benefit the IT initiative. They are the key researchers and managers in researching all issues regarding large-scale system implementation and procedures. Managers of IT programs also perform fiduciary duties such as proper allocation of budget and other resources. Managers engage in risk analysis and risk mitigation that protect an organization's return on investment (ROI) as well as using the results of their risk analysis study to better inform subsequent decisions with respect to maximizing the potential of the IT initiative for the organization.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree
Job Skills Strong project management ability, strong problem-solving skills, excellent oral and written skills, fiduciary skills, considerable leadership ability
Median Salary (2018)* $111,337
Job Outlook (2016-2026)** 12% (computer and information systems managers)

Sources: *PayScale.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

IT program manager jobs typically require a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related computer field. Some employers either require or favor a master's degree. In addition to a degree, employers also require several years of prior practical work experience in information technology and/or management information systems.

Required Skills

Information technology program managers must possess strong project management abilities because they oversee every aspect of an organization's IT initiatives. The ability to solve problems is crucial for managers because they must be able to identify and resolve unforeseen problems that can arise during the project. Strong oral and written communication skills are key for IT program managers because they prepare and present reports to management and communicate goals and milestones pertaining to an organization's IT initiative. Fiduciary skills are also necessary because the IT program manager monitors budget allocation and proper resource use.

Career Outlook and Salary

In 2019, PayScale reported that the annual median salary for program managers in IT was $111,337. While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not report specific statistics for IT program managers, it does report findings for computer and information systems managers. The BLS notes that from 2016 to 2026, careers in this field are expected to grow 12%, at a faster than average rate compared to all other occupations.

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