How to Become an IT Project Manager

If you like computers and understand how they work, it might be a lucrative career for you to become an IT project manager. In your job as an IT project manager, you'll be responsible for managing the implementation and development of IT projects in a lab. You won't generally start out in your career as an IT project manager, but instead will work in other capacities to begin with, and then work your way up to an IT project manager position once you've been employed in IT for a while.
What do you need to do to become an IT project manager?
An IT education
You'll need a four year degree of some kind, either one in computer science or information technology. You'll ultimately need practical experience, too, but formal education is also invaluable and necessary for most types of IT employment.
Work in IT while you are in school
If you're good in IT already as a natural skill, you can work in IT as you complete your education. Work on your own computers, set up computers for friends, set up a local area network for a local business for modest pay, and so on. You don't have to work "for" an employer, either. You can freelance for yourself and put a little money in your pocket while you learn skills you're going to need to ultimately become an IT project manager.

Get a junior information technology job

IT is one of the fastest growing employment markets in the job sector, even in this economy. That's because IT is continually growing and changing, becoming more streamlined and continually changing technology. Once you've got a four-year degree and some experience "on the side," you should have no trouble getting a junior IT position.
Work your way up
Once you've got your junior IT position, work your way up for the next several years, building on what you already know. Using your education and your previous practical experience, you can build on those even as you work to develop leadership and teamwork skills at the same time.
Talk to an IT manager
While you're still working your way up, make it a point to talk to someone who's become an IT project manager, or even several people. He or she will be able to tell you the specifics of the job, and will be able to tell you what to do to make yourself a better candidate once the time comes for you to apply for your own IT project management position.
Keep learning
Don't get "stuck" in your current position, so that you're never challenged. Instead, keep looking for new situations that are going to challenge you, so that you continue to grow.
Once you qualify
You should qualify for an IT project management position once you've gotten about 10 years' total experience based upon education, practical experience, and job experience. Once you're there, you should be able to write a great IT resume, network and find a good position, or hit job sites to find suitable IT manager jobs.


Gail Esparan