A project manager (PM) must be able to communicate and organize large enterprise projects. Most PM job applicants want to work in software development where salaries are the highest. If you’ve ever worked in a large enterprise with multi-platform software, you probably worked with a project manager. The project manager is a liaison between the business stakeholders and the software development team. They must understand customer business requirements and software development. Because project managers are such an important part of the initial software design, communication is an important talent you need for the job.
What Does a Project Manager Do?
Project management (often called PMs) has a wide range of job definitions. PMs can be used for software engineering, IT support, and any IT functionality. You control the project time line, you define deadlines, manage customer expectations, and usually attend meetings throughout the entire project. You must be able to fit in quickly with business managers who don’t usually have a lot of time to explain processes. Your role is to understand the way a business functions from the inside out.
After you understand business systems and process workflow, it’s the PM’s job function to then take these business requirements and “translate” them for the software development team. Usually, this process takes several weeks or even months between gathering requirements from stakeholders and giving the software development team a report on what needs to be done. Understanding project scope and relaying requirements are why communication skills are key to successful project management job applicants. If you have the ability to work with people and communicate technical details, project management could be the job for you.
PMs are also used for other fields. PMs are used in construction, commerce, government, telecommunications and architecture. Whatever field you choose, you should have some kind of experience with it. For instance, software developers can move into project management and have an advantage with their development knowledge.
Prerequisites: How Do I Get Into the PM Field?
PM work is a long-term job that usually require years of industry understanding. You must understand the life cycle for projects from start to finish. You must also be able to communicate support and maintenance issues after the project launches.
PMs who have experience in the field have an advantage because they know the right approaches to complete a project, and they have a sense for time lines. The PM is responsible for pushing a project along to avoid scope creep and late delivery. The PM is also required to communicate when a project deadline should be extended.
One of the best ways to differentiate yourself from Project Managers in the industry is to become PMP (Project Management Professional) certified. Having the PMP credential on your resume lets employers know you have the technical knowledge to run projects and facilitate workflow while giving your salary a noticeable increase. If you’re interested in learning more about the PMP certification, fill out the form below for a course syllabus and pricing information.
PMP Instant Pricing- Resources
Project Managers Salaries
As software development becomes more complex, PM salaries for this industry have increased dramatically. As you can see from the following graph, the average salary for a Project Manager is $89,000.