The field of Project management has gained prominence as a study discipline in recent times. Many IT (Information Technology) organizations undertake various projects to achieve certain purposes in line with the requirements of their organizations. An organization may sanction a project aimed at increasing its output capacity, determining the areas available for growth, or prospecting for mergers with other IT organizations with similar growth and portfolio needs. All these projects will need guidance and direction by qualified IT project managers well trained on the skills required for successfully managing an IT project.
The major objectives of the report are:
- To explore, with the aim of discovery, what sort of background a student intending to study Project Management in IT needs to have. This will involve the various subjects that the student will have to concentrate on, or be good at, in lower levels of education in set a firm foundation for the future study of IT in Project Management.
- To find out the kind of courses that majors in Project Management (or students who specialize in IT Project management) take in college classes.
To explore the kind of jobs available in the labor market for students who complete their studies in the field of Project Management in IT. This will be done through analysis of available economic and labor data from relevant sources.
The process of compiling data in order to achieve the aforementioned objectives was done through various information gathering techniques like observation, interviews and research analysis.
As a student specializing in the study of IT Project Management, I have been privy to various ‘insider’ knowledge that is important for anyone else desiring to study IT project management. I now understand better the kind of effort that a student needs to apply in his or her studies in order to achieve the necessary grades for honorable graduation.
The author managed to interview John Smith, a graduate in IT Project Management, on the dynamics and requirements of the job market specifically for graduates who specialized in IT Project Management. The insightful interview lasted for about an hour, as the author sought to understand the job opportunities available for IT Project Management graduates from Smith’s perspective.
Further resource material was available in web-based journals and through data published by the government on available job opportunities for graduates in different fields specifically the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the US Bureau of labor statistics.
- From the specific requirements observed in many course outlines and brochures read on the course prerequisites for studying IT Project Management, one common requirement is a familiarity with computer knowledge; from basics such as Ms Office to more complex computer studies like computer programming. These advanced computer skills are mandatory, and give the student a firm background for a successful course study. Observations in class also point to successful students in IT Project Management being those with good leadership skills, because managing a project has an element of leadership involved. According to Smith, whom the author interviewed, IT Project managers take on a number of roles in an organization thus good communication skills are required.
- Additionally, students aspiring to be IT project managers need to study and specialize in an IT Project Management course in college.
- According to the U.S Department of Labor, IT project managers are involved in developing, sustaining, planning and budgeting for the organizations’ IT Projects (237). IT Project Managers also involved in the securing of the organizations’ software needs.
- Taylor argues that IT projects are different from traditional projects in fields like Engineering, and states that IT projects require a combination of different skills (39). IT project managers, in the course of performing their tasks, will need to liaise with nearly all managers of the different departments of an organization. This calls for man-management skills in addition technical expertise. According to Montealegre and Keil, IT project managers take extremely sensitive roles in organizations, and their leadership during a specific project may be significant enough to ‘make or break’ an organization (420). Many organizations in the world today run their entire functions based on a computer software package, and securing this software is a vital function of an IT Project Manager.
Course Requirements Survey. Personal observation by writer. 2011.
Montealegre, Ramiro, and Mark Keil. “De-escalating information technology projects: lessons from the Denver international airport.” MIS Quarterly 24.3 (2000): 417-447.
Smith, John. Personal Interview. 2011.
Taylor, James. “Information Technology Project and Systems Life Cycles: Project Management and Team Activities: Managing Information Technology Projects.” American Management Association International, 4 (2003): 38-73.
U.S. Department of Labor. An Up-To-Date guide to today’s Job Market: Occupational Outlook Handbook 2009, Skyhorse Publishing Inc., 2008