What you need to do, in order to Land Fulfilling Career in Program Management Jobs

Are you a big-picture person? Do you constantly gauge the broader scope of things? Well, with a little effort and the right qualifications, you could be doing this for a living! Program management is required in pretty much every field, from IT to government.

It might sound like a pretty ambiguous term, but it refers to a very specific skillset and job description. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at what being a program manager entails.

So, What Is Program Management?

Program management is the process of managing different projects to make sure that goals are being met on a larger scale.

It‘s important to have an overview of the many projects a company will have running at any given time. The job of a program manager is to use this big picture view to make sure that the larger goals are being met.

These goals could take the form of monetary gain, meeting deadlines, providing clients with a certain quality of service, or fulfilling internal benchmarks.

What Does a Program Manager Do?

In program manager jobs, you would not only ensure that the larger objectives are met, but you’d also set these goals based on the company’s needs.

Your day-to-day would involve working with individual project leads to help them deliver what they need to. Doing this might require giving them an understanding of the broader picture, and why they’re expected to do certain things.

This doesn’t mean that program managers are expected to micromanage the projects they’re in charge of. They simply set the roadmap and make sure that results are seen on time and as planned. They are also required to report on the status of these projects to the upper management and work closely with them to frame and deliver targets.

What Qualifications And Certifications Do You Need?

If you’re applying for a program manager position, you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree to be eligible for the position. Some companies look specifically for candidates who have degrees in business administration or finance, but many also prefer candidates who have specialized in IT.

Having prior experience as a program manager will bump up your pay grade and open more growth opportunities. Another way to speed up your career growth is to get certified.

The Program Management Institute (PMI) offers certifications that will greatly improve your value to a company. This is important once you have a certain amount of experience in the field and want formal recognition of your program management skills.

Some of the certifications offered by PMI include Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), and PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA). All these certifications require a certain amount of experience and formal education. The details can be found on the official PMI site.

What about Specific Skills?

Besides your qualifications, you need to have an aptitude for the profession. Excellent communication skills, organizational skills, and the ability to deliver under pressure will definitely be useful. A solid understanding of finances and business administration would go a long way towards speeding up your career growth.

Other skills that greatly improve your career include strategic project management, budget management, process improvement, and business development.

Scope and Compensation for Jobs in Program Management

Both program and project management jobs are in high demand, and this demand continues to grow every year. If you obtain the necessary qualifications and skills, you’ll be working directly with CEO’s, presidents, or vice-presidents of companies once you’ve obtained enough experience.

According to Salary.com, the median pay for program managers is at $79,904. This can go up to $136,527 once you have the necessary experience and expertise.

Program management careers are fulfilling and will let you tackle challenges head on, and from the big-picture point of view.

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