The IT program manager oversees a team of information systems professionals who are engaged in various projects. Program managers differ from project managers in that their roles are broader in scope. While a project manager focuses on a particular initiative, for example, the program manager manages a range of initiatives to achieve a particular organizational outcome. The program manager’s role requires a degree of technical knowledge, but emphasizes business management skill.
A bachelor’s degree in management information systems or computer science offers a starting point on the road to a career as an IT program manager. An MBA degree in information technology management is generally required to advance into a management role. Program managers can expect increasing demand for their combined business and technical acumen. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts “excellent” job prospects for information systems managers, with 17 percent growth in the 2008-2018 period.
Recommended Reading: Webopedia’s list of Computer Certifications.