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Contents

1. Working as an IT Project Manager

Job Description

As a Computer and Information Systems Manager (IT project managers) you will perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Meet with clients to discuss need specifications, budgets, and timelines
  • Organized project requirements – details step by step
  • Prepare and manage budgets of the department, company or project
  • Assemble teams and assign tasks
  • Oversee team members and monitor progress

Source: NOC 0213
And Career Cruising database. – Profile for IT Project Managers.

Industry Overview

IT Project Managers are in demand due to industry growth in BC.

The province is home to some high tech clusters in areas such as digital media, biotechnology, and “green” technologies that are world-class.

The Majority (80%) of computer and information systems managers are employed in the Lower Mainland/Southwest of the province.

Source: BCTIA Tech TalentBC 2012

Job Outlook in BC

Managers in information systems

job outlook for managers in information systems

Chart from WorkBC

The Employment Outlook for BC provides job openings projections for computer and information systems managers (IT project managers) within BC regions:

Region 2010 Estimated Employment 2015 Estimated Employment Avg Annual % Change, 5 Years, 2010 to 2015
Vancouver Island 460 500 1.9%
Lower Mainland / Southwest 4,210 4,850 3.0%
Thompson-Okanagan 230 240 1.0%
Kootenay 40 50 3.4%
Cariboo 50 50 0.7%
North Coast & Nechako 30 30 1.2%
Northeast 20 20 1.3%

Source: Regional Employment Projections, BC Stats. Projections for development regions [accessed October 2014]

You can learn more about the high tech industry in British Columbia and IT Project Management from:

Types of Employers

IT project managers work for a variety of public and private businesses and government agencies.

They also work within industries that use information technology.

British Columbia is developing a wireless technology cluster. Three Vancouver-area companies were listed among the 50 fastest growing wireless companies in North America.

Some IT Project Managers are self employed working as consultants.

Salary

In BC, the average annual salary for IT project managers is between $95,000 and $125,000. Senior project managers overseeing several projects at once may earn more. IT project manager incomes are affected by their level of education, certification, and experience, as well as by their employer and location.

Full-time project managers typically receive benefits in addition to a salary. These may include paid sick days and vacation time, dental coverage, and a retirement plan.

Source: Career Cruising – Profile for IT Project Managers.

Job Bank Canada provides hourly wages for computer and information systems managers (IT project managers) in BC regions:


hourly wages in BC regions

Source: Job Bank Canada

Working Hours

The working hours for project managers depend on the number and complexity of projects being managed. On average, they work about 40 hours a week. Some may work 45 to 60 hours a week. Longer hours may be necessary as project deadlines approach. Weekend work is fairly common, with project managers sometimes working 1 or 2 weekends a month.
Source: Career Cruising. Profile for IT Project Managers.

Skills, Education and Experience

Skills

  • Excellent written and oral communication
  • Working with others – team leader
  • Hire, train, direct, and motivate staff
  • Job task planning and organizing
  • Critical thinking / Problem solving / decision making
  • Plan and control budget and expenditures

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer science, business administration, commerce, or engineering is usually required.
  • Several years of experience in systems analysis, data administration, software engineering, network design, or computer programming, including supervisory experience, are required.
  • Most employers who advertise are looking for workers who have 3-9 years experience in similar positions.

Note: Formal project management training is also strongly recommended. Some universities and colleges offer diploma or certificate programs in project management.

Qualifications

This occupation is not regulated in BC.

Employers prefer to hire project managers who have earned voluntary certification through a professional association.

You can learn more about:

3. Finding Jobs

You’ll find job advertisements in local newspapers, trade journals, and electronic sources, as well as through professional associations’ publications.

Local Newspapers

You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays and in The Province on Sundays.

Job White Pages

  • Available online (See category Computer/Internet).
    Also available in print at the Central Library
    NOTE: You can only access this database from the Central Library or VPL branch libraries. Access is NOT available from home or outside the Library.

Online Job Postings

  • Indeed.com
    Find jobs posted on a multitude of company career sites and job boards

 Professional Associations’ Career Resources

Identifying the Right Position

When you browse job advertisements, you’ll find a range of different job titles that are relevant.

For IT project manager, look for these related job titles (from NOC):

  • Systems Project Manager
  • Computer Systems Manager
  • Information Systems Manager
  • Manager, Data Processing and Systems Analysis
  • Manager, Management Information System (MIS)
  • Manager, Software Engineering
  • Software Development Manager
  • Systems Development Manager

Source: NOC

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of employers who work in the IT industry in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring. You can photocopy from the print directories at Central Library, or use the online directories from a computer connected to the Internet.

  • BC Tech (special issue of BC Tech magazine)
    Includes company lists for biggest BC tech companies
    Also available at the Central Library, 380 EL3CBh
  • Reference Canada
    Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
    Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
    In the top search box enter “information technology” and click LOOKUP.
    Select the appropriate headings.
    Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
    NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).

4. Applying for a Job

In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume (curriculum vitae) and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your relevant experience.

Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.

To learn about applying for jobs in Canada, use the following pathfinders:

5. Getting Help from Industry Sources

Industry Associations

Associations for IT professionals in BC and Canada provide assistance to individuals. Registration and fees are required for membership.

Industry Journals

Search the Vancouver Public Library catalogue for journals related to your profession. Examples at the Central Library:

  • BC Tech
    (A division of Business In Vancouver)
    Also available at VPL Central Library, 380 EL3CBh

NOTE: Full text access to these Project Management Journals is available at VPL using the Business Source Premier database.

You can access these databases from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to these databases. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).