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Contents

1. Working as an IT Project Manager [NOC 0213]

Job Description

As a Computer and Information Systems Manager (IT project manager) you perform the following duties:

  • Plan and direct the operations of IT departments and companies
  • Meet with clients to discuss system requirements, budgets, and timelines
  • Organized project requirements
  • Prepare and manage budgets of the department, company or project
  • Assemble teams and assign tasks
  • Oversee team members and monitor progress

Source:  WorkBC Profile NOC [0213]

Industry Overview

IT Project Managers are in demand due to industry growth in BC. Many employers are struggling to recruit and retain the key talent needed to grow their businesses and the lack of available mid- and senior level talent is identified as a pressing recruitment challenge for over 60% of BC’s tech companies.

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

Sources: BCTIA Tech TalentBC 2016 , WorkBC

Job Outlook in BC

Computer and information systems managers

forecasted average employment growth rate and job openings for 2017 to 2027

Chart from WorkBC

WorkBC provides job openings in BC regions from 2017-2027:

Region Employment in 2017 Average Annual Employment
Growth
Expected Number
of Job Openings
Vancouver Island 900 1.6% 550
Lower Mainland / Southwest 5,740 2.4% 3,790
Thompson-Okanagan 290 1.3% 160
Kootenay n/a 1.2% n/a

You can learn more about IT Project Management in BC from:

  • Career Cruising [profile for IT Project Manager]
    Available from the VPL Digital Library | Explore our Digital Library page

Types of Employers

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

You may 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 annual median salary for IT project managers is $91,245. Senior project managers overseeing several projects at once may earn more. You income is affected by your level of education, certification, and experience, as well as by 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.

Sources: WorkBC and Career Cruising

In BC regions you can expect to earn:
hourly regional wages
Source: Job Bank Canada [Search 0213]

Working Hours

The working hours for project managers depend on the number and complexity of projects being managed. On average, you 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

  • BC Tech Association
    Job site from the BC Tech Association. Enter “project manager” in query box to find postings.

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 [search 0213]

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.

  • BC Tech (special issue of Business in Vancouver 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 guides:

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 the Project Management Journal is available at VPL using the Business Source Ultimate 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).