1. Working as an IT Project Manager
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
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
|Region||2010 Estimated Employment||2015 Estimated Employment||Avg Annual % Change, 5 Years, 2010 to 2015|
|Lower Mainland / Southwest||4,210||4,850||3.0%|
|North Coast & Nechako||30||30||1.2%|
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.
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:
Source: Job Bank Canada
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
- 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.
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.
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
- Hays Specialist Recruitment
Browse jobs in category “IT”; can also search by job title and BC city
Find jobs posted on a multitude of company career sites and job boards
Professional Associations’ Career Resources
- BC Technology Industry Association
Job site from the BC Technology Industry 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
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
- Business in Vancouver. Biggest Lists.
Also available at the Central Library 338.9711 B97b
- 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:
- Writing Resumes and Cover Letters
- Getting Canadian Work Experience
- Networking for Employment
- Learn More About Working in BC and Canada
5. Getting Help from Industry Sources
Associations for IT professionals in BC and Canada provide assistance to individuals. Registration and fees are required for membership.
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
- The PM Network / Project Management Institute (ejournal)
- Project Management Journal / Project Management Institute (ejournal)
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).