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How Do I Become a Technical Program Manager?

D. Nelson
D. Nelson

Technical program managers are experienced professionals who commonly work in fields such as information technology (IT). These professionals usually work on one project at a time and are responsible for overseeing the operations of all team members and for ensuring that finished products uphold standards of quality. To become a technical program manager, it almost always is essential at least to have an undergraduate degree in a field such as computer science or electrical engineering, and in many cases graduate degrees in related fields also are preferred. A person who wants to become a technical program manager also should have at least three years of experience in a field such as IT support and also several years of experience as a project manager.

In many cases, people who want to become technical program managers should be well versed in highly technical jargon and concepts. They should also understand the real world practical applications of technology and should be as comfortable communicating with clients and users as with technicians and software designers. In many cases, technical program managers have professional certification in project management and might belong to related organizations.

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Woman posing

A person who wants to become a technical program manager should hone and direct his or her skills while in college. Many experts in this field believe that earning a graduate degree is important for a person who would like to become a technical program manager, though it might be beneficial first to get some real world experience prior to entering a graduate program. As a matter of fact, having professional experience can help you to gain admittance to a more competitive program. In some instances, employers actually can fund the education of employees who show promise and dedication and who are assets to their company.

An individual who wants to become a technical program manager should plan on working for at least a few years in IT support. This is a great way to learn about how IT professionals relate to workers in other departments. Getting experience as an IT professional in a larger organization also is a great way to show employers that you are able to work in a number of different capacities and communicate with people with different professional interests,

Any person who wants to become a technical program manager also needs to get some experience leading teams. Aside from acting as a leader whom team members can trust, it also is important to understand how to budget and schedules projects. It also is essential to know how to effectively delegate tasks and monitor regular operations.

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