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Become A Software Project Manager

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Working As A Software Project Manager

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $107,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Software Project Manager Do

Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.

Duties

Software developers typically do the following:

  • Analyze users’ needs and then design, test, and develop software to meet those needs
  • Recommend software upgrades for customers’ existing programs and systems
  • Design each piece of an application or a system and plan how the pieces will work together
  • Create a variety of models and diagrams (such as flowcharts) that instruct programmers how to write software code
  • Ensure that a program continues to function normally through software maintenance and testing
  • Document every aspect of an application or a system as a reference for future maintenance and upgrades
  • Collaborate with other computer specialists to create optimum software

Software developers are in charge of the entire development process for a software program. They may begin by asking how the customer plans to use the software. They must identify the core functionality that users need from software programs. Software developers must also determine user requirements that are unrelated to the functionality of software, such as the level of security and performance needs. They design the program and then give instructions to programmers, who write computer code and test it.

If the program does not work as expected or if testers find it too difficult to use, software developers go back to the design process to fix the problems or improve the program. After the program is released to the customer, a developer may perform upgrades and maintenance.

Developers usually work closely with computer programmers. However, in some companies, developers write code themselves instead of giving instructions to the programmers.

Developers who supervise a software project from the planning stages through implementation sometimes are called information technology (IT) project managers. These workers monitor the project’s progress to ensure that it meets deadlines, standards, and cost targets. IT project managers who plan and direct an organization’s IT department or IT policies are included in the profile on computer and information systems managers.

The following are examples of types of software developers:

Applications software developers design computer applications, such as word processors and games, for consumers. They may create custom software for a specific customer or commercial software to be sold to the general public. Some applications software developers create complex databases for organizations. They also create programs that people use over the Internet and within a company’s intranet.

Systems software developers create the systems that keep computers functioning properly. These could be operating systems for computers that the general public buys or systems built specifically for an organization. Often, systems software developers also build the system’s interface, which is what allows users to interact with the computer. Systems software developers are creating the operating systems that control most of the consumer electronics in use today, including the systems in phones or cars.

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How To Become A Software Project Manager

Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and strong computer programming skills.

Education

Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree, typically in computer science, software engineering, or a related field. A degree in mathematics is also acceptable. Computer science degree programs are the most common, because they tend to cover a broad range of topics. Students should focus on classes related to building software in order to better prepare themselves for work in the occupation. For some positions, employers may prefer a master’s degree.

Although writing code is not their first priority, developers must have a strong background in computer programming. They usually gain this experience in school. Throughout their career, developers must keep up to date on new tools and computer languages.

Software developers also need skills related to the industry in which they work. Developers working in a bank, for example, should have knowledge of finance so that they can understand a bank’s computing needs.

Other Experience

Many students gain experience in software development by completing an internship at a software company while in college.

Some software developers first work as computer programmers and then are given more responsibility as they gain experience. Eventually, they become developers.

Advancement

Software developers can advance to become information technology (IT) project managers, also called computer and information systems managers, a position in which they oversee the software development process.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Developers must analyze users’ needs and then design software to meet those needs.

Communication skills. Developers must be able to give clear instructions to others working on a project. They must also explain to their customers how the software works and answer any questions that arise.

Computer skills. Developers must understand computer capabilities and programming languages in order to design effective software.

Creativity. Developers are the creative minds behind new computer software.

Detail oriented. Developers often work on many parts of an application or system at the same time and must therefore be able to concentrate and pay attention to detail.

Interpersonal skills. Software developers must be able to work well with others who contribute to designing, developing, and programming successful software.

Problem-solving skills. Because developers are in charge of software from beginning to end, they must be able to solve problems that arise throughout the design process.

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Software Project Manager Career Paths

Software Project Manager
Project Manager Product Manager
Product Director
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Lead Program Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager
Enterprise Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Co-Founder
Chief Technology Officer & Founder
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Of Enterprise Architecture
14 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Business Development Director
Solutions Director
13 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Senior Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Engineering Manager
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager Technical Project Manager
Technical Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Program/Project Manager Delivery Manager
Senior Delivery Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Software Engineering Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Software Engineering Manager Technical Project Manager
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Software Development Manager
Application Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Program/Project Manager Infrastructure Project Manager
Technical Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Infrastructure Project Manager Release Manager
Integration Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Software Project Manager?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Software Director 3.9 years
Software Leader 3.3 years
Top Careers Before Software Project Manager
Consultant 3.1%
Internship 3.1%
Top Careers After Software Project Manager
Consultant 5.7%
Manager 1.8%

Do you work as a Software Project Manager?

Software Project Manager Demographics

Gender

Male

60.3%

Female

31.0%

Unknown

8.7%
Ethnicity

White

56.9%

Hispanic or Latino

14.7%

Asian

13.5%

Black or African American

10.0%

Unknown

4.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

31.4%

German

11.8%

Chinese

9.8%

French

9.8%

Arabic

9.8%

Japanese

5.9%

Mandarin

3.9%

Comanche

2.0%

Dutch

2.0%

Vietnamese

2.0%

Albanian

2.0%

Russian

2.0%

Armenian

2.0%

Cantonese

2.0%

Ukrainian

2.0%

Italian

2.0%
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Software Project Manager Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

19.0%

George Washington University

8.0%

Purdue University

6.0%

San Jose State University

5.5%

Texas A&M University

5.0%

Johns Hopkins University

5.0%

National University

4.5%

George Mason University

4.5%

Santa Clara University

4.0%

University of Texas at Austin

4.0%

DePaul University

4.0%

University of Houston

4.0%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.0%

University of California - Berkeley

3.5%

Stanford University

3.5%

University of Southern California

3.5%

University of Cincinnati

3.0%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.0%

University of Maryland - University College

3.0%

University of Pennsylvania

3.0%
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Majors

Business

21.8%

Computer Science

21.5%

Electrical Engineering

7.5%

Project Management

7.0%

Computer Engineering

5.6%

Computer Information Systems

4.7%

Information Technology

4.1%

Management

3.5%

Marketing

3.2%

Management Information Systems

2.9%

Finance

2.8%

Information Systems

2.5%

Mathematics

2.5%

Accounting

2.0%

Education

1.7%

Communication

1.4%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.4%

Engineering

1.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.3%

Computer Networking

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.2%

Masters

38.2%

Other

10.2%

Certificate

4.4%

Associate

3.7%

Doctorate

3.0%

Diploma

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$107,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$81,000
Min 10%
$107,000
Median 50%
$107,000
Median 50%
$107,000
Median 50%
$107,000
Median 50%
$107,000
Median 50%
$107,000
Median 50%
$107,000
Median 50%
$142,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Open Systems Technologies
Highest Paying City
San Jose, CA
Highest Paying State
Nevada
Avg Experience Level
3.3 years
How much does a Software Project Manager make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Software Project Manager in the United States is $107,852 per year or $52 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $81,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $142,000.

Real Software Project Manager Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Software Project Manager BAHA Industries Corp. New York, NY May 03, 2015 $175,000
Software Project Manager BAHA Industries Corp. New York, NY Nov 16, 2015 $166,960
Software Project Manager BAHA Industries Corp. Wilmington, DE Dec 26, 2016 $164,873
Software Project Manager BAHA Industries Corp. New York, NY Jan 08, 2016 $155,000
Software Project Manager Illumina Santa Clara, CA Oct 15, 2015 $152,901 -
$165,000
Software Project Manager Forio Corporation San Francisco, CA May 02, 2015 $150,000
Software Project Manager BAHA Industries Corp. Jersey City, NJ Sep 21, 2015 $150,000
Software Project Manager BAHA Industries Corp. New York, NY Jul 20, 2016 $150,000
Software Project Manager (Technical Analyst) Open Systems Technologies Inc. Warren, NJ Sep 26, 2015 $150,000
Software Project Manager Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Mar 21, 2016 $149,000
Software Project Manager Visionet Systems Inc. Tampa, FL May 05, 2016 $146,224
Software Project Manager BAHA Industries Corp. New York, NY Nov 06, 2014 $145,600
Software Project Manager/Technical Architect Applus Technologies, Inc. Chicago, IL Aug 04, 2015 $142,771
Software Project Manager (Technical Analyst) Open Systems Technologies Inc. Pennington, NJ Sep 26, 2014 $141,916
Software Project Manager Open Systems Technologies Inc. Philadelphia, PA Sep 26, 2013 $128,000
Software Project Manager Open Systems Technologies Inc. Philadelphia, PA Sep 12, 2014 $128,000
Project Manager-ECG Analysis Software DM Software, Inc. Stateline, NV Oct 01, 2015 $125,000
Software Project Manager Trailstone Management Corp. Austin, TX May 18, 2015 $125,000
SR. Software Project Manager BAHA Industries Corp. Jersey City, NJ Oct 14, 2016 $125,000
Project Manager, Software Implementation DET Norske Veritas (U.S.A.), Inc. Mechanicsburg, PA Nov 23, 2015 $120,000 -
$140,000
SR. Specialist-Software/Project Manager Synechron, Inc. Chicago, IL Nov 17, 2014 $120,000
Software Project Manager .09) Harman Becker Automotive Systems Inc. Farmington Hills, MI Aug 03, 2015 $120,000
Lead Software Project Manager Delphi Corporation Auburn Hills, MI May 18, 2015 $104,790
Software Project Manager SSB Software Technologies Inc. Lake Forest, CA Oct 25, 2016 $103,126
Software Project Manager The 41St. Parameter, Inc. San Jose, CA Mar 11, 2013 $103,000
Software Project Manager The 41St. Parameter, Inc. San Jose, CA Apr 25, 2013 $103,000
Software Project Manager BAHA Industries Corp. New York, NY Jan 20, 2015 $102,981 -
$120,000
Software Project Manager BAHA Industries Corp. NY Apr 22, 2015 $102,981 -
$120,000
Software Project Manager BAHA Industries Corp. New York, NY Apr 22, 2015 $102,981 -
$120,000
Software Project Manager Pratt & Miller Engineering & Fabrication, Inc. Huntersville, NC Mar 10, 2016 $102,000

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Top Skills for A Software Project Manager

  1. Project Management
  2. Software Development
  3. Database
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Project Management -Scope Management -Schedule Management -Budget Management -Risk Management -Communication -Customer Relationship Management -Process Management
  • Performed business analysis for customers and prospects to determine business needs, software development and appropriate training and support.
  • Coordinated database and creative design, training and marketing initiatives for college alumni websites.
  • Prepare Business Requirements, Terms of Reference and other documentation as deemed required for projects assigned to Project Management Department.
  • Track performance of multiple projects and distributed status reports to internal and external stakeholders on regular basis.

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Top 10 Best States for Software Project Managers

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Maryland
  3. Virginia
  4. New Jersey
  5. Colorado
  6. New York
  7. Connecticut
  8. New Hampshire
  9. Texas
  10. Delaware
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  • (2,476 jobs)
  • (1,417 jobs)
  • (1,202 jobs)
  • (2,607 jobs)
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  • (177 jobs)
  • (3,546 jobs)
  • (163 jobs)

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