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Transitioning Into Project Management Without a Tech Background

Don’t you hate it when you are looking for a new job and during your search you fine that dream position that you are almost perfect for?  People find themselves in this position all the time, and most of the time they decide they just are not fit for the job and move on.  However, an article by Andrew Makar suggests that, for example, someone with little to no technical experience can indeed by the right candidate for a technical project management position:

Technology keeps changing, so the tools you use today will likely be different in 3-5 years.  Your management skills, on the other hand, should improve with experience…Your degree doesn’t determine your entire career.  My peers and other exectutives [sic] I know havw [sic] a mixed bag of degrees and backgrounds.  Finance, Math, and even Biology majors have all succeeded in earning senior project management and executive positions despite their lack of a technical IT degree.

Businesses often know more about an applicant’s background than the applicant realizes.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, it just means that they know a Computer Science student is most likely to be a coder, the MIS major is the business analyst, and so on.  Typically, if a hiring company sees years of experience in something like project management or leadership, they will hire despite a lack of technological knowledge.  This is not to say that brushing up on technological skills is a bad idea, but being slightly behind the rest of the tech gang is not the end of the world.

Makar suggests that the take away here is that companies understand that the degree you earned when you were in your early 20s may not paint a completely accurate picture of what your current skill set.  Apply for the jobs you want and the jobs you believe you would excel at.  Do not overthink your lack of skills.  The worst thing that could happen is no one calls you back for the interview.  The best thing that could happen is that you find yourself in the position you desire learning more and more every day.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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