Project Manager / Scrum Master
Q&A with an ALTA Contractor*
ALTA IT: What drew you to this career?
Contractor: The major factor that drew me to my career in Project Management is the variability it provides; no day is the same in the life of a Project Manager / Scrum Master. With my career, I’m able to lead all types of exciting projects across various industries and these projects I lead impact the business and organization directly.
ALTA IT: How did you find your way to where you are today? Share a little about your professional journey.
Contractor: I’ve been a “consultant” for my entire professional life. I spent a good deal of time working out of the PMO of a major financial services institution. I went all in on project management and obtained my PMP certification in 2012 – I’ve added 6 other certifications since then. There is always something new in this industry and I like to consider myself a lifelong learner.
ALTA IT: What are some challenges you face in your industry?
Contractor: Competing priorities will always be a challenge in the business of project management. Constantly working in an agile development environment with a team of limited resources is difficult – you must show empathy while keeping the ball moving forward while motivating your thinly stretched resources.
ALTA IT: What do you love about your career?
Contractor: I love the people I interact with, specifically my stakeholders and development teams. I’m a people person and a major component of project management is communications. Leading 1-on-1 meetings to leading 90-person meetings, I love connecting, building rapport, and presenting.
ALTA IT: What additional education or certification is required / recommended?
Contractor: The PMP is the industry standard with respect to project management. When looking at IT Project Management, you’re more than likely talking about an agile framework. Certifications that have helped develop me professionally include Certified Scrum Master (CSM), SAFe Scrum Master (SSM), and PMI Agile Certified Professional (PMI-ACP).
ALTA IT: Any advice for people looking to get into this field?
Contractor: I’d say do your research and homework. Get a feel for if you want to be an industry specific PM or if you want to be more of a generalist, like me. After homework is complete, determine what certifications will help drive your professional and personal aspirations.
The opportunities in the project management field are endless.
*This contractor has been an ALTA employee for four months, and currently supports the world’s largest credit union.
Through 2027, the project management-oriented labor force in seven project-oriented sectors is expected to grow by 33 percent, or nearly 22 million new jobs. By 2027, employers will need nearly 88 million individuals in project management-oriented roles (Project Management Institute).
Salary for Project Managers varies based on variables such as education and experience. For those with an associate’s degree, for example, the median project manager salary is $54,900, versus $84,800 for those with a bachelor’s degree.
In a similar fashion, those with less experience are also (predictably) paid less: The median project manager salary for those with 0 to 2 years of experience is $56,000, while those with 9+ years of experience can earn a median salary of $103,000 (Dice).