Becoming a Remote Technical Program Manager Career Path

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If you are looking for a tech-related career as a young professional in 2022, then you might want to consider a career as a remote technical program manager. A career path in technical program management promises a lot of rewards and benefits for individuals as well as professionals with a technical aptitude that are looking to bring advancements to companies and organizations. In this article, you are going to learn how to become a remote technical Program manager, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career, and what levels of pay to expect at each step of your career path.

What Is a Remote Technical Program Manager?

A remote technical program manager is an individual that is responsible for managing the technology development of a given project, usually within an organization or company. They are responsible for overseeing technical programs from creation to initiation to completion to improve their product and services. Technical program managers work within an organization and usually work with teams to develop strategies to solve problems or challenges and ensure that tasks are completed on time. Overall, a remote technical program manager drives the development and implementation process of programs, products, and services. Their background in software engineering and technology helps them efficiently manage complex projects and provide cross-functional leadership to build alignment for efforts such as product architecture and solutions to complex technical needs. TPMs may work with multiple teams within their company, such as engineering and development.

Remote Technical Program Manager Job Requirements

A few of the qualifications that are often looked for in a remote technical program manager include:

1. Education

Technical program managers are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as computer science, information technology, engineering, or a related discipline. Some employers may hire candidates with a related master’s degree, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA).


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2. Training and Experience

Technical program managers typically receive on-the-job training in their roles. This training may include learning the company’s policies and procedures, as well as the software and technology they use. Training may also include learning about the company’s clients and how to interact with them.

3. Certifications and Licenses

Certifications are not a requirement to become a technical program manager, but they can help you become a more competitive candidate when applying for jobs.

Apart from the above, a technical project manager must have effective problem-solving skills, experience in the field of management, proficiency with at least one web development language such as java or python, effective communication skills, and good interpersonal skills to be able to relate with personnel from different units of the company. They should also have a good knowledge and understanding of relevant IT applications.

How to Become a Technical Program Manager

1. Earn a Relevant Degree.

Remote technical program manager
Becoming a Remote Technical Program Manager Career Path 3

The first step you have to take in becoming a technical program manager is by pursuing a relevant degree in Computer Science, Business Administration, Information Technology or other related fields. This helps you acquire the necessary skills through a formal curriculum based on course work, assignments, presentations, research, and examination. People with degrees in the above field are more recognized by recruiters and employers. Furthermore, you can take management and related courses through online programs and have received certifications.

2. Develop Relevant Skills

Alongside your degree, you can also learn programming languages like python, JavaScript, C++, and C#. This can be acquired by taking online courses, attending boot camps, watch YouTube videos. Additionally, you can also work on your soft skills like communication skills, problem-solving skills, and leadership skills among others. Most people get to experience these soft skills by working or interning for some tech companies. This way you can know what it takes to work with a team, communicate amongst team members, and get things done on time. 

3. Gain Relevant Experience

Remote technical program manager
Becoming a Remote Technical Program Manager Career Path 4

After you have gained the necessary skills and technicalities, you may look for small companies that you can start an internship with to gain relevant experience.  Some employers may value experience over education in some instances. You need to have experience in some technical positions like a systems administrator or software developer. Furthermore, managing a team lead or a job that put you in charge of several employees while guiding them towards completing assigned projects will be an added advantage when searching for a job as a technical manager. Generally, technical program managers start by working as software engineers for five to nine years, and then they seek out a higher-level role to advance in their careers. This way, you would have gained the necessary skills and experience to function as a technical program manager.

4. Develop Yourself

As a technical program manager, you must take time to invest in your skillset to make your portfolio more attractive to recruiters. This can be done by attending seminars and conferences relating to Technical Program Management, or other related fields like Computer Programming or Business Management. You can also join various online communities on Technical Program Management to chat with colleagues and ask questions about the field. Furthermore, you might want to get ahead by attaining additional diplomas and certifications through online courses and boot camps for additional knowledge. Networking and meeting colleagues who work in technical or business fields are a great way to stay on top of industry trends as well as learn about potential job openings in different companies. This can be done by registering on LinkedIn to start networking with others in the same field.

5. Network

One way to get started as a technical program manager is to network with other people in the field. One way is by registering your profile on Linkedin. On LinkedIn, you can connect with various industry experts in the field. You can also join various communities dedicated to technical programs on Facebook. Showcase your skills, talents, and experience on LinkedIn. Another way is by taking certification courses on various online platforms like Udemy, Udacity, Skillshare, and other online learning platforms. Most of these forums have dedicated communities to help you connect with other technical program managers. Some courses you could take include

What Skills Help Technical Program Managers Find Jobs?

  • Knowledge of AWS
  • Analysis skills
  • Problem-solving skill
  • Communication skills
  • Organization skill
  • Critical-thinking
  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Distributed systems
  • Information security
  • Jira
  • Leadership
  • Machine learning

Career Path in The Technical Program Manager

How to advance in your career as a technical program manager

TPMs have the opportunity to advance to senior-level positions within their organization. Some even go ahead to take the role of a chief information officer (CIO) or chief technology officer (CTO). However, they start as an entry-level technical program manager.

Entry-Level Position as A Technical Program Manager

Acquiring a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field will automatically grant you access as an entry-level Technical Program Manager. Most employers will be expecting their Technical Program Manager to have excellent IT skills as well as management experience. You might also want to consider certification in certified scrum master.

Junior Level Technical Program Manager

Junior-level Technical Program Managers have proven themselves capable of guiding a technical team as they submit successful technical projects. Each advanced Technical Program Manager position requires approximately 5 years of experience at each level to advance in your Technical Program Manager career path. It may be necessary to receive additional education, an advanced degree such as a Master's Degree in a related field, or special certifications to advance your Technical Program Manager career path. In this role, you'll mostly be reporting to a Senior Technical Program Manager. You will take care of responsibilities like guiding more teams, attending more meetings with other managers and directors, and using your technical skills more readily.

Senior Level Technical Program Manager

Advancing towards the senior Technical Program Manager role takes time, perseverance, and effort. At this stage, not only would you have proven your indispensability as a Technical Program Manager, you would also have expanded the team's knowledge about the field and the dynamics of the business.

Beyond that, you'd have made efforts to understand the roles of other teams around you, taken the time to improve your skills, and strived to perform better at all times.

Technical Program Manager Job Description

As a technical program manager, you are expected to do the following

  • Facilitate communication between the technical and non-technical teams of an organization.
  • Strategize appropriate courses of action for technical teams and track their progress.
  • Oversees a company’s technical projects, such as implementing new network systems or developing new products.
  • Supervise development teams, and assess work schedules and productivity.
  • Address any quality assurance issues that arise during production.
  • Create reports to upper management based on the functions of the products and make suggestions on how to streamline future projects.
  • Organize and develop new strategies related to production and sales goals.

What’s an Average Salary for A Technical Program Manager?

According to Payscale the average salary of a technical program manager is $127,707/ year.

Entry-level Technical Program Manager

An entry-level Technical Program Manager (TPM) with less than 1-year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $91,753 based on 36 salaries. While a technical program manager with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $107,673.

Mid-career Remote Technical Program Manager

A Technical Program Manager (TPM) in their mid-career can expect more compensation and salary benefit. A mid-career Technical Program Manager with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $127,303 based on 634 salaries.

Senior/Experienced Remote Technical Program Manager

While a mid-career level technical program manager's salary is high on the pay grade. An experienced Technical Program Manager earns even more. A Technical Program Manager (TPM) with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $139,409 based on 869 salaries. In their late career (20 years and higher), employees earn an average total compensation of $144,226.

Is the Technical Program Manager Career Path the Right One for You?

We have established in this article that choosing a career path as a remote technical program manager has its advantage. The first thing to note is that the career path is a very lucrative one and it offers a competitive salary. The average technical program manager earns about $127,707/ year. Furthermore, the career path also gives room for advancement. And the more you advance, the more your salary and compensation increase. You can graduate to several levels once you have acquired relevant exposure in your current role and increased your knowledge base.

As a Technical Program Manager, you also get to have a larger impact on the company’s success overall. By leading a development team, you’ll be more inspired by their successes and can enjoy your part in their success.

In addition, the job also allows flexibility. This means that you get to work anywhere in the world.

Conclusion

Working as a remote Technical Program Manager is truly an exciting and rewarding feat. It's not monotonous either, as you'll constantly be required to upskill, learn new things and strategies, and interact with different teams. The career path of a Technical Program Manager is not very straightforward. However, if you keep the five things mentioned above in mind, you'll very soon be on your way to walking the path to becoming a successful Technical Program Manager.

Opeyemi Olagoke
Opeyemi Olagokehttps://woculus.com/
Olagoke Opeyemi Dare is a writer, digital marketer, and researcher with over 2 years of experience as a researcher. He is currently an intern at Spark Connect where he focuses on the fundamentals of digital marketing, social media marketing, and copywriting. He has written different articles and papers for various blogs and academic research projects respectively.

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