Program Management & Project Management

Two professionals reviewing a planning board covered in sticky notes.

Are you curious about how your humanities background applies to careers in program management / project management?

Click on any of the topics in the menu below to learn more about typical responsibilities, necessary skills, general salary information, and other resources.

(Not interested in Program Management? Check out the Career Resources page to browse other interesting job titles and info!)

Why would this field appeal to someone with a humanities / liberal arts degree?

Our goal is to connect humanities graduates with jobs that are interesting, can draw on their skills in some way, and provide a stable (and even thriving) income. A variety of organizations (from industry to nonprofits) have openings for Program Managers, which means that you have a high likelihood of finding a job at an organization whose mission or product aligns with your interests. For example, imagine that you majored in Theater Studies and would like to find a job that still affords you the opportunity to engage with that subject and community. As Program Manager, a typical day could include: coordinating with Program Directors and the Development Director to strategize marketing for the upcoming season, reviewing donor management information to update information, or working with the social media team to sync messaging with the marketing efforts for the programming.

What is a program manager or project manager (in brief)?

Organizations of all types usually require a program or project manager. This can include everything from theater companies to a publisher to a cloud service provider to a pharmaceutical company. If there are projects to be managed, then companies need a professional who is skilled in planning out deliverables, keeping team members in communication, and ensuring that deadlines are met.

What does this work involve?

A Program Manager will be at the center of the planning of a project. They will help identify project deliverables and a delivery timeline. They may also develop a communications plan that identifies all team meetings, committee meetings, readouts, etc for each step. Depending on the needs of the organization, this role may come with disparate expectations. For large organizations, this role will include strategic planning, original content creation, and supervisory responsibilities. Small organizations might treat this role as something closer to an administrative assistant responsible for scheduling, keeping meeting minutes, setting up collaboration technologies, distribution information to team members, etc.

Necessary skills

The necessary skills will vary by employer, but the following list covers basic skills that are expected:

  • Organization
  • Ability to communicate with team members in different apartments
  • Strong command of a variety of tools: project management solutions (ex. Asana), scheduling tools, CRM software (Customer Relationship Management software – for example, HubSpot, Salesforce), email marketing/ newsletter creation platforms (ex. Mailchimp, Constant Contact).
  • Detail-oriented
  • Ability to coordinate with stakeholders to plan and execute a project.
  • Some employers (generally larger corporations) will require PMP (Professional Project Management) certification. If you are interested in this career then it might be worth obtaining this certification online. However, many employers will not require this.
Salary information

Salaries for jobs in program management / project management will vary widely depending on the position, size of the organization, the region, and other factors. The national average is provided below from Glassdoor.com for each of the example job titles mentioned on this page:

Program Manager

National average: $96,347 (range from $57,000 – $164,000)

Project Manager

National average: $88,907 (range from $57,000 – $138,000)