How Do I Become a Program Director?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 04 April 2020
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Many employers will require you to have a degree, experience, and a range of skills when you want to become a program director. Usually, a bachelor's degree is required for this job, and experience working in similar positions is often desired as well. Among the skills you will typically need to become a program director are communication, leadership, and motivational skills as well as the ability to multitask.

You will likely need at least a bachelor's degree to become a program director, though some employers will prefer to hire individuals who have graduate degrees instead. It is important to note, however, that you might be able to find some positions for which you do not need a college degree. For example, if you want to become a program director at a religious organization, you may not need a degree for this position. If you want to become a program director at a learning institution, however, there is a good chance you will need a degree to land a job.


When you want to become a program director, you might find that holding a degree in a certain major helps you meet your goal. Some of the fields that may prove helpful include education, psychology, or public management. Organizational development and business administration degrees may also prove helpful in some cases. Sometimes the type of degree the hiring company prefers will depend on the focus of the company. For instance, a health care company might prefer to hire an individual who has a degree in a health-related major.

Experience also is often required when you want to become a program director. Many prospective employers will expect you to have at least a few years of related experience to land this job. For instance, a prospective employer may require you to have experience managing a similar type of program. If you have not managed a similar type of program in the past, substantial experience working with a similar program in a non-management role, combined with leadership experience, may work as a substitute.

The skills you possess may prove as important as your education when you want to become a program director. Most employers will expect you to be well organized as well as reliable and capable of motivating yourself and others. You will likely also need excellent communication and leadership skills in order to land this job and succeed in it. Multitasking skills and the ability to stay calm in challenging situations typically are vital as well.


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