Have you ever considered becoming a project manager? Whether you're looking to improve your project management skills on the job or obtain project management certifications, here's what you need to know.
Managing projects is a rewarding career. A person who takes on the role of project planning will have a great opportunity to positively impact a company's bottom line. The Project Management Institute estimates that employers will need to fill 2.2 million new project-centric roles each year through 2027 as demand for project-based work increases.
Project management offers a whole host of opportunities for career advancement, which is why more and more people are looking into the career path and increasing their project management knowledge.
Our guide can help you find out what qualifications you need to start a project manager career, or if you're one of the thousands of people who manage projects every day and want to be a project manager without any prior experience. Keep on reading to learn more about our recommended courses for a career in project management.
How do I start a career as a Project Manager?
Projects make up most of the work we do. Research, planning, budgeting, coordinating, managing resources, and much more—all of which need to be managed and overseen properly to ensure your project runs smoothly.
When you find that you're loving the project management side of your job more than any other aspect, here's how you can get into it without a degree.
A project manager is someone who manages projects (piece of work) from start to finish. The term includes project managers, of course, as well as people who supervise, coordinate, and deliver work in a number of roles regardless of their job title.
In order to become a project manager you can take one of two different career paths. You can opt for the "traditional" route where you would set out to become a project manager, obtain a certification, and find a project management job. Alternatively, you can gain project management experience and advance in your career without obtaining a degree or any other "traditional" project manager education.
Can anyone be a Project Manager?
Does a degree prepare you for the job of project manager? Not always. Do you need project management experience? You do, indeed. It is important to develop hands-on project management experience in order to become a project manager without a degree.
If you're a marketer, designer, developer, or whatever else, you have probably been honing your project management skills throughout your career.
Several key knowledge areas are identified in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (or PMBOK Guide) of the Project Management Institute, including the management of integrations, scope, schedules, costs, quality, resources, risks, procurement and stakeholders.
Perhaps you played a major role in laying out the timeline or scope of the project. You may have defined the budget and been able to keep things on track when unexpected costs arose. Perhaps you helped reallocate team resources so no one was overburdened.
Any great project manager should be familiar with all of these skills. Alternatively, you may not be familiar with some of the other knowledge areas. Gaining the experience you need will help you to become a more well-rounded project manager.
What project management certifications do I need?
Qualifications and degrees alone do not make a project manager. You can earn a number of certificates to validate your skills and knowledge, but a degree isn't necessary. Here are a few popular project management course certifications to consider when working towards becoming a project manager.
PRINCE2® (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is a structured project management method and is adopted in many countries worldwide. In most cases, PRINCE2 Foundation online training course can be completed in around 30 hours and there is an examination following the training.
PRINCE2 certification is intended for project managers or professionals who are involved in project management. It is also relevant to other key staff involved in the design, development and delivery of projects, including:
Anyone in charge of managing projects can become a PRINCE2 Practitioner. This could be a formal project management role or something that is part and parcel of day-to-day work. Obtaining a Practitioner certification confirms that you have the knowledge and understanding to apply and tailor the method in a variety of project environments and scenarios.
Being a successful and effective project manager requires more than achieving your Practitioner qualification. In addition to the courses, investing in your professional development and obtaining wider training is essential.
AgilePM training is available from Accredited Training Organizations (ATOs) that have been assessed by APMG International and covers:
AgilePM Foundation level training is recommended for practicing project managers, members of Agile teams who want to become Agile Project Managers and individuals pursuing AgilePM Practitioner certification.
Learn the principles of agile project management and become an agile project manager. It is necessary to earn AgilePM Foundation certification before you can complete AgilePM Practitioner training. This training is recommended for AgilePM Foundation certified professionals and team members who want to become an Agile Project Manager.
What are the key things that you will learn from?
Become more effective at planning, implementing, and managing change.
The Change Management course (co-developed with the Change Management Institute) aims to teach organizations and their people how to manage change and implement transformation effectively by equipping you with the knowledge, theory, and skills to:
Who will benefit from the Change Management Practitioner certification?
Currently or aspiring managers of organizational change, transition, or transformation will benefit from this certification. It is recommended for individuals with key roles in designing, developing and delivering organizational change programs, including:
The course will equip you with the skills and knowledge to plan and understand an organisation's change using an appropriate process framework. You will learn to understand, support, and sustain organisational change through a variety of paradigms to effect change in your team. It will offer insights that enhance the team's performance in preparation for organisational change.
Motivational techniques for leaders taking into account individual roles and personalities will be taught for supporting and sustaining the progress of the change cycle through the use of roles, skills, and activities.
Having said that, all the knowledge you gain will be useless if you don't apply it to the projects you manage. Your change management initiatives will eventually benefit from some digital transformation tools.