How do you navigate your way to career success? Check out our career guidance tips for some of the areas we provide expert knowledge, training and certification.
Simply put, a Project Manager (PM) is the person responsible for delivering on the objectives of a project. He/She is responsible for deploying resources towards the achievement of set goals. Projects are ubiquitous in that all industries and practically all organisations carry out projects. As such, project management skills are needed across all sectors and businesses.
Since projects are not limited to any one industry, PMs are needed in ALL organisations and across every industry all over the world. While not all organisations will have designated PM positions or have formal project management in place, you can be sure there will be several positions in every organization that require project management skills to effectively deliver on the tasks assigned to such positions. While there are different methodologies and approaches to managing projects, the need for project management skills continues to rise across the world (https://www.itpreneurs.com/blog/demand-for-project-managers-continues-to-grow-globally/).
According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), arguably the foremost association of project managers in the world, a project manager requires a mix of Technical Project Management Knowledge, Strategic and Business Management Skills Leadership Skills While the first item can be gotten via training, the second and third elements require a mix of training and experience. This suggests that to be an effective PM, you require a healthy mix of knowledge and experience.
There are 3 things you need to do;
- Attend relevant Training to gain Knowledge
- Acquire Experience to become Skillful in the practice of project management and
- Obtain credible Certifications to Validate your Knowledge and Experience and gain Recognition
#Note that the above mentioned activities will be undertaken mostly simultaneously
Having established that you require a mix of training as well as on the job experience to become a PM, let us give suggestions on how you can navigate your way to the zenith of the project management profession.
|Career Timeline||Training||Recommended Certification||Experience||Comments|
|Within 1 – 2 Years after Graduation||You may attempt the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) Certification focused training or other introductory courses in project management focused on Waterfall or Agile methodologies||CAPM, Prince 2 Foundation, Scrum Foundation or other entry level certifications.||Experience in any field or any industry will be relevant at this point. Begin to actively seek opportunities to get on projects so as to put to practice some of the theories you have learnt.||It is possible to undertake the CAPM certification without University education. We however advise that you acquire a first degree to enhance your career as a PM|
|Within 3 – 5 Years after Graduation||Attend an in-depth course on project management. One which is geared towards the prime certifications in the industry and attempt the certification exam. Also attend courses that teach you how to use project management tools e.g. Primavera, MS Project, etc||Project Management Professional (PMP), Prince 2 Practitioner, Scrum Master||At this point, find your way into the Project Management Office of your organization and start seeking opportunities to manage projects. If your current organization does not carry out projects as such, move to an organization that does.||It is critical that you are actively involved in projects at this point. It will also be helpful to begin to consider obtaining a higher degree at this point. An MBA or MSc will prove useful for your growth and for taking advantage of opportunities in the near future|
|Within 5 – 10 Years after Graduation||Attend Advanced project management courses and also courses focused on program management. You may also begin to deepen your knowledge in different areas on project management, e.g. Risk Management.||Program Management Professional (PgMP), Scaled Agile Certification,||Actively seek more challenging project roles. You should seek cross-national projects to broaden your knowledge base and cultural awareness||Consolidate on your project experience and begin to prepare for opportunities to manage programs|
|10 years plus after Graduation||Attend courses to keep abreast of the trends in the project management industry. Attend courses that are specific to your current industry to develop industry specific knowledge. You may also consider the Portfolio Management training to position for Project Director roles||Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)||At this point, you should be providing strategic project leadership for your business.||Get involved in leadership and mentoring roles in the membership associations you belong to and provide though leadership for the project management industry.|