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 TimelineTrainingRecommended CertificationExperienceComments
Within 1 – 2 Years after GraduationYou may attempt the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) Certification focused training or other introductory courses in project management focused on Waterfall or Agile methodologiesCAPM, 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 GraduationAttend 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, etcProject Management Professional (PMP), Prince 2 Practitioner, Scrum MasterAt 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 GraduationAttend 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 awarenessConsolidate on your project experience and begin to prepare for opportunities to manage programs
10 years plus after GraduationAttend 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 rolesPortfolio 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.

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