Where to start in Project Management Career?

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Every field requires an expert with exceptional leadership qualities to handle teams and manage projects. This expert is often referred to as the Project Manager.

A project manager has to undertake project responsibilities that other team members don’t have to. He is also responsible for communicating with the executive team and ensuring no miscommunication with the client.

When a role demands such high responsibility tasks, the person must be perfectly skilled. This is why if anyone is aspiring to get into project management, doing a project management course will be extremely beneficial. You will be taught essential technical and soft skills that will make you a good project manager. You will also get hands-on experience in managing projects and a chance to connect with other professionals in your industry. After an all-inclusive project management certification, the skills you pick up will also give you a head start if your next step is an MBA.

Make your career in project management by getting the right kind of project management certification.

But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves by discussing the next steps. Instead, let’s start from the beginning and talk about the initial steps you need to take to start your career in project management.

What does a Project Manager do?

A project manager must be a goal-driven professional who sees the big picture for the company’s plans. In your initial years, you will learn a lot about businesses, how they work, and mostly how they don’t. When you work on a project from the ideating phase to the completion stage, you truly understand all the parts of the process that fit like cogs in a machine.

A designer might understand a part of the project he’s worked on, and a marketer might understand what the audience needs to understand. But only the project manager understands a project in its entirety. So as a project manager, you will be the person anyone from your company could come up to and ask questions about the project, and at that moment, you should be able to give them their answers.

Being a project manager, especially a Head of Projects, takes a lot of energy, time, and effort. Seeing this is such an important role, the individual needs to be highly qualified and skilled.

Qualifications required

There are businesses where employees step into the managing role for a project whenever needed, so you must be wondering why I need to get a project management certification if there are individuals who do it without one.

You will see a clear difference in the skillset of a project manager who has all the proper qualifications and of one who hasn’t.

These are the qualifications you need to become a Project Manager:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Management / Business
  • Project Management Certification
  • Master’s degree in Project Management / Business Management
  • Early working experience in the industry
  • Experience working on projects

Where to start?

As a complete beginner, you can use this as a guide to starting your journey as a project manager:

1. Make connections

If you know people in the corporate line of work, try making connections that could lead you to project managers who have worked in the role for a long time. They will be the best real-time guidance you will get. If you aren’t able to find anyone in real life, try out LinkedIn. Connecting with professionals online will also lead you to paths you weren’t looking for.

People that live or work near you will also be able to guide you through where you can apply for which course and which competitive exams to occur for at what point of your career.

2. Do a certification course

You can’t just become a project manager on connections alone. You need skills that you can apply practically and show on paper. This is why you need to take a certification course on project management.

When you apply for the project manager position at a top company, having a certification will help you as the hiring manager will see you as a competent candidate for the job. So choose an online course that you can take according to your convenience and get a certification for project management.

3. Get a degree

After doing a certification course in project management, you will have all the basic knowledge about the role and the responsibilities that come with it. But if you truly want to knock it out of the park, get a master’s degree or even an MBA if you want to climb the ladder quicker.

Choose to do your masters in a business-related field if you can’t do it in project management. Getting hands-on experience while getting a degree will work well in your favor. At this point, you can also start looking for entry-level job opportunities as a project associate or project coordinator.

4. Work as an Associate / Coordinator

Getting an entry-level job in your field will help you understand your field better and give you an idea of what the work will be like as a project manager. It will also teach you how to handle projects from the start and coordinate with different departments and teams.

5. Climb your way up

Once you have crossed all the essential bridges, you must look for opportunities to grow in your career as a project manager and take those opportunities as you climb up. You can start with smaller projects and move on to bigger projects with a longer timeline. Starting in smaller organizations will also help you understand how to tackle different situations in different environments.

To grow even further, you can keep looking for more certifications with more specific expertise and see if it’s for you.

Conclusion

Project Management has space for itself in every industry. So no matter what industry you want to join, you can become a project manager there with the right skills, qualifications, and experience.

If you think you can handle teams and projects, project management might be right. You must be dedicated, hard-working, and able to see the big picture for your organization. There will be executive decisions that will be your responsibility. So only a professional with the right eye for judgment should become a project manager.

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