Are you highly organised, calm under pressure and a great communicator? Then why not consider becoming a project manager? We take a look at five reasons why taking a course is the perfect way to launch your project management career.
1. There’s a range of study options
When it comes to choosing your pathway into project management you’ll have plenty of study options. There are four main ways to qualify.
Complete an unrelated degree course, then work towards professional certification in project management, such as a PRINCE2 qualification qualification.
Complete an unrelated degree course, then do a master’s degree in project management, followed by professional certification.
Complete a degree in project management, then work towards professional certification.
Gain relevant experience via a supporting role that involves managing time, resources, money or people. Follow this with professional certification.
You’ve probably noticed that all of these routes involve gaining a professional project management qualification. Depending on the requirements of any potential employers, you could do this before applying for a job or once you’ve gained an entry-level position. Whichever option you choose, you’ll be glad to know that there are plenty of courses available, including a wide range of online courses.
2. You’ll gain essential knowledge
By completing one or more professional certifications, you’ll gain essential knowledge of the project management methodologies you could be using. These include:
This project methodology focuses on efficiency, reducing errors and minimising risks. It involves splitting the project management process into steps and can be adapted to projects in most industries, although it’s particularly popular in the public sector. PRINCE2 is used for all government projects in the UK, Canada and Australia. AXELOS offers foundation level and intermediate qualifications in PRINCE2. While foundation courses don’t require any prior knowledge or experience, practitioner courses are aimed at working professionals.
By breaking project plans into incremental steps, this fast-growing methodology enables project teams to work collaboratively and make regular adjustments during the life cycle of a project. AgilePM is often used for software development projects.
The Association for Project Management (APM) offers Agile project management training at three levels, beginning with the Project Fundamentals qualification, which requires no prior knowledge. To take APM’s intermediate Project Management qualification you’ll need 3-4 years of work experience, while their Project Professional qualification requires 5-6 years of experience. They also offer a range of single-subject certificates covering topics such as risk management.
This methodology focuses on improving project management processes in order to minimise defects and save money, as this benefits everyone involved with a particular project. Originally created in the 1980s, Six Sigma certification is available at three levels: yellow belt, green belt and black belt. These are based on martial arts bands.
Lean Six Sigma
Lean Six Sigma methodology is a process that combines the principles of Six Sigma with the principles of the Lean approach to project management. Used to solve problems and improve processes, Lean Six Sigma uses a customer-focused approach to avoid the expense of low-quality products.
Certifications in this methodology are available at three levels; yellow belt (elementary ) green belt (core elements) and black belt (advanced elements).
Kanban methodology focuses on streamlining and organising project activities in order to create a smooth, speedy flow of work. At its heart is the Kanban board, which features visual cues to signify priority and completion times, and can be easily updated. This simple project management tool could be anything from a simple whiteboard to a large video screen. Project management software is also available.
The Kanban approach to project planning enables everyone on a team to see whether they are keeping up with their workload or taking on more than they can manage. Collaboration is made easier and there’s a shared understanding of the project lifecycle.
Keen to gain Kanban certification? Courses accredited by Kanban University are available at foundation, trainer, advanced and strategic levels.
3. You’ll gain access to diverse career options
Taking a project management course could unlock a wide range of exciting career opportunities, as project managers work across many industries including:
Your certification alone will enable you to gain an entry-level role in some industries, like marketing or retail, However, other industries (such as engineering or IT) will require degree-level knowledge as well as project management skills. So if you’re a graduate and you’re already working in a sector like engineering, taking a recognised project management course should enable you to transfer into your dream role.
As well as kickstarting your career, professional certifications could also give you the option of working overseas. PRINCE2 qualifications, for example, are recognised by many government organisations and multinational companies.
4. You’ll be in demand!
According to the Project Management Institute, nearly 22 million new project management jobs will be created by 2027, and many of these jobs will require professional certifications. For example, IT JobsWatch reports that 91% of all permanent IT project manager jobs advertised in the UK require PRINCE2 qualifications.
The desirability of project management qualifications is reflected in the excellent salaries on offer. According to Glassdoor, junior project managers can expect to earn an average of £28,881, while project managers with more experience earn an average salary of £45,000. Once you’ve delivered many successful projects you could earn up to £80,000, depending on the sector you’re working in.
5. You’ll gain quicker access to a great career
Becoming professionally certified in project management could fast-track your entry to a career that’s challenging, rewarding and packed with variety. Whether you’re dealing with a large complex project or a small project, you’ll be responsible for ensuring that it’s delivered on time and to budget. It’s a responsible job that involves time management and a multitude of project tasks, including: