How to become a project manager
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How to become a project manager

How to become a Project Manager

Are you a natural born leader? Do you feel a sense of pride and satisfaction seeing a project through to completion? If the answer is yes, you may wish to consider steering your career path towards becoming a Project Manager. Read on to discover everything you need to know about a day in the life of a Project Manager, as well as what skills and qualifications are needed to succeed in this field of work. 

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What does a Project Manager do?

Ultimately, the role of a Project Manager is to successfully deliver projects on time, within a set budget, that have been requested by a client. They are responsible for planning, implementing and closing these projects, whilst simultaneously managing a team of people, rectifying problems and remaining calm under pressure.

Their full list of duties may involve:  

  •    Defining the project
  •    Scheduling
  •    Budgeting
  •    Risk assessing
  •    Project control
  •    Supporting team members
  •    Quality checking
  •    Reporting progress, problems and solutions
  •    Assessing results of the project
  •    Closing down the project
  •    Working with multiple stakeholders

Project Management isn’t for the fainthearted, nevertheless it can be an incredibly fulfilling career that’s not as impossible to get into as one might think.  

Access our demo site to get a feel for our PRINCE2® course today - https://bit.ly/2Umow0x 

Why move into Project Management?

Project Management can at times be challenging, however, embarking on this career path also has many benefits: 

  •    It is a growing industry that is needed within a variety sectors including: engineering and construction, law, financial services, technology and healthcare.
  •    Working in Project Management will provide you with the opportunity to develop a broad range of skills that can be transferred across almost any industry.
  •    As a Project Manager, you could look to be earning a decent average salary of £45,000, which can increase significantly depending on your experience and chosen field.
  •    Finally, there is always scope to learn something new in Project Management, and there are ample opportunities to move up and change positions across a multitude of businesses. 

What qualifications do I need to become a Project Manager?

Before entering the world of Project Management, it is useful to have appropriate qualifications under your belt to help you stand out from your competitors.

You may choose to go to University; however, this option is not for everyone due to time or financial restraints. Fortunately, earning a degree is not the only way to get into the industry. You can also become a certified Project Manager through a range of online and classroom-based courses.

The top three most prominent Project Management certifications worth considering, (based on their recognition within the industry), are PRINCE2®, Lean Six Sigma and ITIL®.   

PRINCE2®

PRINCE2® qualifications provide you with the mechanism on how to run any given project. It is one of the best certifications that will equip you with an overall understanding of how to monitor a project throughout its lifecycle including: managing cost control, how to make informed decisions, ways in which to tackle risks and challenges, tactics on how to increase customer satisfaction, as well as tips on how to effectively work as a project team.

Lean Six Sigma

Lean Six Sigma qualifications teach you how to solve problems that may arise when working on a project. It will provide you with the necessary tools and techniques to ensuring the root cause is properly and thoroughly analysed. Lean Six Sigma will teach you data analysis, stakeholder analysis, root cause analysis, as well as how to develop and implement solutions.

ITIL®

ITIL® qualifications will teach you everything you need to know about IT service management. Through this certification you will be provided with useful practices on how to create stable IT environments for growth, scale and change. You will learn error control, change management, configuration management and how to manage incidents.

For further information on the Project Management courses we provide, have a read of our Training for a Qualification in Project Management blog.           

What additional skills are beneficial to be a good Project Manager?

All Project Managers share one thing in common; the ability to simultaneously manage the four basic elements to any given project, including:

-    Scope: Knowing the size, goals, and requirements of a project

-    Resources: Having your team, equipment and materials in place

-    Time: Identifying the duration, dependencies and critical path of your project

-    Money: Knowing the costs, contingencies, and profit involved

In order to be a successful Project Manager however, employers typically look for individuals that can demonstrate the following qualities:

-    The ability to inspire a shared vision with others

-    Can clearly communicate goals, performance, expectations and feedback

-    Demonstrates commitment, dedication, honesty, consistency and ethical practices

-    Has enthusiasm, passion and possesses good leadership skills     

-    Confident decision-makers that are organised and good at problem-solving

What does the career journey of Project Management look like?

There are many roles available to you when it comes to working in Project Management, with an excellent career pathway available for those looking to progress within this sector. After you have earned your qualifications, your career development may follow a similar pathway to this:

-   Junior Project Manager - circa £29,000

After you have completed your studies and created a winning CV, you may begin your journey as a Junior Project Manager. This is an entry-level position where you will be responsible for project administration and support, under the direction of the Project Manager.  

-   Assistant Project Manager - circa £34,900

For your next role, you may consider becoming an Assistant Project Manager, where you will directly report to the Project Manager. As an Assistant Project Manager, you will be given more responsibility and manage certain aspects of a given project.  

-   Project Manager - circa £45,000 

After you have gained enough experience in the industry, you can begin applying for Project Manager roles, where you will oversee the entire lifecycle of a project, manage a team and meet directly with clients. It will be your responsibility to successfully complete projects on time and within budget. 

Of course, this is not the definitive journey you must take for getting into Project Management. Still, it gives you an idea on where to start after you have become certified.

Whichever path you choose to embark on, moving into Project Management can be an incredibly rewarding industry with great career prospects. Take a browse through our range of Project Management Courses or get in touch with one our friendly e-Careers advisors today!

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