All industries and professions need projects for their growth, survival, and innovation. So, the project management profession will always be in demand, and if you intend to grow your career in this profession, you have made the right choice.
Project management is a vast field, and you will have many career opportunities in this profession, and project manager is one of them.
This blog post will give you a general idea about developing your career path in project management.
Let’s get started.
A Career in Project Management
Before we discuss a career in project management, let us understand the terms project and project management.
As per the PMBOK Guide, a project is a temporary endeavor to create a unique product, service, or result. They are undertaken to fulfill objectives by delivering a deliverable. A deliverable is a unique and verifiable product or result; it can be tangible or intangible.
Project management is an application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques for project activities to meet the project requirements.
In project management, you will have many career opportunities; let’s start with a career as a project manager.
Career as a Project Manager
Regardless of industries, qualified project managers are in the highest demand, which will continue to rise.
Project managers are in charge of projects, and they are responsible for completing the project.
Their job responsibilities include:
◉ Developing a project management plan
◉ Recruiting the project team
◉ Carrying out the project work
◉ Monitoring and controlling the project work
◉ Delivering the project deliverable
◉ Closing the project
Project managers have the support of their team members to complete these tasks. The team members include subject matter experts such as planning engineers, quality control personnel, construction supervisors, foreman, site engineer, and construction workers.
As a project manager, you should have many skills. The most important skills are leadership, negotiation, and communication skills.
The other essential skills are:
◉ Problems solving skills
◉ Organization skills
◉ Leadership skills
◉ Analytical skills
◉ Risk management skills
According to some PMI surveys, the demand for project managers is rising, and the industry will have 22 million job openings through 2027.
All industries need projects and project managers, though they are very common in construction, oil, and gas, IT industries, etc.
Project managers get a good salary, and all professionals in this profession want to become a project manager. According to Indeed.com, the average salary for a mid-level project management position is about 77,000 USD per year, ranging from 22,000 USD to 174,000 USD.
To become a project manager, you must have enough experience in different roles in the project. For example, if you have several years of experience as a project engineer, planning engineer, site engineer, etc., you can get promoted to assistant project manager and then project manager.
The experience required depends on the industry. The construction and oil and gas industries require more experience than the IT field.
A project manager’s job is very challenging. All projects are unique and project managers have to start each project from scratch with limited resources.
They must be updated with the latest advancements in project management to stay ahead..
They may be required to have some globally recognized certification, such as PMP or PRINCE2.
Other Career Opportunities in Project Management
In project management, some other key roles are:
◉ The project coordinator or expeditor
◉ Project planner
◉ Site engineer
◉ Quality manager
◉ Risk manager
The Project Coordinator or Expeditor
The project coordinator or expeditor plays a vital role in project management. You can also call them the project manager in waiting. Sometimes, they are known as project administrators.
These people help project managers with administrative tasks and sometimes can replace them in their absence. Their main role is to ensure that day-to-day activities are moving as planned so the project manager can take care of high-level tasks and issues.
For small organizations, advanced knowledge of excel will be sufficient. However, to work in big organizations as a project planner, you must know special planning software such as Primavera or MS-Project.
You can also go for some global certification like PMI-SP. This certification is from Project Management Institute (PMI) the USA, for scheduling professionals.
You will find a site engineer with construction projects. These professionals stay on the site and help site workers carry out construction activities.
For this position, you will require a diploma or engineering degree in a civil or mechanical discipline.
Quality personnel includes quality assurance and quality control.
Quality assurance professionals ensure that the developed procedures are correct and as per the standard guidelines and company policies.
Quality control people ensure that the project management team is following the right procedure and deliverables are defect-free.
For quality assurance, you can go for the ISO lead auditors course, and for quality control, you can look for ASQ.org.
This is a specialized field and suitable for professionals who have enough project management experienced and are involved with risk management.
If you are interested in risk management and want to grow your career in this field, you can go for the PMI-RMP certification. This is a globally recognized certification for risk management professionals.
The foreman works under site engineers and deals with construction workers to carry out day-to-day construction activities.
The education qualification is a diploma and experience in the relevant field.
Workers are at the lowest position in the hierarchy. They carry out the construction work and report to the foreman or supervisors.
No education qualification is required for this position, though physical fitness is essential as the work may require physical labor.
How Certification Helps in the Project Management Career Path
It is a simple truth that certified project managers get a higher salary than non-certified project managers. Many organizations have made it necessary to have a globally recognized project management certification to apply for the project manager position, which you may notice on job portals.
If you live in the UK, Australia, or Europe, PRINCE2 is a good choice.
However, for the rest of the world, the PMP certification is the best choice.
How to Start Your Career in Project Management
Project management has a lot of career opportunities. You should identify your interests and skills and then move into project management.
Let us start with educational qualifications. Usually, you will be required to have at least an undergraduate degree to apply for the project manager position.
If you want to pursue your career in the construction field, it should preferably be an engineering degree. In the IT industry, computer engineers or any other global equivalent would be sufficient.
Now, let’s look at experience. Let us assume that you have no experience, but you want to grow your career in project management.
In this case, I would recommend you go for the CAPM certification. Requirements for the CAPM certification are lenient, and it does not require project management.
Having a CAPM certification shows that you have the required knowledge and dedication to move into project management.
Also, if you have experience in different fields and want to advance your career in project management, you can go for the CAPM certification.
After getting this certification, you can apply for an entry-level position in project management and get some experience.
Now, once you earn the required project management experience, you can go for the PMP certification. It will boost your career in project management.
For the IT industry, certifications such as Agile/Scrum will also be helpful.