Project management career advice
In this Learning People industry expert article, we unpack project management career advice for those looking to start, change, or progress their career as a project professional – and help you understand the options of getting a job in project management – what the career pathways look like and what the associated salaries are for those new and already with experienced.
The rise of automation is gathering pace in the Asia Pacific (APAC) as the region begins to gain ground on Europe and North America. At the same time, many headlines warn about the decline of traditional job roles. But what these stories do not mention, is the increasing skills shortage that are creating a wealth of opportunities for anyone willing to retrain or re-skill to enter a career in technology.
The shortage of cybersecurity and data science skills are well documented as many begin to seek IT career advice. However, one area that seldom gets the publicity it deserves is the shortage of project managers. For example, the Project Management Institute (PMI) released a report last year that revealed 2.3 million project managers would be needed every year until 2030 across Asia-Pacific to meet the economic growth in the industry.
With the gap between the demand for project management skills and the availability of talent widening, we are helping candidates obtain internationally recognized certifications to future-proof their careers. We are also beginning to receive an increasing number of inquiries looking for advice on how to get hired in tech and project management, so here is a guide to help you kick-start a career in tech.
Project management career advice
From the healthcare industry to construction, project managers are responsible for planning and delivering a project on time and within budget. These individuals play a critical role in ensuring that a company achieves its goals. It also helps them gain a competitive edge in a digital world where the world of business and the expectation of its customers are continuously evolving.
Project managers have great people skills and are adaptable team players who can also be a leader to get the best out of everyone in a project team without being overbearing. They are often highly organised and natural communicators with meticulous attention to detail. If these characteristics resonate, you already have some of the most important skills which cannot always be taught.
Many people that are retraining as project managers have previously been exposed to the principles as members of project teams in previous roles. Suppose you believe you have the right skills and ability to remain calm under pressure. In that case, you will just need to master various project methodologies and work towards a qualification or a degree.
As a fully qualified project manager, you will soon be applying your knowledge, skills, and relevant methodologies effectively and efficiently to a project in any industry. Although it might feel a long way off, you will be responsible for driving the success of a project while complying with the specific project goals and targets sooner than you might think. If you are interested in exploring a career in project management, we have you covered. Here are a few good starting points
How to become a project manager
How can I become a project manager? This is probably one of the most common questions we get asked here at Learning People. Assuming you have already established that you have sharpened your human skills and have an appetite for learning, your next step will be to think about pursuing a formal qualification and or earning a certification to get you on the right path to success.
With an average salary of more than $100,000, your first goal should be to become a Project Management Professional (PMP)®, which is widely considered as the most desired project management certification. In addition, the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) will help you familiarise yourself with the industry terminology and guidelines.
The APM Project Management Qualification (PMQ) Collection will also help you level up your career by giving you the project management skills aligned to the APM Body of Knowledge. Some of the areas covered include budgeting, cost management, conflict management, negotiation, procurement, and sponsorship. There will be many different options depending on your experience and current career path, but the only limit is your imagination.
However, it’s not just a case of buying or a course. We believe that a dedicated career services coach plays a critical role in guiding you through both the learning process and throughout your job search, all of which will collectively help you land your dream as a project manager.
How to get project management certification without experience
The APM Project Fundamentals Qualification (PFQ) Collection is the perfect choice for any individual with no previous project management experience. The collection of courses is aimed at helping anyone reskill to enjoy a new career. Upon completing the course, every student walks away with complete awareness of project management terminology, frameworks, methodologies, and communication.
There are no prerequisites for the qualification. You can also learn at your own pace beginning with APM Project Fundamentals and PRINCE2® Foundation before moving on to the PRINCE2® Practitioner or PRINCE2® Agile Practitioner qualification. It’s also important to remember that these qualifications will help you secure a new job and ensure you are recognized worldwide as a professional project manager.
Project managers are in high demand throughout the world within every industry you can think of. Although you might not have any experience now, these online courses will provide you with all the skills and certifications you will need to explore international opportunities that come complete with lucrative salaries.
How to get a job as a project manager
Your journey into project management does not end with a new set of skills and qualifications. Our 360 Career Services support will help you prepare for each stage of the recruitment process. Together, you will ensure that your CV and LinkedIn consultation look professional. They will also guide you through networking the application process, provide interview coaching and help you with your technique.
You may find yourself dealing with the age-old debate of project manager skills vs. experience. But would have been developing your experience throughout your learning without even realising it. But if your lack of experience is bothering you, once again, your career coach will guide you through how to secure the experience you need to build your confidence in the brave new world of project management.
Along with personalised support to guide your job search, you will also receive a set of Career Services eBooks that will give you additional insight into the jobs market and guide you through the final steps needed to secure your dream job role. Ultimately, you won’t just possess new skills and tools to succeed. Most importantly, you will have the confidence to move forward.
How to become a successful project manager
At the beginning of your journey into project management, the road ahead can feel daunting. But you are not alone, and we have many students who take great delight in sharing their inspiring success stories with new students. For example, Bryony Seal shared her insights into what a project manager does and what it takes to successfully reach your career goals.
One of the most important aspects of becoming a successful project manager is encouraging open communication with your project team. It’s not all about you. Sometimes you will need to recognize that some of the best ideas and suggestions that could transform the outcome of your project could be right in front of you if you simply master the art of listening and accepting that you do not have the answers to everything.
Equally, listening to concerns and noticing potential issues that run the risk of derailing a project is crucial and can be made easier by focussing on managing the project workflow rather than people. Great project managers make data-driven decisions and are not afraid to say no to stakeholders while managing their expectations.
Successful project managers are great with people and have a passion for problem-solving in a career of continual learning. But the most common trait is organisation. Although project managers must deal with many different types of working styles and personalities, it’s not just about organising themselves but also ensuring that the entire project team has a structured plan that makes it easier for them to stay on track.
Armed with the right soft skills, project methodologies, and professional certification will help you bring the project strategy vision to life and bring the best out of your team. Of course, as you build your experience, much of this will feel like second nature, but maybe Denis Waitley said it best when he advised people to “expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.”
Remember, there are more than 2 million project managers needed every year until 2030 across Asia-Pacific. If the idea of being responsible for planning, leading, collaborating, and implementing a corporate project excites you, then you are already on the right path to becoming a successful project manager.
Our online training is designed to help you make the first step into project management as easy as possible. Regardless of your experience, we will support you every step of the way and help you choose the best course tailored to your current skills and career goals. So, what are you waiting for? Simply contact one of our career consultants to begin your future career today.