In the past, the words ‘project management’ would normally conjure up images of someone in a hard hat, working on a construction site. But thanks to the world of IT, that is no longer the case. Business owners now recognize that project management plays a crucial role in their company’s future, especially if they want to see their business succeed.

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That’s why we are about to take a good in-depth look at project management careers, including project manager qualifications, and project management career options.

Building a career in project management infographic

Who is a Project Manager?

Project managers help define the objectives and goals for any project their organization undertakes. They determine who carries out the work, what components the project needs completed, and when they need to be finished. Project managers also must verify that the quality of the work is of the highest standard.

Why Project Management?

As a project manager, you can find yourself in positions and roles that pay well and offer great challenges. Plus, you can work in several different areas within a company.

You'll need to earn the appropriate certification to be able to pursue a project management career. Bear in mind your role will require you to make important decisions that might not only cost a company time, but also money. Consequently, this role can be quite demanding, and you will find that you need to dedicate a great deal of time and effort to it, especially when the need to meet deadlines arises.

Salary Information

Once you have gained the relevant certification, you can potentially earn an annual average salary of $97,073. The average base pay is reported to be $83,850, with the average additional pay, such as bonuses, being $13,222 annually. Depending on the specific role and your level of experience, this number can be even higher. 

Are you looking forward to making a mark in the Project Management field? If yes, enroll in the Project Management for Beginners Program now and get a step closer to your career goal!

What Does a Project Manager Career Path Look Like?

As you begin your career as a project manager, you will eventually realize that you need patience; you are not going to walk straight into a high paying position. However, once you do get involved in the process, you will discover the potential to earn not only a good salary, but also to get involved in some amazing projects.

How to Become a Project Manager

The first step in becoming a project manager is to get the right education. You don't need to earn a degree in project management, but specialist training would prove beneficial. You will gain an edge over your competitors by obtaining industry certification. It also means you have a better chance of landing the best positions in the project management industry.

If you choose to go down the path of earning a degree, it will show that you are serious about carving out a career in this field. After your training, you will have to decide what area of project management you want to become more involved with. There are several different routes you can take.

If you would prefer to gain some experience while earning your degree, then you might want to take an online course. The main advantage of undergoing training online is that you can do it at a time that is suitable for you; for example, you can work during the day and earn your degree in the evening. While it may take you longer to get your degree, the work that you do gains you invaluable experience, and you can do it without severely impacting your schedule. 

Now, let’s look at some project manager jobs:

1.  Project Co-Ordinator

This project management career is perfect for those just starting out in the industry. Instead of being in charge, you work as an assistant to the project manager. This way you can learn more about what the role entails. Also, it helps you gain experience that you can use when you eventually take on the role of managing projects yourself. You can also continue your education, putting you in a better position to apply to more senior positions later.

2.  New Product Development Project Manager

This position is suitable for those who have a keen analytical mind. You aren't just involved with the development of a product, but also how it is going to be commercialized and marketed. Of course, the industry you choose to get involved with will determine what projects you are responsible for.

3.  Construction Project Manager

Although the construction industry has seen something of a downturn in recent years, many companies are still looking for people with the necessary skills and experience to fulfil the remaining roles. The scopes of the projects vary quite a bit depending upon the size of the company you work for. Also, you will need to be a good communicator, since you are going to collaborate closely with other skilled professionals.

4.  Information Technology Project Manager

Technology plays an important role in our lives, and so does the role of the IT project manager. The information technology project manager’s responsibility is to ensure that the IT Department works in an efficient and cost-effective manner. You need to possess a specific set of skills to be able to succeed in this project management career. Fortunately, you can learn these skills by attending an online course during your time of employment.

5.  Environmental Research Project Manager

Are you passionate about protecting the environment? If so, this is a project management career you will enjoy getting involved in. As with all Project Manager roles, your duties will vary considerably from project to project. You'll need to co-ordinate staff and schedule duties that they need to carry out, as well as developing and creating plans for projects.

6.  Become A Consultant

This is the project management career path to walk down after you have been working as a Project Manager for several years. The main advantages of such a career move are that you get to choose what projects you work on. This means you will have a lot more challenges to face and work will prove to be more exciting. You also can choose when to work and when not to. If you don't want to set up on your own, consider seeking employment with a company that already offers such facilities.

When it comes to project management, it doesn't matter what career path you choose. What is important to remember is that time is money. Businesses are looking for people who can develop and implement plans, then put them into action with the intention of helping to keep costs down.

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Essential Skills of a Project Manager

As a project manager, you will be responsible for ensuring that your projects are completed on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards. To do this, you will need to have a range of essential skills, including:

  • Strong leadership skills: As a project manager, you will need to be able to motivate and manage a team of people, often with conflicting personalities and opinions.
  • Excellent communication skills: You will need to be able to clearly communicate your project’s goals, objectives, and deadlines to your team, as well as to any other stakeholders.
  • Strong organizational skills: You will need to be able to keep track of all the different elements of your project, and ensure that they are all moving forward according to plan.
  • Good problem-solving skills: You will need to be able to quickly identify and solve any problems that arise during the course of your project.
If you can develop these essential skills, you will be well on your way to becoming a successful project manager.

Working In Project Management

You'll find that working as a Project manager can be demanding.  You'll need to work hard and dedicate a great deal of time and effort to the role to ensure that deadlines are met.   Over time, you'll find that your knowledge and experience will make you a much more effective manager.

Are you a professional who is aspiring to be a project manager? Try answering this PMP Practice Test Questions and assess yourself.

What Can You Expect As A Project Manager

You will find yourself learning new skills throughout your project management career, because no two projects are the same. Each project comes with its unique challenges, and you will have to adjust your plans to accommodate their idiosyncrasies. 

You will have the opportunity to work with a variety of interesting people, some of whom may even come up with ideas that you may not have considered before. Project management is an excellent option to consider if you like working with others to create something new.

What Is the Outlook for Project Manager Jobs?

The project management industry is continually changing. As a result, both project managers and their teams need to stay ahead of the game. For example, more companies are choosing to work with remote project teams rather than those in-house, and the worldwide pandemic and its lockdowns have made this even more commonplace.

This remote trend has become a more viable and commonplace option because today’s teams have access to many software and cloud-based tools that help teams run more efficiently. Team members can work on projects in other countries while maintaining a high level of integrity and collaboration.

Simplilearn offers a PMP Certification course that covers new trends, emerging practices, tailoring considerations, and core competencies required of a project management professional. Placing a greater emphasis on strategic and business knowledge, this course also includes a new section on the role of the project manager in both large and small companies.

And Simplilearn also gives you the chance to take your project management skills to the next level with their Post Graduate Program in Project Management. This program covers stratetization and management - project, program, risk, quality, complexity management, customer-centric digital transformation, PMO implementation, and agile and scrum skills.

Somewhere out there, a team is looking for you to lead them. Let Simplilearn help you on your way to a rewarding career as a Project Manager. Visit Simplilearn today and take that first step!

Do you wish to become a seasoned project manager? Gain the right skills with our project management certification program and excel in your career, starting today!

PMP is a registered trademark of the Project Management Institute, Inc. 

About the Author

Eshna VermaEshna Verma

Eshna writes on PMP, PRINCE2, ITIL, ITSM, & Ethical Hacking. She has done her Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication and is a Gold Medalist in the same. A voracious reader, she has penned several articles in leading national newspapers like TOI, HT, and The Telegraph. She loves travelling and photography.

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