How to Become a Project Manager

June 14th, 2011

Project managers are key components of every business. Like the title suggests, project managers manage a part of the business by managing employees. They do not technically do any of the work themselves but only manage a team of people who get the work done. Leadership, motivation, organization, and time management are just some of the qualities every project manager must posses.

The first step in becoming a project manager is getting a formal education. Although experience is a much better teacher than a textbook, the way the world works requires you to get a proper college education before being able to get the role of a project manager. One route you can go is joining an online MBA degree program. By doing this you will learn the ins and outs of a number of leadership and management roles, including project management.

Engineering students can take project management courses offered by their university to strengthen certain abilities they will need as project managers like task scheduling, time management, and planning.

Get a job related to your field of study. Once you’ve got a job, you will need to show your boss that you are capable of managing and working effectively in a team and that you would be suitable for a project management position.

One thing you need to understand is that being a project manager doesn’t mean your job title will be “Project Manager”. There is no 4-year course in university where you where graduate a “Project Manager”. A project manager is simply somebody who manages projects in a company. This applies to most managers and other individuals who are responsible for managing a team of people to get certain tasks done.

There are courses and online training sites you can use to strengthen and expand your project management skills, but ultimately it is a job position where you are required to motivate and influence your team to being and complete projects.

To become a project manager you could either work at the same company for a long time and then slowly get promoted to a position where you manage a team, or you can try and apply for a job with minimal job requirements that might give you the chance to manage a team from the start.

If you are thinking about becoming a project, then you might want to take a look at the CAPM certification. This certification by PMI is intended for new college graduates who would like to pursue a project management job position in their career but don’t have much experience yet.

Once you receive that and gain a few of working on a team on projects, you can try and apply for the PMP certification. This credential is notably harder to obtain than the CAPM but is also one of the most premium in the industry.

Reaching a job position where you are solely responsible for the creation of a product or completion of a project will take several years, but if that’s what you are really interested in then be sure to check out some of the other articles we have on our site.

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