Are you a natural leader looking for a challenging career? Or are you interested in business, but seeking a job that’ll give you the chance to work in any industry? Project management could be the answer. Project management is a role that helps lead teams, organizations, and individuals at every level of business. As a project manager, you’ll be in demand – and you can command an impressive salary. And if you’re interested in project management, education is the first step. Here’s what you can do to become a project manager, and how you’ll put your learned skills to use.
Types of Project Management Degrees and Certifications
Project management is often a career that starts after you’ve gained some career experience. Very few people earn their degree and dive right in to project management.
And that’s partly because project management degrees are rare. Only select colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in project management – it’s more common to find master’s degrees and certifications in this specialization.
So, most project managers begin by getting a basic bachelor’s degree, followed by a specialized certificate or graduate-level degree.
To become a project manager, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree.
Because finding a B.A. program for project management is rare, most interested students earn bachelor’s degrees in management, business, or another related field. As long as you study some aspect of business, you’ll learn the knowledge and skills that you’ll need when you ultimately become a project manager.
And in addition to your studies, you’ll also need on-the-job experience. Most project managers end up gaining experience in the years between graduation and earning their certification or graduate degree.
Attending graduate school and earning a Master’s in Project Management is a common path. Because you often can’t specialize in project management at the undergraduate level, a master’s program will give you the opportunity to learn more specific, in-depth details about the career.
Masters programs typically take two years to complete, and you’ll study both further business concepts and specific project management skills. You’ll need work experience before beginning your graduate degree program, so plan to work and gain real-life jobs before applying.
The most common level of education – and most important – for project managers is professional certification. Companies and businesses prefer to hire project managers who are certified.
And while there are a few different project management certifications you can get, the premier choice is the Project Management Institute (PMI) Certificate. A PMI certification comes in two variations: Project Management Professional (PMP) certification and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification.
Having either of these certifications on your resume will prove your skill in the realm of project management.
Career Opportunities for Project Management Pros
Once you’re a certified project manager, you’ll have plenty of promising career opportunities available. Businesses and organizations of all kinds need project managers – and they’re always in demand.
Generally, project managers command impressive salaries. The median annual salary for a project manager is $72,545. And with businesses always looking to take on new challenges, project managers will see about 12 percent job growth through 2026.
Project managers typically work under the same job title: project manager. But the projects – and people – that you manage can vary greatly. You could work in technology, managing company-wide projects like upgraded or new software. You could work in education, managing individual projects for single departments, such as administration or teaching staff. And you could even work closely with finance or human resources, managing these teams through new workflows or significant changes.
No matter what kind of project manager position you take on, you’ll be the sole leader for the project. You’ll be a liaison between upper management, like CEOs and COOs, and individual departments. And you’ll be responsible for ensuring everyone is communicating, on track, and on budget.
Is Project Management the Right Field for You?
Project management is a career path that holds plenty of promise. Every company needs project managers, and with projected job growth in the future, there will be an increasing demand for this type of professional.
And that means there’s no better time to join the workforce as a project manager. Whether you’re thinking about changing careers or are just starting out in your career, project management can be a fantastic choice.
All you need to get started is the right education. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree, which you can earn in approximately four years. Fortunately, with more and more colleges offering degree programs online, you can actually study, learn, and earn your bachelor’s online. You don’t even have to leave home!
And once your bachelor’s degree is complete, you can earn your professional project management certification. It’s easy to study for and earn these certifications with online practice, online courses, and even online exam prep.
The key to getting started as a project manager is finding the right option for you. And you can easily search online for degree programs, project management certifications, and even master’s degree programs.
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