“I have been advised that you have to do a degree in a particular subject e.g. engineering, do project management training e.g. PMI, PRINCE2 etc and work your way up to become a project manager. Is this true? On the other hand, I have been advised to do a degree in project management and do work experience in a particular field to build up your experience,” an email I received a week ago read.
Do you need a degree in project management to become a project manager?
Take a look at this job advert qualifications:
- Diploma or University Degree
- Minimum of 3 years’ experience as a Project Manager, thorough knowledge of experiential marketing
- Must have BTL marketing experience
- Have handled and managed event marketing, retail promotions, roadshows, mall activations and other consumer Activations and have a good knowledge of the market.
- Proper Command of English
- Good Computer Skills – MS Office
Truth is, as illustrated by the qualifications above, employers value work experience over a degree. Therefore, a degree in project management, while it will show that you have the technical and soft skills, will not ensure you get a job.
How then do you ensure that without a degree, you have all the skills required and that will enable you to get the job? How do you build up on your skills without taking a degree?
Take up learning opportunities
Seek to continuously improve yourself, even if you are making small steps, as opposed to big strides. If you push yourself to constantly remain out of your comfort zone, you will realize that this is where you will develop more.
Start by taking up a Project Management training and get that qualification that is accredited. Look through available courses offered and you will be able to be on your way into being a project manager.
Implement what you’ve learned
Back at work, you will likely have many opportunities to use what you’re learning. If your team hasn’t been following any formal project management processes, you can start building and implementing them immediately. You’ll probably start to see lots of opportunities to use resources more effectively or make things easier on your team members.
Project-based work requires a lot of cooperation and communication between team members. Understanding the intricacies of project management can help you be a better team member as you work towards a project management role.
If you are not working, you can volunteer to take up a project as simple as planning an event right from the start. This way, you will also be able to learn on the various projects you ultimately handle.
In the end,
Keep in mind that project management is evolving right along with technology and best practices. Therefore, listen for new terminology in your organization or industry, and stay open to learning more about unfamiliar processes. This way you’ll be sure to lead your team with the latest knowledge and not get left behind as the field advances.
Learn Project Management with our NITA accredited course and be on your way to a successful career in Project Management without a degree.
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