How to become a Project Manager

Project Manager

If you are organised and can focus well, a career in project management might be for you. Project managers are hired by a company to lead a project to completion.

Project managers oversee the different business ventures of a company, ensuring that they run smoothly. They will generally work on one project at a time, although in some cases they may manage multiple projects at once. This job comes with a great deal of responsibility, as the entire weight of the project will fall on a project manager’s shoulders. 

The duties of being a project manager include: 

  • Overseeing a project from its concept to completion. 
  • Organising staff on the project team, including hiring and discipline. 
  • Setting out personal and team schedules for the work.
  • Estimating costs and budgets. 
  • Quality assurance on the project.
  • Working with the various departments of the business, including marketing, finances, and human resources. 
  • Writing reports about the effectiveness of the project. 

Project managers do not need to be graduates, but many are. Relevant degrees are business, IT, or marketing – but most graduate degrees are applicable for graduate jobs. Some project managers have masters’ degrees in business or a related field.

Most project managers will work for their brand in an entry-level role first. This may be as a project administrator, or they may enter the field as an intern. They will then gradually progress through to becoming a project manager.

As project managers work across industries, candidates are often expected to have relevant industry experience before working on the project team – particularly if they do not have a business degree.

Industry experience can be sought out on a part time or volunteer basis. For example, a retail project manager could gain their initial experience by working in a shop. Taking relevant courses is another excellent way to gain relevant knowledge in the area. 

Project managers have a variety of skills. Leadership is incredibly important, as they will be in charge of the entire project. However, the project manager will be working with a lot of other colleagues, so they should also be a good communicator. 

Prospective workers must also be able to be accountable, as they will often have to come up with the solutions to the entire team’s issues. They must be able to accept criticism. Being adaptable and strategic is equally important, as project managers must be able to look at a problem in its entirety and to be able to come up with alternative solutions to them. Excellent time management is also essential for project managers. 

Excellent business knowledge is crucial, as it helps project managers both with their tasks, and to communicate with other people on the team. Project managers will need to resonate with everyone on the team, from creatives to coders. 

Project management is a career that is increasing in popularity. Wages are generous, and increase with experience. There is also a huge variety of work available, and while many project managers stick to one industry, others change to get a range of experience with projects.

What degree is most commonly held by a Project Manager?

  • Dip / BA / M of Project Management
  • BA / M of Computer Science
  • BA / M of Civil Engineering
  • BA / M of Information Technology
  • BA / M of Mechanical Engineering
  • BA / M of Architecture
  • BA / M of Business Administration & Management
  • BA / M of Construction Management
  • BA / M of Marketing
  • BA / M of Economics

Career Transportability across Countries

Transportability: Medium
There are vacancies all over the world; however, these typically require a second language; normally the native language of the country. Sometimes, the employers also ask the interviewee to already be a resident of the job’s country, meaning that they might be less willing to organise a work visa. So, while there are options, especially for linguists, often these openings will be already taken by multi-lingual natives.

What is the Salary of a Project Manager?

Experience Average salary | year
Junior $44,900 £29,000 $37,500
Mid-Level 1-4 Years $52,248 £33,000 $43,902
Senior 5+ Years $52,248 £41,000 $54,074
Project Management Director $71,831 £65,000 $65,886

What skills are needed to become a Project Manager?

  • Project Management
  • Management
  • Project Planning
  • Leadership
  • Microsoft Office
  • Change Management
  • Business Analysis
  • Customer Service
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Team Leadership
  • Program Management
  • Project Delivery
  • Strategy
  • Business Process Improvement
  • Vendor Management
  • Social Media
  • Strategic Planning
  • Integration
  • Risk Management
  • Marketing
  • Contract Management
  • Team Management
  • Requirements Analysis
  • Business Development

Project Manager Courses

When you are initially looking into becoming a project manager, you might want to take our course about The Foundations of Project Management.

After that, you can sharpen your project management skills with our Project Management Principles, Practices and Systems course or our Project Management in the Global Construction Industry course.
  • Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management

    Learn the basics of project planning and management so you can run effective projects at work or in daily life

  • Foundations of Project Management

    Explore the fundamental aspects of project management and develop your understanding of traditional project lifecycles

  • Project Management Principles, Practices and Systems

    Grow your project management skills and understand project management methodologies and challenges

  • Business Fundamentals: Project Management

    Gain the basic skills to manage all phases of project lifecycles effectively using the most appropriate methods and tools

  • Time Management Strategies for Project Management

    Develop your time management skills and discover time management strategies to ensure every project you manage runs smoothly

  • Project Management: Beyond the Basics

    Build your existing project management knowledge and develop the skills to manage teams and deliver effective projects

  • The Importance of Project Management in the Global Construction Industry

    Why is the management of construction projects important and why do construction projects fail

  • Getting Started with Agile and Design Thinking

    Get an introduction to agile product development and design thinking so you can build better digital products

  • Digital Product Management

    Build product management skills as you learn how to plan develop and manage a successful and user-focused digital product

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