Things to consider for pursuing a career in project management
What’s got you leaning toward a career in project management? Is it the average salary of a little over $95,000? The challenging yet fulfilling job responsibilities? Or is it leading a team that entices you?
Whatever the story is behind why you’re pursuing a career in project management, there are some things you must consider to determine if this is the right career path for you.
Before providing details on what you should consider when pursuing project management, let’s look at a quick overview of career opportunities in this area.
Career opportunities in project management
Career opportunities in project management aren’t limited to a single industry, field, or type of business. Honestly, anywhere that needs someone to manage projects, people, and resources adequately could benefit from hiring a project manager.
With that being said, project managers can find good homes with information technology, construction, marketing, engineering, healthcare, and sustainable energy businesses. Their skillsets and abilities allow them to excel as a:
- business analyst
- program manager
- resource manager
- scrum master
- director of program management
- senior project manager
- marketing manager
- healthcare project manager
- project management consultant.
Also, the number of freelance project managers is growing worldwide. When you aren’t bound to a single company for work, you can take on the project management gigs you’re most interested in and as many as you can do with your best foot forward.
There are so many businesses out there that need a project manager for a single project, a string of projects, or on a contract basis. And they’re willing to pay handsomely for a top-tier freelance project manager. So, if you’ve got an interest in entrepreneurship and are ready to roll with the ups and downs of freelance project management work, this may be a good career move for you.
If you’re inspired by the broad range of career opportunities available in project management, read on for five crucial things to consider when pursuing a career in project management.
What to consider when pursuing project management
Seriously considering a career in project management? Here are five things to think about:
What’s drawing you to project management? Why is pursuing a career in project management important to you? What would keep you motivated to climb the project management ladder?
A few notable reasons why someone might pursue a career in project management include the following.
- It’s a high-paying career path.
- There’s a huge demand for project managers.
- You get to grow in-demand technical and soft skills.
- You can position yourself to be a top CEO one day.
- You have a direct impact on your team’s quality of life.
- The job often has flexible work schedules.
It’s also essential to consider the skills needed to be an effective project manager.
Skillset required to be an effective project manager
Soft skills are highly valued in project management. Project managers must create systems for organizing projects, facilitating collaboration among teams, and showcasing excellent management skills among the workers they oversee. All of these things are maximised when project managers master soft skills like:
- effective communication
- active listening
- creative thinking
- time management
- resource management
- conflict resolution
Educational requirements are another consideration when pursuing a career in project management.
The educational requirements
What education is required to pursue a career in project management? At the very least, you need a high school certificate. But most companies seeking a project manager want them to have a Bachelor’s degree or higher.
You don’t need a traditional education to pursue a career in project management, but it does make you a more appealing candidate to most businesses. So, if you go the conventional education route, be sure to choose your training wisely.
Carefully examine the classes and coursework and the financial obligation, time commitment, and effort it will take to complete a degree or certification program for project management. You could also pursue an internship, apprenticeship, or cadetship to get your foot in the project management door.
Furthermore, don’t get discouraged if you cannot pursue a university education right away. There is still power in the self-education route. Learn the skills necessary to be a successful project manager on your own time while also gaining real-world experience through a job or mentorship program.
It’s also important to consider what technologies you’ll be asked to use in a project management career.
Technologies used in project management
Even if you’re pursuing a project management career in an industry that isn’t tech-related, you’ll still encounter a lot of technological tools and software in your job responsibilities. Therefore, you must consider your comfort level with technology when pursuing a career in project management. In addition, you must also consider your familiarity with tools specific to project management.
Are you willing to learn the technologies that you don’t know? Are you committed to mastering project management software and applications? Technology isn’t going anywhere, especially in business. So, be ready to make technology an intrinsic part of your project management career.
Lastly, consider the demand for project managers in your career pursuit.
The demand for project managers
The last thing you want to do is enter a career with more supply than demand. There is a huge demand for project managers in various industries, some more than others. But as long as you’re refining your skillset, you should be fine.
Consider all of the project management opportunities. What industries have the most lucrative opportunities for project managers? What projects do you want to work on?
Ultimately, the project management opportunity you choose to pursue should reflect your skillset, interests, life, and career goals.
These are just a few things to consider when pursuing a career in project management. The career paths and possibilities are almost limitless in project management. Find your niche, stick with it, and pursue a project management career that excites you every day.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
Charlie Fletcher is a freelance writer from the lovely “city of trees”- Boise, Idaho. Her love of writing pairs with her passion for social activism and search for the truth. You can follow her work at charliefletcher.contently.com