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Career Change: Project Manager

Career Change: Project Manager

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Last Updated August 1, 2013

If you’re looking to enhance your salary and professional standing, a project management career can be an excellent choice. Project management jobs tend to be dynamic and exciting, filled with new challenges and opportunities. While skilled project managers are in demand throughout the business world, there are also many interested professionals seeking these positions. If you want to transition into a project management career, make sure you’re fully prepared for both to land a job and excel at it.

Understanding Project Management

One of the biggest misconceptions about a project management career is that it’s essentially the same as a more traditional management career. While it’s true that project managers need to have strong leadership skills, their role is primarily to manage projects – not people.

Unlike departmental managers, project managers are not part of the typical supervisory structure most companies employ. Instead, they work as a sort of free agent – a project management career involves coordinating the work of many people and divisions in order to complete a particular assignment. Throughout the course of a project, the project manager will interact with individual contributors at all levels of the company in relation to various deliverables.

Always a New Challenge

While a project manager generally relies on the same skill set for each project, the projects themselves can vary significantly. The constantly changing focus of this type of work is what makes a project management career so attractive to many people. This dynamic field is ideal for those who enjoy taking on new challenges. However, if you’re serious about pursuing a project management career, you’ll need to be sure you can handle the demands of the job.

Essential Qualities of Project Managers

Successful project managers are highly organized and pay meticulous attention to detail. They have a knack for seeing the big picture and how each individual piece of the puzzle needs to fit into place to make their project a success. They also possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills. While these qualities are important for all business professionals, they are absolutely essential to a project management career because of the need to closely coordinate the efforts of many different people.

Excelling in the world of project management also requires the ability to make good decisions quickly. Project managers must know how to size up a situation and determine the best way to proceed to avoid costly delays. While thorough planning is critical to the success of a project, the best project managers are able to adapt to unexpected circumstances and adjust their plans accordingly on short notice.

Enhance Your Project Management Career Prospects Through Industry Certification

Acquiring the skills and traits of an effective project manager is just the first step. To get your project management career off to a successful start, you should attain industry certification through the Project Management Institute. By completing a formal project management training course, you can develop the expertise needed to pass the exams to achieve certification as a certified Project Management Professional (PMP)® or Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®. These certifications will make you a more attractive candidate for project management jobs and enable you to carry out the responsibilities of that position more effectively.

Get Started on Your Project Management Career 100% Online

If you’re interested in pursuing a project management career but are concerned about fitting classes into an already packed schedule, consider online learning. With the Certificate in Applied Project Management offered 100% online by Villanova University, you can easily plan your coursework around your job and personal responsibilities.

Each project management certificate program consists of three online certificate courses, which are accessible 24/7 through Villanova’s unique video-based e-learning platform. When you enroll in project management career training through Villanova, you will:

  • Learn from a team of experts who bring real-world experience into the virtual classroom
  • View lectures via streaming video
  • Communicate and interact with classmates and instructors through virtual whiteboards, two-way voice over IP (VOIP), email, online message boards and live chat rooms
  • Cover the topics you need to know to pass the PMP® and CAPM® certification exams

With Villanova’s comprehensive certificate programs and certification exam prep, it empowers you with the skills and credentials required to succeed in a project management career.