Do you want to take your career o new heights? One of the best ways to do so is by stepping into the field of project management. You may have been a technical specialist and applied all your skills to enhance your career prospects. But now is the right time to switch into a managerial role. Project management skills are in high demand, companies are always on the lookout for skilled professionals who can bring their projects to successful completion. In fact, project management is expected to generate around 22 million related jobs by the year 2027.
Today, most businesses are adopting a project-based paradigm to meet their targets. They hire professionals who can follow best project management practices and finish the project within the given constraints like cost, time, and scope. As poor project management leads to losses worth millions of dollars, companies are ready to offer a rather hefty take-home pay to the right candidates for their project manager open positions. Moreover, the average salary of project managers in the US is as high as $90K per annum. These are enough reasons to lure you into a project management career.
Now here comes the question – How can I learn project management? Is a Project management course online the right way? Read on to find out how you can learn project management and start a flourishing career ahead.
Ways to Learn Project Management
The more you gain experience, the better you will be at project management. It means this is the skill you can master not only by reading the concepts but actually applying them in your job. Here is how to get started.
The first option is to read relevant books and become familiar with the global language of project management. You may already be aware of some of the project management practices, however, you may not know the exact terminology for different activities. Here are the books you can refer to:
- Project Management Absolute Beginner’s Guide by Greg Horine
- Be Fast or Be Gone: Racing the Clock with Critical Chain Project Management by Andreas Scherer
- Project Management for Non-Project Managers by Jack Ferraro
- Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management by Scott Berkun
Training courses are another good way to understand project management. Here, we would recommend you take online training courses as you can study simultaneously with your job. There are self-paced courses as well as expert-led live training classes to select from. Self-paced courses will give you access to pre-recorded videos while expert-led training gives you access to live virtual classes from instructors apart from pre-recorded videos. The benefit of the latter is that you get a physical classroom-like learning experience and you can also get your queries answered. Simplilearn, Coursera, and Udacity are some of the popular training platforms that offer reliable project management training.
Pursue a Certification
There are industry-recognized certifications in the field of project management that you can pursue, like the CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) or PMP (Project Management Professional). Both these certifications are offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). There is a dedicated Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide on which both certifications are based. The difference is, however, on the target audience. CAPM is suitable for those just beginning their project management career. On the other hand, PMP certification is suitable for professionals who already have some experience in the field. In terms of recognition, PMP is the gold standard and is highly regarded by companies across the world.
Note that both certifications are associated with a rigorous exam. There are PMP training courses online to help you prepare for the exam and pass it in a single try. Moreover, it is a wise decision to invest in a training course as the benefits you will get by achieving the PMP certification will outweigh the investment.
Work under a project manager
Now, this is the practical way of learning project management, not the theoretical one. As mentioned in the beginning, experience is what matters the most in learning project management the right way. So by working under a project manager, you will understand what a project manager does on a daily basis, what kinds of challenges he faces, how he juggles with the project constraints, and so on. This way you will learn a lot about how to plan better, allocate optimal resources, and finally bring a project to effective completion. By looking at your experience, you may get a chance to get promoted and sooner step into the shoes of a project manager.
We hope that you are now clear with the options at hand and make a wise decision based on your unique learning needs. Project management isn’t something you can master within 3 months. It takes years of experience to handle the responsibilities of a project manager the right way and follow the best practices while at the same time managing risks and other challenges. Achieving a PMP certification can give you a career breakthrough and improve your career prospects further. You will then become ready to work in virtually every industry.