A project manager is, just as the name implies, the manager in charge of overseeing a large project. Unlike a typical business or company manager who overseas day-to-day operations, a project manager focuses exclusively on the scope of one particular project.
While project managers can work in a variety of fields and industries, most are hired to tackle projects in areas like construction, computer networking, engineering or software development.
A project manager might be tasked with designing a software upgrade and releasing it with a certain price point in less than two years, or he/she could be charged with managing the teams from designer to construction crew to build a new office building within a specific budget and time span.
If you are interested in a career as a project manager, find out what it will take to secure employment.
Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in a Relevant Field
While not impossible, it is very challenging to find a position as a project manager without at least a bachelor’s degree. If you know that you want to become a project manager right away, then you might be interested in majoring in project or organizational management at the undergraduate level.
However, if there is a particular field in which you would like to work as a project manager, such as network development or construction, then earning your bachelor’s degree in one of these relevant subject area can also be a strong move for your future.
Hone Your Leadership Skills
Being a successful project manager means being able to lead a team of employees. You will need to be motivational for your staff who are rushing to meet a deadline, communicate effectively with suppliers who aren’t sure what materials need to be delivered, and stay firm when managers or business executives make changes to the budget or the schedule.
If you aren’t confident that you have these leadership abilities naturally, then take action to focus on their development.
Improve Your Organizational Habits
Organization is one of the most integral traits of a project manager. At any given time, a project manager might be dealing with hundreds of people, maintaining a busy calendar and being pressured to meet a staggering array of deadlines.
A great project manager will put organizational methods in place that ensure nothing is overlooked and no deadlines are missed.
Take Accounting and Budgeting Courses
Another element of becoming a successful project manager is knowing how to manage resources. It is great if you are able to complete the project on time, but not if it cost 150 percent more than expected. Start focusing now on budgeting money and learning how to use accounting software.
Consider a Master’s Degree in Project Management
Some project managers are able to secure excellent careers by virtue of their undergraduate degrees and their experience in the field. However, a great way to stand out from other candidates is by earning a master’s degree in project management, which typically takes between one and two years and can be completed online.
With these tips in mind and an online degree under your belt, you can be on track to becoming a project manager.