Any individual can become a project manager. A project manager who stands out, however, is someone who is not afraid to take on risk and has a handle on the expectations that stakeholders have. He or she is a facilitator of goals and does this by linking the vision and goals and the people to implement it. It is thus, paramount that a project manager has good communication skills. The ability to regulate a budget, manage requirements and people and put the needs of the project first are some of the other characteristics of a good PM. As a career, project management is generally demanding.
The answer to the question of whether project management is a good career to get into depends on the individual asking it. To be an excellent project manager, you need to be a multi-skilled individual who appreciates challenges and processes. If you aren’t dedicated to excelling and improving these skills, project management might not be a good fit for you.
Project managers are paid well and in return, they bring to fruition what were previously ideas and goals on paper. Organizing, coordinating and controlling processes are the base functions performed by PMs. This is coupled with an ability to take and give constructive criticism. As a result, a good PM is able to improve how tasks are performed.
Is Project Management a Good Career?
Project management is a good career to get into if you enjoy the novelty of new endeavors and the exciting unknown challenges and risks that they may bring.
One consequence of this career is that you will be required to expand the knowledge you have every day. Different projects require the application of varying skills, and this might deviate from what you learned in school. The wider the number of industries you do projects in, the more the knowledge you will be required to gain.
Knowledge is also acquired in the form of improving processes. A good example would be with regards to communication. In every project, communication is a key facilitator because through it, information is passed either in the form of instruction, criticism or compliment. Communication is a skill that is improved through constant practice, an opportunity that a project manager has in his career.
Furthermore, project managers get the space to improve their execution skills while learning how to come up with workable ideas. This career gives you the best of both worlds. You are brought into a world of new ideas, and projects are sometimes based on big thoughts. This stokes the creative part inside you, and this inspires ideas. As you a project manager, one of your duties is to determine the feasibility of a project. If it is practically impossible to perform something, you would know; execution is the job of the project manager, after all. As a result, this career enables one to determine how ideas that work look like, and how to come up with them.
There is also the issue of compensation. Project managers are compensated better than individuals in other professions. For instance, construction project managers in the USA have an average base pay of approximately $98,000. This is excluding any additional cash compensation.
If you are attentive to details, project management is a career in which you will thrive. If you aren’t, this could be how you get an eye for details. Details in projects sometimes mean the difference between success and failure. If you miss fewer crucial components, your work as a project manager will be celebrated. It is through small particulars that you are able to make correlations and determine how adjusting small aspects of a project can influence the entire project. You are then able to understand how to optimize it.
Most importantly, in this line of work, you learn to take risks, pick yourself up when you fail and celebrate triumphs. Every time you experience failure or take a risk and it works, you learn something new. This enables you to reduce the chances of failure in every subsequent project because of the lessons you learned. Perfection may not be attainable, but daily improvement through the lessons learned is one thing you will enjoy in this career. I hope now you have found your answer to the question, ‘is project management a good career?’
Average Project Management Salary USA, UK, and Canada
How much is the average project management salary? The salary a project manager receives may vary, depending on one’s experience, seniority, experience, expertise, country of origin and the budget for the project that is being undertaken.
According to Glassdoor, project managers in Canada receive a compensation of approximately $61,000 in a year. This is exclusive of additional compensation or benefits that one receives on a project-to-project basis.
In the United States, the average project management salary varies, depending on the industry that one work in. An IT project manager can earn anything from $54,500 to $124,000 annually. On the other hand, a senior project manager earns a maximum of $161,000 and a minimum of $74,500 every year.
Industry and location are the two main determinants of the compensation received by project managers in the United Kingdom. The salary may vary between $70, 260 annually to $88,600.
Is Project Management Hard?
This is a fair question, considering that to become a project manager, you need to be a multi-faceted individual. These are not inherent in everyone and so, the career may be viewed as tough.
Project management is not hard. However, for one to be successful in the field, they should be able to understand the technical aspects of it. A project manager dealing in the field of IT should understand the software that is being developed. If I have no background in technology, managing a software development project will be hard for me, unless I take the time to learn to follow the progress. Project management, therefore, demands a zeal for learning new things.
The view that project management is hard may also arise where one is a good leader, but one who is not good with people or at managing teams. Delegation and coordination of different project activities are done through interaction with people. Performance of the delegated tasks is usually dependent on skills and the way the project manager relates with his people. As a PM, one of my unofficial duties is to motivate and inspire the team working with me. With such dedication, you are likely to get desirable results in your project.
Details and processes are at the heart of the project management process. Those wondering ‘is project management hard?’ may have a problem with details or processes. Project management involves being familiar with them and rising above them to include them into the processes that you are responsible for. It may be, as a consequence, be viewed as difficult by those who get lost in the details and ones who don’t like to follow processes.
Project management is difficult for those who are unwilling to put in the work and have the patience to wait for the results that arise thereof. For those who are, project management is a career in which they will excel.
Why Study Project Management Course?
- Why study project management course at this time?
- What are the benefits that you could reap from this?
Currently, there is a high demand for skilled project managers. One can get into project management without necessarily having a degree in the course, as will be discussed below. However, a project management certificate gives you an edge over others who may not qualify at all. After all, the demand is for skilled project managers, not just any person with the label.
Secondly, with a project management qualification, you can work in any industry. All industries have projects, from big companies that are listed on the stock exchange to small advertising firms. A project manager can be employed to work in pharmaceutical projects or get temporarily attached to a print media company.
The globalization of projects also gives those in this career an opportunity to move through countries of the world to expand their skills. So, why study project management course? Because this may be how you get your world round trip.
Finally, with project management, you have a chance to make an impact in the world. Above, I discussed the advantage that project managers enjoy; that of being able to come up with feasible ideas. As such, if you wish to change the world, hands-on experience implementing projects will be useful in finding workable ways to do this. This can happen at the same time as your career advances steadily.
How to Get into Project Management without a Degree
Project management is not a science and does not require that you remember every nerve in the nervous system. It is the exact opposite. Project management is about a general understanding of how processes work without needing to cram every detail. This section talks about how to get into project management without a degree.
The ‘accidental’ project manager is defined so because they did not receive training to pursue the career. They may become experts by consciously training themselves in project management or by applying skills that they gained in the course of their careers. The latter is especially true of team leaders, managers, and directors. To become a project manager through the ‘accidental’ method, there are several steps I would recommend that you take.
First, determine how much relevant skills you have. How do you fare on with budgeting, planning and controlling process and communicating with your team or stakeholders? Are you good with people and keen about details?
After this, determine the gap you have in knowledge and how to take care of this difference. Will self-training be sufficient? Do you need to speak to a mentor who is qualified in the field? Do you need to take short courses?
Then, take the opportunity to studiously learn what you need to know to become an expert in the field. Free courses or seminars are a good place to start. Run your learning concurrently with the implementation of this knowledge. If you learn something new about budgeting today, implement that knowledge tomorrow on a project that is running.
You don’t need to have a degree to be a project manager. You don’t even need to be in your home country. Expat or expert, anyone can be a project manager.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.