Project Management

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Topics: Career Development, Lessons Learned, New Practitioners
Beginning my project management career
I have a Business Studies degree and have worked 4 years in IT sales, but I've realised IT isn't for me due to lack of interest.

Following research into other careers, I'm particularly interested in project management. I appreciate this can be a broad area across different industries, so I'm seeking advise on how to kick start my career in project management.
1. What qualification would be best to transition into project management? I've looked at Prince2 courses (fast track & 1 year long) as well as a Masters Degree. It would be good to understand what qualifications are required & well regarded.
2. Project management covers all industries, from construction, to IT, to pharmaceutical. How is best to select an industry and how transferable are project management skills from one industry to another?

Any help here would be greatly appreciated!
Many thanks.
James
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1. PMP is a good qualification to introduce in Project Management. I recommend Rita Mulcahy's certification prep, it's a good option to acquire PM Knowledge at your own pace, and is updated to the 2021 exam. Visit this link:
https://rmcls.com/about/rita-mulcahy
2. Project Management practices are suitable for all industries. It's best to focus on an industry you have experience in because technical information is a bonus to Project Management knowledge.
...
2 replies by Balázs Tiszai and James C
Nov 18, 2021 5:34 AM
Balázs Tiszai
...
I think the PMP isn't the best option for a newbie, since it requires extensive work experience (3 years) within project management.

If I were you James, I would definitely go for the CAPM, which is kind of like the junior version of PMP and easier to get. That will give you a good understanding of basic project management as well! After that, you can still get the PMP after a few years.
Nov 18, 2021 5:08 PM
James C
...
Thank you Verónica. I did think the transition to IT would be easier, although I don’t find it too interesting so maybe another industry would be better suited!
Thanks for the qualification recommendation.
Nov 16, 2021 8:52 AM
Replying to Verónica Elizabeth Pozo Ruiz
...
1. PMP is a good qualification to introduce in Project Management. I recommend Rita Mulcahy's certification prep, it's a good option to acquire PM Knowledge at your own pace, and is updated to the 2021 exam. Visit this link:
https://rmcls.com/about/rita-mulcahy
2. Project Management practices are suitable for all industries. It's best to focus on an industry you have experience in because technical information is a bonus to Project Management knowledge.
I think the PMP isn't the best option for a newbie, since it requires extensive work experience (3 years) within project management.

If I were you James, I would definitely go for the CAPM, which is kind of like the junior version of PMP and easier to get. That will give you a good understanding of basic project management as well! After that, you can still get the PMP after a few years.
...
1 reply by Cian Camplisson
Mar 01, 2022 7:08 AM
Cian Camplisson
...
I definatly agree with Balázs. The CAPM is a great starting point for a carteer as a PM. PRINCE2 is quite common here in Ireland too, but for an entry level role, I don't think a company will pay a whole lot of atterntion to if your certification is from PMI or PRINCE2. I believe the concepts are similar, but the good thing from an employability perspective is showing an interest in the area and willingness to learn. Hope this helps and best of luck in the new career!
For your second question James, I would definitely say pick an industry which you feel attached to. If you are not interested in IT, then you won't be able to do good pjm there neither, even if pjm is theoretically transferable between industry fields. This is particularly true for freshmen in the business.

Also, if you go into construction / architecture / real estate for instance, it's indispensable that you have most of the engineering knowledge which is behind it, so a university degree in the particular field could help you a lot here.

There is usually 2 ways of starting as a pjm – the first is to do a degree in the particular field (let's say civil engineering), and then specialise on pjm during the course, or, do a general pjm degree and then specialise into construction (for example).

After my experience, the first way is better, since you really have all the background knowledge about your projects, although this means a bit less pjm knowledge. However, the pjm knowledge is far easier to obtain later (for example through PMI certifications) than the engineering stuff, which you can get only at universities.

Also, I think companies employ more "engineer" people rather than "manager" people, most of all when talking about someone who is just starting in this business. Getting into a manager position most definitely requires years of experience in the particular field, which is the case for instance when you have worked as an "engineer" before.

This is my advice, hope you'll find this helpful!
...
1 reply by James C
Nov 18, 2021 5:06 PM
James C
...
Thanks for responding and sharing your thought Balázs. I’d not really considered going back into higher education but maybe something that would accelerate my progression.

Thank you
James,

since you are in the UK, Prince2 would be a good choice to start. You can get the foundation certification within a week and this knowledge is quite popular in your country, so it is good to have it on the CV.

On the longer view, PMP and agile certifications could be extensions of your qualifications. Since you were in IT, I assume you might have run some projects (any proposal for a client would be project), which may count towards the PMP requirement of 3 years experience.

Due to the general labor shortage in UK mainly due to Brexit, I think you should have good chance for a job in the PM field, even for an entry level position. IT, construction and financial services are industries striving in UK. On the other hand, the more experience you have the better job offers you get.

Here is a link to a salary report for PMs in UK
https://www.apm.org.uk/news/apm-salary-and...ect-profession/

And here is a UK job/skills report
https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights...talent-shortage

Hope this helps.
Thomas
...
1 reply by James C
Nov 18, 2021 5:02 PM
James C
...
Hi Thomas,

Thank you for taking the time to read through & respond - especially by relating it to the UK.
I’ll look into the PMP requirement of 3 years, as I’ve worked on numerous IT projects to date.
Thanks again,
James
Definitely find an industry you find interesting. A successful career involves continuous learning so you might as well learn about something you enjoy.

Another option to moving into PM is making a lateral move in some company from a different job function related to the products. Many people including myself have moved into PM not from engineering experience in that domain, but from product knowledge obtained in something else like supply chain management.

Some PM roles will require a lot of detailed technical knowledge. A highly skilled techie however may not have the vertical and or horizontal integration knowledge, nor the people skills to be an effective PM. Someone with experience in business management may have experience working with many technical teams, suppliers, customers, finance, etc. which might be more important to a PM that needs broad knowledge more than specific expertise in one area.
...
1 reply by James C
Nov 18, 2021 5:04 PM
James C
...
Hi Keith,

Good food for thought around making a lateral move within a company from another area. Certainly something to consider.

Thanks
James
Nov 18, 2021 9:55 AM
Replying to Thomas Walenta
...
James,

since you are in the UK, Prince2 would be a good choice to start. You can get the foundation certification within a week and this knowledge is quite popular in your country, so it is good to have it on the CV.

On the longer view, PMP and agile certifications could be extensions of your qualifications. Since you were in IT, I assume you might have run some projects (any proposal for a client would be project), which may count towards the PMP requirement of 3 years experience.

Due to the general labor shortage in UK mainly due to Brexit, I think you should have good chance for a job in the PM field, even for an entry level position. IT, construction and financial services are industries striving in UK. On the other hand, the more experience you have the better job offers you get.

Here is a link to a salary report for PMs in UK
https://www.apm.org.uk/news/apm-salary-and...ect-profession/

And here is a UK job/skills report
https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights...talent-shortage

Hope this helps.
Thomas
Hi Thomas,

Thank you for taking the time to read through & respond - especially by relating it to the UK.
I’ll look into the PMP requirement of 3 years, as I’ve worked on numerous IT projects to date.
Thanks again,
James
Nov 18, 2021 4:20 PM
Replying to Keith Novak
...
Definitely find an industry you find interesting. A successful career involves continuous learning so you might as well learn about something you enjoy.

Another option to moving into PM is making a lateral move in some company from a different job function related to the products. Many people including myself have moved into PM not from engineering experience in that domain, but from product knowledge obtained in something else like supply chain management.

Some PM roles will require a lot of detailed technical knowledge. A highly skilled techie however may not have the vertical and or horizontal integration knowledge, nor the people skills to be an effective PM. Someone with experience in business management may have experience working with many technical teams, suppliers, customers, finance, etc. which might be more important to a PM that needs broad knowledge more than specific expertise in one area.
Hi Keith,

Good food for thought around making a lateral move within a company from another area. Certainly something to consider.

Thanks
James
Nov 18, 2021 5:47 AM
Replying to Balázs Tiszai
...
For your second question James, I would definitely say pick an industry which you feel attached to. If you are not interested in IT, then you won't be able to do good pjm there neither, even if pjm is theoretically transferable between industry fields. This is particularly true for freshmen in the business.

Also, if you go into construction / architecture / real estate for instance, it's indispensable that you have most of the engineering knowledge which is behind it, so a university degree in the particular field could help you a lot here.

There is usually 2 ways of starting as a pjm – the first is to do a degree in the particular field (let's say civil engineering), and then specialise on pjm during the course, or, do a general pjm degree and then specialise into construction (for example).

After my experience, the first way is better, since you really have all the background knowledge about your projects, although this means a bit less pjm knowledge. However, the pjm knowledge is far easier to obtain later (for example through PMI certifications) than the engineering stuff, which you can get only at universities.

Also, I think companies employ more "engineer" people rather than "manager" people, most of all when talking about someone who is just starting in this business. Getting into a manager position most definitely requires years of experience in the particular field, which is the case for instance when you have worked as an "engineer" before.

This is my advice, hope you'll find this helpful!
Thanks for responding and sharing your thought Balázs. I’d not really considered going back into higher education but maybe something that would accelerate my progression.

Thank you
Nov 16, 2021 8:52 AM
Replying to Verónica Elizabeth Pozo Ruiz
...
1. PMP is a good qualification to introduce in Project Management. I recommend Rita Mulcahy's certification prep, it's a good option to acquire PM Knowledge at your own pace, and is updated to the 2021 exam. Visit this link:
https://rmcls.com/about/rita-mulcahy
2. Project Management practices are suitable for all industries. It's best to focus on an industry you have experience in because technical information is a bonus to Project Management knowledge.
Thank you Verónica. I did think the transition to IT would be easier, although I don’t find it too interesting so maybe another industry would be better suited!
Thanks for the qualification recommendation.
Welcome to Project Management Field ; you will enjoy the challenges and Problem solving ; and Communication with different stakeholders; please visit below web site for more information
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