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Siddharth, very interesting post. Regarding your questions, below are a few responses:
Q1 ) Would a masters in project management course help me with a job, even as an entry level project manager in Australia?
Q2) Would it be advisable for a candidate with my professional background to do this course and opt to diversify to any other industry?
Q3) What kind of pay? Would an entry level project manager / trainee ( post finishing a course ) earn in Australia (approximately)?
My perspectives might not be the most common or popular. I hope we hear from others. And good luck..!
I have recruited project managers in the past, although I have no knowledge of the Australian market. I would value experience over master's level certification. I would recommend that you look at practitioner based courses as well. You can take PRINCE2 without any prior experience, and it will be cheaper than a master's. You could also join PMI and their Australian Chapter or the Australian Institute of PM. These could also give you valuable experience without the expense of a degree.
I too would focus on gaining some project management experience instead of going down the masters route, as that will make you a better candidate at interview. Maybe you could shadow a PM at your current employer and take on some PM activity, then approach local 3rd sector (charitable) organisations to see if any of those could use your talents; perhaps you could manage a fund-raising project for instance. This would give you real hands-on experience which employers are so often needing.
I agree with the sentiments in this post. I liken project management to riding a bike, you can read as many books on the subject as you like, but until you get on and actually ride a bike you know only the theory and not the practice.
I am currently studying a Masters in PM but this is after a long career as a PM and I get more out of it than a novice who does not have the project cases to apply to the assignments.
As a hirer of project managers I look for experience, then certification and then qualifications. Even for trainees I look not necessarily for project management experience but at least project experience where they have participated as team members in a project environment as this environment in completely unlike a normal operational environment.
Julie - excellent analogy... "I liken project management to riding a bike, you can read as many books on the subject as you like, but until you get on and actually ride a bike you know only the theory and not the practice." I know I will be using this one and I look forward to attributing it to you..! Simple to convey, universally understandabe. THANKS.
That's OK Mark. Anything to help out explain that training does not turn out project managers!
Agree, good analogy Julie.
Allow me to add on another attribute which, I believe is more important than experience and certification. The job of a project manager is very dynamic and will require him to handle all sorts of situations; in other words, a project manager is a problem solver by nature. Due to this, a project manager needs to have a positive and strong character to carry the pressure in his job. This is important as I have witnessed many project managers break down under pressure. Moving on to Julie's analogy on riding a bike, you may have read as many books on riding bike, and you may have ten thousands hours of experience in riding a bike; but it is attitude and a strong character that will determine if you would continue bike riding after you have met with a terrible crash. Most people would probably give up, will you?
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