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What is the best degree pathway to be a PM? Bachelors or Masters
Hi, I am a high school graduate and would like to be a project manager in the construction industry in the future. I want to ask what the best pathway is for being so. Please recommend me which will give me the best advantage for a PM. Here are the choices.

1. Taking only Bachelor of Applied Science (Construction Management) - 4 years
2. Taking Bachelor of Business Management - 2.5 years + Masters of Project Management - 2 years

In the second option, you can see that I will already be getting a Masters Degree in only 4.5 years while I have to spend 4 years for only getting a bachelors. The concern is that I am wondering if I do not take engineering or construction related studies, can i still qualify to be a PM in the construction industry in the future. Please put down your opinions. Thank you very much.
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What does means to be a project manager? That is the question to answer. If you want to be one then, in my humble opinion, you have to be: 1-understand what a project manager is. 2-get a way to perform project management (PMI, IPMA, PRINCE2, etc). 3-work inside a project performing any role.
Melissa,

Educational background is great but it constitutes only 25% of a PM. 75% of PM skills comes from experience and in order to get into the PM World, you maybe need to start as a project coordinator and move up the ladder.
Hi Melissa and welcome to this amazing community.

I'm glad that graduates think about project management as a future profession. When I was in high school I didn't have any idea what PM means. It means that PMI and project management community are doing great!

I'm not very familiar with Australian BS or Masters, but I would like to recommend you to follow a path that you really like, Project Mangement is not only present in Construction, did you think about IT? Telecommunication?
And as the Rami said, maybe you’ll start as a project coordinator.

Getting a job or develop a profession, sometimes not only depend on your BS. Example myself, I have a BS in science, a Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering, after university, IBM offered me a grant with internship and I did SAP master (SAP = ERP = IT), I worked as a project assistant, project coordinator, team leader…and finally I've gotten my first small projects as project manager. Anyway...that was a long time ago, and in Europe, nowadays I heard same think that you, that there are BS that will open you more doors in Project Management profession. But as Rami remarked, the background is a low percentage in this world.

Good luck and keep us posted about your decision.
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1 reply by Melissa Nicole
Dec 22, 2016 2:35 AM
Melissa Nicole
...
Thank you so much for yours and everyones quick response. I want to be a project manager in the construction industry. So to become a project coordinator, it does not really matter what major i take? what matters is the work experience am i right?
Network:4579
Hi Melissa,

I think you should start with #2. As Sergio mentioned, understand the role first. Get the foundation laid and concepts clear.

Next work inside a project performing any role. Get experience as project contributor or coordinator.

Finally aim for PMI, PRINCE2, etc. certifications to stand out.

Hope this helps.

Good Luck and All the Best.
Dec 21, 2016 7:48 PM
Replying to Mayte Mata-Sivera
...
Hi Melissa and welcome to this amazing community.

I'm glad that graduates think about project management as a future profession. When I was in high school I didn't have any idea what PM means. It means that PMI and project management community are doing great!

I'm not very familiar with Australian BS or Masters, but I would like to recommend you to follow a path that you really like, Project Mangement is not only present in Construction, did you think about IT? Telecommunication?
And as the Rami said, maybe you’ll start as a project coordinator.

Getting a job or develop a profession, sometimes not only depend on your BS. Example myself, I have a BS in science, a Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering, after university, IBM offered me a grant with internship and I did SAP master (SAP = ERP = IT), I worked as a project assistant, project coordinator, team leader…and finally I've gotten my first small projects as project manager. Anyway...that was a long time ago, and in Europe, nowadays I heard same think that you, that there are BS that will open you more doors in Project Management profession. But as Rami remarked, the background is a low percentage in this world.

Good luck and keep us posted about your decision.
Thank you so much for yours and everyones quick response. I want to be a project manager in the construction industry. So to become a project coordinator, it does not really matter what major i take? what matters is the work experience am i right?
Melissa,

Construction is a wild industry ... My expertise is in Project / Construction Management with a background in Civil Engineering, My educational background provided a background but was not enough at all to qualify me as a PM.

In my humble opinion, experience is what makes a PM excel at what he or she does as I mentioned in my previous comment.
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1 reply by Melissa Nicole
Dec 22, 2016 3:16 AM
Melissa Nicole
...
Rami,

Thank you for your reply, but is it mandatory for me to have a construction related degree to be a PM in construction? Like you have a background in civil engineer. If I only have a business related degree, will i still be able to do so or not?
Dec 22, 2016 2:46 AM
Replying to Rami Kaibni
...
Melissa,

Construction is a wild industry ... My expertise is in Project / Construction Management with a background in Civil Engineering, My educational background provided a background but was not enough at all to qualify me as a PM.

In my humble opinion, experience is what makes a PM excel at what he or she does as I mentioned in my previous comment.
Rami,

Thank you for your reply, but is it mandatory for me to have a construction related degree to be a PM in construction? Like you have a background in civil engineer. If I only have a business related degree, will i still be able to do so or not?
...
1 reply by Rami Kaibni
Dec 22, 2016 11:10 AM
Rami Kaibni
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Melissa,

It is not mandatory at all to have a degree in the construction industry to be a PM in construction but it is mandatory to have enough experience to be able to do so because as I said, construction is a wild industry and what counts is your experience and education is an asset, not a must.

Ive met many PM's in Construction who have 20 years of experience without educational background but with very hands-on experience on site.

Hope this answers your concerns.
Anonymous
Dec 21, 2016 6:17 PM
Replying to Rami Kaibni
...
Melissa,

Educational background is great but it constitutes only 25% of a PM. 75% of PM skills comes from experience and in order to get into the PM World, you maybe need to start as a project coordinator and move up the ladder.
Rami - you made me smile. How did you get these 25% / 75% split? It reminded me of N x (N - 1) / 2 :)
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1 reply by Rami Kaibni
Dec 22, 2016 11:07 AM
Rami Kaibni
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Mounir - I am glad I was able to put a smile on your face.

Those figures come from "Experience". When you are a project manager, even if you are highly educated, it won't make you a good project manager if you do not have the experience. It would help you to accomplisj around 25% of what you need to do as a PM and then rest comes from your experience. However, without education, you can always achieve 100% with the right experience.
Anonymous
Hi Melissa

If you want to work in the construction field and you want to work your way to become PM in this field, then you have to be patient because the career path is long and is challenging.

I do not know about the CM program in Austria as a bachelor. I did mine as MS in the USA. I would think it would be good to take this route (vs op 2) since you are studying in a domain related to what you want (Op 2 could be more business oriented). However, to reach PM - maybe starting in Engineering would be a choice - Civil, Mechanical, Industrial, or similar fields. Most PM in construction are from one of these fields and backgrounds.

Once you have your degree - you still have a few years of work before you can reach a PM Role - so once again, be patient.

Hope this help
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1 reply by Melissa Nicole
Dec 22, 2016 8:57 AM
Melissa Nicole
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Hi Mounir,

I understand that I would need work experience before becoming a PM. What did you take for your Bachelors? Can I take business for my bachelors and then continue my masters in Project Management to be a qualified PM in the construction industry? Or do I have to have an engineering or construction degree like you said? Do you recommend choice 1 or 2 in my above question. Thank you so much.
Hi Mounir,

I understand that I would need work experience before becoming a PM. What did you take for your Bachelors? Can I take business for my bachelors and then continue my masters in Project Management to be a qualified PM in the construction industry? Or do I have to have an engineering or construction degree like you said? Do you recommend choice 1 or 2 in my above question. Thank you so much.
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