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Topics: Career Development
Is a degree needed to become a project manager?

Hi,

I have to choose my studies for next year and what attract me is the job of project manager.

I'm reading a lot of documentation about it but I just came across an article that confused me a bit. ( http://thinkthyme.com/project-management/h...project-manager )

So, basically I'm perplex about spending 5+ years of my life as a student and maybe don't get the job I'm dreaming of and starting directly my career in a small company, work hard and try to become a project manager in less than 10years.

What you guys are you thoughts? Do you all have a degree? Is it possible to start as a simple employee and show your skills to become a project manager?

Thanks for your attention.
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A degree sure can help, I don’t see it like a requirement.
Many options are available, start with a simple employee and work your way up, once a level of experience is acquired look for training and certification such has PMP or Prince2. That doesn’t require years of study and can be has valuable.

Article is interesting, remember who made it, a training company.



Marina -

No - there is no educational prerequisite for becoming a successful PM, however you should have a drive to learn not just at the beginning but over your full career.

I've known some exceptional PMs who had never progressed beyond high school but took the time after working a few years to take some foundational courses in project management and developed the necessary soft skills to succeed in the profession.

Kiron



A degree isn't required to do a Project Manager's job. However, many employers won't even consider your resume if you don’t possess certain educational degrees and/or certifications.
My suggestion is that you find a small company where you'll have to do many different types of jobs. Continue to study project management, and you probably be able to position yourself to become the company's project manager very soon - maybe within just a few months. Many people don't like doing the work required to be a good Project Manager, and are only too happy to pass the responsibility to someone else.
As the company grows, you might be able to become the company's PMO Director. If it appears your company will increase the size of its project management staff, I suggest you stay with the company and try to become its PMO Director. This is an executive position in most companies, and it’s pretty difficult to move from being a Project Manager to a PMO Director. Once you have experience in this position, you’ll be highly sought after by many different types of organizations.



A degree is not required to do the job. However, it may be required to get the job. Not having a degree may mean that you are not considered for many opportunities. Some people have been able to get past this requirement by having military experience, certifications or even security clearances.
If you are not ready to take the time now, you could continue to take a class or two a semester while working. You may be able to get your company to pay for your classes. It may take you a lot longer to get the degree, but you will have it when you are ready to look for a new job.
No one path is the only right path. Everyone is free to follow their own. Good luck with your path.



Each people on this world (including you) is performing project management from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed. The way to follow (PMI, GPM, IPMA, etc) and the degree of formality to apply into your work place is what you have to choose. My degrees are: Bachelor on Systems, MBA, Master on Knowledge Engineering (AI), Ph D in Software Engineering. Nothing related to project management. It has no sense.



Not needed to do project management, but in nearly all cases required by the employer. But that isn't related to PM, it's related to a benchmark for employment.



Most of the project managers I know (possibly all of them) started out as something else. I was a middle manager for many years. I moved into project management because I wanted to tackle new things on a recurring basis, something you rarely get by running a day-to-day operations group. More importantly, I was accepted into project management because I had acquired the necessary skills for managing people, budgets AND projects. As others have said, the degree is not a firm pre-requisite for PM, but it will help get you land the jobs that can give you the experience you need to evolve into a good PM.



I agree with my fellow colleagues. A degree is not a requirement, it can surely help technical wise but in Project Management specifically, experience is what counts most.



A degree will help you grow if you are in early stages of your career... in the end its your experience that counts.

However, i believe in the fact that we are always students here, whether its for a degree or for learned experience.



I do not have a degree.

I was managing a federal government organizational unit at the age of 19. That was the start of what, ultimately, led me to project management.
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