In any industry, a highly successful and effective project manager can help increase productivity, employee morale, and cost-effectiveness, ultimately driving profits skyward.
Even a business built on a solid foundation is at risk of crumbling without a meticulous eye on the details. A crucial line of communication is also important to coordinate multiple moving parts into a cohesive, well-oiled machine.
Effective project management can improve the functions and operations of any business today. As more companies explore strategies to maintain their competitive edge, they are increasingly turning to project managers for their expertise.
Although project management isn’t a new career, it is one that is quickly expanding and become more valuable in various types of businesses.
In this article, we will highlight the advantages of being a project manager today, and how earning your official PMP certification can help pave the way toward a rewarding career and a successful future.
Project Managers Are in High Demand
It is true that many professionals step into project management roles without any experience. In the last decade, more and more companies began to hire consultants to analyze efficiency, identify risks, and solve problems. This is because many have realized that piece-mealing “added responsibilities” onto individuals who do not have the skills or time devoted to project management wasn't working.
As a result, companies today are hiring and outsourcing project managers left and right. The number of project management roles in the U.S. has recently increased to an estimated 16.5 million, according to the Project Management Institute (PMI). Advanced technology and ever-expanding global markets ensure project management positions will grow for years to come.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected management occupations will grow at an average rate of 6 percent over the next five years, well above the national average for all occupations. Market trends project more than 500,000 new project members will be hired by 2024. The high demand for certified, professional project managers will surely mean a wealth of job opportunities.
A Versatile Career
So, why choose a project management career? The beauty of project management is the principles that you will learn can be applied to virtually any type of project and will benefit any type of business or operation.
Project management is needed in every industry, but here are the top industries that have the highest amount of project-oriented work:
- Business services
- Business consulting
- Product development
- Utility industries
- IT and software development
This list is by no means exhaustive; any operation with project-oriented work that requires efficient coordination and management can benefit from the expertise of a certified and professional project manager.
How a Project Management Career Stands Above Other Careers and Job Opportunities
So, is a project management career right for you? Here are some of the top benefits and skills involved in project management:
Project Management Encourages Innovation, Creativity, and Breaks Up Routine.
Project management is a fluid, ever-changing career. If you’re the type of person who gets bored with too much monotony and despises plugging away at the computer all day, project management can help shake up that tedious routine.
From creating and assigning tasks to meeting with clients, to checking on progress and assessing outcomes, no two days will be the same. If you are a mover and a shaker who welcomes change and truly believes variety is the spice of life, you would likely do well as a project manager—and enjoy it.
Finding a Remote Position is Easy.
If you desperately want to have the freedom to work from home, or become a digital nomad and work from literally anywhere in the world, project management is a top field to just that.
With so many virtual business applications and platforms for collaboration, freelancing, board meetings, and work communications, all your paperwork stays easily organized and secure on the cloud no matter where you are.
A Chance to Dive into Details
They say “the devil is in the details”. However, if you are a “details person”, then a project management career is likely a good fit for you.
One of the most crucial aspects of project management is the ability to pay attention to, keep track of, and relate important details to project team members, stakeholders, and clients.
Earn a Higher Salary
Generally, the title of “project manager” is given as a promotion to a team member who has proven to possess great leadership skills. This type of promotion can significantly increase your salary.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for project managers was approximately $100,000 (as of May 2016). Of all the occupational fields surveyed, management occupations showed the highest salary.
In addition, by earning your official PMP certification, you can increase your annual salary by an average of 20 percent.
Furthermore, by tracking projects to successful completion, you can prove how you have increased effectiveness and overall productivity. By excelling in your role and presenting the progress to your superiors, clients, and project stakeholders, you can ensure you’ll receive regular raises and bonuses as the results will speak for themselves.
Improve Your Communication Skills
Effective communication is perhaps the single most important driving force in managing projects effectively—and it is also often the most overlooked. Having a communication system, protocol, and hierarchy that everyone in the company understands is instrumental to a company’s success.
As a project manager, you will often serve as the point of contact, liaison, or mediator between cross-functional departments and clients. Learning to relate information to different types of people requires diligence and attention. Not everyone prefers to receive information and communicate in the same way. For example, the way you relate to the Senior Vice President differs vastly from the way you relate to a technician.
Learning different communication styles and relating to unique individuals is key to project management success. Developing and improving your communication skills will also help you in all areas of life.
Strategizing, Organizing, and Prioritizing
In the project management field, many desirable skills can be honed to perfection. Strategizing, organizing, and prioritizing are things you will get really good at, and make them a part of your daily focus and responsibilities.
Determining your plan of attack on how you will accomplish tasks and finding a platform or organizational system to do so are instrumental in your daily responsibilities. Additionally, developing a timeline and urgency for completed tasks is key to increasing productivity.
Focus on Facilitation Skills By Asking Questions.
Being a project manager allows you to cut through the chaos and ask questions that help drive ideas and execution strategies.
For example, some great questions to ask include:
What do we want to accomplish?
What are our goals?
How do we turn those goals into reality?
What strategies and systems do we need?
Who is going to do what and when?
What is the target timeline?
Asking these types of questions will drive new ideas and also provide solutions to problems and present them in a way that everyone understands.
Additionally, learning when to speak up and ask clarifying questions will avoid misinterpretations of project specs and instructions as well as miscommunications.
Increased Growth Opportunities
Becoming a project manager will certainly prepare you for advanced career opportunities, especially if you earn your official PMP certification. Preparing for and earning your PMP certification will teach what it takes to become an effective project manager and leader
Because it is part of your role to track project success, it will be easy to provide indisputable performance results, proving your capability as a leader.
Leveraging Your Work Skills to Achieve Personal Success
Most professional and experienced project managers end up using the tactics, approaches, and strategies for managing teams and projects in their every-day personal lives. For example, relying on organizational strategies or even asking similar clarification questions and following processes can help you figure out what you want out of life, what makes you happy, and what you need to do to reach your goals.
For example, if you’ve been dying to take that Mediterranean cruise, or finally achieve your personal fitness goals or keep up with your five-year savings goals, you have a highly detailed and results-oriented process at your disposal to ensure success.
Taking this same hands-on approach in your personal life will help you become a happier, healthier, and more successful individual.
Get in Touch with Your Creativity.
Because project managers often serve as creative problem-solvers, they end up adopting an open mind set, which allows them to think outside the box, embrace new opportunities, and explore creative solutions.
If you love taking conventional wisdom and turning it on its head, this ever-changing position is for you.
Become an Empowered Leader
Empowerment is the single greatest driving force behind increasing feelings of self-confidence. Managing a team of professionals raises self-esteem levels and encourages confidence. When others look to you to solve problems, delegate, provide advice, and make decisions, it reinforces your worth as a successful and capable human.
By offering solutions, strategies, and advice, you will be treated and respected as a leader, and a valued member of the team.
That increased self confidence, in turn, enables you to become an even better leader. And the cycle doesn’t stop there. The most confident leaders empower their employees and coworkers.
Feeling empowered naturally leads to empowering others. When you feel valued and appreciated, you are statistically more likely to make others feel valued and appreciated, which is key to boosting workplace morale, employee retention, and productivity.
How to Become a Certified Project Manager
Project management is truly an exciting and inspiring career, ripe with growth opportunities for the future. If you’d like to break into the project management field, then the best way to do that is to begin preparing for the PMP certification exam.
A common project management myth is that you need an MBA or another high-level, specialized degree to become a certified project manager, before even taking the PMP exam. However, this isn’t true.
As mentioned briefly above, the beauty about being a project manager is that you can apply the same principles, techniques, and tactics that you learn to different types of projects across various businesses and industries.
And, no, project management doesn’t require a specific degree, qualification, or experience level.
Yes, you will gain these things as you become more experienced, and earning your official PMP certification will help you get there that much quicker.
Where Do You Start?
If you want to expand your career and accelerate your project management knowledge, you don’t have to go back to school, per se; there are module programs available specifically for project management. You can build a career in project management with a degree in any subject or area.
However, if you earn your official PMP certification, you can expect to go a lot further in your career than a non-certified project manager.
Regardless of whether you are already serving as a project manager, or if you are thinking about starting a project management career from scratch, the best place to start is to take a course on project management.
By preparing and studying for your PMP certification, you will learn a number of project management methodologies, principles, tactics, and how to apply those to every-day, real-life projects. You will also learn how the different methodologies and techniques fit different organizations and project types.
This knowledge will ultimately help guide businesses and companies to success—and they will have you to thank.
How Project Vanguards Can Help You Earn Your PMP Certification
So, if you are ready to give your project management career a serious boost, consider preparing for and taking a professional PMP exam preparation course with Project Vanguards.
Project Vanguards understands how earning the PMP credential can significantly impact a professional’s project management career as well as maintain a competitive edge in today’s job market.
Project Vanguards offers a wide range of professional training and resources to help professionals prepare for and successfully earn the PMP credential. Project Vanguards also guarantees a 100 percent first-time pass rate.
Project Vanguards is the complete resource that you need to help you expand your learning and boost your project management career. Your future awaits—and it starts here.