Do you have to be a graduate to become a project manager?


Project management is becoming an increasingly popular choice of career path with many people, and it is certainly true to say that there are more and more companies who are advertising employment opportunities within the field of project management. This is because they have realised what a difference having a qualified person in charge of their projects can make.

However, with so many people wanting to make the move to project management, the competition for job opportunities can be fierce, so it is important to ensure that you are in the best possible position to impress when you are up against other candidates for a job.

What qualifications do I need?

The short answer is that you do not in fact need to be a graduate in order to be a graduate in order to work as a project manager. In fact, you don’t even need a formal project management training qualification.

However, with competition as fierce as it is in the field of project management, without at least one of these you may find it incredibly difficult to get your foot in door. If you want to make sure that you have the opportunity to go for the best roles and projects that are available then being a graduate and having the relevant project management certification could be a very useful qualification.

Even with the right level of qualifications there really is no substitute for experience and you may find that you need to start your project management career by taking a role as an assistant project manager in order to learn from someone who has a significant amount of experience.

In the UK, project management qualifications can vary but in general they tend to range from undergraduate degree courses to specific courses in the various different project management methodologies. There are plenty of companies out there who can help to find the project management courses that suit your requirements best. The type of qualification you will need will generally depend on they type of area or areas that you would like to work in.

For example, someone who would like to work in an engineering project management role will be much more useful if they have a background in engineering.

What skills will I need?

In addition to the right qualification if you are looking at a career in project management then there are a few skills that will really help you. A good project manager has the ability to plan and organise with great attention to detail. Communication is also a vital skill as is the ability to lead. Qualifications are very important but if you don’t have the right skill set to back up your learning then you may struggle with project management. You should always aim for a mix of qualifications and hands-on experience to mould yourself into a great project manager – don’t just rely on one or the other.

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