Project Manager Career Path
A Successful Project Manager Career Path Begins With Education and Certification
With project management emerging as one of the fastest-growing fields in the country, many professionals are exploring a project manager career path. The Project Management Institute (PMI®) studies paint a very bright picture for those who plan on carving out a career as a project manager.
Project Manager Jobs and Salaries Are on the Rise
A recent PMI report indicates that 25% of companies that have reduced their headcounts in other specialties will still be hiring project managers, while an Anderson Economic Group study projected that approximately 1.2 million project management jobs will need to be filled each year through 2016.
The availability of open positions is just part of the appeal of a project management career path; the substantial salaries are another enticement. According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), the average annual salary for PMP® certified Project Managers in the U.S. is $111,824, almost $14,000 more than the salary of those without PMP® certification.*
Career opportunities and potential earnings are two of the most important factors that individuals must consider before choosing a career path, and the field of project management scores well on both points.
Project Managers Have a Place in Every Industry
Professionals who have embarked on a project management career path possess skills that can be used in virtually any industry – from information technology to consumer goods to business services. This career mobility ensures that project managers can readily find work, even if their current industry is affected by an economic downturn or cyclical demand.
Skills Required for a Project Manager Career Path
Before embarking on a project manager career path, you need to ask yourself whether or not you have a passion and aptitude for this type of work. If you’re up to the challenge overseeing the contributions of a diverse team and managing the expectations of key stakeholders, this may be the position for you. A project manager career path requires strong communication and organizational skills, the ability to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously and an understanding of the functional roles of departments throughout the organization.
Project Management Training and Education
The first step in becoming a project manager is to get the right education. You don’t necessarily need a degree in project management, but you do need to have specialized training. Industry certification will give you an even greater edge in securing the best positions.
When evaluating your training options, consider what will make your résumé stand apart from the competition. A credential from an accredited university shows that you are serious about a project manager career path. The good news is that with the widespread availability of online programs, location is no longer a limitation.
Villanova University has made a name for itself as the leading provider of project management education online through its acclaimed video-based e-learning platform. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the #1 regional university in the North for 20 years, Villanova offers a variety of project management certificate courses 100% online, as well as multi-course master certificate programs. Students can earn a Master Certificate in IS/IT Project Management or Applied Project Management, both of which prepare participants to pass the CAPM® or PMP® certification exam. Those who have completed a master certificate or hold professional certification can go on to earn an Advanced Master Certificate in IS/IT Project Management or Applied Project Management.
Embark on Your Project Manager Career Path
Project management training and industry certification can help professionals land their first project manager position. Over time, successful project managers will be assigned projects of increasing size and complexity. Those who prove themselves on the job and demonstrate a commitment to continuous learning have excellent advancement potential. Take the first steps toward a project manager career path today, and you’ll be on your way toward a wealth of job opportunities, a lucrative salary and genuine long-term career satisfaction.
* "Project Management Salary Survey, Seventh Edition," Project Management Institute, 2011