Project Management Career: Complete Guide 2021
Recently, the way people work has become different. As new technologies, unique products, and services appear, companies begin to realize how important it is to hire the right people who can handle the constantly changing environment.
By 2027, most of the work will be project-based. No matter what you do, you’re probably managing a couple of projects without even knowing! If you’ve organized a birthday party, planned a trip, or coordinated your classmates’ reunion, you’ve managed a project.
According to Project Management Institute (PMI), by 2027, employers will need 87.7 million people working in project management roles across 11 countries. In Canada alone, nearly 90,000 new project managers will be hired.
I know, right? Let’s look at what project management actually means and what it takes to become a project manager.
What is project management?
In simple terms, a project is a set of activities designed to achieve a unique goal.
The development of a new app, the construction of a bridge, or designing a website are all projects. All these need to be managed effectively to deliver results on time, without wasting money.
So, project management is the use of different approaches, tools, and techniques to manage a project. A project manager, then, is someone who manages this process from beginning to end.
Don’t worry! Project managers are not alone in this boat. They have a team to support them.
Project managers work in different industries in Canada and around the world: construction and engineering, financial services, information technology (IT), law, healthcare etc. They are of great value for businesses.
Here are some of the ways project managers can help companies:
- Save time and money by carefully mapping out projects
- Improve communication by keeping it clear and effective
- Manage risks and solve problems by analyzing trends and planning ahead
As we look ahead, leaders will be those who empower others.
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft
Not all people who oversee projects and teams have the official ‘project manager’ title, but they are true leaders who can build trust and motivate their teams. They are creative, flexible, and love talking to people. If It sounds like you, keep reading!
What are project management skills?
So, what skills does a project manager need? That may seem like an easy question to answer. In truth, there is no definitive list of project management skills as such. The question is more like “what skills doesn’t a project manager need?”
That’s because they do so many things on the project, from planning and team training to being a shoulder to cry on. Here’s a list of 5 key skills project managers will need to be successful in 2021:
As a project manager, you will need to communicate with lots of different people. You will have to do it in lots of different ways, both online and face to face. When you need to talk to so many people, communication skills are key.
You may have heard about it many times by now, but you can’t go anywhere in project management without it. After all, you’ll need to manage tasks and people. Your team needs to be motivated and supported too. We all have inborn leadership skills, and these can be developed to suit your personality.
From planning a project to managing your own time, every aspect of a project manager’s day needs a great deal of time management and discipline. Being organized, you can get your work done and show up for meetings on time.
4. Problem Solving
Project managers face different problems daily. Project managers need to be agile, that is think quickly and flexibly, as well as keep calm under pressure.
5. Critical Thinking
It’s true that project managers rely on different resources to make the right call. However, they can’t just blindly trust and not question what they read or hear. They need to be as objective as they can without acting on emotions when they must make decisions.
By developing these skills, you can be successful not only in project management, but in literally any workplace!
Steps to become a project manager
Now that you know what project management is, and what skills you need to be a great project manager, you may be wondering what steps you need to take to become a project manager.
Step # 1 Find out as much as you can about project management
There are so many ways to learn more about project management. You can read blogs, get in touch with people from this profession on LinkedIn, or talk to experts from Cornerstone International Team to discover our International Business Management Program (IBM), which will equip you with the vital skills and knowledge for this job.
Step # 2 Get a mentor
There are so many things that you can learn from people who have been working in the industry in Canada. They can share their knowledge and support you in your journey. Our instructors have been employed as senior management and have years of delivering international business programs. They can offer their hands-on experience and knowledge to you!
Here is why Cornerstone?
Step # 3 Start getting your project management qualifications and experience
You may be surprised, but there are so many ways to become more experienced in project management today. You can start taking on more responsibilities in your current role that involve planning, team, and time management.
You can always get experience volunteering. Your fast track to getting qualified and experienced is by doing our unique co-op diploma program.
Step # 4 Network and get inspired by success stories
Studying in Canada is so much fun! You can find friends from all over the globe and learn about their experience studying and finding a job in Canada. Cornerstone brings the world together and sees its students’ success as its primary goal.
Take a look at what our International Business Management Diploma Program students say about their experience studying at Cornerstone in Vancouver.
Step # 5 Start using the latest project management tools
As a project manager, you will always be looking for ways to become more efficient in your job. There are some awesome tools out there that will help you manage your time, oversee tasks, and plan effectively. They look awesome too! Read on to discover some of our top favorites.
Project management tools you can benefit from today
You may be thinking “I can’t afford another subscription, and I don’t have time to learn how to use new tools.” You’ll be surprised but there is a lot of free project management software out there, which is so easy to use. Let’s take a look!
Asana is our top favorite project management software, which is near perfect when it comes to balancing user experience and functionality. Obviously, it can’t do everything, but it can do all you need to complete your tasks.
Its free version supports task lists, interactive boards, shared calendars, and app integrations for up to 15 users. With a free version, you won’t have advanced features, such as workload and priority management, but hey, you’re just starting, so it should be okay!
There is absolutely no wonder that Trello has made our list. It’s a fantastic and simple platform that you can learn how to use in literally less than 10 minutes!
It’s not a do-it-all app, but the free version gives you access to personal boards, lists, 10 MB of attachments, and much more. It is also very safe and secure! What else can you wish for?
Finally, Wrike, which is not only simple but also super-fast! You don’t need hours of training to learn all its services. It can be used for both personal and business purposes, but it’s definitely best at assigning tasks and tracking progress.
Perhaps, it’s not the most amazing in terms of its looks, but it can speak 9 languages!
Project management certifications
It seems like you are all set to start your project management career. Having a business management diploma and getting certified in project management can seriously up your game and increase your salary in the future.
One of the most popular and recognized certifications in this industry is probably Project Management Professional (PMP) offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). Project managers with this certificate earn 23 % higher salaries, so it’s definitely worth it. However, it’s not for complete beginners. You need to have a degree (a 4-year bachelor’s degree or a 2-year associate degree from a community or junior college), 36-60 months’ experience leading projects, and 35 hours of project management education, or CAPM© Certification. For more on the requirements and about PMP, check out PMI’s official website:
With Cornerstone, you can build your portfolio, as well as work towards your degree.
Another popular certification is a UK-created PRINCE2 (Projects in Controlled Environments). It doesn’t have the same requirements as PMP, and it has both the Foundation and the Practitioner levels – something to strive for as you navigate your project management career.
Are these certifications a plus? Yes, they are. Do you still need project management experience to get hired in Canada? Yes, you do.
Having an academic background and experience in business and project management shows your potential employer that you know the processes inside and out.
Is it possible to work towards your qualifications in Canada and get your paid project management experience along the way? Yes, it is.
Start your project management journey in Canada with our International Business Management (IBM) co-op diploma program. Contact Cornerstone International Team in Vancouver to learn more about it, or apply now!
- Steps to remember:
- Find out as much as you can about project management
- Get a mentor or learn from someone who has been in this industry for a long time
- Network and get inspired by success stories
- Start getting project management experience: apply for a co-op diploma program and volunteer
- Build your project management portfolio and top it up with popular certifications to up your game
That’s it! You’re ready to start your project management journey! Contact us for more tips and support.