Project Management is a useful skill in almost any industry. While project management is a highly transferable skill that could be useful to anyone, there are specific certification requisites for this role before you can land a Project Manager job.
The most common project management certifications are awarded by the Project Management Institute (PMI). These professional certifications ensure your ability to meet the demands of projects and employers by creating rigorous standards based on ongoing research. Some certifications include Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), and the PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA).
Project Managers need to know how to use project management software, oversee employees in a way that encourages them to meet the goal on deadline, manage a budget, and make a plan of attack to accomplish all of these things. These core project management skills, along with a certification, can get you a job as a generic project manager, but most project managers choose to specialize in a specific industry. Specializing usually results in higher pay and an easier upskill process. The majority of specialized project managers focus on construction, IT, or software.
A Construction Project Manager oversees construction projects. They should have a basic understanding of civil engineering and construction logistics. They use project management to direct everything from the building of skyscrapers to developing suburban neighborhoods.
An IT Project Manager specializes in information technology systems. They manage the building of networks, data banks, hardware installation, and security infrastructure. They need to know how to design systems and build them efficiently. Some IT Project Manager positions also require a CompTIA certification.
A Product Manager focuses on creating a product. That can be a physical object, an application, or an experience. They need to know how to create a product efficiently with the end-user in mind. They need to get to know the industry that the product is being created for and implement the best practices for that space.
A Software Project Manager’s job is to oversee the development of software. This could be a mobile application, cloud application, or desktop software. They need to know the software development lifecycle, have a high-level understanding of coding languages being used, and know how to organize their project with industry standards in mind. Some Software Project Managers choose to use the SCRUM or Agile methods of development which are great tools to have in your arsenal.
Becoming a Project Manager takes time and experience. You’ll need at least three years of experience in any one of these industries to qualify for a job in this position. Some ways to get started on this journey include applying for entry- and mid-level positions in the industry you’re interested in, getting smaller management positions like SCRUM Master or General Contractor, and getting your project management certifications whenever you feel well-studied – even if you don’t feel qualified yet.
Project Management Career Options
Here are a few career paths for which you’ll likely need Project Management skills in order to succeed. We also include additional info about their average salaries, their day-to-day responsibilities, and a link to learn more about each career.
Product managers guide product development from ideation to market. Starting with consumer and market research, they use their understanding of customer wants and needs to inform product development and go-to-market strategy. They will work closely with engineering, marketing, sales, and other teams to launch products. After launch, they solicit and analyze feedback on the product to inform future iterations.Learn about becoming a Product Manager
Project managers bear the responsibility of managing projects from launch to closing. They work in a variety of industries, from construction to information technology. With broad oversight on budgeting, planning, risk management and scheduling, project managers provide leadership and guidance throughout the project term. Project managers are in high demand and enjoy competitive salaries and compensation.Learn about becoming a Project Manager
Software Project Manager
Software project managers lead software development projects from concept to completion. Using their deep expertise in scheduling, budgeting, sequencing, and resource allocation, software project managers are critical in a software project's success. Software project managers must be able to understand and interpret customer and client needs and deliver a completed, functioning product. After development, they will continue to solicit and incorporate user feedback into future iterations.Learn about becoming a Software Project Manager
Construction Project Manager
Construction Project Managers oversee every stage of the building process and are responsible for keeping construction projects on budget and within the scope of the plan. They are responsible for: hiring and managing subcontractors, planning, budgeting, and remaining compliant with regional laws.Learn about becoming a Construction Project Manager
IT Project Manager
IT Project Managers are responsible for successfully accomplishing an organizations’ IT goals by planning, organizing, and budgeting resources. IT Project Managers lead teams to complete projects, such as: software and application development, hardware installations, network upgrades, cloud computing and virtualization rollouts, or business analytics and data management infrastructure.Learn about becoming a IT Project Manager