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.