Project Manager Education Requirements

This article describes all the necessary requirements, qualifications and the skills needed to become a professionally successful project manager.

Updated by Rakshitha N on 5th June 2020

Are you a person who loves to communicate and motivate others? Do you possess leadership skills and can convey your ideas clearly? Possibly, becoming a project manager is the right career path for you. A project manager can adapt to any field due to the multi-talented nature and knowledge in various fields. From construction to pharmaceutics, every field requires a person to look after guide teams to plan, work, progress and achieve certain goals. 

A project manager is a skilled professional who sets goals, plans well to perform, guides the team, looks after their performance, tracks the progress, budgeting and manages the tasks effectively. With an organized and poised manner, project managers run the operation smoothly in an organization. 

With an average growth of 13%, this profession is blooming and the salary offered usually differs from $121,973 and $153,383. Firstly, to land in this profession, there are certain requirements necessary for a candidate. This article is an extensive guide that focuses on the  important qualifications needed to become a project manager. 

What does “Being qualified” mean?

Every profession calls for certain unique qualifications and skills the candidates must possess in order to get employed. Being qualified simply means gaining the necessary education, skills, experience and certifications for the position you want to earn. Typically the requirements a project manager must meet is to gain three years of experience, certification from an accrediting professional board, education and others.


Educational requirements for Project Managers

Project managers are required to earn a bachelor’s degree in project management, business or a relevant field. Also to gain higher positions and exposure, students choose to complete a master’s degree or a post-bachelor's certificate. 

  • Bachelor’s degree- it is a four year program that offers 120-128 credits to complete the related courses such as basic concepts of management practices, industry regulations, budget. 

  • Master’s degree- it is an advanced program which provides in-depth knowledge on the field you want to specialize in by offering 30-36 credits. Potential students can also complete the course within 2 years based on the time they take to complete the research. 

  • Doctoral degree- this degree is taken by a few committed students who want to gain administrative positions or work as highly knowledgeable professors. Candidates work on thesis writings and completed coursework on Cost and Value Management, Ethics in Project Management and researching.

  • Certification- Certification increases the credibility of the candidate when obtained by a professional accredited program. There are few certifications meant only to become a project manager and are detailed in the net section. 

  • Online programs- online programs are much affordable options to complete education while you learn at your pace. This saves time and helps manage other responsibilities. 


Project Management Certification

Certification is essential for candidates who strive to become a project manager. They can be earned by two ways, 

  1. By completing a degree from a formal undergraduate and graduate education program. 

  2. Project Management Institute (PMI).- This professional program offers Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) and PMP (Project Management Professional).

  3. Agile/Scrum- certifications of project management offered after getting trained and certified by organizations such as Scrum Alliance.

Most students usually choose the CAPM and PMP certifications where you can gain education or professional experience for several hours to get certified. 

  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)- Students are required to gain a high school diploma or an associate’s degree or complete a formal education of 23 hours or gain experience for 1,500 hours. 

  • PMP (Project Management Professional)- to obtain PMP, you must complete a four year degree program, clear an entry level exam and gain experience of about 4,500 hours. Another way is to get formal training for 35 hours and complete a minimum of 4,500 hours of work experience.

You must always remember that both certifications require you to have prerequisites and clear an exam. Also to maintain the certification, you must continue your educational training for specified hours. 


Formal and Informal Training

As you know, you experience matters while looking for job opportunities. An applicant with more experience always has better chances of getting hired. Hence, while you are a student, look for training opportunities such as internships, projects, workshops and part-time jobs. As an added note, this will also add up more on your resume and look much appealing. 

The two ways to get trained for this profession are,

  • Formal training- It is a structured way of enhancing your skills such as a certification course. These prepare you to land on a full-timer’s job without taking much effort as you start working. Are you worried about not meeting the educational requirements/ these courses will surely give you a head start to work efficiently. 

  • Informal training- this type of training is gained by interning at an organization, working on in-house projects to help you work as a project manager in the future. Attending workshops will give you the basic idea about the latest technologies used in the industry trends. 


Key skills for a Project Manager

As we determine the potential growth of this profession we can notice the rapid increase and competencies among the applicants. To stand out, there are certain key skills required to adopt in your workplace. They are, 

  • Use of softwares and technical knowledge

  • Problem solving and critical thinking

  • Leaderships skills to guide the team

  • Monitor the team and maintain good relationship with teammates

  • Ability to create and adhere to a project budget

  • Good communication to convey ideas clearly

  • Constantly motivate the team to carry out the assigned tasks


Conclusion

Profession of a Project manager may sound easy but requires you to be a multi-skilled person to work efficiently. So, now you have the educational requirements needed for this profession, you could also get an idea about how long you may take to become a project manager. 

Prepare well, aim at your goal, work smart and make the dreams come true!