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Project Management Video: Career Options for a Degree in Project Management

Project Management Video: Career Options for a Degree in Project Management Transcript

Are you an organized person with a knack for staying on top of details? If so, a career in project management may be right for you. Project managers monitor progress on tasks in the workplace. Their communication with different team members is crucial toward ensuring the smooth production of goods. Project managers are in high demand today due to their increasing importance within a wide spectrum of industries.

Introduction

Project managers coordinate and monitor product schedules in a variety of environments. These professionals are responsible for creating and implementing the plans by which tasks will be completed. Once plans are in place, it's their responsibility to coordinate the efforts of team members toward a project's completion. The particular tasks a project manager oversees vary significantly by industry. In the technology sector, for example, project managers may shepherd the development of new software. Those in construction might oversee work on a particular building or development. Regardless of setting, project managers strive for more or less the same thing; that is the successful completion of projects that are on time and on budget.

Job Skills and Duties

A project manager oversees virtually all aspects of a product's development--they are the point person to whom responsibility ultimately falls if something goes wrong during the production cycle. For this reason, it's very important that these professionals understand organizational objectives for a given project. With this knowledge in hand, a project manager can begin to plan how tasks will be completed. The plan must account for project specs, allotted resources and timeline requirements. Once a blueprint or design has been established, project managers communicate with staff about their respective roles within the production cycle. They then work to ensure that benchmarks within the schedule are met. If scheduling difficulties do arise, these professionals must make any adjustments to the plan (for example, bringing in additional personnel). Their work requires them to be creative problem solvers who can make decisions that account for a number of different variables (for example, weighing the costs and benefits of bringing in extra help to meet a deadline).

Training Required

As project managers often work in a variety of different fields, their educational backgrounds may vary significantly. Most have at least a bachelor's degree, usually in business, management or a discipline specifically related to their industry. For those looking to further enhance their skills, master's programs in project management are increasingly available at colleges and universities. These studies allow students to learn more about topics, such as strategic planning, human resources management and organizational dynamics. Certificate programs are also available for those interested in a shorter educational commitment. There are also master's level courses that prepare students for project management within specific industries. For example, project managers in construction often have an advanced degree in architecture or engineering.

Well Known Jobs Within this Field of Expertise

Project managers are employed in a broad range of business and technical fields. In fact, most companies have professionals responsible for maintaining schedules and overseeing production processes. They are prominent in construction, technology, publishing, advertising, graphic design and other deadline-driven fields in which the efforts of many must be brought together. While professionals in these fields may be referred to as coordinators, controllers or something else, their work lies within the realm of project management. Depending on a given position, specialization within a particular industry or media may be necessary beyond project management credentials.

Conclusion

A career in project management is generally well suited for detail-oriented individuals who are very organized. Communication skills, creativity and problem-solving abilities are also important in working with team members. Intense expectations to meet deadlines often put project managers to the test; those able to remain effective despite these pressures are best equipped for successful careers in project management.

Sources

www.bls.gov/oco

www.pmi.org

www.asapm.org

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