While the title of this post isn't as sparkly as our usuals, I decided to feature this guest post written by Tasha Morris today for a few different reasons:
1) My husband is a project manager and I cannot even begin to tell you how much he has taught me about this practice over the last few years.
2) When I switched my career path from Banking to Marketing, this was the first skill that I identified as totally lacking in myself and totally crucial to my success. I read as many project management 101 articles and books as I could find.
3) When I was self-employed, good project management determined if I was negative or positive with my clients, employees and expenses. In other words, it determined if I could eat and pay rent.
4) Today working at a digital agency, project management is at the core of everything we do - regardless of how creative the job description.
5) Having a strong project management background is pretty "recession proof." If you're good, you will be paid very well, can find employment in a number of types of organizations and have more job security than most.
Thanks Tasha for uncovering how many career paths a project management degree can offer you! Tasha is a blogger and student currently earning her online project management degree. She hopes to work for a non-profit organization after graduation. -Nicole
You’ve completed your traditional on-campus degree and now you’re wondering where those four years of hard work will take you. As a project manager, you have the distinct opportunity to enter almost any field or industry, from pharmaceutical to healthcare and the non-profit sector. Before leaping headfirst into a pile of resumes, job applications and interview questionnaires, learn about some of the hottest jobs available in this ever-evolving and diverse field.
You have a general understanding of the project manager’s role, but what exactly does a project coordinator do? Basically, as a project coordinator, or facilitator, you’ll work directly under a project manager. You’re responsible for overseeing a certain facet of a project, such as organizing meetings, supervising team members or handling materials. Landing a job as a project coordinator is often the first step to becoming a full-fledged, executive-level project manager.
New Product Development Manager
If you’re an ideas person with a keen analytical mind that thrives on the challenge associated with the trial and error process, becoming a new product development manager is definitely a career option to consider. As a new product development manager, you’re not only concerned with the development of a product, but also how it’s commercialized and marketed. Depending on the industry and company, you could be responsible for ensuring a new cereal is correctly packaged and marketed or even getting a new life-saving drug into the hands of doctors.
The construction industry has recently taken a hit, but this doesn’t mean that many firms aren’t still actively seeking the skills of a knowledgeable, well-educated construction manager. You might be working closely with a number of architects and contractors on a larger project, while a smaller build might have you interacting one-on-one with the builders themselves. Luckily, there's a construction app and many other project management apps that can help you manage your construction jobs. Manufacturing and construction are the most traditional and common positions you’ll come across in this ever-expanding field, so don’t hesitate to get your feet wet working in this well-established industry. Once again, depending on the size and scope of the project, your role as a construction manager can vary greatly. You might be working closely with a number of architects and contractors on a larger project, while a smaller build might have you interacting one-on-one with the builders themselves.
In stark contrast to manufacturing and construction, information technology project management is a relatively new career. In the past, companies saw their IT department as a separate entity, and allowed the senior members of the division to handle the tangible aspects of their operation, from budgets to development. Times have changed, and now many larger corporations are beginning to realize that to remain successful, their IT department must deliver a product or perform their duties in an efficient, cost-effective manner. Companies like Accenture, Ernst & Young, Boston Consulting Group and PwC are among the most popular - and best paying - when it comes to hiring people with an IT project management background. These companies are also extremely competitive to get into. It takes a specific skill set to work as an information technology project manager, so you might want to consider pursuing an online masters in information security or Pass your Cisco Certification Tests with Kaplan SelfTest Test Preparation while you work your day job or pursue additional education in computer science. At the very least, learn more about the technical side of this role before making any final career goals or decisions!
Many companies aren’t willing, able or don’t see the need to hire on a full-time project manager or coordinator. If you’d rather work on a case-by-case basis or would love to keep your professional life fresh and exciting, consider starting your own consulting firm. Working as a freelance project manager allows you the freedom to work when you want on projects and ideas that you find fascinating or rewarding. Joining an established consulting group is another option to consider if your ultimate career goals within the field are still up-in-the-air.
Environmental Research Project Manager
Another relatively new career path, environmental research project management allows you to earn a healthy salary and work in an expanding field while you fulfill a passion for saving the environment. Your job duties will often include coordinating staff, scheduling duties and basically using the scientific method to address many environmental concerns.
No matter if you’re earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Project Management or a masters in human resources; online education is often the best course to fulfill your career aspirations while maintaining a healthy professional and personal life. Aside from the convenience of working on your schedule and the flexibility of taking tests, studying or interactions with professors from the comfort of your home, online education is often times less expensive than a traditional, campus-based program.