How to Become a Project Manager?

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    Aug 22, 2014
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How to Become a Project Manager? Photo by Natalie Carrigan

The scope of project management is not only restricted to just overseeing the development of a particular project. Rather a lot more goes into it. It involves planning and organizing activities, motivating people working on it, keeping a track on budget, controlling resources, following procedures and protocols and ensuring completion of the project in time.

Project management plays a critical role in assessing and managing risks at various stages of development, enhancing the quality of the product or application that’s being developed, improving the efficiency of people working on the project, enhancing the effectiveness of service delivery, and increasing the level of customer satisfaction.

Project managers are professionals who are responsible for planning, execution and completion of any project, typically relating to software development, construction, architecture, finance, healthcare, advertising, marketing, transportation, education, telecommunications, web development and engineering. They are specialists in their fields/disciplines with the skills needed to manage projects in timely and cost-effective manner.

Becoming a Project Manager

Project managers play several roles at a time: planners, organizers, managers, leaders and company representatives. This means that they should be well-versed in project management fundamentals, planning and scheduling, risk and quality management and cost estimation and control. Additionally, they must possess excellent communication, interpersonal, critical thinking, problem solving, analytical and leadership skills.

As this is a specialized discipline, aspiring project managers need to undergo formal project management education, to equip themselves with all the required knowledge and skills. A graduate certificate project management course provides solid, fundamental knowledge and hands-on training to equip graduates and existing professionals with the skills required to manage projects in highly volatile, competitive and technologically advanced business environment.

It is most suitable for those who wish to enhance their employability by obtaining a globally-recognized certification in project management. It is also ideal for experienced managers who are seeking to bring a new dimension of leadership to their work environment. The program can also be taken by management leaders who want to manage innovation in a structured manner.

Program Structure

Centennial College’s project management program runs for one year through three semesters, covering a wide selection of subjects, including business communications, fundamentals of project management, business principles and requirements management, project planning and scheduling, project management tools applications, project risk and quality management, project estimation and cost management, procurement and contract management, international project management and professional responsibilities and project management office.

The curriculum also includes hands-on integration of technology tools, such as Microsoft project and leading-edge industry case studies. The program concludes with a full-time, 12-week experiential learning opportunity through industry field placement with a participating organization. It helps students gain valuable project management experience and relevant industry contacts for future references. Moreover, the experience gained can be used towards work requirements for the PMI (Project Management Institute) designation.

The students will also have to participate in an online course and prepare assignments related to the experiential learning opportunity. This helps them sum up what they have learnt during their internship and actually explain their experience of working in a real-world setting.

The program graduates can find employment with both public and private companies as project leaders, global project managers, process development analysts or project managers.

Author's Profile

The author, discusses the responsibilities of project managers. He also writes about how Centennial College’s postgraduate project management course in Toronto prepares graduates and existing professionals for careers in this field.

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