The Road to Being a Project Manager

The Road to Being a Project Manager

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Project management may sound simple enough, but without the right training and qualifications, it may not run as smooth as a you think.

At NCC, we have an impressive array of business courses all of which can launch a new career or be the foundation on which promotion is based. For many people, project management is a key aspect of their role and although it may sound simple enough, without the right training and qualifications, it may not run as smooth as you think.

What do project managers do?
Project managers are key in many organisations as they plan and organise resources, including people, to ensure that projects finish on time, stay within budget and meet the project brief.

This is a heady responsibility because in some industries such as construction, if a project is not delivered on time or comes in over budget, there can be financial penalties. It is a job that requires juggling many key aspects as one time, as well as excellent people skills and the ability to lead a diverse and large team of people.

It is a rewarding job and one that many people go on to do after successfully completing various business courses.

Tasks and activities
A project manager will plan and manage all kinds of business projects from those that last short term to those projects that can run for many years. They are employed in all kinds of industries, overseeing a new IT system for a client or a road building project. It is this diversity but also the ability to specialise that attracts many people to the role.

No matter what the project is, the project manager will:

  • Find out from the client or employer what it is that needs to be achieved by the project
  • Agree timescales, costs and resources needed
  • Create a detailed plan and schedule for each phase and stage of the project
  • Select people for their project team
  • Ensure that each phase is progressing on time and on budget
  • Check standards throughout the project
  • Provide the client with regular updates throughout the project
  • And most importantly, manage the risks and threats that could derail the project

There are many planning tools, theories and software applications that project managers use to help them manage a project, many of which a student will learn about through various business courses. It goes without saying, however, that there are times when a project manager will need a cool head when all those around them are losing theirs. There will be periods of acute pressure and stress, but the role of project manager is incredibly rewarding.

Working conditions
There may be times when hours are long and unsocial, depending on the type of project being manages. In the main, most project managers will work on a Monday to Friday basis. When a deadline is looming for a certain phase or stage of a project, the project manager would be expected to be leading his or her team.

Most project managers are also office based but, again, depending on the nature of the project, it may mean travelling to and from construction sites and so on. It is also important to note that it may mean staying away from home on occasions.

How to be a project manager
There are many routes to becoming a project manager. Many people already work in an industry where teams of people work on various projects either in short bursts or for their entirety. The project leader will have a project team on most projects and often, people who work on the team will aspire to the role of manager.

There is a range of business courses that can provide a springboard into this exciting career, including those that are general as well as those that are specific to a certain industry or sector. Entry requirements vary too but with NCC, the pre requisites for project management courses and other courses of this type are not hurdles that are too big to climb.

Completing courses like the ones we have on offer can be the door-opener that you need to gaining employment on the project team. Building on your qualifications with hands-on experience will be excellent for gaining the project manager role you covet.

Many qualified project managers also go on to running their own businesses, offering their skills and abilities on a freelance basis.

Study with NCC
Studying business courses from home can mean you gain additional qualifications in a way and at a time that suits you best, whether that is in an evening or on the weekend, by studying at the kitchen table or reading a chapter of your courses on the bus home.

Take a look at being a project manager!

Nick Cooper
Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care. NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.
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