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Project Portfolio Management

How to become a project manager: education, training, & experience

Published By Team AdaptiveWork

Project management is one of the most appealing career opportunities available today. Project managers are in demand in essentially every industry and in every country, with strong growth predicted through the end of the decade and beyond. Whether you’re still in school and pondering your job prospects, or you’ve been in the workforce for years and are ready for your next challenge, chances are that project management is high on your list of ideal jobs.How to Become a Project Manager_Education_Training & Experience HiRes copy

Here’s a quick look at the steps you can take to improve your chances of landing an interesting and rewarding job in project management.


If you’ve just discovered an interest in project management, but you’ve been working toward (or have already earned) a degree in an unrelated field, don’t worry. While it is now possible to major in “Project Management Studies” at some schools, the vast majority of today’s working project managers earned their degrees in other areas of business, engineering, science or even liberal arts. In some industries, a college degree is not essential for success as a project manager at all. A solid education always helps, but the more important consideration is…

Practical Experience

A typical project manager job description will put more emphasis on professional experience than on education, certification or any other single topic. It’s important to remember that very few people step out of college and directly into a project manager role. You’ll probably need to spend a few years developing expertise in your industry of choice before you have a chance to lead a large project. Even after you reach that point, it can be another several years before you’ve accumulated enough PM hours to qualify for…

Project Manager Certification

Becoming a certified project manager can give your career a tremendous boost. Certified PMs typically earn more and have opportunities to lead more important and more interesting projects. In fact, many employers now require PMP certification or similar credentials for all of their project managers. If you’ve been managing projects for a few years, it’s almost certainly worth your while to get certified before you begin…

Searching for Your First Full-Time PM Position

Once you feel ready to move into a full-time PM role, spend some time updating your project manager resume. Be sure to include specific details that will help prospective employers understand the scope and importance of the projects you’ve worked on and led. Even if you’re seeking a promotion with your current employer, highlighting your past project manager responsibilities will help you make your case for your next step up the ladder. Other than your resume, your most valuable asset in your job search will be your…


It’s hardly news to say that having a strong professional network can help you further your career. Building connections along the way can help you stay informed about industry trends, make sales and find new career opportunities, among many other benefits. Make it a point to develop good relationships with co-workers, clients and partners, and maintain those relationships through social media and face-to-face interaction. Your connections will not only make it easier for you to find your ideal project management position, but they can help you succeed in your new role by providing additional resources when you need to solve problems and get things done.

Staying Ahead of the Curve Once You’re Hired

A major part of successful project management is staying ahead of the curve. You will score bonus points with any new employer if you understand the capabilities and advantages of a modern project management software solution. With Planview AdaptiveWork’s cloud-based project management solutions you and your team can work more efficiently, effectively, and with better results. Find out how by taking a product tour.

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Written by Team AdaptiveWork