Perhaps the most compelling reason to earn project management skills these days is due to the fact that so many other individuals in the labour market have them. While you never want to earn something simply to keep pace with the competition, it's becoming more difficult for prospective hires without certain skills to make it into their chosen career.
Fortunately, learning more about project management is an excellent way to improve things that are more than just your outlook. It can give you additional insight into how people plan the tasks that you're assigned at your job. As a result, you may be able to see the big picture even when it isn't clear why you have to do certain things.
Due to the fact that people have ready access to this kind of training in today's world, you may quickly find that some employers flat out insist on you having at least some measure of it under your belt.
Consider the fact that the average recruiter spends only seven seconds at most looking at a resumé, and it starts to become obvious just how much even the slightest amount of training can increase your chances of landing a job.
Online education has almost completely replaced traditional learning when it comes to earning certain types of project management certifications. Those who don't have any existing skills can start with a simple course. These have become increasingly popular as professionals who are pressed for time look for an opportunity to get ahead in their careers.
For instance, Bonnie Biafore's Project Management Foundations has proven especially popular with those who are looking to gain a solid foundation before moving on to something a little more advanced. The course covers the basic principles of planning a project, getting it organised and then actually executing it.
Considering that nearly 380,000 have signed up for the course, it's easy to assume that it and many others like it continue to grow. Unfortunately, those with established project management skills have eschewed this kind of learning because they often feel that it doesn't provide a sufficient challenge for them.
Sometimes taking a beginner's course is an excellent way to freshen up on skills that you might have lost when transitioning between jobs. Those looking for an advanced course that earns them a proper certification have instead looked to those put on by advanced learning organisations.
Take the PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner certification for example. It provides a complete foundation that prospective employees can add to their CV or resumé to illustrate how they're ready to work in a field directly related to project management.
Information provided by labour market insiders have suggested that even these advanced courses might be of some use to those who work in other fields, however.
Some people are of the opinion that miscommunication is the biggest cause of workplace problems. It'd be difficult to prove this one way or the other. However, nobody would argue that communications breakdowns aren't a major issue in nearly every industry.
Project managers are often misunderstood by those who are working under them. It's easy for employees to figure that their managers must lack insight into real business problems since they're removed from day-to-day operations.
Once you have a measure of project management training, you'll be able to see more of what your coordinators do. That means you'll be able to communicate problems to them before they blossom into much larger issues.
In a worst-case scenario, you may have some fears about a lack of planning confirmed. If that were to happen, then you'd have the skills needed to get your own team back on course. Depending on the field you work in, upper management might recognize this as a leadership quality.
Others simply find that a background in project management makes for a good CV sheet. This may be especially true of those trying to break into certain types of high-tech careers.
According to a study by the Open University, 61 per cent of employers want to focus on developing talent within their own organisations. That could translate into a huge opportunity for existing employees to earn promotions in the companies that they already work for.
A majority of these will be in technical fields that need people who can manage projects from the point of view of someone who understands the work that goes into them. As the UK's economy continues to transition to one based on services, the demand for people who can fill these kinds of positions is likely to grow.
Those who work in other fields, such as finance and the legal professions, might soon find that project management skills are just as handy to have.
Philip Piletic - I'm closely following the impact of technology on education, and its evolution from traditional to modern methods that include e-learning, courses, gamification, and others. I helped Sydney-based IT & Business school with developing their IT courses.
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