Career Spotlight: Project Manager

How to Be a Project Manager

Whether designing a shopping mall, conducting a marketing campaign, or developing a computer system, a company needs to make sure their project is done smoothly. This is where a project manager comes in. Project managers are responsible for planning, executing, and completing a project. You can even go as far as to say they are responsible for the success or failure of a project. Let’s take a closer look at this position.

What Is a Project Manager?

Project managers initiate, execute, and complete projects across a range of industries, while also working within an organization’s constraints, such as budgets, schedules, and workforce. They use a variety of skills, including leadership, interpersonal, decision making, time management, and others to execute their jobs successfully. Additionally, project managers function as mediators between team members and executive staff; they are necessary for facilitating communication during all steps of a project.

What Does a Project Manager Do?

So now you know the basics of what a project manager is. But let’s take a look at some of the day-to-day tasks a project manager might be responsible for. Depending on the type of project, a project manager may do any of the following:

  • Meet with leadership to discuss an upcoming project
  • Talk to the finance team about increasing the budget
  • Create a risk assessment report
  • Check in with the project team for progress reports
  • Update the calendar to reflect timeline shifts
  • Understand what tools each team member needs to complete their piece of the project
  • Make sure the lines of communication are open
  • Be able to anticipate problems and adjust accordingly
  • Lead quality assurance
  • Moderate a post-mortem project meeting and gather feedback

Other tasks and responsibilities include interviewing new staff members, conducting team meetings, holding private meetings with team members, and updating stakeholders on a project’s progress.

Where Do Project Managers Work?

Due to need for project management in any industry, project managers have the flexibility to choose an industry, including finance, construction, advertising, health care, information technology, and others. Project managers are usually most common, however, in companies where there are multiple departments and teams involved in many complex and extensive projects.

How to Become a Project Manager

If you’re interested in becoming a project manager, that’s great! It’s important to note that you need at least a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in either business or management to enter this field. Excelsior University’s Bachelor of Science in Business program can help you gain skills in accounting, business strategy, communication, computer skills, economics, business ethics, finance, global business, leadership, management, marketing, data analysis, and teamwork and cultural diversity. The Bachelor of Professional Studies in Business and Management program includes coursework in accounting, financial management, marketing, project management, and employee relations, as well as leadership, management practice, business communication, and global commerce. Either is a smart choice if you would like to become a project manager because you’ll build skills you can use on the job.

Many employers may also prefer that you obtain a professional certificate or certification. Either option could help improve your resume and make you stand out in the job market. If you already have a bachelor’s degree and want to further your education, Excelsior’s Graduate Certificate in Advanced Project Management is an option to pursue. The Project Management Institute (PMI) offers resources that prepare you to pass the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam and obtain PMP certification. The PMI also administers the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), an entry-level certification that can help open a path for you.

Project Manager Job Outlook

According to PMI, the average salary of a project manager in the United States is $115,000, and Job Growth and Talent Gap report that 2.2 million new jobs are expected to open through 2027. Project management offers many career opportunities if you’re looking to test your leadership and creativity skills.

If this sounds like the kind of job for you, speak to an Excelsior admissions counselor today and get started on your new career path.