June 23, 2024

How do I become a project manager


A career in project management offers the opportunity to lead complex projects, work with diverse teams, and contribute to the success of organizations across various industries. As a project manager, your role will involve overseeing projects from inception to completion, ensuring that they are delivered on time, within budget, and to the satisfaction of all stakeholders. If you're considering a career in project management, this guide will provide you with the steps you need to take to become a successful project manager.

Understanding the Role of a Project Manager

Before embarking on the journey to become a project manager, it's essential to understand the key responsibilities and skills required in this role. Some common responsibilities include:

  • Defining project scope and objectives
  • Developing a detailed project plan
  • Coordinating resources and team members
  • Monitoring progress and making adjustments as needed
  • Ensuring timely and effective communication with stakeholders
  • Managing risks and issues
  • Closing out projects and conducting post-project evaluations

Key skills needed for a project manager include:

  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management
  • Organization
  • Negotiation
  • Adaptability

Obtaining Relevant Education and Training

Although there are no strict educational requirements to become a project manager, having a bachelor's degree or higher in a relevant field can be beneficial. Some popular degree choices include:

  • Business Administration
  • Engineering
  • Information Technology
  • Construction Management

Aside from a formal education, taking specialised project management courses can help you develop the necessary skills and knowledge. Some popular options include:

  • Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI)
  • PRINCE2 certification from AXELOS
  • Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) from PMI
  • Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) from Scrum Alliance

Gaining Practical Experience

Real-world experience is crucial in developing the skills needed to be a successful project manager. You can gain this experience by:

  • Volunteering for project-related tasks in your current role
  • Seeking internships or entry-level positions in project management
  • Leading small-scale projects within your organisation or community
  • Joining a project management team and working your way up

Networking and Joining Professional Associations

Networking is a critical component of any career, and project management is no exception. Building connections with other project management professionals can help you:

  • Learn from experienced project managers
  • Stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices
  • Find job opportunities

Some popular project management associations and groups to consider joining include:

  • Project Management Institute (PMI)
  • International Project Management Association (IPMA)
  • Association for Project Management (APM)
  • Local project management meetup groups

Continuously Developing Your Skills

As a project manager, it's essential to stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices. You can do this by:

  • Attending conferences and workshops
  • Reading project management books and articles
  • Participating in online forums and discussion groups
  • Taking additional courses and certifications as needed

Preparing for the Job Search

Once you've built the necessary skills and experience, you can begin searching for project management positions. To improve your chances of landing a job, make sure to:

  • Create a strong resume that highlights your project management experience and accomplishments
  • Develop a compelling cover letter tailored to each job application
  • Leverage your network to find job opportunities
  • Prepare for interviews by practicing common project management interview questions


Becoming a project manager takes time, dedication, and a commitment to continuous learning.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you'll be well on your way to a successful career in project management.

Remember to stay proactive in your personal and professional development, as this field is constantly evolving.

By honing your skills, building a strong network, and gaining practical experience, you'll set yourself apart as a highly qualified and sought-after project manager.

Embrace the challenges and opportunities that come with this dynamic role, and enjoy the satisfaction of leading projects to successful completion whilst making a lasting impact on the organisations you serve.