Skip to main content

How to Become a Project Manager

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 | 12:00 AM

If you are interested in and have a knack for planning and organizing complex projects and leading teams, you might consider a career in project management. Project management is a high-level skill that helps keep a business running smoothly and efficiently. Project managers are key leaders within every industry and are increasingly in demand in all types of companies. A study by the Project Management Institute, a not-for-profit membership association for the field, shows that there will be approximately 1.2 million new project management jobs created every year for the next 10 years, on average. Part of the growth is fueled by baby boomers reaching retirement and part because more organizations have begun to realize the valuable contributions that project managers bring to the overall success of a business.

What Is Needed to Work in Project Management?

Project managers are responsible for defining, planning, executing and supervising specific projects within a company to completion. Their duties include maintaining objectives, creating and sticking to a budget, organizing schedules and making sure deadlines are met. Project managers may work closely with upper management or with other departments for support to get the job done. They might work by themselves or lead a team of people. Project managers can work in a variety of fields and are often found in such industries as construction, oil and gas, information technology, computer systems and networking, telecommunications, healthcare, government, marketing and manufacturing.

A good — or bad — project manager can make the difference between a project coming in on time and on budget and a project being a failure. To become a project manager in any field you might choose, you will need certain skills and requirements in order to be efficient and successful. These skills may include:

Leadership: To become a project manager you will need to be people oriented, with excellent skills in dealing with people on all levels while assuming the responsibility of the project as a whole. You will have to keep your team motivated and challenged, know how to resolve conflicts, be able to delegate work and be ready to make decisions for others.

Communication: As a project manager, you will deal with both written and oral communications, from documents and reports, to meetings and reviews. All communications regarding your project should be clear and complete.

Problem solving: You will need analytical skills to be able to solve problems that come up during a project. You will be analyzing data and assessing team members, making decisions that affect the project on a regular basis.

Organization: Along with planning and carrying out a project, a good manager must have the ability to organize materials, including documents, contracts, reports, emails and memos. The skill of time management also is necessary for successful project management.

Budgeting and technical: A solid background in mathematics, budgeting and estimating, along with accounting principles and foundations in business, will be required of you as a project manager. Experience with financial platforms, software and programs also are a plus to become a project manager.

Project Management Covered in Online MBA Program

If you are interested in making a career move to project management and moving up to a leadership role, you want to know how to become a project manager. One way is to work your way up in an organization. You can jump-start your career with a bachelor’s degree in business and go on to earn a Master in Business Administration degree. An online MBA program will teach courses such as scheduling, risk management, team leadership, budgeting and estimation, and tools and methodologies for project management. Online MBA courses also will cover strategy management, marketing, finance, human resource management, communication and problem solving.

As more companies begin to hire project managers, an MBA can be an asset to anyone who is interested in this field.

Learn about University of Texas Rio Grande Valley online MBA program.


Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.

Click on the link below to request more information regarding the UTRGV Graduate Programs.

Request More Information