Project Management post graduate higher education courses are on the increase and that is a good thing.
HOWEVER, based on my experience, for people just starting out:
Is completion of a PM Master’s Degree course mandatory to land a project manager job in today’s market?
No. You’ll find at this stage few, if any, recruiters or employers will list a requirement for project management education. Typically an undergraduate degree (in something relevant to industry domain -ie IT) is listed as desirable for most organisations for a PM role. Check seek.com.au and do a search on degree and you’ll find less than 10% of IT PM roles even list a basic degree. Check “master degree” and you’ll find less than 1% of the roles relevant and even with the relevant roles, there focus is most likely to be substantial experience.
Is there value to complete such a Master Degree course during your career?
Absolutely, as with any education that will improve your underlying knowledge and confidence to practice the discipline. Continued learning – lifelong learning is no longer a buzz word but a real necessity to be conscientiously practised and post graduate course provide a good structured education that help develop knowledge and therefore competence.
However, if you just are starting out with the career goal of becoming a project manager, looking for your first job, I suggest that it will be more beneficial for you to take a project based job -( i.e. project co-ordinator or project admin role and/or technical delivery role) than to stay at University to complete a post graduate higher education course before getting on the job experience?
Get experience. Experience rules – particularly in project management. Show dedication and focus on the job and you are more likely to progress faster. I don’t think qualifications in and of themselves will turn anyone into a competent PM. To become a senior PM you must have demonstrated a drive and an aptitude to get things done. With you get things done and are organised that is what employers value. That said, once you have some experience, there is great personal benefit to Post-Graduate studies (either in project management and/or your domain area).
If you are starting out with the career goal of becoming a project manager, I would next suggest your priority should be gaining certification aligned to your experience. You’ll find more information on entry level PM certification here.
Sources of information include Project Management associations, magazines, like the AIPM’s Project Manager magazine, or PMI’s Project Manager Today. In addition today there is a mass of free content, comment, information, ideas, and formal learning available on websites and blogs, youtube.
You’ll note that I completed tertiary courses, including a Master’s Degree along with certifications. In my experience I have never been questioned about this when I have been interviewed. Moreover, even the recruitment agencies have only focussed on my certification status – did I tick the box. The 100% focus to get the job has been my real-world experience and how that related to applicable job. Does that mean I regret the effort and investment required to complete the Master’s et al? No. But I doubt having a Master’s degree as ever assisted me in getting a job.
If you have to choose when starting out for your first job between formal project management education vs experience, go with the experience. In reality, this is not an either-or choice however; but if you get a job you want to do a great job and concurrent education may be a distraction. You could go with both but always focus on your opportunities to gain real-world experience.
So in summary, my recommendation,in priority order, to fast track building a career in project management are:
- Gain an entry level project management role.
- Get PM certified ( an even multiple certifications when you are eligible) – relevant to your industry
- Network – Professional societies – at work – get involved – make yourself known as a proactive person
- Get experience
- Supplement your underlying knowledge. (Continued learning – lifelong learning is no longer a buzz word but a real necessity – attending conferences, completing courses, reading books, reading the internet)
Here are select Australia tertiary project management courses available below. This list of courses is not exhaustive – suggestions for others welcome:
NSW Tertiary Project Management Courses
- Diploma of Project Management delivered by UNE Partnerships … The Diploma is for those who: developproject management plans and have sole responsibility for achieving a project’s objectives
- Project Management – The University of Sydney The University of Sydney offers a Bachelor of Project Management, a Master of Project Management and a Master of Project Leadership.
- Master of Project Management - University of Sydney The Master of Project Management Program offers students flexibility in their learning. Students have the choice to complete the MPM.
- UTS: DAB – Home – Faculty of Design, Architecture & Building University of Technology, Sydney … At the forefront of industry trends, the Master of Project Management now offers sub-majors in Business, IT, Engineering, or a …
- Project Management … - The University of Newcastle, Australia This course introduces the technical, organisational and personal skills needed to manage complex projects.
- Master of Project Management - Charles Sturt University CSU’s Project Management degrees prepare students for industry certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI®)
Vic Tertiary Project Management Courses
- Property Construction and Project Management – RMIT University RMIT University Property Construction and Project Management.
- Diploma of Project Management at Swinburne University of … This diploma qualification is suitable for those seeking a qualification in project management.
- Graduate Diploma in Project Management | Victoria University … This course was designed to meet the needs of project managers in industry.QLD Tertiary Project Management Courses
- Master of Project Management - Courses … - University of Queensland Project managers can be found in all industries. The postgraduate programs in project management at the University of Queensland are based on the nine, core …
- Graduate Diploma in Project Management - Courses and Programs Programs, majors and courses on offer at The University of Queensland.
WA Tertiary Project Management CoursesSA Tertiary Project Management Courses
- The University of Adelaide Master of Applied Project Management Master of Applied Project Management The University of Adelaide.Other
- Master of Project Management – Open Universities Australia Project management – Learn PMBOK and skills for successful, planning, development and delivery of projects. course delivered by UniSA. Learn more.
- Master of Engineering Project Management: The University of The Master of Engineering Project Management is designed to meet the needs of graduates in disciplines requiring an advanced
- Stanford Advanced Project Management … - Stanford – Gain skills to execute business strategies effectively with our Advanced Project Management Courses & Classes.If you are aware of courses that should be added to the list, let me know