||Overview of Project Management
Employers are increasingly recognising the value of project management as an important skill set within their organisations.
Project management modules are often integrated in business courses or management degrees as a complement to these higher education programmes.
The nature of project management involves a complex process of project planning and scheduling, planning of budgets, and managing clients and contractors. Depending on your level of project management knowledge and qualification, you can undertake different roles within a company or a project.
Studying Project Management
Project management courses are offered at workshops level, certificate, diploma and postgraduate levels by Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes, universities and professional education centres.
Short courses in project management can range from one day to six months, while postgraduate master, diploma and certification programmes last up to a year. Certain project management courses are also offered via distant learning modes.
As project management involves mainly theoretical learning, online project management courses are also available in most private learning institutions.
In undergraduate studies, project management courses are predominantly offered as a core course elective across the commerce, finance and engineering programmes.
Postgraduate options for project management courses are awarded at Master, graduate diploma or certificate level at higher education institutions. Individuals with postgraduate certifications are able to take on positions such as chief project officer.
As project management is a standalone skill set, there is no need for any prior experience nor academic requirements to undertake short courses. However, entry requirements to a postgraduate course in project management will depend on the institution, and specific industries.
Careers in Project Management
There are many roles you can undertake with project management qualifications. Project management co-ordinators, assistants and managers would report to a project director in a basic project management team.
Project management courses are best suited for professionals in the construction, architecture and engineering fields as this knowledge can complement their technical knowledge and enhance their project management processes and methodologies.
Industries that heavily require skilled project management practitioners are agriculture, energy and mining exploration and the construction, architecture and property development industries.
Project management qualifications are also required at information technology companies, where there is a need for a systematic and organised process for its projects.
Skills needed in Project Management
To be a project management practitioner, you are expected to be organised, flexible, and pro-active; good communication and inter-personal skills are also critical skills to have for this role.
Official professional bodies such as the Australian Institute of Project Management and the Project Management Institute provide accreditation and competency assessment of project management practitioners.
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