We’ve heard the term project management a dozen different ways, but what does it really mean, and why does it really matter?
What it’s all about
Studying to be a something, and then getting a job as that something simply isn’t the way it works anymore. What you study at university now serves as more of a guideline than anything else. If you study to become a teacher, you might work in teaching for a few years, but the stats are stacked in favour of you changing careers many many times, regardless of your expertise. The same thing goes if you were to study to become a chartered accountant, a finance guru, a dramatist, geologist or just about anything else…
Times are a-changing, and so should the things we study.
Project management is all about collating a dynamic set of variables, people, resources and ideas to turn the cogs of the virtual machine. It’s about planning a path, setting the parameters and bringing the pieces together to build something successfully. Nope, it’s not easy, but it’s a bustling centre of excitement and activity, and that’s pretty awesome.
Why it’s non-negotiable
So you’ve heard the story about growth in project management as a career – to all extents and purposes, the world is moving away from production line skill sets, and towards role-orientated, ‘bundles’ of work, best known as projects… We should no longer be training to acquire a skill set designed to fulfil a particular job description in a particular industry because, well, it just doesn’t work like that anymore!
Welcome to 2015, where Generations Y and Z are changing careers left, right and centre. To your grandparents it’s unthinkable, but for the youth of today it’s the only way. With the onslaught of technology and information, no two days are alike, and that means we can’t assume a position in a company and expect to work in a similar way day in and day out. We have to adapt, take one thing at a time to plan and execute, and then hit the refresh button and do it again.
It’s a proven process, flawless in theory and realistic in practice. And we need to adopt this mentality sooner rather than later, because graduates are leaving university only to find that the real world doesn’t care what they studied, but rather how many problems they can take on their shoulders and work methodically to solve.
How to get up to scratch
The good news is that you have options: PATH (Project Application and Theory) is a ten month, intensely-practical course on project management (PM) which we at EduConnect think is right on point. The course covers everything you need to know about PM, from the fundamental processes and planning techniques, to practical tools and onsite work. As far as content goes, we suggest PATH as the best option for studying project management.
For those of you uncertain about what field you’d like to be in, or perhaps you’d simply like to keep your options open as far as industries are concerned – this is a great option. If you’re thinking of taking a gap year to work, learn or get a clearer understanding of what you’d like to get into, we’d highly recommend enrolling in a project management course like PATH.
Remember that you wouldn’t be walking away without a recognised qualification – graduation from PATH leaves you with two internationally-recognised accreditations, a BTec and a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM). And possibly even more valuable is the accumulative 5 months of practical, onsite work experience garnered during the course.
If ever there was an opportunity for those uncertain about their careers, this is one we’d suggest.
Two cents from our CEO
As others will surely agree, a large portion of your job as a manager in any industry is simply to allow the stresses of the company to rest on your shoulders. That means that problems are ours to bear, whether they get solved or remain unsolved. Naturally, we want to drive success, so we find ways to solve as many problems (the bigger the better) as possible.
Moreover, the problems we face are almost always clearly definable, which in turn allows us to set the problem out into a bundle of work. This is where we need able project managers to take on the responsibility to plan and execute to solve problems… The better the project management capabilities, the bigger problems you can solve, and the more valuable you are.
– Jason Basel, EduConnect.co.za CEO
This article was sponsored by the folks at AllAboutXpert.