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Learn Project Management: The Best Courses and Resources

There’s a lot of work that goes into seeing a project to its completion and even a lot more to guarantee its successful delivery. This is where learning project management plays an integral role. As employers continue to seek professionals skilled enough to deliver successful projects, there’s been a growing interest in how to learn project management.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of project management. What is it about? Why is it so important to the workplace? What steps should you take to master it? We’ll answer all of that and more. Finally, we give you a list of the courses you can take to learn project management.

What Is Project Management?

Project management is the application of management skills, techniques, and methodologies to hit specific project goals and objectives and achieve successful project delivery. Any project comes with a set of project management risks, from handling changes in the budget to scheduling tasks effectively. It’s up to the project managers to mitigate these quickly.

To do so, project managers must be able to understand client requests, measure a project’s feasibility, plan its delivery, and monitor the project’s progress. Successful project managers also have a keen eye for identifying the resources a project demands and allocating these properly. These may include materials, funding, locations, human resources, and more.

Fortunately, these tasks have become easier to achieve with the plethora of project management tools and software available online. For instance, it’s now easier to organize and analyze Gantt charts with the help of these automated software programs. 

What Jobs Use Project Management?

Almost all kinds of ventures need project management, especially large-scale projects. More than ever, companies and businesses need employees with project management skills. Project management jobs bring in an average salary of $80,220 per year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Because project management applies to multiple industries, the employment pool is expected to grow by 33 percent by 2027. That’s equivalent to 22 million new job opportunities for project management-oriented roles. 

Among the industries that seek such candidates are the Federal Executive Branch, management companies, and colleges and universities.

Below are a few of the jobs that utilize project management skills:

  • Project Managers. As a project manager, you’ll be in charge of overseeing the delivery of your organization’s projects. This entails the application of advanced management, planning, and organization skills.

  • Construction Manager. Project management skills are important to ensure that deadlines for construction projects are met. As a construction manager, you’re responsible for assigning the right people to the right task. Since building infrastructures can be quite costly, you are also in charge of ensuring that the construction project stays on budget.

  • Manufacturing Engineer. Your main role is to ensure the efficiency of manufacturing processes, which requires your involvement in tweaking processes to their full potential.

  • Software Developer. Yes, even software development involves project management. The only difference is that the management happens in a digital setting. Nonetheless, the application remains the same. Project management ensures quicker and smoother delivery of software.

  • Digital Marketing Manager. Brand awareness campaigns are more effective with the help of project management. Any project comes with limited resources. Efficient planning is thus essential to ensure that these resources are maximized but never in shortage. For instance, advertising doesn’t come cheap. So, having a project manager to handle the budget is important.

Steps to Learn Project Management

Various sticky notes are posted and arranged on a board with a man leading the discussion
Continuous learning is essential if you want to get ahead in the project management field.

Learning project management is anything but a linear process. That said, it almost always starts with some key steps, all of which are listed below.

Step 1: Understand Management

Project management is not management. Instead, project management involves having control procedures to oversee a project’s success in a given time. Meanwhile, general management has more to do with ongoing and overall improvement within an organization.

Despite the specific project management and management differences, you are still bound to start with management theories. Understanding management serves as your foundation to better understand project management and its limitations.

Step 2: Learn Project Management Methodologies

There are several popular methodologies of project management, including Agile project management, Scrum, Lean, Kanban, and PMBOK. Find out what makes each distinct and when to use them.

The project management methodologies serve as your guide when you go into the professional landscape. Mastering these methodologies will help you determine which works best depending on industry needs.

Step 3: Immerse Yourself in All Types of Projects

Creating project plans, whether for a business case or a commissioned project, can help you improve in project management. Hands-on learning stimulates your brain and pushes you to be more creative. This also opens more windows for collaboration, which improves your abilities to work within a project team. A great way to get practical experience in this field is to attend a project management bootcamp like the ones hosted by Berkeley Extension or Cheetah.

Trying out different industries also helps if you’re uncertain of your field of specialization. Having project management skills is half the journey. Having a specialization completes it; not to mention that working in an area you’re comfortable with is a lot more motivating.

Step 4: Take Project Management Classes

Though not necessary, it’s ideal to pursue graduate studies if your schedule permits you. Pursuing further studies keeps you up to date with the newest developments and trends in project management. Master’s degrees in management and other project management-related fields are available both offline and online.

Organizations like the Project Management Institute (PMI) are also around to continuously propagate learnings about project management. The point is, there are lots of resources at your disposal that will help transform you into a professional project manager.

The Best Online Courses to Learn Project Management

Project management courses are readily available online for all learning levels. These courses boost your project management knowledge. There are also training courses that help prepare you for certification exams.

Continuous learning, even if you are already a professional, is essential if you want to get ahead in the field. Project management techniques also change as the tools of the trade evolve with technology. Below are courses that will help keep you on track with these changes.

Project Management Principles and Practices Specialization

Offered by the University of California via Coursera, this specialization course is for those who plan to take a project management certification exam. The course begins with the basics of project management and culminates with a capstone project that requires you to create your project plan.

Introduction to Project Management

This course teaches you project management skills that you can readily apply to your work. As such, learners who are already working as project managers must enroll in this course. It will teach you how to be more discerning when examining projects. You will also learn how to estimate, create, and maintain the project budget and other resources.

Project Management and Its Role in Effective Business

Through this 10-week course, you will learn how to become an effective project manager by delivering strategic changes to a project. This course will teach you all kinds of techniques for planning, execution, and control. Moreover, you will discover how to effectively minimize risks from potential project hazards.

MicroMasters® Program in Project Management

This program is all about teaching you the tools and techniques of project management while understanding the life cycle of a project. It also points you to the best practices that you must keep in mind to meet industry standards. Finally, you will also be oriented to the essential legal and regulatory practices that come with managing and delivering projects.

Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management

This introductory course by the University of Virginia immerses you in the key concepts of planning and execution. By the end of the course, you’ll have a sound understanding of project management methodologies essential to any type of project.

Why Learn Project Management?

Project management is vital to any organization. It’s a versatile and in-demand field that crosses a range of industries, such as engineering, marketing, and construction. 

Aside from promising a multitude of opportunities, project management also hones your skills in leadership and organization. It also offers numerous reliable techniques and methodologies that you can turn to for any project. These make project management skills not just essential to aspiring project managers but to any career that you wish to take.

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