“If you don’t know where you are going. How can you expect to get there?” – Basil S. Walsh
Whether or not you’re actually working in a project manager role, you can gain some invaluable professional skills and life hacks from studying project management. When you master the skills required to get an idea off the ground, life and work become easier. No matter which industry you end up in, understanding the basics of project management will always come in handy.
1. Work smarter, not harder
You can be busy all day; running a million miles an hour, answering every single email the moment it appears, attending every meeting and yet be making almost no impact on your work. What you need is a working strategy.
Planning, budgeting, developing effective strategies, managing stakeholders, achieving tasks on a deadline and mastering the efficient management of time are all central to project management.
When you study project management, you learn all the specific techniques, skills and programs you need to effectively manage your working schedule against a deadline.
When you plan your projects well, you can foresee challenges to manage risks, prioritise accordingly and keep your eyes on the end goal. Instead of spending time staying afloat, you’ll be anticipating and riding the waves like a pro.
2. Improve your chances of achieving the desired result
““A goal without a plan is just a wish” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1943) The Little Prince
Whether you’re setting up a small business, releasing a new product or implementing a system change within your company, you want to make sure that all your hard work delivers the results you’re hoping for.
Project managers are highly effective at achieving outcomes, because of their unique and specialised training.
A big part of effective project management involves working backwards: firstly identifying your goal and what it requires, and then learning how to break down a project into manageable parts on a timeline to reach that goal.
When you study project management, you learn how each project can be broken down into a clear process of assigned tasks, milestones, and deadlines, and how to delegate each component to an assigned task manager to manage stakeholder expectations. This approach allows project managers to react to issues as they come up with greater agility and to direct their teams more effectively to deliver on strategy.
Instead of winging it and hoping for results, your team members will be looking at you for specific advice and direction. You will know exactly what you want to achieve and precisely how to get there.
3. Gain competitive advantage and stand out from the crowd
According to the World Economic Forum, 7 out of the 10 most in-demand skills from now until 2025 are almost all soft skills:
- Analytical thinking and innovation
- Active learning
- Problem solving
- Critical thinking
- Leadership and social influence
- Reasoning, problem solving and ideation
- Resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility
These are all skills that you get to learn and practise when you study to become a project manager. Project management is all about innovation, problem solving, communicating, critical thinking, leadership, ideation of project outcomes and resilience under pressure.
As part of a typical project management course, you get to practise these skills in group assignments, through work placements, and via industry-led learning focused around real world problems that need to be solved.
When you can prove to others you are a reliable leader who is skilled in all these in-demand areas, you can expect to be a hot commodity in and out of your organisation.
4. Improve the quality of your work
Project managers don’t just plan, strategise, delegate and execute tasks to achieve an outcome, they also monitor performance for quality control along the way.
When you study project management, you learn how to develop and monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) and milestones against your project timeline.
KPIs allow you to measure the progress of each stage of your project as it develops, ensuring you are continuing to work in line with your original goals. This kind of monitoring is essential to ensuring that work is completed at the intended level of quality as well as within the intended timeframe.
Project managers also anticipate and respond to issues as they come up, developing solutions along the way and ensuring the final product still meets all parties' expectations.
Being an effective project manager means being able to come up with innovative new strategies, if for whatever reason the project cannot go according to the original plan.
When you understand project management, you will be handing in work that you are proud of, every time.
5. Gain skills in a growing industry
According to the latest job statistics from the Australian Institute of Project Management, project managers are in high demand in Australia.
These jobs also attract high salaries, because they are in such high demand. The average salary for a project manager in Australia is AUD$123,080 according to the latest data from job seeking site Indeed.
Project managers are needed across all industries, but they are particularly in the following industry areas:
- Engineering and Construction
- Community Services and Healthcare
- Banking and Financial Services
- Information Technology
- Government and Defence
- Education and Training
- Oil and GasRetail
- Professional services and consulting
Several industry specific project manager roles including Construction Project Manager, ICT Project Manager and Program or Project Administrator are so hard to fill they are now on the ANZSCO in-demand occupation list for skilled migration.
This means that if you study project management in Australia, you will be in high demand here and able to continue on into work in these roles when you graduate.
Every job requires the ability to turn ideas into reality. With the constant demand for businesses to become smarter and more efficient, the skills you learn in any project management course will become more and more valuable to employers.
Reach your highest potential in the project management field and choose from our selection of courses:
Graduate Certificate of Global Project Management
Graduate Diploma of Global Project Management
Master of Business Administration and Master of Global Project Management
Master of Global Project Management
Master of Global Project Management (Advanced)
Master of Global Project Management and Master of Public Health