Why should I consider studying Project Management?
If you like to work on a lot of different things at the same time and you want to have a well-paying job in the kind of business you like, then Project Management might be just the thing for you. There are a lot of jobs for project managers in South Africa and they are usually very well paid jobs too. So, what can you do to get one of those jobs? Studying Project Management is a good start.
What exactly is Project Management?
A project is a goal that is not part of the main business of a company. A project can be a long-term or a short-term thing. For example, a company that sells cookies wants to set up a new office. Setting up the office would be a project. Project managers make sure that everything gets done.
Why is Project Management important?
Project Management is there to make sure that the project is finished on time and that it is in line with what the company wants and needs. Having a project manager also means that there is one person in charge of all the teams. That means they make sure that everyone is working together like they should. A project manager does many other things too, like making sure there are no risks, checking quality and so much more.
Ok, so what exactly do I learn in a Project Management course?
There are different kinds of project managers, but they all need to know the same basics:
- good time management
- how to keep track of resources
- how to make sure that planning and budgeting is realistic
- how to write documents and reports
- and being able to work with many different information systems.
What are the benefits of studying Project Management and what kinds of jobs could I be looking at?
There are a lot of advantages to having a Project Management qualification for you and for your company. Having a Project Management qualification means more job opportunities for you and it means your company can keep its promises and reach its goals.
Here are some examples of Project Manager jobs:
- business project manager
- construction project manager
- project risk manager
- IT project manager
- technical project manager
- financial project manager and many more.
At the time of writing this, according to PayScale, on average the yearly salaries for Project Management jobs look like this:
- Project Management Director: R845 013
- Program Manager: R393 054
- Project Coordinator: R207 424
- Procurement Manager: 425 669
- Risk Manager: R498 757
- Quality Control Manager: R288 348
As you can see there is a lot of money to be made.
I’m too busy to go to classes. Can I study Project Management through distance learning?
Yes, you can. There are many companies that have Project Management courses. Skills Academy and Unisa are just two examples. Unisa doesn’t have a Project Management course but there are many courses at Unisa that have Project Management classes as part of the course. Choosing the course which is best for you depends on you and what you want. Studying using distance learning means that you can study while you are working. It also means that you decide when you study.
What kinds of courses are available?
There are full-time, part-time, online and short courses. Different companies have different courses so just ask them.
Where can I go to study?
There are many companies, in places like Durban and Cape Town, that have accredited and non-accredited courses. With distance learning, you will be able to do it no matter where you are. How long a course is depends on which course you take. Short courses could be maybe ten to 12 weeks long, while modules can take six months or even a year.
You talk about accredited and non-accredited programmes. What’s the difference and is one better than the other?
It doesn’t matter if you do an accredited or a non-accredited course. Studying an accredited course does give you a slightly better chance of getting a job and could help you earn more money than someone who studied a non-accredited course. But, a non-accredited course has no exams, you don’t need a Matric certificate to enroll, and it is much cheaper than an accredited course. Studying Project Management doesn’t mean you will get a job but it will help you find a job.
Hopefully, this quick look at Project Management and the options you have to study it will help you make the right choice when deciding if this is the right job for you.