So you want to switch careers and become a project manager?

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013 By Jack Nevison

After several years in the same role with the same company, you start to feel the urge to contribute in a different way. You'd like a role that lets you use your existing skills and experience, but that is more fast-paced and lets you frequently switch gears.

Why not project management?

That's the gist of a question asked last week by an IT World reader—currently a business analyst—who wants to become a project manager.

IT World's Eric Bloom laid out three steps readers should take to become a project manager, including assessing your personal brand, considering your career objectives and determining which steps will bring you closer to your professional goals.

If, after assessing your current level of experience, strengths and weaknesses, as well as how your managers perceive your professional performance, you think project manager is a role you are well-suited to, then the next step is to sign up for agile project management training programs.

Bloom mentions the value of attaining a PMP® certification if your "ultimate professional goal" is to be a project manager, but he says that "spending time and money to become a PMP®" may not be a good investment if your think your tenure as a project manager will be short-term.

Assessing the benefits of PMP certification 

There is value, however, in training for your PMP® certification, regardless of the length of your tenure. According to an article on the blog Project Management Success, training programs not only broaden your knowledge base, but can also improve your networking abilities and lead to new job opportunities.

In addition, many of these jobs will command higher salaries as a result of your training. PMP®  certification is a signal to employers that a project manager cares about improving his professional "edge." Projects often fail when a manager does not know the basics of project management. However, employers are likely to view certification as evidence that hiring you will pay off with a series of successful projects.

"Certification shows that you meet the standard for industry competence," the article wrote. "Consider PMP® certification to help add to your skill set and increase your chances of project success."

Here at New Leaf Project Management, we disagree with Bloom's perspective. We think that a PMP® certification is almost always a worthwhile addition to your resume. Boosting your professional qualifications through project management training programs will raise your salary above your industry's average. And you'll learn professional skills that will translate to success in any role, even if your stint as a project manager is short-lived.

That's why New Leaf offers its QPM™ game series to certified PMP®s. Unlike ordinary training programs, these high-quality games offer a challenging and rewarding way for project managers to earn the PDUs they need to earn PMP® re-certification. Too busy to take a traditional class, or think you might prefer a different style of learning? No problem! QPM™ games can be played on the go with an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

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