How long it will take to become a Project Manager depends on your education, experience level, and career goals, but it can take anywhere from three months to years and years.
Let’s first consider the more negative scenario where it takes a long time. If you don’t have a degree and you don’t have any experience managing or working on projects in an informal capacity, you will have a long road to becoming a Project Manager. You likely will eventually need a degree, unless you can work your way up from the very bottom by proving your enthusiasm. Even then, you will likely have a ceiling on how high you can climb until you get that education.
Let’s now consider a different situation, where you might fast-track your way to becoming a Project Manager.
Let’s say you already have at least one degree in a field like business or computer science. Let’s also say that you have a few years of professional experience in your past – for the sake of the example, perhaps you worked in marketing. Though you’ve never served as a Project Manager, you do have significant experience executing social media campaigns or influencer marketing campaigns. You have planned and executed those campaigns (it’s OK if you were part of a team while you did it) and afterwards used different metrics to measure their success.
In that scenario, you could qualify for PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, which is very highly regarded within the project management industry. At that point, you’re definitely ready to begin applying for Project Manager jobs while leveraging your past experience with projects. And these likely wouldn’t be entry-level jobs, either.
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