I posted this question on Quora – the knowledge-sharing platform where compelling questions are answered – and got some answers on the platform.
Here is the question: While pursuing your degree or certification in project management, were you taught how to discover, plan, and develop your project management career?
Here are the answers:
Answer by Randy Parson, Help others progress their current career or make that transition:
Developing your project management career is much like developing any other career, the information for success will be learned from networking and learning the unwritten rules of the game. Joining PMI and attending their events at local chapters would be a good start.
I hope this finds you well.
Answer by Pepijn van de Vorst, 10+ years IT project manager / facilitated project managers. 20+ years in ICT:
No, for me the content of my education / training has always been focused on project management body of knowledge / skills. It was never combined with career advice and the activities you mention haven’t been covered.
I think this is correct. Project management is a different area of expertise than career planning. There might however be career counselors / recruitment professionals who are specialized in career development in project management.
Answer by Bryce Brown, VP of SoCal Neuropsychology Group, Director of The integrated Learning Annex:
I did not receive a degree in project management; I wound up being on a number of projects as an entrepreneur and learned on the fly.
But, I have had the opportunity to work with professionals that received certifications and they were taught the three concepts in your question. In addition, they learned the ins and outs of the technologies that support the execution phases. My contribution has always been on the human capital side or the elements of the project that deal with managing stakeholders, employees, and customers.
Answer by Toren Freyr, R&D, New Product Development, Software Engineering, Requirements Baseline:
Most courses do not offer insights into the career benefit or value of project management; however, I took the www.iil.com prep course and was fortunate in that the instructors were contributing members of the Project Management Institute who shared their knowledge of the technology, consulting, and IT industries.
These instructors were not focused on giving the answers for the certification test although they did offer insights.
Nevertheless, the networking opportunity was an invaluable perk to the classroom learning experience.
I am connected to two of them still on LinkedIn.
To give a balanced response to your question, on the other hand, I took an entrepreneur curriculum at a university and several of the instructors were $$$$$dollar sign$$$$$ focused. They cautioned that project management takes too much time and “it doesn’t work” (sort of like a broken washing machine) so, don’t bother with it. They advised to throw something together as a product add the latest buzz words and sell, sell, sell!!!!!
Answer by Welly Reagan, learning and applying career advises since high school:
No. I had a PMP course (beginner course).
And the course was about methods and techniques on doing Project Management.
However, I had 4 Technical Certification courses. And what help my career is the network you get. The people you chat with during the lunch break of the training. After the course is completed, usually people will make a group/mailing list/ etc, that can give you more detailed on careers and jobs opportunities.
Answer by Clint Potts, Certified Project Management Professional with over 15 years experience:
In my experience, it is more common for people to find certification after they already are doing project management.
That is what happened to me. I met a PM and asked what they did. Turns out, I’d been doing it for a lot of years. I just called it “consulting”. I’d consult by managing a large cabling job for a tenant moving into a new space. I’d consult by migrating a company’s data from one set of servers to a new set of servers. I’d consult by replacing a fleet of PC’s in an entire office. I’d consult by assembling a team of web developers to revamp and re-brand a company’s web presence. I’d consult by managing a team of software automation developers to automate complicated data-driven workflows. Then I installed a fleet of hundreds of Ballot-on-demand printers in 4 states ahead of the 2008 elections.
It was about then that I encountered someone with the title of “Project Manager” and decided to be one.
I didn’t receive any info about careers in Project Management during my training or certification process.
The question and answers were originally posted on Quora.
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