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How to Become a Project Manager


Through an online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) with Arkansas State University, you can pursue a number of rewarding and exciting career paths including that of project manager. Project managers work in many industries on a wide range of projects. A business degree can help you develop the skills you need to succeed in this exciting role. 

What Is a Project Manager? 

The title of Project Manager can describe a wide range of business professionals, because a "project" can include anything from developing an app for a smartphone to constructing an apartment building. Though the title can mean different things to different people, project managers are essentially in charge of initiating, planning, leading, executing and finalizing a project. 

What Do Project Managers Do? 

Managing a project includes managing a cross-functional team and budgets, while defining scopes and solving conflicts. Because of the weight of this role, project managers must be able to communicate the objectives of a project to all levels of employees and stakeholders, as they carry the responsibility of keeping everyone on track.

The day-to-day business in this role can vary across markets, but usually includes managing financials, keeping the project on time and on task with the developed timeline, and meeting with stakeholders. 

How Can You Become a Project Manager? 

A bachelor's in business administration is often required of those seeking a project manager position, because employers know that the skills project managers need are all skills you can gain through BSBA coursework.

Some of these skills include:

  • Communication — Not only do project managers need to communicate well with their teams, but they must also be able to run efficient meetings and present to stakeholders, making communication an important skill to have.
  • Leadership — Managing involves leading and being able to deliver on your objectives. This also means coordinating and overseeing all tasks necessary for the project to succeed.
  • Team management — As a project manager, you will likely be in charge of a team. Being able to resolve conflict, manage communication, and keep people motivated and encouraged throughout a project makes for a more successful outcome.
  • Problem-solving — Even the smallest projects have numerous moving parts. Being able to anticipate, identify and manage risk allows you to better solve problems as, or even before, they arise. 

Many project management jobs require at least a bachelor's degree in business. Beyond your education, networking with professionals in the field can help you build relationships that can lead to finding a project manager job. 

How Much Do Project Managers Make? 

A Project Manager makes an average yearly salary of $74,172, as of June 2019. To put this figure into perspective, the average college graduate — someone with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, for instance — could earn around $50,000 at the entry level (2017 data) and progress to the higher salary bracket of Project Manager in five years. 

What Are Project Management Methodologies? 

Project managers use a set of project management methodologies to guide the progress of the job. Having a methodology in place before you begin a project can prove essential to completing a project successfully. A methodology helps in every stage of a project, from implementation to closing. Some of these methodologies include:

  • Joint application development — This methodology requires the client's involvement from the very early stages of the project. In this situation, the client should be willing to collaborate.
  • Critical chain — This management style builds the project around the budget or other project constraints. To this project manager, saving costs is the most important aspect of completing the job successfully.
  • Agile — An agile project management methodology is used when speed and flexibility are the most important components of the project's ability to succeed. This method works well for project groups that meet often and in person, as well as when the deliverables do not require extensive control.

There is no set methodology for every project; some projects may benefit from an approach more than others, which means the project manager must evaluate the project and its objectives before deciding on the methodology he or she wishes to adopt. 

In short, good project managers know how to lead a group of people to accomplish a specific task — large or small. The skills they learn in a BSBA program will help them every step of the way.

Learn more about Arkansas State University's online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program. 



Sources:

American Management Association: Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Project Manager?

The Balance Careers: What Do Project Managers Do All Day? 

Liquid Planner: 6 Essential Skills for Project Managers

Azendoo: Top 13 Project Management Methodologies and Styles

Salary.com: Project Manager I Salary



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