Do you need a Degree to Become a Project Manager?
Project Management is an exciting role that’s in demand across various industries. And with a starting salary up to £35k, you can see why it’s a popular career choice.
Experience and qualifications usually appear as essential requirements on project manager job adverts. This is over an honours degree. Whether you're starting your career, or looking to progress it further, you'll be forgiven for asking if university is worth it. This is where degree apprenticeships come in.
You can earn a salary and get practical experience on a course like our Project Management Degree Apprenticeship. You'll also develop the required project management skills needed across any industry.
What is a degree apprenticeship?
Like a traditional apprenticeship, a degree apprenticeship allows you to learn on the job. You’ll typically split your time with 4 days at work, and 1 day a week attending lectures or studying. The course won’t actually cost you anything – your tuition fees are paid for by the Government or your employer.
Anyone over 18 can apply, though you'll need to be in full-time employment or apply for a vacancy with an employer that offers apprenticeships. This is not as daunting a task as it might sound with our dedicated Degree Apprenticeships Team.
What skills do project managers need?
To be a successful project manager, you need to the following skills:
- Organisation – the project team will be looking to you to keep everything on track
- Negotiation and influence – you’ll be juggling different priorities with your stakeholders
- Communication – Nothing should be left to interpretation or chance – you’ll need to be clear and persuasive
- Problem solving – Every project will invariably hit a roadblock. It'll be up to you to stay cool under pressure and come up with solutions to ensure deadlines are met.
Of course, many of these skills can be learned over time and you’ll need practical project experience to hone them. But, when you’re starting out in your career, you’re not always given the opportunities to learn and grow.
By doing an apprenticeship degree, you’ll access a supportive network of peers, mentors, and a study supervisor. Think of it as your own personal team helping you to keep on track. They'll boost your confidence and make bigger strides in your professional development, compared to trying to do it alone.
What project management qualifications do employers ask for?
A quick internet search will show you just how many qualifications and providers are out there. So it’s important that you make sure any qualifications you do are professionally recognised by any future employer.
Here at Portsmouth, our degrees are accredited by the Association for Project Management. This means you can work toward their industry-standard IPMA Level D qualification. You’ll also learn techniques needed to become a Prince2 practitioner. As well as a Scrum Master, utilising the latest agile methods.
What can you do with a project management degree apprenticeship degree?
Once you’ve earned your project management degree, there are many different routes you could take in your career. Here are some ideas for what you can do with a project management qualification:
In-house Project Manager
A project manager works within a company on a permanent or fixed-term contract. You might work full time on one or more important projects in the company.
Sometimes organisations look to bring in an outside consultant on a specific project. As a consultant you might be working on multiple projects across different companies at any one time.
Change Manager/Project Planning
Once you have experience, you could take a more strategic position that has an overview of organisational change projects, feeding into the priorities, processes and workflow.
Project management isn’t only about managing people and outputs. The organisational skills held by professional project managers lend themselves perfectly to the world of logistics – whether that’s ensuring medical supplies get to where they’re most needed or keeping track of food exports right across the globe.
Graduates may choose to stay with us to study project management at the postgraduate level, strengthening their specialisms.
Whatever you decide to do, the fantastic Careers and Employability Service remains available to you up to 5 years after graduation.