Can you become a Project Manager? A project manager is a profession that has become increasingly popular. So, there is a proper chance that you can have thought of becoming one. But you have doubts about whether you cover the requirements for the job? Or the thing that bothers you is what qualification is needed to become a PM?The answers to all these questions are quite subjective, but still project managers have a lot in common. There are certain traits and skills most of them share.
To get a better idea of the typical PM profile, our team collected information from the LinkedIn profiles of 500 project managers. We divided the information into several categories such as education, previous work experience, country, certifications, a company of employment and industry. And we didn’t forget to view at the professional skills of these project managers as well. To favor you see the biggest image, we monitored project managers from all around the globe.
The USA, Europe and India are just some of the countries represented in our study. So, we categorized the industries, in which their representatives are working, into 5 main clusters – Technology/IT, Healthcare, Education, Industrial, and Finance. Now, we are ready to show you the original numbers we have collected, and hopefully, they will help you create a decision! Let us begin with the most important things you should know about the typical project manager.The data suggests that men and women are equally represented in this field. The typical project manager speaks at least 2 languages, has around 12 years of working experience, and has been working as one for almost 4 years. Having post-graduate professional qualification certificates is not an uncommon thing as well.
Alright! This gives a general idea.It is time to take a closer look at the research and get to the heart of the matter.As we pointed out earlier the ratio of women to men in our study, is well balanced as the percentages are 43% for women and 57% for men. In spheres like IT, data science, finance, and engineering things do not look this way, while here, in the project manager field, the difference is not that overwhelming at all. Speaking a foreign language can be an important advantage when one applies for a project manager role. We see that most project managers speak at least 2 languages. Not only that, but some people spoke 3, 4 or even 5 languages. This number, of course, includes people who are immigrants or have a multicultural past.
The English language is, as expected, the most common one, spoken by the project managers in our cohort. Previous work experience is another factor we should pay attention to. In our research, we show that on average people needed 8 years of experience to become a project manager. Sounds reasonable, right? We also looked at the career path one takes to reach this job. It is not surprising that a big part of the people had previous experience as managers – 34%.
At the same time the majority of 66% worked as non-managers or had not worked at all, before becoming a project manager. In terms of education, the overwhelming part of our sample had at least a bachelor’s degree. Their percentage is 82%, while those with a master’s degrees are 18%. Anyway, the type of your degree is not of such importance, as well as the ranking of your university. Even if you have not graduated from one of the top universities, you do not have to worry too much about it.
You can always compensate with hard work and enthusiasm during the selection and interview process. Let’s consider the skills needed to become a project manager. Working with Excel is vital for project managers. More than 40 % of the people in our study were endorsed for Excel, so it is definitely an important tool for this profession.
Microsoft Project is another important software as 39 % possess that skill. You are probably asking yourself how can you acquire such skills? Fortunately, in the modern times we live in, there is a very effective way to acquire them – Online courses! Such courses do not have a deadline for their completion and usually come with a certificate of completion.11 % of the project managers we looked at have completed online courses to perfect themselves in the job. A number which will surely increase in the future.
Equally important are the professional designation certificates that project managers earn in addition to their education. Around 25% of the project managers we looked at having at least one professional designation certificate. Topping the list is the PMP Certificate with 10%, followed by PRINCE 2 with 6%, and respectively Scrum Master (4%), CAPM and Agile, each with 2%. Finally, we looked at where project managers work and what their industries and employers are like.
Based on our research, 57% of the project managers from the US, Europe, India and the rest of the world work in the industrial sector. In second place are those working in the Technology/IT sector – 27%, and in third place – the financial sector, which accounts for 12%. We hope that this information gives you a good idea of of what you need to become a project manager and which are the items you need to emphasize on during your preparation. We strongly hope that this will facilitate your career choice and that we were helpful. Of course, if you are interested in a good preparation for a stable start in the profession, you can take a look at the links we have placed below.