How to Develop Project Management Skills

Tue 09 Jul 2024

The field of project management is a dynamic and growing sector offering exciting career opportunities, and with starting salaries ranging from £20,000 - £35,000, it's an attractive option for those seeking a stable yet challenging career path. 

With ample room for advancement, project management allows you to develop valuable skills and gain experience that can lead to significant salary growth and career progression over time.

If you want to improve your project management skills, our detailed guide will outline the educational and professional steps you’ll need to take to achieve success. 

We'll cover everything from academic qualifications and key skills, to gaining practical experience and industry-recognised project management certifications. Let's get started!

Upskilling in project management

Project management is about leading teams, managing resources, and ensuring successful project completion. 

The pathway to becoming an expert in project management involves several key stages, including academic education, skill development, and professional accreditation.

Academic qualifications

A solid educational background is the first step toward a successful career in project management. While you don't necessarily need a specific degree, having a bachelor's degree in a relevant field like Business Administration or Engineering is advantageous. 

If you're aiming for advanced roles down the line, a master's degree in project management or a related discipline can lead to additional opportunities.
In addition to formal education, gaining practical experience through internships, volunteering, or related work in a project-based environment can be valuable. 

Building a strong professional network and developing key soft skills, such as communication and leadership, can also play a significant role in breaking into the project management world.

Key skills required

Project managers are the linchpins of successful projects, requiring a unique blend of leadership, communication, time management, and problem-solving abilities. These skills form the cornerstone of effective project management, empowering professionals to navigate through complexities and drive projects to fruition. Essential skills include:

  • Leadership and communication: you need to be able to inspire and guide your team, as well as communicate effectively with stakeholders.
  • Time management and organisation: managing project timelines and keeping everything on track is crucial.
  • Problem-solving abilities: projects often face unexpected challenges, so you need to be able to adapt and find solutions.

To truly excel as a project manager, investing in specialised training and earning respected certifications is imperative; to really hone your expertise, enrol in an industry-specific course - such as MOL's Level 5 CMI in Project Management

Our licensed course arms you with the skills and knowledge you’ll need to thrive in the competitive landscape of project management, offering a significant edge in the job market.

Professional development

Professional development is crucial for distinguishing yourself in the competitive field of project management. To truly excel, you need to invest in specialised training and earn respected certifications. 

Seek out industry-specific courses to gain targeted expertise and pursue certifications like our Level 5 CMI in Project Management. 

Through a blend of theoretical insights and practical applications, we cover a spectrum of crucial topics for aspiring project managers. From project planning and execution to risk management and stakeholder communication; you'll gain a comprehensive understanding of the project lifecycle.

What sets our course apart is its emphasis on real-world applicability. We understand that project management isn't just about theory; it's about navigating through dynamic environments and delivering results. 

That's why our curriculum is designed to develop practical skills that you can immediately implement in your professional endeavours.

Gaining project management experience

Education provides a strong foundation, but hands-on experience is crucial for project management success. If you find yourself in a project management role without formal training, you're not alone. 

Here's a guide to gaining practical experience for "accidental managers":

Entry-level positions

If you've recently been assigned project management responsibilities, start by exploring entry-level roles like Project Coordinator or Assistant. 

These positions help you understand the basics of project management and gain on-the-job experience. They offer a chance to learn the ropes while contributing to project success.

Mid-level roles

As you grow in your role, consider moving into Junior Project Manager positions. Here, you'll lead smaller projects and work with cross-functional teams. This is a pivotal stage where you refine your skills and begin to build a professional network.

Advanced experience

With more experience, aim for Senior Project Manager roles. These positions involve managing larger projects, overseeing multiple teams, and taking on greater responsibilities. 

As an "accidental manager," this step might seem daunting, but with the right training and experience, it's entirely achievable. If you need guidance to navigate these stages, a Project Management course can provide the structured training and expertise you need to succeed. 

Our units are designed to empower people across various sectors, including communications, marketing, finance, and IT, with essential project management skills. 

Unlike traditional project-centric qualifications, our programme recognises the evolving role of ‘accidental’ managers who must deliver projects alongside their daily responsibilities; it helps you integrate project management principles into your broader management strategy, ensuring versatility and proficiency across diverse management domains. 

With flexible learning options and advanced curriculum covering strategic leadership and stakeholder engagement, our course empowers you to lead confidently and succeed in any managerial capacity.

Certification and continued professional development (CPD)

Certification is a major milestone for project managers, marking a level of expertise and opening new career opportunities. 

The CMI Level 5 Certificate in Project Management is an internationally recognised option, offering comprehensive training that equips you with the skills to succeed in the field. Earning this accreditation demonstrates your commitment to professional growth and can lead to career advancement. 

To maintain relevance in project management, embrace continued professional development (CPD) by networking, attending industry events, and engaging in online learning. 

These activities help you stay informed about the latest trends and best practices in project management.

Become a project management pro with MOL

Ready to take the next step in your project management career? At MOL, our CMI-accredited Project Management Course is ready to equip you with the skills, knowledge, and certification you need to succeed. 

With flexible learning options and expert guidance, you'll be on your way to becoming a top-tier project manager.

Explore our courses to see what’s on offer and enrol with us today!

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Project Management

Learn the latest mix of tools, techniques, processes and skills in project management and achieve an internationally recognised qualification.