Project Management

By mishtibasu ·
I have BS in Business degree and 10-12 years of field sales exp with a Fortune 100 company. I have been successful and possess a good track record and have keen desire to move to proj mgmt career. I have taken time off from work for 6 months and now planning to take Proj Mgmt Certification course.

Have 2 questions:
1. Is it mandatory to have a technical degree to pursue Proj Mgmt career? Is there any career for non-technical people in proj management?

2. How can I tap into projects for experience after I complete the certification? What are the sites or where to look for a basic level proj mgmt job? I don't mind taking a cut in salary but want to have hands-on experience.

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Couple of things

by Tig2 In reply to Project Management

First, find your local chapter of the PMI ( and find out when the meetings are. Attend them as you are able. Talk to people. Find a mentor if possible.

A technical degree is not required for Project Management. I have been a PM for over 10 years. I have a few certs, but no degree in project management or in any technical discipline.

Look at your current company for junior PM or Project Coordinator roles. If you have a PMO, find out who the leadership is and communicate your career goals. You may find that your first PM opportunities are where you currently work.

Take a hard look at your resume. How can you highlight the areas in it that speak to project management specifically? Spend some time talking to other PMs about this approach, they will help you to highlight the right things.

I wish you the very best. I have enjoyed working as a PM for many years.

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I'm also looking into Project Management

by Navy Moose In reply to Couple of things

Hi Tigger,

I was laid off at the end of August. Managers at a former company of mine are encouraging me to transition from systems administration to project management.

I have an MBA and part of the course work was taking a project management course. I spoke to PMI and I am ineligible for the lowest level certification, CAPM, because my course was shy on contact hours that they require.

Anyway, I am working with a number of recruiters on landing new positions. Most of my background is technical, but in every job I've had there was project management, just nothing formal. Mainly trying to get people on the same page of the play book and hammer out what needs to be done, who is doing what, and how often we will meet for follow-up.

I'm trying to figure out how to make my resume less technical and tailor it towards a more project management / business analyst kind of resume.

Do you have any suggestions on how to do that?

Thank you for your time.


Navy Moose

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Couple of things

by Tig2 In reply to I'm also looking into Pro ...

First- were you in the Navy? If yes, I may advise somewhat differently.

Regardless, take a hard look at your resume. In each role, you likely had some project management experience. Call that to the front.

The PMI is only one route to certification. As you are in IT, I would suggest that you consider the CompTIA IT Project+ as a first certification. The focus of this cert is specific to IT and may be more relevant to what you would be doing. There are some methodologies that provide certification as well. These things will bump up your contact hours for the CAPM.

Go to PMI meetings and find a mentor. Very valuable!

Formal title means little when you are doing the job. Keeping the team on track and insuring assignments are completed for timely delivery is a key skill set to project management. Wherever you have done that, make sure it gets called out.

The MBA will satisfy any questions that might be raised regarding your ability to speak to business requirements.

Finally, you say that managers at a former company are encouraging you down the PM path. Are they willing to hire you in that role? How about a junior PM role? Project Coordinator? Both a junior and coordinator role are good prep for becoming the PM.

Start some independent study of methodology. Every place is different and the methodology that they use will be different. Scrum and Agile are two of the hot ones, there are certainly others.

Good Luck Moose. If you have any questions, please feel free to peer me.

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re: couple of things

by Navy Moose In reply to Couple of things

Hi Tigger,

Thank you for your reply.

I did serve in the U.S. Navy Reserve and currently serve in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.

My old firm doesn't have anything with lower level PM type positions in my region. When I found out I was being laid off, I contacted them immediately with the hope of going back.

I spoke with a career counselor earlier today and she recommended that I create a modified resume with the project management type tasks I performed at my previous positions. Essentially she said the same thing you did :-)

After I wrote my posting, I realized I calculated the number of contact hours incorrectly. I had forgotten my classes were four hours long and not three, so it turns out I have enough contact hours for PMI. I'm waiting for their decision on whether or not I'll be allowed to sit for the exam.

I ordered the PMBOK over the weekend to prepare for the exam and I still have my grad school PM textbook.

There is a PMI chapter a few towns away from me, I have to bite the bullet to purchase the full membership, currently runs $129.

Thank you for the information. I really appreciate it.

Navy Moose

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