In “How To Get Into Project Management“, I talked about how a 4-year degree is usually the minimum standard for most project management roles.
“So what if I don’t have a 4-year degree?”
That was a question I received in response to the video, and it’s a good one.
I suggest you go after your 4-year degree. You may know I went back to school to get a BSc in Project Management. Well, I had gone to college for electronics after high school, but ended up dropping out of college after about 3 semesters. It wasn’t the job for me, and I was an 19-year old kid who frankly didn’t value education as much as I do now.
Fast-forward several years. I had been in several management roles, and so while I COULD get these jobs, it was always a struggle. I really had to prove myself in order for hiring managers to overlook the fact that I didn’t have a degree. I wanted to go back to school and get my degree so that:
- I could gain the full benefit of the education
- I could stop struggling so hard to land management and project management positions.
I went back to school (night school) and worked full time while I went to school full time. It was a taxing 3 years before I finished my degree in Project Management. The best thing about going back to college as a “non-traditional student” was that I really valued the education. I put a ton of effort into it, and got a ton of value out of it. I worked my tail off and didn’t get much sleep, but it was worth it.
- Many programs don’t offer Project Management degrees. That’s OK. Assuming you want to manage projects, a business degree or technical degree can both be just as good.
- If you want to manage IT projects but don’t have any technical background, go for the Computer Science or related degree.
- If general project management and business appeal to you, go for the business-related degree.
- If you want to be a construction project manager, try to find a construction management degree program or something similar.