How to Become a Project Manager? Complete Guide

How to Become a Project Manager? Complete Guide

Written By : Bakkah

10 Jun 2024

Table of Content

Are you a recent graduate, contemplating a career change, or aspiring to elevate your current role in project management? With the right guidance and understanding of the requisite qualifications, pathways, and certifications, you can confidently chart your course toward success in project management.

This comprehensive guide will address common queries such as the qualifications needed, starting points for beginners, pathways for those without experience or a degree, and specialized roles like project management in the tech industry.

Who is a project manager?

A project manager is a professional responsible for comprehensive planning, organizing, executing, and overseeing all aspects of a project from initiation to completion. They are typically tasked with ensuring that projects are smoothly completed on time, within budget, and according to the specified scope and quality requirements.

Project managers often work closely with stakeholders, team members, and resources to define project objectives, create schedules, allocate resources, manage risks, track progress, and communicate effectively throughout the project lifecycle.

They play a crucial role in keeping projects on track and ensuring they meet their intended goals and objectives.

What Qualifications Do You Need to be a Project Manager?

The qualifications needed to become a project manager can vary depending on the industry, the specific requirements of the project, and the employer's preferences. However, here are some common qualifications and skills that are often sought after:

1. Education

While a specific degree may not always be required, many employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree in fields such as business administration, management, engineering, computer science, or related disciplines.

Some employers may also prefer candidates with a master's degree, particularly for more senior or specialized roles.

2. Project Management Certification

Obtaining a project management certification can be highly beneficial and is often preferred by employers. You can choose your certification depending on the industry and project methodologies used. 

Bakkah offers The Certified Associate in Project Management CAPM, a PMI-accredited entry-level certification in Project Management, one of the most recognized certifications in the field. 

Other certifications offered by Bakkah, such as PRINCE2 or PRINCE2 Agile® certification, are also highly recommended.

3. Experience

While entry-level project management positions may be available to recent graduates, many employers prefer candidates with some relevant work experience.

This experience may include previous project management roles, leadership positions, or experience working on projects in a different capacity, such as a team member or coordinator.

4. Technical Skills

Project managers often need to use various software tools and technologies to manage projects effectively. Proficiency in project management software such as Microsoft Project, Asana, Trello, or Jira is often required. Additionally, strong skills in areas such as budgeting, scheduling, risk management, and resource allocation are essential.

5. Soft Skills

Effective project managers also possess a range of soft skills that enable them to communicate, collaborate, lead, and problem-solve effectively. These skills include leadership, communication, negotiation, conflict resolution, time management, and adaptability.

Overall, while specific qualifications and requirements may vary, a combination of education, certification, experience, technical skills, and soft skills is typically desired for individuals pursuing a career in project management.

How Do I Start My Career as a Project Manager?

Starting a career as a project manager involves several steps, including gaining the necessary education, skills, and experience. Here is a guide on how to become a project manager:

1. Understand the Project Management Roles

Familiarize yourself with the responsibilities, skills, and qualifications required for project management roles. Research the different industries and sectors where project managers are in demand to gain insight into the specific requirements of those fields.

2. Education and Training

While a specific degree may not always be required, many project managers have a bachelor's degree in fields such as business administration, management, engineering, computer science, or related disciplines. That can provide you with valuable knowledge and skills that are highly sought after by employers. 

In addition, consider obtaining project management certifications to enhance your credentials and demonstrate your expertise to employers.

3. Gain Relevant Experience

Employers often prefer candidates with relevant work experience in project management or related roles. Look for opportunities to gain experience through internships, co-op programs, or entry-level positions that allow you to work closely with project managers.

This experience can help you gain practical experience, develop key skills, and demonstrate your capabilities to potential employers.

4. Learn Project Management Methodologies

Familiarize yourself with popular project management methodologies such as Agile, Scrum, Waterfall, and Lean. Understanding these methodologies will help you adapt to different project environments and effectively manage teams and tasks. 

5. Develop Skills

Project managers need a range of skills to be successful, including leadership, communication, organization, problem-solving, time management, and negotiation skills. Look for ways to develop and strengthen these skills through coursework, workshops, seminars, or practical experience.

6. Build Your Network

Build a strong professional network within the project management community by attending industry events, joining professional associations or networking groups, participating in online forums, and connecting with experienced professionals in the field.

Networking can provide valuable insights, mentorship opportunities, and potential job leads.

7. Apply for Project Management Positions

Once you have gained the necessary education, skills, and experience, start applying for project management positions that match your qualifications and interests. Look for entry-level positions such as project coordinator, assistant project manager, or junior project manager to begin your career in project management.

6. Build a portfolio

Document your project management experience and successes in a portfolio. Include details about the projects you've managed, the challenges you've overcome, and the outcomes you've achieved. This portfolio can be a valuable tool for showcasing your abilities to potential employers.

8. Continuously Improve

Project management is a dynamic field, so it's essential to stay updated on industry trends, tools, best practices, and emerging technologies. Pursue ongoing learning opportunities, attend workshops, seminars, and webinars, and seek feedback from mentors or peers to improve your skills and knowledge continuously.

So, to know how to become a project manager, you should follow these steps and stay dedicated to your professional development. That can help you successfully launch your career as a project manager and work towards achieving your goals in the field.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Project Manager?

The timeline to become a project manager can vary depending on several factors, including your educational background, work experience, and dedication to professional development.

Generally, it can take from three to seven years to establish yourself as a competent project manager. This timeline typically includes obtaining a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, gaining entry-level experience in project management or related roles, acquiring essential skills, and obtaining accredited certifications in Project Management.

Some individuals may accelerate their path by pursuing advanced degrees or certifications early in their careers. Others may take a more gradual approach, gaining experience and skills over time before pursuing higher-level positions.

Continuous learning, certification, hands-on experience, and ongoing professional development efforts are crucial components of the journey toward becoming a proficient project manager, and the timeline can vary based on individual circumstances and career goals.

Ultimately, dedication, persistence, and a commitment to ongoing growth are key factors in achieving success in the field of project management.

How to become a project manager without experience

Some ask Can I Be a Project Manager with No Experience? Becoming a project manager without prior experience can be challenging, but it's not impossible.

Entry-level positions such as project coordinator, assistant project manager, or team leader can serve as stepping stones toward a project management role. These roles allow individuals to gain hands-on experience in project planning, execution, and monitoring while working closely with seasoned project managers.

Additionally, pursuing relevant education, such as a degree in business administration, management, or project management, can provide the foundational knowledge and skills necessary for a project management career. Furthermore, obtaining project management certifications can help demonstrate your commitment to the field and enhance your credentials, even without extensive experience. 

Building a strong professional network within the project management community, and seeking mentorship opportunities can also increase your chances of breaking into the field. Showcasing transferable skills such as organization, communication, problem-solving, time management, and leadership can help compensate for the lack of direct experience.

Breaking into project management without prior experience may take time and persistence. But with dedication, education, relevant certifications, transferable skills, networking, and practical experience, you can position yourself for success in the field.

How to Become a Project Manager Without a Degree

Becoming a project manager without a degree is possible, although it may require additional effort and focus on gaining relevant experience, skills, and certifications.

1. Gaining Practical Experience

To become a project manager without a degree, focus on gaining practical experience in project management through entry-level positions or internships in industries where project management skills are valued, such as construction, IT, healthcare, or marketing.

2. Seeking Leadership Opportunities

Look for roles that involve coordinating tasks, managing timelines, or leading small teams, as these experiences will provide valuable insights into project management processes. Additionally, seek opportunities to take on leadership responsibilities within your current job or volunteer work, even if they are not explicitly related to project management.

3. Obtaining Certifications

In parallel, invest in acquiring project management certifications that can demonstrate your proficiency in project management principles and methodologies to potential employers, even if you don't have a formal degree.

4. Continuous Skill Development

Furthermore, continuously develop and refine your skills in communication, organization, problem-solving, and team management through self-study, online courses, workshops, and seminars.

5. Building a Strong Portfolio

Building a strong portfolio that showcases your project management experience and successes will also be essential in demonstrating your qualifications to prospective employers.

6. Investing in Professional Development

Always invest in your professional development to stay competitive in the job market and advance your career in project management.

7. Overcoming Challenges

While not having a degree may present challenges, focusing on gaining relevant experience, developing transferable skills, obtaining certifications, networking, and continuing to learn and grow can help you succeed in pursuing a career in project management without a degree.

How to Become a Project Manager in Tech

Becoming a project manager in the tech industry involves a combination of education, technical knowledge, project management skills, and relevant experience. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to pursue a career as a project manager in the tech field:

1. Gain Relevant Education

While a degree may not always be mandatory, having a background in a relevant field such as computer science, information technology, engineering, or business can be advantageous. Consider pursuing a bachelor's degree or higher in one of these fields to gain a solid foundation of technical knowledge and skills.

2. Develop Technical Knowledge

Familiarize yourself with the technologies and tools commonly used in the tech industry. Stay updated on emerging trends, programming languages, software development methodologies, and project management frameworks relevant to tech projects.

This technical knowledge will help you understand project requirements, communicate effectively with technical teams, and make informed decisions as a project manager.

3. Obtain Project Management Certifications

Consider obtaining project management certifications that are relevant to the tech industry. The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is widely recognized and applicable to various industries, including tech.

Additionally, certifications such as Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) or PRINCE2 Agile can be beneficial for project managers working in Agile environments commonly found in tech companies.

4. Gain Experience in Tech Projects

Look for opportunities to gain experience working on tech projects, either through internships, entry-level positions, or volunteer work. Seek out roles such as project coordinator, assistant project manager, or technical team lead where you can contribute to tech projects and learn from experienced professionals.

5. Develop Project Management Skills

Hone your project management skills by learning about project planning, scheduling, budgeting, risk management, stakeholder communication, and team leadership. Practice using project management tools and methodologies commonly used in the tech industry, such as Agile, Scrum, Kanban, or DevOps.

6. Build a Strong Professional Network

Network with professionals in the tech industry, including project managers, software developers, engineers, and other stakeholders. Attend industry events, join tech-related forums or online communities, and connect with professionals on platforms like LinkedIn.

Networking can help you learn about job opportunities, gain insights into the industry, and build relationships with potential mentors or collaborators.

7. Apply for Project Management Roles in Tech

Once you have gained relevant education, skills, certifications, and experience, start applying for project management roles in tech companies. Tailor your resume to highlight your technical knowledge, project management experience, and familiarity with tech projects. Be prepared to showcase your problem-solving abilities, adaptability, and leadership skills during interviews.

8. Continued Learning and Growth

Project management in the tech industry is constantly evolving, so it's essential to stay updated on new technologies, methodologies, and best practices. Continue to invest in your professional development by attending training sessions, pursuing advanced certifications, and seeking out opportunities for learning and growth in your role.

By following these steps and remaining proactive in your career development, you can work towards becoming a successful project manager in the tech industry.

How to Become a Certified Project Manager

To become a certified project manager, you typically need to follow these steps:

1. Choose A Certification

There are several project management certifications available, each with its own requirements and focus areas. The most widely recognized certification is the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI).

However, there are other certifications such as PRINCE2, Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP), Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), and many others. Explore Bakkah’s certifications and choose one that aligns with your career goals and interests.

2. Meet Eligibility Requirements

Each certification has specific eligibility requirements, which may include a combination of education, work experience, and professional development hours.

For example, to qualify for the PMP certification, you typically need a four-year degree (or equivalent), 3-5 years of project management experience, and 35 hours of project management education. Make sure you meet the eligibility criteria for the certification you've chosen before proceeding.

3. Prepare for the Exam

Once you've determined your eligibility, it's time to prepare for the certification exam. This may involve self-study using study guides, textbooks, online courses, and practice exams. You may also consider enrolling in a formal exam preparation course offered by PMI or other reputable training providers.

Familiarize yourself with the exam content outline, study the PMBOK Guide (for PMP certification), and practice answering sample questions to gauge your readiness.

4. Submit Your Application

Before scheduling your exam, you'll need to submit an application to PMI or the certification body administering the exam. The application typically requires you to provide details about your education, work experience, and professional development hours. Be honest and accurate when completing your application, as PMI may conduct audits to verify the information provided.

5. Schedule and Take the Exam

Once your application is approved, you'll receive instructions on how to schedule your exam. Choose a convenient date and location to take the exam, and make sure you're well-prepared on exam day.

Arrive early, bring valid identification, and familiarize yourself with the exam format and rules. The exam is typically administered in a proctored environment and consists of multiple-choice questions.

6. Maintain Your Certification

After passing the exam and obtaining your certification, you'll need to maintain it by earning a certain number of professional development units (PDUs) or continuing education credits (CEUs) every few years. 

This involves participating in relevant training, courses, workshops, conferences, or other activities that contribute to your professional development as a project manager. Stay updated on changes to the certification renewal requirements and plan accordingly to maintain your certification status.

By following these steps and investing time and effort in your certification journey, you can become a certified project manager and enhance your credentials in the field of project management.

Enroll Now in Bakkah's Premier Training Programs to establish an improved project management Plan:

Ready to take your career to the next level? Explore Bakkah’s comprehensive range of courses designed to enhance your skills in project management.

Unlock your potential and elevate your project management skills with Bakkah's Premier Training Programs. Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting out, our comprehensive courses are designed to equip you with the tools and strategies needed to establish an improved project management plan.

Gain insights from industry experts, learn best practices, and enhance your capabilities in areas such as planning, execution, risk management, and more. Our dynamic training approach ensures that you not only grasp theoretical concepts but also acquire practical skills that can be immediately applied in your professional endeavors.

Don't miss this opportunity to take your project management expertise to the next level. Enroll now in Bakkah's Premier Training Programs and embark on a journey towards achieving greater project success.

Project Management Courses:


Risk Management Courses And Certifications:


PRINCE2 Courses


Project Management Tools:


Portfolio Management


Six Sigma:


In conclusion, becoming a project manager entails a combination of acquiring relevant qualifications, gaining experience, and pursuing certification. While a degree and experience can boost your credentials, they are not always mandatory, especially in tech-related roles. Additionally, obtaining certification can enhance your credibility and open up more opportunities in the field. Ultimately, dedication, continuous learning, and honing your project management skills are key to success in this dynamic and diverse profession.