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Everything You Should Know About Careers in Program and Project Management

Everything You Should Know About Careers in Program and Project Management main image

Sponsored by the University of Warwick

Wherever you end up working, it’s likely you’ll find the workday divided into several projects or programs which are designed to achieve the goals of your business and manage resources effectively.

Behind each of these projects, there will always be a need for someone to oversee them, which is why professionals with expertise and experience in project management will always be in high demand.

But what’s it like to actually study project and program management? If you’ve wondered whether you’d be a suited to a career in project management, hopefully this can help.

So what is program and project management?

Project management is essentially the planning, organizing and monitoring of resources to achieve desired business goals.

Program management is similar to project management: it involves managing multiple related projects at once in a coordinated fashion to reap benefits which cannot be obtained from managing them individually.

Program or project managers plan strategies to kickstart projects, determine project requirements and lead others involved in the project and monitor the progress of their work. This means having fingers in many pies - you’ll need to monitor and stay on top of logistics, budgets, timeframes, and get involved in the HR-side of project management as well as things like team culture management.

Martin Ou, from China, studied program and project management at the University of Warwick, having previously worked in sales and marketing before joining a wealth management company in China. Once he was there, he quickly realised he needed experience in project and program management to progress in the company.

Martin took a year off to pursue the MSc in program and project management at the University of Warwick and he says he found the modules taught within the program extremely useful. He says: “In the Management of Change module we worked in small groups, with each group ‘running a business’ and each member taking a role within it.

“The lecturer acted as our customer and constantly introduced new and unexpected challenges. The whole thing was intense and difficult at times, with changes happening quickly.

“This really pushed us and forced us out of our comfort zones, and looking back it’s extremely interesting to think about the way I reacted to issues and worked through them.”

Careers with a degree in program and project management

As you may have surmised by now, project managers need a variety of skills in their job. They are effective problem-solvers with numerical and communication skills.

Demand for project managers is high across industries. Job growth is anticipated to be faster than any other occupation, with 22 million new job openings around the world by 2027, according to the Project Management Institute.

The average salary for project managers is $72,000 in the US, £36,796 in the UK (US$48,400) and HK$499,816 in Hong Kong (US$63,699.05), according to PayScale.

So, if you’re tempted to find out more, where do you start? Well, the University of Warwick offers program and project management training that can help aspiring professionals get the education they need for any project and program management career. Their MSc in Program and Project Management is a one-year full-time course designed for graduates who want to move into project management.

It covers every aspect of program and project management, including financial analysis and control systems, and program and project strategy, and is taught by experts in their fields. You’ll also have the chance to learn from external speakers who work in organizations at the forefront of project management through lectures, seminars, online learning and group projects. Assessment is conducted through written assignments and in-module exercises.

Alumni of this program have gone on to work as project planners, project engineers, system analysts, project managers, at IBM, the World Food Program, Vogue, ExxonMobil, Dell and the civil service, so you’re almost guaranteed to end up in a leading role after you graduate.

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