Project management qualifications for construction and planning professionals

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Devin Blewitt, Chief Information Officer at IOnlinelearning, explores the value of project management qualifications for construction and planning professionals

Project management is a key skill in construction and planning for the main reason that the construction industry is all about getting a project done from start to finish. When constructing buildings that are safe, durable and fit for purpose, having an appropriate project plan in place is fundamental to ensuring that the work is carried out to a high standard and on time and on budget.

However, although workers in industry are aware of the importance of project management skills, they may underestimate many of the benefits of obtaining a project management qualification.

With 9 out of 10 major construction projects behind schedule and a whopping 69% of all construction projects running over budget, there is clearly a great need for project management skills to support the smooth running of construction projects.

But what other benefits come from earning a project management qualification?

Learn to manage a project from start to finish

It might seem like an obvious advantage to study a project management course, that you can learn how to manage projects, however, this ability combines several key skills.

The PRINCE2 project management qualifications, for example, explore the theory behind the PRINCE2 project management method, then teach you how to apply it to lead a project from start to finish.

Unlike other qualifications which may focus on one skill or area of ​​knowledge, these courses cover a variety of skills you need in each area of ​​work, including:

  • Project display
  • Communication
  • Decision making
  • Planning and adaptability
  • Product design and development
  • Quality control
  • Risk management and budgeting
  • Teamwork and team management

Obtain a globally recognized qualification

Project management courses help you develop the skills needed for any construction and planning role, and many PM qualifications such as the PRINCE2 qualifications are recognized worldwide.

If you like to travel or are planning a big move, you don’t have to worry about your qualification not being transferable to other countries and having to take a whole new course for any new job you get there. ‘foreign.

There are also introductory courses which focus on standard UK practice, particularly in relation to construction law and health and safety. Therefore, if you do not wish to pursue your work abroad, you can still study these courses now and possibly upgrade to a globally recognized qualification. in the future.

Some of the most globally recognized project management qualifications include:

  • PRINCE2: Available at 2 different levels (Foundation and Practitioner), this qualification is the world’s most popular certification in project management. It has proven to be one of the best project management methodologies and is available to study online or in person. The foundation level does not require any prerequisites and is therefore open to all.
  • PMP (Professional Certification in Project Management): Launched by the largest professional group of project managers (project managers institute, PMI), they offer several certifications for experienced project managers. They provide qualifications to show their expertise in project management and 3 years of experience and continuing education is required to complete the PMP qualification.
  • CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management): This qualification is designed for intermediate project managers with some but not much experience. To take this course, you will need 23 hours of project management training and either a high school diploma or over 1500 hours of project experience.

Develop specialist knowledge and understanding of health and safety

Health and safety is a primary concern for any construction worker and it is essential to have up-to-date knowledge of current practices. Project management courses not only focus on the practical financial and structural aspects of a project, but also how to plan a project safely and ensure the well-being of all employees.

Project managers with a poor understanding of security pose a huge risk to their team and taking a project management course ensures both practical and theoretical knowledge of the correct protocols.

Having this qualification also means that employees have more confidence in their project manager, knowing that they have learned the correct health and safety procedures and have been able to apply them during their qualification assessments.

Health and safety is an often overlooked area in all areas of the working world as it is not a glamorous aspect, however, it is the most important as it is vital for everyone’s physical and mental health.

It also means that having a good understanding of health and safety via a project management qualification can help you find another job if you choose to pivot your career or move up to higher positions.

No entry requirements

Whether you have prior knowledge of project management methodologies or are completely new to PRINCE2, you can start your PM journey.

Although higher level courses require you to complete foundation courses first, PRINCE2 foundation qualifications are open to anyone and a foundation course can be followed by a practitioner course.

These certifications teach you the fundamentals of project management and develop your skills throughout the course, leading to a recognized qualification.

One of the most popular of these courses is the PRINCE2 Practitioner course which includes an in-depth exploration of the PRINCE2 methodology and includes course assessments and exams to test your knowledge along the way to gaining a management qualification. project.

These inclusive courses allow those without leadership experience, those changing careers, and those working in construction but not management to develop their careers and do something they love.

Another advantage of studying the PRINCE2 qualification is that you can study online flexibly. This allows you to learn new skills no matter your schedule because you have the freedom to study how and when you can. You will have a certain amount of time, for example 12 months, to complete your qualification and exams are often included in the cost of qualification. You can even take the PRINCE2 core courses in 30 hours so your studies don’t have to be a long-term commitment.

Skilled project managers earn more

Getting a qualification can seem like a waste of time if you are already in a management position, have experience or are able to learn on the job. However, you could lose a lot of money if you skip qualifying and jump straight into a role.

Indeed, if you have a certification in project management, you will earn on average 22% more than non-certified project managers. Whether applying for a new job or advancing in your current position, having a completed certification under your belt proves that you have taken the time and effort to study the practical and theoretical elements of good project management.

While experience is very valuable, studying for a certification demonstrates to employers that you have learned the ins and outs of project management methodologies and have been able to understand them well enough to pass assessments and exams.

It also makes you a more valuable employee, as you bring to your role the information and skills you have learned from industry professionals.

Increased demand for project management professionals

Leadership skills are one of the most in-demand skills in the workplace, with 65% of employers noting leadership as one of the key skills they are looking for. Project management requires excellent leadership, and earning a PM qualification lets employers see that you have the knowledge and ability to be a good leader.

Although there are many employers keen to find people with project management skills, there is also a great shortage of people with these skills, because over the last decade project management has been heavily under -assessed in the workplace. This has resulted in a project management skills gap, and as employers begin to realize the importance of project management, there has been a huge increase in project oriented roles.

In terms of construction and planning, the the construction industry has grown considerably over the past year, and now more than ever, skilled project managers are essential. In fact, it is estimated that from 2017 to 2027 there will be a whopping 9.7 million job openings for project management positions in the construction industry.

As project managers are now the focus of many employers, those with PM qualifications can be sure of finding stable, well-paying employment for the foreseeable future.

Obtaining a project management qualification will prove invaluable to your career in construction and planning, whether you are already in a management position or have no experience in this field.

The skills gained through these nationally and globally recognized certifications can put you well above other applicants when it comes to applying for new jobs or seeking promotion.

The construction industry can benefit immensely by employing more project management professionals, and it looks like over the next 5-10 years there will be even more positions for project managers in the construction industry. building.

With more financial benefits, job opportunities and key skills developed when studying project management, it’s no secret that this is a very valuable certification to to have.

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