Aspirations!!!! New career path

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bankspti
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Ok, New member and new to the project management scene.

I am currently serving in the RAF as an Operations Manager for the Military Parachute Training school. Throughout my career I have developed a number of skills and on a day to day basis manage a number of tasks often projects. It was not until discussing this career path I was opened up to the fact this career may be for me.

I am 'ticking off' management qualifications such as ILM level 6-7 and have 3 years until I would entertain the idea of leaving my comfort blanket in the RAF (12 yr point).

Therefore I am now looking at how I can make best use of the time. Obviosuly taking on any projects I can at my unit for exposure to project management but what qualifications would help.

I am looking to apply for a Level 6 Advanced Diploma in Project management at Brighton Business School. I can also attain the APMP for free via the MOD.

However is it worth gaining Prince2 or have I missed anything else that would be of value. The advance diploma leads into a Masters in Project Management and if the funds were right would look at this also.

I understand when I leave it will all be about experience, but I want to be in the best position possible.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Andy
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kwalford
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Hi Andy,

Firstly, look up a couple of threads and one of the 'sticky' threads is aimed at people entering into the domain of projects.

Regarding APMP, definitely go for this! If you get the choice of training provider, I would highly recommend Parallel Project Training. You can do a online or classroom course and they are best suited to deliver the APMP course. The APMP will give you a very good grounding in Projects and is a slightly more basic version of the prominent PMP (American version of the cert). You should be able to study the APMP with no perquisites. There is a short track version to the APMP cert, which you can opt for only if you are a Prince2 Practitioner already.

Regarding Prince2, I have done a post on this training course; it is in the sticky thread which is aimed at people entering into the domain of projects (top of the forum thread list). QA is a good provider.

My understanding is that the Diploma's will be heavy going and you could get ample knowledge from doing the APMP and Prince2 together. Both of these courses will 'open doors' and appeal to employers. They do over-lap a bit in terms of principles but combined they will cover all the basics needed.

Enjoy!

Kit.
bankspti
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Kit,

Thank you very much for the information. Had a look at the 'sticky' threads and agree there is some good stuff.

I will be doing the APMP via the Defence Academy mainly because they provide the qualification for no cost, but also it has been reviewed well by other colleagues. But glad to hear this is a good one to get.

Prince2 will be on my list and will take account of QA. Thanks for the advice.

I assume the Diploma may overdo it and therefore an equivalent qualification in a more rounded business / management / leadership may be the way to go.

I have also been told that some knowledge of H&S is an advantage. Have you found this?

Regards

Andy
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kwalford
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My pleasure.

I suppose it really comes down to how much time you have to put into studying to which cert to go for.

To be fair, the APMP and Prince2 will most definitely give you a very good, sufficient, grounding in project management knowledge & techniques together. I just think that a diploma is over-kill unless you have an abundance of time to spare to study. I looked at a diploma at length and I concluded that the $ and time spent on it will take a long time to see a return on my investment. Besides, a lot of employers just state a 'project management methodology' (Prince2, Agile etc) in job adverts.

I am studying the APMP content now and it will give you a thorough understanding of project management by itself. I am also a Prince2 Practitioner and I can say that the APMP will give you more knowledge than Prince2, especially if you are new to project management. Prince2 is a 'framework' (methodology) and does not teach you many techniques (the 'how to's' if you will). The APMP does teach you the specific techniques (the 'how to's').

If the army give you an option to pick a training provider for the APMP course, then go for Parallel Training. One of their trainers Paul has written a APMP book which I have heard good things about, it is called How to Pass the APMP a study guide. http://www.amazon.co.uk/study-Journey-P ... B0032MN8S4

From looking online at job requirements, Prince2 on its own will normally suffice. You will often see 'employee must have a project management methodology'. Prince2 is exactly this! The downside with Prince2 is that it does not go into depth on the techniques of managing projects. And for me, this was the reason I am studying APMP.

You will also need a copy of the Project Management Body of Knowledge Book (Pmbok). I think we are on edition 5 now...
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dhaughey
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Andy,

I'd also take a look at the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) 2 day course. It looks at the Agile approach to managing projects. I did the course recently and found it very useful. I have both PMP and PRINCE2 certifications and this provided me with some new techniques I've adopted on my projects, such as daily stand-ups.

I agree with Kit, it's worth looking at PMBOK (5th edition).

Cheers,
Duncan
bankspti
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Thanks!!

PMBOK is this the same produced by APM - I have just downloaded the APM Body of Knowledge (5th edition) I have seen there is a 6th.

I will be doing the APMP via the defence academy who run in association with APM but as it is free I will not be looking elsewhere.

Final one on this. I feel I have got a lot of information already. However do you feel it is neccessary to hold a degree or equivalent? Or will these tools / skills allow me to 'open doors'. Some job specs I have seen say degree or equivalent which is why the advanced diploma was interesting as it is held at level 6 - Equivalent to a degree!

Andy
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dhaughey
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Andy,

PMBOK is managed by the Project Management Institute (PMI) in America a different body to APM. PMBOK is on its fifth edition.

It makes sense for you to do APMP as it is free, but it's worth being aware of this alternative body of knowledge.

The PMI's website is http://www.pmi.org

On the degree front, it's a common requirement from employers so worth pursuing. It's an entry qualification, but usually never mentioned once appointed. It's quite usual for people in my industry to enter project management and get their PM certification on the job.

Duncan
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begeland
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I agree with Duncan. Degree is important and often a requirement. Scanning the hiring landscape awhile back I was frustrated to see that many HR depts were 'requiring' PMP or similar certification in order to even be considered. I thought that to be a very lazy and short-sighted hiring practice. I now see fewer and fewer postings even mentioning it and it's almost always listed as 'preferred' - almost never 'required.' My concern was that so many organizations would be stocking their groups with newer PMs who were certified and overlooking so many qualified PMs with many successful years of experience who were not certified. That seems to have changed now...good move. While certification brings additional knowledge as well as a common language and structure, there is no replacement for good experience.

Brad
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