Career move to Project Management - some questions

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maya
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Career move to Project Management - some questions

Postby maya » Wed 22 Oct 2014 1:43 pm

Hi,

I've signed up to the forum after reading some very useful and informative posts - thank you.

I am seriously considering a career move into project management, probably in financial services. I believe I have the right skills and that I would be good at it, however I have no direct experience in the field. My background is in private banking (6 years), and more recently I have also run my own light industrial business in the automotive sector. Currently I am 'in between' and looking for a new path.

From some initial research I have established that becoming fully PRINCE2 accredited might be a sensible starting point. I have seen some scepticism on this forum and elsewhere about PRINCE2, (e.g. everyone has this qualification now suggesting it's not that valuable, and PRINCE2 methodologies are not really used in the real world), but am I correct in assuming that it is a good accreditation to have on the CV, and would demonstrate commitment to PM? I also would look at getting up to speed with MS Project, or similar?

Assuming this all goes to plan, can anyone advise on how I might be able to find a job in project management? Every job spec I have seen asks for experience of running/being involved with a project, which I don't have other than in developing my own business. It's the usual chicken and egg scenario. My fear is spending time/money/focus on a qualification without actually increasing my chances of finding a job...

Any advice would be much appreciated and thanks for your time.

Alex

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Re: Career move to Project Management - some questions

Postby kwalford » Wed 22 Oct 2014 2:09 pm

Hi Maya,

How long have you got in your own time to study? I would say go for CAPM (beginners) or APMP (intermediate) over Prince2. Prince2 is like the Subaru Impreza of project management and doesn't stand you out from the crowd.

In my opinion, APMP is achievable from scratch but do not do a classroom course with no prior study. I have just passed the APMP if you need any questions answered. Anyone in the PM field will recgonise the APMP as a more valuable certification than Prince.

For MS Projects, check out CBT Nuggetts videos as the tutorial set is top notch.

Does that help?

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Re: Career move to Project Management - some questions

Postby kwalford » Wed 22 Oct 2014 2:50 pm

Just to pre-empt the question 'which provider should I go with?', I would highly recommend Provtek Training (PM Channel). I have personally used them and the service was brilliant.

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Re: Career move to Project Management - some questions

Postby maya » Wed 22 Oct 2014 4:45 pm

Hi kwalford

Yes that helps a great deal, and thanks for the quick response. I did write a reply earlier but it vanished for some reason!

I have plenty of time to study as I am not currently working. Did you do a classroom course for the APMP or home study? How long did it take you from start to finish?

There are so many qualifications out there it is difficult to know which are well recognised, attainable, and worth obtaining, so thanks for the suggestions. I will read up on CAPM (beginners) and APMP (intermediate) and compare with PRINCE2. One thing that puts me off PRINCE2 is it doesn't seem to be recognised internationally (unlike APMP, for example), so limits any potential career move overseas.

I will also check out the videos you recommend on MSP, thanks. I did use it at university but have forgotten everything (it was over 10 years ago)...

Did you have any advice on how I might approach recruiters without any direct project experience? How do project managers start out without prior experience? Ideally I would look at contract work in finance as this is my background.

Thanks again in advance.

Alex

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Re: Career move to Project Management - some questions

Postby kwalford » Wed 22 Oct 2014 7:26 pm

Hi,

It is difficult to estimate how long the APMP took to pass. I would recommend at least 2 months of studying hard and then a classroom course.

PM channel offers online training videos (which are well priced) and also a classroom course (5 day course). I would recommend using their online training videos or Parallel Project Trainings online course, which I also used. Private message me if you are interested in the online videos from PM channel as I will put you in touch with the best person to deal with there.

My advice would be not to go straight into a classroom course with no prior study, but ultimately do the classroom course and the exam on the last day. The classroom course is essential but with prior study. It is a lot to take in without any prior study.

Advice on getting a job: Show willing and look for a Project support or project coordinator roles. Note that the job title may not reflect the role. Example: I have seen project controllers running projects themselves and having the role of the PM, which was the case for me a while back.

I hope this helps.
Kit

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Re: Career move to Project Management - some questions

Postby dhaughey » Wed 22 Oct 2014 8:09 pm

Hi Alex,

I believe PRINCE2 is well recognised internationally. Many large multinational companies use PRINCE2. I have personal knowledge of its use in Australia, Netherlands, Belgium and USA. Not to say it's necessarily the right PM certification for you.

Duncan

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Re: Career move to Project Management - some questions

Postby maya » Thu 23 Oct 2014 10:30 am

Kit and Duncan, thank you both very much for your input.

Definitely food for thought on APMP and PM Channel looks like a great route for this. Currently I'm leaning more towards PRINCE2 as a starting point, as it looks (to me anyway) like I could get cracking on this more quickly (e-learning), and it seems more basic so possibly a box I can tick sooner. With this out of the way I could look at studying for the APMP to bolster my CV further. I have a business degree so am hoping this will help too.

Thanks again and I may well be asking some more questions in due course!

Alex

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Re: Career move to Project Management - some questions

Postby kwalford » Thu 23 Oct 2014 12:27 pm

Hi,

No problems at all.

If you go for Prince2, then Dave Litten's Prince2 primer videos are downloadable, cheap and very good. I have personally used them and can validate that they are worth the money. This will allow you to learn distantly.

All the best,
Kit.

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Re: Career move to Project Management - some questions

Postby elizabethblogs » Wed 29 Oct 2014 12:18 pm

Hello Alex,

If you decide to go for PRINCE2, my managing director Simon Buehring, a vastly experienced project manager, has produced some free eBooks for learning the basic themes, processes and principles: http://www.knowledgetrain.co.uk/prince2-resources.php

These videos (also created by Simon) offer a good overview of PRINCE2: http://www.knowledgetrain.co.uk/what-is-prince2-introduction.php

Good luck taking your exciting first steps into project management!

Liz

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Re: Career move to Project Management - some questions

Postby maya » Fri 31 Oct 2014 6:24 pm

Hi All

Thanks again for your help especially with suggestions for PRINCE2 resources etc.

I am taking the APM IC Foundation exam next week and will then move onto studying PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner, and possibly Agile Foundation after that. My plan is to at least have a good working knowledge of project management processes and methodologies so that I can build on it with some more experience. I'll look at doing the APM Practitioner at some point in the future. Hopefully with a spread of good base qualifications my CV should rise nearer to the top.... here's hoping!

Happy Halloween!

Best
Alex

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