How postgraduate study can boost your project management career
Postgraduate qualifications, such as Master's degrees and diplomas, can help you progress further in any profession. Due to the complex nature of their role, project managers in particular can benefit from postgraduate study. Read this article to discover how gaining a postgraduate qualification can improve your project management career.
Balancing the intricacies of a project is no easy feat. From managing staff, budgets and stakeholders, to establishing contingency plans and mitigating risk, project managers are invaluable assets to businesses, and for good reason.
During a challenging project, knowing which management strategies to use under given circumstances is crucial. As projects all have varying elements (scope, team and budget, for example), they also come with their own set of unique problems. That’s why being equipped with the relevant training and theory to mitigate any potential risks and handle a broad range of project possibilities is essential to being a valuable project manager.
In an increasingly complex world – especially with technology evolving so rapidly – coordinating teams (and leading them to achieve successful project outcomes) requires a versatile mentality. Project managers are the first to understand, adopt and champion any innovations to implement into the workplace. A dedication to ongoing education – whether it’s postgraduate study or regular professional development through short courses and certification – is pivotal for any project manager looking to improve their career prospects and project outcomes.
What benefit is postgraduate study for project managers?
In many industries, having a postgraduate certification can make you an even more attractive candidate to recruiters. This holds particularly true in the field of project management because of its sheer complexity. Organisations look to hire well-rounded project managers, who won’t immediately need additional training or mentoring to make the most of every project.
While having an industry certificate, such as PRINCE2 certification, is crucial knowledge for project management, the skills learnt with these qualifications are typically very focused and task-oriented. Meanwhile, the most sought-after project management candidates have a broad-ranging and complex skillset, incorporating both hard and soft skills.
Postgraduate study in project management will equip you with the principles that underpin the management of all projects from planning to execution and beyond. It will support and formalise your team management skills and prepare you for the legal, financial and technical aspects of project management.
How can a Master of Project Management improve your salary?
Having a postgraduate degree can significantly open up your employment opportunities. Even further, a specialised Master's degree in your chosen industry can introduce you to more opportunities (and more competitive salaries).
A Master's degree in project management can result in a career in business intelligence consultancy, project analysis and change management, as well as senior project management.
According to PayScale , general project managers in Australia earn $AU96,897 a year on average . A project manager specialized in construction on the other hand, earns $AU98,517 a year on average , while the average senior IT project manager earns $AU136,487 p.a. As a change manager, you could be earning $AU116,482 on average .
Whether you have some experience in project management and are looking to certify your existing skills, or translate your PM skills to a new industry, a Master's in Project Management will solidify your knowledge and help you add more value to your employers.
Why choose to do postgraduate study online?
It’s common to undertake postgraduate study while continuing to work full-time (or close to it). Traditionally, this has meant night classes or weekend intensives – an inflexible schedule that you have to revolve your work- and social-life around.
But these days, it’s never been more convenient to study online. With online postgraduate programs, the logistics of study fits around your lifestyle, not the other way around.
What industries do you find require PRINCE2 from jobseekers the most?
Definitely the public sector.
Many people have concerns that online study is an isolating experience that does not offer the same level of networking and relationship building that can be found in on-campus study. However, that’s simply not the case – communication and collaboration with your fellow students and educators alike remains a pillar of the online study experience. In fact, it can open doors to a wider range of perspectives and experiences, because your classmates are not limited to the people who happen to be geographically near to your educational institution.
If you’re looking to progress your career in project management and related roles, online postgraduate study is an effective way to get ahead. While you may already have PRINCE2 or other industry certification, Southern Cross University’s Online Master of Project Management equips you with the critical thinking skills necessary to get projects running smoothly – or back on track if they go astray.
 PayScale.com, 2018. Average Project Manager, (Unspecified Type / General) Salary, 2018. Available at: http://www.payscale.com/research/AU/Job=Project_Manager%2c_(Unspecified_Type_%2f_General)/Salary. [Accessed 21 November 2018].
 PayScale.com, 2018. Average Project Manager, Construction Salary. Available at: http://www.payscale.com/research/AU/Job=Project_Manager%2c_Construction/Salary. [Accessed 21 November 2018].
 PayScale.com, 2018. Average Senior Project Manager, IT Salary. Available at: http://www.payscale.com/research/AU/Job=Senior_Project_Manager%2c_IT/Salary. [Accessed 21 November 2018].
 PayScale.com, 2018. Average Manager, Change Management Salary. Available at: http://www.payscale.com/research/AU/Job=Manager%2c_Change_Management/Salary. [Accessed 21 November 2018].
Tutor in project management studies at Southern Cross University Online