Project managers are the powerhouses that drive a project from its conception through to its completion. They aren’t limited to the construction industry either – they are required across all fields.
Project managers are needed in industries such as health, events, banking, government, IT, manufacturing and new product development.
RMIT offers postgraduate and undergraduate degrees in project management that help future-proof your career, giving you the skills you need to plan, execute and deliver large- and small-scale projects in any industry.
Our undergraduate degree is suitable for people with a year 12 qualification who want to prepare themselves for an entry level career in project management.
The postgraduate offerings are for professionals who are looking to increase their employment outcomes, develop their project management knowledge and skills and get the qualifications they need to take the next step in their career.
We speak with program manager Dr Christina Scott Young from the School of Property, Construction and Project Management to understand what a qualification in project management means and uncover why the demand for these skills is higher than ever.
What does project management involve?
A project is a unique, time-limited program of work that delivers quality outcomes on time and within budget.
New buildings, new highways or bridges, events like music festivals and the Olympic Games, the roll-out of the National Broadband Network, and the design of a new product or service are all examples of projects.
Project management is the process in which project managers collaborate with their teams to design, plan and deliver project outcomes from end to end, to satisfy the needs of the project client and other stakeholders.
Can you tell us about the undergraduate and postgraduate degrees offered at RMIT?
The Bachelor of Applied Science (Project Management) (Honours) is one of only two undergraduate project management degrees in Australia.
It is a high quality, four-year, on-campus honours degree with a strong focus on industry engagement that equips you to be technically expert and work-ready.
In your final year, you will conduct your own original research on a contemporary project management problem and present your findings to industry.
The bachelor degree is highly regarded and is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
The Master of Project Management provides leading-edge knowledge and upskilling for both working professionals and new graduates who wish to improve their career opportunities.
Classes are industry relevant, participatory and culturally diverse, giving you exposure to both local and international project practices.
We offer a general Master of Project Management suitable for any industry context, as well as the opportunity to specialise in engineering, IT or post-disaster project management.
The master degree is accredited by the Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs (GAC), part of the globally recognised Project Management Institute (PMI), enabling you to work anywhere in the world.
What exactly will students learn in these degrees?
The courses are taught by internationally recognised academics with diverse industry backgrounds and leading-edge research experience.
You will learn the latest in project management knowledge and skills based on the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), and learn how to plan, manage project budgets, control project schedules, manage project risk and use the latest project management software and tools.
You will also develop your leadership skills, learn how to motivate teams to high performance, manage effective project communication systems and engage stakeholders to deliver value to your organisation.
Why is a project management qualification so important?
Career prospects for project management graduates are outstanding, both in Australia and globally. By 2020 there will be 15.7 million brand new project management jobs created around the world (PMI, 2015).
Project management qualifications are still uncommon and are highly sought after by employers, so a qualification in this area will give you a competitive edge in the job market.
Why is working with industry such a great part of the bachelor degree?
We have a 250 company strong Employer of Choice program and we encourage our students to work part-time with companies involved in it.
Because our degrees are strongly industry linked, most of our students are working part-time by their third year of study.
Industry guests regularly bring the latest industry knowledge into the classroom, and each student has an industry mentor to provide input into their research thesis.
Where are graduates working now and what career paths have they taken?
Our project management graduates have excellent employment outcomes and work in every industry, including construction; events management organising music festivals, television shows or the Grand Prix; health; finance; banking; IT; pharmaceuticals; engineering; transport; manufacturing; business; education and government.
Many of our graduates are offered cadetships and internships in large national and global companies through our unique Employer of Choice program.
Graduate roles include contracts administration, budgeting, scheduling, planning and risk management.
Most of our graduates quickly progress to managing their own projects and many take on higher managerial roles in project portfolio management or other roles in project management offices.
So, why should people consider making the leap to project management?
If you are well organised, a good planner, enjoy a challenge, like variety in your work and enjoy relating to people, then this could be the ideal career for you.
If you need more information to help you decide, check out the PMI website and recruitment sites like CareerOne and Seek to see the diversity of exciting project management roles and locations on offer.
Story: Courtney Johnson