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Tips to break into tech as a project manager

by | Apr 5, 2022 | Project Management

Project managers are essential to any company that works on multiple projects or with multiple clients concurrently. It’s no surprise that one industry with a high need for project management professionals is tech. Frequently, individuals who want to progress their career in tech fall into a fallacy of thinking that there’s a certain degree of rigidity to becoming a project manager in the tech industry. They think they must follow strict rules. However, changing and progressing your career (in any industry) comes down to how much you can show someone else that you’re prepared for the role you apply for. 

Check out the tips below to see how you can build a project management career in tech. 

Know the concepts that matter (and don’t sweat the ones that don’t).

Many professionals seeking a role in the tech industry operate under the mistaken assumption that everyone in tech needs to know how to code or have a high level of computer science knowledge. However, don’t avoid tech out of fear that you do not have enough computer know-how; this is not essential for tech project managers. It’s always helpful to have some surface-level knowledge of each stakeholder’s type of work to create realistic timelines, but it’s rarely required as roles vary between organizations. Remember, you can always confirm how long an action will take with an individual working on a project you’re leading.  

Informational interviews are your friend.

One of the best things about pursuing a career path in project management is that it’s a highly flexible role because it simply boils down to ensuring projects are completed. Projects are everywhere regardless of organization size or industry type. Companies frequently hire project managers on a case-by-case basis, which means that this field is excellent for professionals desiring the flexibility of a freelancer schedule. If you’re serious about developing your own freelancing business, check out virtual groups like Reddit or the Slack community Online Geniuses. You can also launch your freelance career by creating profiles on Upwork, Toptal, or Fiverr.

If you’d like to get more details on informational interviews, click here

Don’t be afraid to take on a contract or volunteer position.

Contracts, freelance work, internships, and volunteer project work related to the tech sector can be wonderful strategies for filling out your resume when you don’t have a lot of experience yet in tech. Find contracts and freelance work on UpWork and Fiverr. You can find volunteer projects through local business owners or even family members that can use an extra hand with staying on track for a deadline. The key here is to curate tech sector work experience through stepping stone roles. This will indicate to someone reviewing your resume that you can confidently work in the tech industry as a project manager.

For an in-depth look at stepping stone roles and other career change tips, watch our 30-minute workshop here

Get a project management certificate.

Project management education programs are useful for obtaining a more profound understanding of what it takes to be a project manager. While every project management role differs slightly at every company, having the baseline knowledge of project management terms, techniques, and concepts will probably help you excel in any project management role to some degree. Project management certificates can vary depending on which country you work in, how much existing experience you have, and what kind of industry you want to work in, so it’s important to do your research. 

Start your project management career in tech with Pathstream
 

The Pathstream Asana Project Management Certificate, for example, is ideal for those who are just starting out their project management careers in tech. Our innovative program is offered in partnership with top universities and backed by Asana. When you enroll in our comprehensive project management certificate program, you will have access to highly experienced instructors, quality learning materials, and invaluable career guidance. The program can be completed in just six months and will pave the way for you to launch your new career. At Pathstream, we not only equip you with the tools you need to manage a project successfully, but we also help you land your first job based on your career goals.

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