Cake or death? I'll have the chicken. (austingoddess) wrote in projectmanager,
Cake or death? I'll have the chicken.
austingoddess
projectmanager

getting into project management

Hello. :) I've been a project coordinator/analyst/planner for 6 years out of my last 13 in high tech, mostly on software development projects. I'm trying to find the best way to break into project management itself. Most jobs I see want a PMP, but as I'm sure you all know, you have to have been a PM for 3 years (with a degree) before you can go for that cert. I could get the CAPM, but I don't know how helpful that would be.

What skills/certs/keywords would be useful? I don't have any formal programming experience, but I could certainly get started on that. Some s/w projects I've seen want a manager with a coding background, while some specifically *don't* want a coder so they won't get sucked into coding. I could get an MBA, but that's a fair amount of money and time, and again I'm not sure if it's really needed or not. There's always moving up in a company, but many of the PM positions in Austin are contract rather than full-time.

How did you break into project management? Is knowing the PMBOK enough with my background to start applying?

Thanks for your time!
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Huh. Can you tell me what the 3 years with a degree/5 years without prerequisite thing is on their website?
Specifically, I'm referring to this section of the page discussing the different certs:

Eligibility

* • Applicants must have 35 hours of specific project management education.
* • With a Bachelor’s Degree (or the global equivalent): Applicants must have a minimum three years’ professional project management experience, during which 4,500 hours are spent leading and directing project tasks, up to eight years from the time of application.
* • Without a Bachelor’s Degree (or the global equivalent): Applicants must have a minimum five years’ professional project management experience, during which at least 7,500 hours are spent leading and directing project tasks, up to eight years from the time of application.

Deleted comment

Thank you so much for your help!
The hours prerequisite refers to the number of hours you need to have of experience in the project management phases. You do not necessarily have to have led every project you worked on to get them. If you have a Bachelor degree, you need to document 4500 hours. If you have no college, you need to document 7500 hours. You can get these hours many different ways. Working in PM is one way. Volunteer work counts, time that you may have worked on a project not as the lead, but as a team member also can count. It just has to be documented and verifiable (in case you are audited, they ask for names of your supervisor, etc. to follow up.)

Many people working on Project Teams for many years can document the time, but it helps to pass the exam if you do actually work in PM, or as a project manager. That being said, many of the scenario questions on the exam are fairly logical anyway, and provided you know enough to take the test, you have a better than average chance of being able to answer them.

The 35 contact hours of education is all classroom based PM education, and last I knew, you could not get by that without doing it. It is not called PDUs till you actually have the credential. It is the same kind of education people with PMPs take to GET PDUs, though.

I got my PMP in 2005, and have never looked back. It has opened many doors to many positions that never would have been available to me without it. I recently recertified, a year early, because getting PDUs AFTER you have the credential is pretty easy if you read up and understand how to get the most out of your certification.

If you are in software development anyway, you are in a great industry from which to break into PM. Check your organization for PMPs within it who also might be able to help mentor and guide you on your way through the certification process. Good luck!
Thanks for the info and encouragement!