Thousands of students graduate each year from UK universities. Some subjects have very strong subject related employment figures following graduation. There are clear career paths ahead for graduates in medicine, dentistry and veterinary studies as well as nursing and education. In other subject areas the number of students in employment following their graduation is around 70%. The majority of these graduates are employed in a subject area that is not linked directly to their degree. In many cases, employers are not looking for subject specific graduate knowledge but the right person to fit into their organisation.
Project Management is a role which is seeing increasing professionalisation and a global increase in demand. The Telegraph published a short article listing 10 good reasons to become a Project Manager. Employment opportunities , money and prospects feature at the top of the list. The Project Management Institute also reported that global demand for Project Managers is very high and showing signs of growth.
Currently, there are very few UK undergraduate programmes in the subject area of Project Management despite there being a huge demand for skilled workers. Project Managers are traditionally sourced from existing staff in organisations who need projects. So we have project managers in the health service and IT as well as construction and manufacturing. These staff may have some training in project management or be qualified in other areas but lack training and confidence in project management. We could call these the ‘accidental project managers it isn’t their chosen profession but they are in the role and can benefit from training and education to support and develop their potential.
Those institutions that offer Project Management as a subject in its own right include in their programmes the tools and techniques of project management itself but also include some personal and professional skills. These include communication skills necessary for dealing with people and managing conflict. Project Management degree courses also include business and finance skills to ensure that graduates understand the context within which projects operate. This mix of subject areas reflects the range of skills that project managers need if they are to be successful. These programmes will prepare graduates with a broad and relevant skill set making the task a finding a job easier and finding a job in the subject area related to their first degree quite likely.
Studying Project Management at University makes a lot of sense, it can lead to a varied career in many different industries, the job prospects are very good and salary expectations and career progression opportunities are also very strong. There are a limited range of project management degree courses available. The range of courses is likely to increase with the advent of degree apprenticeships. These courses will have appeal to new entrants into project management as well as giving the accidental project managers the qualifications and knowledge they are seeking to back up their experience.
If you are considering studying Project Management, please talk to us about our courses.