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Have You Considered A Project Management Apprenticeship?

Paul Naybour Paul Naybour

Published: 15th May 2017

Project management is a well-established but still growing profession, that has become increasingly important to companies and organisations in all sorts of industries in recent years. If this is a career path you are interested in, there are several ways to make it up the ladder. One option is to start out by taking a project management apprenticeship. This can give you the highly valuable on-the-job experience you need as a project manager while also studying project management methods and best practices and gaining a qualification.

 

So let’s take a look at the benefits associated with PM apprenticeships, as well as different factors to consider when choosing one.

 

The Perks of being a Project Manager

 

Before we take a further look at how to get your foot in the door, let’s first take a look at the reasons why you should consider becoming a project manager. There are many perks associated with this role, including:
  • Work with all sorts of interesting people – You will constantly collaborate with different people.
  • There is never a dull moment – Life as a project manager is never boring. The ever-changing nature of project work means that there are always new challenges. If you want a role that will never become stagnant, this is definitely it. Procedure driven, mundane, repetitive tasks aren’t the norm for a project manager.
  • You will receive recognition – Project managers get praise when initiatives are delivered (of course, within scope, on time and on budget).
  • You will never stop learning – One of the great things about project management is that you will constantly make new discoveries. After all, every project is different, requiring various skills, technology, and approaches.
  • You can earn a high salary – This is a career that is both emotionally and financially rewarding. Top project managers can earn a very nice salary!
  • You will have transferable skills – Project management is all about processes, which means that you can easily apply your knowledge and skills to other job roles if you fancy a change of career.
  • You will self-improve all of the time – With so many project management training courses and workshops available, there are always opportunities to improve.
  • Demand for project managers is growing – Project management is one of the fastest growing fields worldwide. Top organisations across the world are actively looking for project managers to take their business to the next level.
  • The job varies all of the time – From the work you are doing to the people you have to work with; no two things are ever the same.
  • You will embrace your natural skills – It is not all about project management procedures; you will also embrace your natural skills. This includes being self-sufficient, people skills, being able to think outside of the box, and being organised.

learning about project management

A Day in The Life of a Project Manager

So, you may be wondering what you will be doing every day as a project manager. The first task is always to develop the idea. You will be working with stakeholders and project sponsors to flesh out an idea into something that is feasible to deliver. Once you have done this, you will then put the team together. This is an important part of the process, as you need to make sue the right people are assigned to the best roles for them if the project is to meet its aims.

 

Once you have done this, you then need to organise what is going to happen throughout the project lifecycle. You will also need to lead the team, and you will need to manage finances effectively. This includes developing estimates and using them to create your project budget. You will also need to engage stakeholders, make important decisions, and, of course, deliver on the project’s objectives. With every project that comes and goes, you will need to share the knowledge regarding what you have learnt, so that your team can move forward effectively each time.

 

A guide to...Project Management Qualifications

 

Who is Suitable For a Project Mangement Apprenticeship?

 

Project management apprenticeships are suitable for assistant project managers, anyone in a project management support role, aspiring project managers, or anyone in a role that requires project management skills.

 

What To Expect

 

All apprenticeships are different, so this is just a general overview of what you should expect if you do embark on an apprenticeship.

 

With an apprenticeship, you will get the perfect mix of theory and practise. In regards to the latter, you will learn from your peers. You will see how experienced project managers go about their day-to-day business, and you will be assigned tasks that will help you to progress. You will become an important part of the team.

 

At the same time, you will also receive expert training. The best training providers will offer a mix of learning approaches. This includes face-to-face training, study guides, e-learning, podcasts, and webinars. You will be able to learn in a manner that suits you best. This also means that you have the ability to learn no matter where you are based.

project stats on laptop

Benefits of Taking a Project Management Apprenticeship

There are a number of options available to anyone that is considering being a project manager. However, there is no denying that experience is something most employers will look for, which is why a project manager apprenticeship is advised. Below, we take a look at the many benefits associated with this:

 

  • Learn with an experienced project manager – You will be able to learn from a recognised and experienced project manager. You will see how they operate on a day-to-day basis, and gain from their real world project delivery experience.
  • You may get offered a job – If you impress during your project management apprenticeship, there is every chance that you will get offered a job by the end of it.
  • You can transition into a new job effectively – Apprenticeships aren’t merely for people that are looking for their first job. They are also great for those who are transitioning into a new role as a project manager.
  • It will look good on your CV – Experience is everything in the current day and age. Employers don’t want to see a CV that simply has academic qualifications and nothing else. They want to see that the individual has experience applying what they have learnt to real-life situations.
  • Apply theory to the job – Learning in a classroom environment will only get you so far. With an apprenticeship, you will combine theory and practice, enabling you to apply your new skills to the workplace.
  • Build up your network – Once you start your apprenticeship, you will have the opportunity to build up your network. You will get to know a wealth of different professionals, and you never know what doors they may open in the future.
  • Become an essential part of a team – Despite what you may have read apprenticeships don’t spend their time photocopying and making tea. You will have a much more important role, becoming a reliable and skilled part of the workforce.
  • Gain a nationally recognised qualification – Not only will you experience comprehensive training, but you will benefit from a recognised PM qualification as well.
  • Guidance and support – An apprenticeship is just like having a job, yet you will receive guidance and support from experienced professionals along the way. This will help you to gain the necessary skills you need to progress as a project manager.
  • No student debt – Let’s be frank; going to university is expensive. Students often find themselves in debt in the region of £30,000 by the time they graduate. As an apprentice, debt or tuition fees won’t bog you down.

 

successful completion of project

Choosing an Apprenticeship

As you can see, there are many benefits associated with project management apprenticeships. If you like the sound of this option, you will need to choose an apprenticeship with care. There are many different project manager apprenticeships available today, yet it is critical that you choose one that is right for you in an organisation where you feel you could have a future career as a project manager. Failure to do so could prove to be more of a hindrance to your career than being helpful.

 

Do you have...The Essential Project Management Skills?

Consider these different factors that need to be taken into account:

 

  • Length of the programme – The first thing you need to consider is how long the apprenticeship is going to last. Most programmes last between one and two years. If you do not have any experience with project management, i.e. you are a new employee 18 – 24 months may be a reasonable length. If you are a mature learner and you are moving from another career into project management you could complete the apprenticeship in 12-18 months.
  • Reputation – The next thing you need to do is look at the reputation of the company you will be working for during the apprenticeship. Is it held in high regard? You need a company that is recognised in the industry and is going to look favourable on your CV.
  • Reviews – Take the time to read reviews that have been left by people that have already studied for the qualification in question before.
  • How the programme is assessed – Next, find out how the apprenticeship programme is assessed. Will there be an exam at the end of the programme? How are you assessed during your time with the company?
  • Qualification – What qualification will you receive for completing the apprenticeship? It is important to look for a programme that is going to provide you with a recognised qualification at the end of it, such as the APM Project Management Qualification (APM PMQ).
  • Your future career – When choosing an apprenticeship, you should always have your future in mind. Is the apprenticeship you are considering going to help you on the career path you have in mind? If not, look elsewhere. There is no point in doing an apprenticeship simply for the sake of doing one – you need to make sure it is right for you.
  • Challenging – Will this apprenticeship challenge you? You don’t want something that is easy and boring. You need something that is going to test you so that you move forward.
  • Credibility of the training provider – Aside from the points that have been mentioned above, you need to ensure the training provider has plenty of experience in project management and a good track record to back it up.

 

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding project management apprenticeships – the benefits of doing one, what to expect, and how to choose the right one for you. If you follow the advice that has been provided above, you will be well on your way to a successful career in project management.

 

This is an exciting and ever-changing career, and it is one that will give you the skills and the knowledge required for various job roles if you do decide to pursue something different in the future.

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