What Skills a College Student Needs to Develop to Become a Project Manager


student improving his project manager skillsFor students looking for a promising career path, the job of the project manager is a really attractive perspective.

Who is a Project Manager?

A project manager is an individual who is selected to lead a team of employees to complete a specific project from the beginning straight through to its completion. A project manager is a person that has to have serious organizational skills and an ability to establish easy to accomplish milestones for the project. It is ultimately the responsibility of the project manager to oversee the members of a team to ensure everyone is doing their part to get the project done and to delegate duties to different team members.

Job Description

A project manager is in the position of overseeing other workers to ensure all jobs and tasks are completed. The job of the project manager also requires that the individual oversees all techniques, project tools, services, and products to ensure ethical practices as the project moves forward. The manager will be responsible for recruiting a team and building it and will need the ability to forecast project risks so they can be circumvented before an issue arises.

Personal interaction with employees is a part of the project manager’s job. A team only works well if it works together, and the project manager will have to work through any issues that arise due to group dynamics. There are always disagreements and conflicts in group projects, but it is the ability to move forward to complete the project that makes the difference between a mediocre project manager and an excellent one. It is the job of the project manager to praise employees when praise is warranted and to acknowledge and recognize good work.

Popular Fields

Some of the most popular fields where there are project managers needed include construction, engineering, architecture, and software development. There are also positions for project managers looking to get into the field of mobile application and design, a fast and wide growing industry. In fact, according to job outlooks for the future, Internet Technology is a field where opportunities will continue to grow for those interested in project management positions. Other fields include telecommunication, pharmaceuticals, retailers, and environmental agencies.


Becoming a Project Manager is a career growing in popularity because of the salary prospects. The global median salary is just over $90,000 a year, with those working in IT Project Management positions making the largest salaries of $108,000.

When someone is a project manager it might be for a single project, for a series of projects, or for a semi-permanent job position. There are a number of certifications a person can get to make it easier to become a project manager including Program Management Professional, Certified Associate in Project Management, or Project Management Profession certifications.

Required Skills and Personal Characteristics

The person who wants to be a project manager needs a lot of talent and skills. In addition to basic communication, the individual needs all of the following skills and characteristics to be a successful project manager:

  • establishing and managing budgets
  • general management skills
  • leadership skills
  • ability to deal with pressure
  • negotiation skills
  • organizational and planning skills
  • problem-solving skills
  • risk management
  • ability to delegate tasks
  • team building skills

At the same time, there are several personal characteristics that add up to the occupation of a project manager:

  • leadership
  • trustworthiness
  • ability to inspire
  • enthusiasm
  • competency

As per a recent report produced by the Anderson Economic Group, the job outlook for project managers is excellent, with as many as 1.5 million job positions forecasted up to the year 2025. Thus, the career of a project manager is in high demand and will remain so over an extended period. A Project Management certification can benefit the student in alternative careers as well.

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