Whether you have just left education or are considering a change in career, it’s not always easy to know how to take the first step. One of our candidates recently asked us about a good entry route into the project management industry or the best way to obtain practical experience. He had recently graduated university with a BSc in IT with Management and passed the PRINCE2 Practitioner exam, although this put him in a strong position it is essential to remember that qualifications alone do not make an effective project manager.

If you’re just starting out in project management, it’s quite unlikely that you will enter a project management role immediately. The key is experience, tactically choosing the organization you want to work for and future-proofing your skills.

It’s a good idea to select a large organization which runs a lot of projects as this will allow you to work on different teams, gain experience and show your colleagues what you are capable of. Make yourself known to your managers and the HR team and let them know that your aiming for a Project Manager role.

Use your knowledge and do some research into upcoming trends in project management. (The Arras People Annual Benchmark Report and PMI’s Pulse of the Profession Report are good places to start.) If you start to build your skill set to cater to this trend, you will be ahead of the game when organizations are looking for professionals who can tackle their projects using these up and coming techniques. What would be even better would be if you could pinpoint a skill that you envision to become a market leader and look for a company that is using that skill. You can then look for project management openings around that skill, whether it be a methodology or understanding of software