The Art of Project Management: Expert advice from experienced project managers in Silicon Valley, and around the world
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Are You Experienced?

Jose sent me a great email with some important questions about gaining experience in project management, and education:

Hi Josh!

I’m a huge follower of yours and really enjoy your tips. I’m sure you get this often, but I have been struggling with what the next step is. I am continuously learning, but feel I haven’t fully grasped the PM hard skills. I have purchased the WBS coaching from you, what other training sets should I sign up for?

In addition, I started an MS – in C.I.S with a reputable school (online) , but after one class I concluded the traditional type of education isn’t for me. I think experience and hands-on knowledge suits me better. But I feel that w/o a graduate degree, I may never make it to a managerial level.

My overall goal is to be a cloud evangelist. In other words, use my PM skills to help businesses be more green through cloud computing and other green IT technology. I’m trying to learn as much as I can, but its difficult since I am not applying it on a daily basis–maybe I am, but I don’t see it.

Sorry for the long message, but any feedback would be welcomed!
-Jose

Thanks Jose!  A Cloud Evangelist, I love it!

Having a clear goal like that is very important when it comes to planning your career path.  In the second course of my online program, I have some worksheets that go along with the training to assess your starting point, where you want to go, and how to get there. Write it down. Write it down. Write it down.

If you already have a 4-year degree, I recommending pursuing experience before any advanced degree.  I see too many who have advanced degrees and no experience, and in the project management field, experience is king!

It may be different in other countries, but in the USA most organizations wouldn’t expect an entry-level project manager to have an advanced degree.  Once you have ‘paid your dues’ for a few years and gained valuable experience, you’ll be in a better position to decide if an advanced degree will help you achieve your long-term career goals.

So what do you think about my answer? Have a differing viewpoint to offer Jose?

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About the Author

Josh helps new and aspiring project managers reach their career goals. He has been managing projects in Computing, Financial Services, Telecommunications, and Aerospace for over a decade. Josh’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Project Management and he is PMP certified. The best method for tapping into Josh’s knowledge and experience is his training for project management, where Josh shares his best practices for how to get ahead in your project management career and his best practices in specific project management processes.
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