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It’s no secret that project management is one of the most popular career choices in the present day job market. However, as project management opportunities continue to expand around the globe, myths and misunderstandings about project management as a career have also become more numerous.

If you’re considering a career in project management, chances are that you’ve encountered at least a few of these myths in your discussions with classmates or colleagues. It’s time to set the record straight on three of the most common myths about project management as a career.

Project Management Is a Dead End

Mythbusters 470When considering project management as a career, some professionals worry that they wouldn’t have a clear path upward from a PM role. This misconception is due, at least in part, to the fact that project managers typically move into their roles after first establishing themselves as subject matter experts in a specific field. Viewed as the next step in that progression, a PM role might appear to pigeon-hole a professional into a narrow area of expertise. However, successful project management requires not only technical knowledge, but also the set of general people-management skills that are usually associated with upper management positions. What’s more, today’s project managers are often seen as agents for change. No longer is the role a tactical one that simply involves ticking off completed projects on a to-do list. Project mangers often have an elevated status and are required to drive strategic initiatives for the company. Professionals who master these important skill sets often find that their career prospects expand dramatically after they move into project management.

You Can’t Succeed as a PM Without Certification

It’s certainly true that more and more employers are looking for certifications from PMI or other authorities when evaluating candidates for project management positions. However, a PMP certification is not, and has never been, an absolute requirement for success in the field. Many project managers have risen to executive levels of responsibility (and pay) without the benefit of certification. And while getting certified is a wise move for most experienced project managers, it’s not something an aspiring project manager should focus on early in his or her career – most certification programs actually require that applicants have hundreds of hours of documented project management experience before even beginning the certification process.

Project Managers Can Be Replaced by Software

This is a relatively new concern that many students and early-career professionals share. With the rise of more and more robust project management solutions, prospective project managers might worry that they could be made obsolete within a few years on the job. In reality, no software can replace a project manager. The true purpose of project management solutions is to make project managers more effective and successful by providing greater insight into project activities and eliminating obstacles to communication. In fact, a sophisticated project management solution like Clarizen can facilitate dramatic improvements in team efficiency and project deliverables, giving project managers more job security in the process.

Whether you’re graduating from college next year or are thinking about leaving your current role, a career in project management is certainly worth considering. After all, no team is complete without a competent and passionate project manager.

Todd Valentine
Todd Valentine, Senior Product Manager