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The Art of Project Management: Essential Upskilling Strategies for Success

The Art of Project Management: Essential Upskilling Strategies for Success

By Steven Briggs
May 8, 2024

Learning and development are crucial for professionals seeking to advance their careers, as it equips them with the necessary tools and skills needed to facilitate professional growth and reach their goals.

Project managers keen on levelling up in this field are well aware of the future benefits this industry offers.

At present, project management is a high-income field, with many employment opportunities in various industries such as Information Technology (IT), finance, healthcare, and even construction sectors.

Essentially, project management is when individuals in these roles use their knowledge and skills to ensure that the projects that they are entrusted with reach their requirements and envisioned results.

Career Options for Project Managers

As we mentioned earlier, project management is an increasingly lucrative field, with the role itself expanding across industries opening professionals to more options. If you want to venture into project management, there are two options– upskilling or reskilling from another role into project management.

With the skills of a project manager, you can also move into other adjacent roles such as:

  • Project Manager: planning, executing, and overseeing projects from start to finish
  • Operations Manager: overseeing day-to-day operations of a business. Make sure that everyone works efficiently, and effectively and that all standards are met.
  • Management Consultant: Provide advice to businesses to increase their performance in operations, profits, and managing projects with more efficiency.
  • Business Analyst: Identify the needs of a business and help find solutions using project management models.
  • IT Project Manager: Project management of tech projects. However, this needs insight into technology as well as project management.

What Key Skills Do Successful Project Managers Possess?

To have an idea of what is expected of a project manager, these are key skills that you would need to develop:

  • Communication: Delegating tasks and providing feedback. Ensuring everyone has a full understanding of the project and the goals that need to be achieved as a unit and individually. Subordinates need to be able to communicate with you when they encounter problems.
  • Time Management: Deadlines are crucial to a project, need to make sure that everyone is on the ball with their respective tasks. Know how to separate and prioritize to maximize efficiency.
  • Risk Mitigation: Foresight to identify problems, and ensure that they don’t come to pass, reducing impact, reduce threats to the project as a whole
  • Budgeting and Resource Allocation: Making sure that the project stays within its budget, with no frivolous spending, and allocating resources appropriately to reduce waste without compromising the integrity of the project.
  • Leadership and Team Management: Being the figure of authority, able to make executive decisions, and being a reliable member of the team. Ensure that things run smoothly.
  • Technical Expertise: Having the required knowledge and skills to make sure that the project is of the highest quality
  • Data Analysis and Reporting: Being able to read the data and information provided, make executive decisions based on it, and provide feedback to the higher-ups.

Why is Upskilling Essential?

Upskilling is an important factor in any job, especially in ever-changing industries. There is always improvement to processes, which requires people in these job roles to keep up with these trends.

Upskilling targets skills gaps, identifying areas where individuals need further training to meet industry standard or job requirements, and then provides them with the necessary training to bridge these gaps.

Career and Succession Planning

Both career and succession planning involve upskilling and reskilling employees to meet the requirements of a position they wish to occupy.

A key difference is that succession planning is a company-led effort. They conduct an assessment with employees and provide them with learning and development opportunities. These are focused on the growth and success of the company and are usually enforced when a key leader is promoted, retiring, or leaving the company. A successor needs to fill that role and succession planning is an effort to prepare for these events.

On the other hand, career planning is a more individual-focused effort. While you can receive assistance from your company with the learning and development materials, it is more of a setup where the onus is on the individual. You need to be able to prioritize your own career growth.

The Difference Between Upskilling and Reskilling

Upskilling is improving skills for your current job role or for a levelled-up version of the role you currently occupy.  It is more linear – like a junior salesperson to senior salesperson to sales manager pipeline.

Reskilling is when someone with adjacent skills is provided with training to take on a role that is closely related to their current one. Reskilling is for people who are making changes in their careers and are transitioning to another industry. An example of this would be a former journalist making the transition to an SEO copywriter by undergoing a course and obtaining certification in SEO technical writing.

Upskilling Strategies

Accelerated qualifications: To build on credentials you already have, you can take a 1-year master’s programs online to facilitate this.

  • Mentorship and coaching: This is where you receive hands-on guidance from more experienced people in the industry. They will provide you with advice and nuanced information that will help you further your career.
  • Online courses to get credentials: Have a look at the various online courses that can help you achieve certifications.
  • Accelerated qualifications: To build on credentials you already have, you can take a one-year Master’s program to facilitate this.
  • Microlearning: This is where you study in small batches. This type of learning is better suited to people with demanding full-time jobs.


Continual interest in the field you are upskilling or reskilling is vital to maintain motivation.

You also need to consider your personal budget and the time and effort you can dedicate to learning while working full-time. You can do some research on affordable master’s degrees to help find an option that is within your means.

Regularly Familiarize Yourself with the Latest Tools

There is an array of tools that people in project management roles use, and with technology constantly upgrading, it would be a good idea to use free trials and demos of the latest project management tools, so you have a good idea of how they operate.

There are several companies that offer their software for free. These can also help you get more familiar with how task management tools operate.

The Bottom Line

Project management is a field that is popular and offers high-earning opportunities. T that being said, you need to make sure that you are always on the ball and up to date with the latest trends and developments in the sector.

It is always a good idea to improve yourself professionally in light of continual industry advancements. Upskilling has transitioned from optional to essential.

Steven Briggs

Steven Briggs is a Content Editor for the business and entrepreneur sector and is an avid writer of business and personal finance topics.

Steven Briggs

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Disclaimer: The ideas, views, and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of International Institute for Learning or any entities they represent

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