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Benefits of Project Management for Students


It's time to stop pushing "careers" on young people in education and start pushing skills. Not everyone has a strong academic flair and even those who do can change their minds on career paths once they leave College or University.

When I consider, for example, my family, friends, colleagues, business besties, etc, none of us are in the career paths we imagined we would be in as school kids, or pursuing what we studied at Uni, and I believe a lot of people can relate to this.

Along the way, we picked up and developed skills, now, in our 30’s and 40’s we have near enough perfected those skills (always room for relentless improvement) and made a full-blown career out of them. I first heard of Scrum 2 years after University, years on I’m an Agile Coach and I’m the founder of a training organisation specialising in Agile methodologies.

Honestly, it’s too much pressure to decide what you want to be, sometimes there's not enough guidance, mentorship, or support around to help young people hone in on their abilities and figure out what they are good at.

Since we know this and can relate to it on some level, then let’s change the approach!

I believe project management skills help students develop a variety of other skills. It encompasses a wide variety of management skills, including; time management, scheduling, budgeting, and resource management, these are what I call 'life skills' mostly because they cut across every area of life, business, personal or career.

Exposing students to these skills early enough will give them an edge and open them up to more career options to choose from.

Skills Gained & Benefits for students learning project management

Time management and Scheduling- While it sounds like a regular thing, I'll show you that it isn't. Show me an all-around balanced individual and all indications will point at someone who has mastered time management and scheduling growing up, or who learnt it as a skill.

For most, they picked it up from home or society in an indirect form i.e "mum makes breakfast at 6 am, and gets the family out the door by 8 am every day, a minute more, and we're late!", "Dad makes us do chores and assignments first before playing video games".

This kind of training will produce one who is wired to keep to time and priorities.

However, even though time management and scheduling is a marketable skill, this traditional example of training doesn't apply in every home or even school and this accounts for many who struggle with managing their time. Thankfully, it is a skill that can be learnt.

Possible career options

People with time and scheduling management skills excel at time-sensitive jobs like;

● Event-planning

● Logistics management

● Project management

● Call Center Operation

● Production management, etc

Planning and Organisation- Planning and organisation should be taught intentionally as a skill to help build students who are great planners.

When students work on tasks or projects for example; individually or in a group, they need to learn to plan and organize all steps in the task. Deciding who is doing what and when is an important skill to help them successfully complete a project.

Planning and organisation is a highly marketable skill.

Possible career options

People with planning and organisation skills excel at jobs like;

● Urban and regional planning

● Research analyst

● Program coordinator

● Wedding planning

● Event coordinator

● Community relations manager

● Executive assistant etc

Communication – The ability to communicate effectively is an important life skill, communication is the transfer of information or intention through means that can be understood.

It can be done vocally (through verbal exchanges), through written media (books, websites, and magazines), visually (using graphs, charts, and maps), or non-verbally (body language, gestures, pitch of voice, and tone).

A student who has been taught effective communication is one who is on the right path….to anywhere.

Possible career options

If you have great communication skills, you might want to consider one of these options;

● Public Relations Specialist

● Content developer

● Media Planner

● Social Media Manager

● Human Resources Specialist

● Business Reporter

● Brand development specialist

● Digital Marketer

● Communications Manager

● Teacher

Teamwork- Teamwork is a human necessity, even if your project is designed for individual work. One person cannot do everything, successful project management relies on teamwork and collaboration to bring a variety of ideas to the table.

Sharing ideas, even for individual projects, helps to spark inspiration and adds to the overall quality of work.

Possible career options

People who are great team players excel at jobs like;

● Military or Police Officers

● Natural Sciences Managers

● Chefs and Head Cooks

● Athletes and Sports Competitors

● Human Resources Managers

● Construction Managers

● Web development

● IT Manager

Problem Solving- Life is full of change and these changes can affect your projects. Sometimes there are unexpected events that can delay the project considerably. Encouraging students to take an Agile approach to work means being flexible and adaptable to change.

Possible career options

People with problem-solving skills excel at jobs like;

● Consulting

● Engineering

● Research and development

● Law

● Accountancy

● Public Relations

● IT

● Coach

Whatever project management skill students chose to focus on, believe me, it's a great decision, just don't forget to keep it agile!

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