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How to become a Project Manager in Nigeria – education, qualifications, required skills, career prospects, and tips to succeed

In this post, we will show you how to become a project manager in Nigeria. Here you will various project management courses in Nigeria and where to get trained and certified. This article also offer help on how to acquire the necessary skills and improve your career as a project manager.

Who is a Project Manager?

Project managers are tasked with overseeing and carrying out projects within or without the confines of a business organisation. When handling projects, project managers work with a specified budget, and so have to properly manage available resources, as well as organise and motivate their team, all in a bid to deliver the project on time.

Management of time and resources is a big part of a project manager’s job. Good project managers know how to find their way around a strict budget or deadline and still deliver quality work.

Becoming a project manager is no simple feat. Typically, you’ll be required to first get a certification, while also cultivating several other important project management skills you’ll be needing on the job.

You could also become a project manager without prior certification. However, a project management degree is your best bet towards success in the field. Here in this article, we’ll quickly take you through all you need to know about becoming a project manager in Nigeria.

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Education and Certifications needed to Become a Project Manager in Nigeria.

As mentioned earlier, if you want to be a project manager, the first thing you’ll be needing is a project management degree.

There are two very common types of project management certifications; The Certified Associated in Project Management (CAPM) and the Project Management Professional (PMP), both offered at Project Management Institute (PMI) branches across Nigeria.

The difference between both degrees is that while you’ll need at least 4,500 hours of working experience and a project management degree -although this particular prerequisite is said to be optional – to qualify for the PMP, you do not need prior project management experience or the degree to take CAPM courses. Aside from the CAPM and PMP certifications, there are other project management certifications you can acquire, each with it’s own prerequisite.

Project Management Certifications 

Some of these certifications are;

  • Program Management Professional (PgMP),
  • Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP),
  • PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP),
  • PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP), and the
  • PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA).

Each of these degrees is offered at the PMI. After taking and completing all your project management courses, you’ll be required to take and pass an examination according to the project management degree you’re studying. For those taking either the CAPM or PMP exams, you’ll need to study the Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide published by PMI.

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Also, you should go through the Exam content guidelines that contain the content covered in each section of the exam you’ll be taken, as well as get study materials that will help you prepare for the exam.

The CAPM exam is an exam of 150 questions and it can be taken online or at a test center, while the PMP is an exam of 200 questions and can only be taken at a test center. Once you’ve passed the exams, you’ll be awarded your certification.

Note that once you have passed and are aware of your certification, you’ll be required to maintain it periodically. For the CAPM, you’ll be required to take and pass the CAPM exam every five years, while for the PMP, you’ll be required to complete 60 professional development units (PDUs) each year to maintain your certification.

The PDUs can be earned either online, in person, or through giving presentations related to your project management certification, and volunteering your services to certain organizations.

Skills required to be a project manager in Nigeria

Alongside your project management degree, there are a number of skills you are required to have in order to thrive as a project manager. Briefly, we’ve listed some of these skills below;

1. Time management

Working with a deadline is a big part of project management. Project managers are usually required to have projects carried out within a specific period of time, as such, they’re very good at time management.

If you desire to be a project manager, then you must know how to handle tasks within the shortest possible time, as well as know which tasks to give priority to, which tasks to focus less time on, and which tasks to ignore completely.

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2. Resource management

Aside knowing how to manage time, project managers are also adept at managing resources given to them. Usually, a project manager, when given a project to handle, has to work within the confines of a specific resource budget.

In carrying out the project, he must manage the resources given to him in a way that they do not either run out before the project is completed or limit the quality of the entire project.

As a project manager, you’ll need to add resource management to your list of skills if you want to thrive in the field.

3. Organisation Skills

Project managers usually have to work with a team when handling projects. A big part of working with a team is organisation.

As a project manager, you’re the leader of your team, as such, you’ll be required to organise their activities in way that’ll see the project carried out properly and on time.

It is therefore important that you develop organisation and leadership skills. Motivation skills are also important. Working with a team means you need to be able to keep them interested in the project when things are getting boring or hectic.

Being a good motivator will come in handy in situations like these. Organisation is also important in the area of resource management. Knowing how to organise your resources in a way that will see each resource go where it needs to go and do what it needs to do to complete the project is very vital to your job as a project manager.

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4. Effective Communication Skills

Communication is another big part of working with a team as a project manager. If you’re a good communicator, it’ll be easier for you to get your message across to your team in a way that is clear and concise.

This will save you a lot of time and energy. You’ll also need to develop other communication skills like active listening and receptivity to feedback.

You must understand that you do not know it all, and working with a team entails you giving them a chance to also contribute their own thoughts and ideas that could help the actualisation of the project.

5. Risk management Skills

As a project manager, the ability to identify and manage risks is crucial to your job. You need to be proactive and have the hindsight to see problems and possible solutions before they arise. This will save your time, energy, and resources.

Career prospects for project managers in Nigeria

Project management is a very lucrative field. This is majorly because while there are a lot of project management jobs available in Nigeria, there is a lack of individuals with project management skills across the country, as such, project managers are in high demand.

There are a number of career opportunities available to individuals with project management certification and skills in Nigeria today. Some of these opportunities are;

  • Assistant project manager,
  • Associate project manager,
  • Contract project manager,
  • Information technology project manager,
  • Business project manager,
  • Construction project manager,
  • Project coordinator,
  • Senior project manager, and
  • Software project manager.

So as you pursue your degree as a project manager and hone all your required skills, be rest assured that there are job opportunities awaiting you once you’re done.

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Tips to succeed as a project manager in Nigeria

As a project manager in Nigeria, one of the most important success tips that can be given to you is that you never stop learning and improving.

Project management is a field that is constantly evolving. New skills are needed to solve the problems that arise on the job every day.

As such, you must be open to learning new ways to do things. Never assume you know it all or you have it all figured out.

Every new task and project is an opportunity to learn and improve your skills, so be open to learning every day. Also, be dynamic and creative in your thinking.

There are no hard and fast rules in carrying out projects. No one method is the best. You’ll continually be required to find new ways to deal with different problems, so be creative. Think outside the box. Give your mind free rein to be innovative.

This will further improve your skills as a project manager. Lastly, build your network. Your network includes your team, as well as other meaningful connections that could help you progress in your career.

Build meaningful relationships everywhere you go. Connect with people, especially project managers that are ahead of you career-wise. Learn from them.

This will help you avoid the mistakes they made and do things better yourself. Remember that no matter how good you are, you’ll always be a work in progress, so keep improving, learning, and connecting. Let being better be your goal, not a success, because as you become better, success will follow.

Conclusion

Becoming a project manager can seem tasking at first, but the rewards are worth it. No career path is easy, after all. So if you desire to become a project manager and succeed at it, then you must be ready to put in the work. We hope this article has been in informing you about all you need to know about project management? Let us know.

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Adams Victor

Adams Victor is a Content Developer at InfoGuideNigeria.com. InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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