This is Jerry Ihejirika’s guest article. Jerry, a Nigerian-based project manger, wrote his own blog and was interviewed recently. His views on project management education and where it should go are quite interesting. I would be interested to hear your thoughts. Please share your thoughts below.
Now, Jerry has the floor.
Project management professionals are constantly striving to improve their skills in order to meet the increasing demand for “professionalism” in the field of project management. Many project management organizations have launched new certifications or chartered products’. It remains to be seen how these products will improve the quality and practice of the profession.
However, there are a lot of existing project management certifications and this is causing some certificated-confusion among various companies, industries and sectors of the global economy. There are always new certifications!
HR departments are often confused about which certification to demand or focus on when they hire for project management positions. Because of the global marketing of project management certifications, many HR departments don’t realize the efforts of universities to produce qualified project managers.
How Did We Get Into This Global Certificated-Confusion?
The education sector refers to universities and colleges around the world. It has sold its “rights” to maintain the “standard” in project management education to profit-seeking project managers.
Some may argue that it’s because project management education is still new. What is new? Let me give you an example from Nigeria: FUTO (Federal University of Technology Owerri), which I graduated from, produced the first batch of project managers in the 1987/88 academic sessions. It has been producing project managers ever since.
How would you rate the institution’s collaboration with the government and the private sector to promote project management and create opportunities for its graduates from that year? If they need project management skills, how many West African organisations will turn to FUTO or any other university that offers a degree in project management in the sub Sahara region?
FUTO has been involved in project management research for 27 years and produced project management graduates. FUTO is supposed be the first institution that the government should consult if they want to create a tailored project management methodology.
There is a growing demand for project managers, but universities around the globe have failed to produce qualified project managers. Some project management companies have taken advantage of this global opportunity and spent enormous amounts of money marketing their products so that it looks more attractive than a project manager degree.
Some even produce a 4-day-trained professional on a weekly basis, tagged with some type of certificated status. Oh, my dear industry!
Even though the project management profession is highly competitive, it has reached a point where one organization might sue the other to produce a product that it believes might be very attractive even though it might not necessarily advance its profession. Ca