Professional training course recommendation?
June 19, 2016 2:41 PM   Subscribe

I'm in the UK. My employer will pay £800 for work-related training. I've mostly stumbled into my current position, and I'm not British, so I don't really know the system here. Attempts to find something useful online have been unsuccessful, so I'm looking for suggestions from people who might be more familiar with this sort of thing. I think what I want is something project management related, but I'm not quite sure. More below on the specifics.

My current professional title indicates that I work in project administration, and I'm in an academic setting. However, I have no background in any kind of official project management - I'm a librarian by profession, and this just happened to be a job I was good enough at that they've kept me around and promoted me. But when I started, I literally couldn't tell a PO from a Gantt chart, and I still don't have any insight into the theory of budgets and planning and all that stuff.

I'm looking to learn more about being a person in charge of projects (or some aspect of mid-level to senior things you can do in an academic setting or office - it's super vague, but that's what my role is like), and if possible get into a position where I have some sort of recognized qualification to put on my CV. If this sounds very nebulous it's because that's how vague my grasp of my potential career trajectory really is. Bonus difficulty: the UK is temporary, and I may be relocating to the US, Canada or another European country within the next couple of years.

My manager is very supportive and has previously mentioned project management as something I should look into, so any ideas for an actual course or programme I could suggest would be much appreciated. There might be an option to add more funds to the training, so please don't limit suggestions to the below £800 range. My location is relevant, and can be found in my profile.
posted by harujion to Work & Money (5 answers total)
Prince II is the most marketable PM certification in the UK and in North America and is widely available. It is also not cheap and I'm not sure £800 would cover the full training, but I'd look for that.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:56 PM on June 19, 2016 [3 favorites]

As you mention budgets some kind of introductory accounting course maybe? That kind of thing is very transferable skill. And you can normally build them up so as long as you're there and get to use the £800 you can do a course per semester.

I am always a bit dubious about project management qualifications because the only people I know who have a project management qualification are not very good at project management. I am sure that is a crass generalisation based on a unrepresentative sample but still it is my experience. On the other hand I know a boatload of accountants and finance professionals who are good at the project management side of their jobs without any formal project management training.
posted by koahiatamadl at 3:12 PM on June 19, 2016

Just to clarify, as my original question was pretty vague: accounting is completely different from my current role (so I couldn't get work funding for it) and future goals. Areas like some aspects of HR, information & communication (not IT), event management and writing proposals/grants are more along the line of what I do/want to do.
posted by harujion at 3:22 PM on June 19, 2016

I agree with Darling Bri, you should go for Prince 2. There are other project management certifications, such as the APMP - I did APMP and my spouse the Prince2 Practitioner, and we agreed that his was the better deal in terms of getting tools for project management rather than the theory behind it. It sounds like the tools are what you need. It's the preferred project management course in the UK public sector and widely recognised outside as well.

Many universities also give short in-house project management courses aimed at academics leading research projects. These aren't a substitute for Prince2 and won't be recognised externally, but may help you think through how project management can work in an academic environment and with smaller projects than, say, building a bridge. (I did the in-house course at a UK university first, and then went on to do the APMP).
posted by tavegyl at 12:00 AM on June 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

From an accredited state university:
posted by poppunkcat at 10:56 AM on June 20, 2016

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