Supplement your learning and prepare for your project management career by bookmarking a few of these popular industry blogs.
“What can I do now, while I’m still in school, to prepare for my future career?”
Regardless of degree program or learning environment – online or on-ground – every college student asks this question.
And here’s one simple recommendation.
Read a few blogs relevant to your industry on a regular basis.
Why students should read industry blogs
With a master’s degree in career and technical education and more than 15 years in higher education, Center for Online Learning Career Advisor Nancy Cheek is dedicated to Saint Leo students enrolled in online degree programs. She regularly conducts webinars on a variety of career development topics and provides one-on-one career counseling for online students.
When it comes to industry blogs, Cheek says it’s essential that students follow a few on a regular basis that are related to their program of study.
“Blogs provide a platform for professionals to discuss topics relevant to their industry – its triumphs as well as its challenges – providing information students may not have access to unless they are already in the business,” says Cheek.
Cheek advises online students to research employers and follow industry trends while in school, and blogs, she says, can offer many valuable points of view.
“As opposed to looking up factual information about an industry or job, a blog can provide personal insight and current information, similar to interviewing someone in the business,” says Cheek.
“Readers must keep in mind, however, that information may be biased or even incorrect, but I believe this gives more validity to the importance of research and comparing information. Once you begin reading a few blogs, you will find more credibility in certain bloggers, and can begin to follow those few.”
So many blogs, so little time
If you’re a student in one of Saint Leo’s online project management degree programs** – the online bachelor’s degree program in business administration with a project management specialization or the online MBA degree with a project management concentration – there’s a lot to learn and Cheek’s advice is especially relevant.
Responsible for managing complex, cross-functional teams in increasingly competitive business environments, project managers must stay abreast the most current techniques and technologies. Getting into the habit of reading blogs now, current students can gain knowledge about a variety of topics such as:
- How successful leaders find more energy, inspire their teams and manage through uncertainty
- How to save time on a project, run an effective project meeting or simplify project reports
- What to include on an agenda for a project kick off meeting
With an estimated 31 million bloggers in the United States pumping out more than 500,000 new posts every day,* finding the right project management blogs for you could be easier said than done.
Here are a few suggestions:
Project News Today
If you read only one project management blog, this one could be it. The blog pulls together the latest posts by a variety of project management bloggers and puts them in one spot in a sort of daily digest. Recent posts have covered topics such as change management, coaching managers, facilitating brainstorming sessions, and creating a collaborative culture.
The Project Management Hut
This blog features a broad array of topics from agile project management and various types of certification to communications management and cost management.
Voices on Project Management
The Project Management Institute powers this blog, which is written by several different individuals. Topics range from best practices and mentoring to communication, project planning, and risk management.
The makers of a project management software write this blog. Here, you’ll find posts on topics from ways to simplify project reports to how to motivate a “lazy” team member.
UK Association for Project Management: The Blog
Several different individuals contribute to this blog, with its most popular topics being people, portfolio management, communication, program management, and governance.
Bob Sutton’s Work Matters
Knowing how to deal with people and work effectively with different personnel is essential skill for any college graduate, especially for project managers. This blog focuses on managing personnel issues.
Easy in Theory, Difficult in Practice
Kiron Bondale, a member of the Project Management Institute, touts his blog as focusing on “thoughts on project portfolio and change management challenges.” Read posts on topics such as picking the right committee members, facilitating organizational change, and encouraging effective risk management.
A Girl’s Guide to Project Management
Read about project management from a woman’s professional perspective. Written by Elizabeth Harrin, a project manager and author of Shortcuts to Success: Project Management in the Real World and Social Media for Project Managers, this blog covers topics such as “16 essential questions for project initiation” and “5 brilliant ideas to boost your management skills.” The blog also periodically provides useful project management forms.
The Sensible Project Manager
This blog is written by a project manager with 15 years of experience in information technology. Blog topics cover lessons learned, strategies to use, and tips for new project managers. The website also has podcasts.
Although this blog isn’t strictly a project management blog, it does focus on leadership skills any project manager will need to succeed in the workplace. Recent blog posts have covered topics such as treating your employees with dignity, ways that coaching-managers get things done, and ways to make powerful (and good) decisions.
Are there any other project management blogs you would recommend?
Image credit: Fotoluminate LLC on Shutterstock
**Saint Leo University is a Registered Education Provider with the Project Management Institute, a Premier Microsoft Dynamics Alliance Educational Member, and an Approved Logistics Program Provider for the AST&L.
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