I am still a student. My formation and my personal thirst for knowledge led me to learn a lot of different things:
- Programming experience in several languages (low level ASM to higher level JAVA)
- Professional experience as network/sys admin
- Participed in SCRUM like projects for 4 years
- 1 year teaching experience in network and programming
- Self taught: security, project management
What I want to highlight here is that I have a variety of knowledge and experience that I would like to use in real life to the fullest. The problem is this: Before getting to any project management interesting position, I am expected to have some years of professional experience in the same field.
My goal is to get to a position where I can use all of these skills, learn and face challenges, and without passing by the coder phase. I don't want to do something that any coder can do, I want to be able to express myself and supervise others.
What to do in order to achieve this goal? I need a fast and efficient solution. What career path to follow and what competence do I need to acquire now? I am really willing to learn anything that can lead me there, I just despise doing something that I know I can do (coding, maintenance, ...), it would kill my motivation.
Thank you for helping me make a very important decision.
PS: I am sorry if I am off topic, I think this is the best choice to ask here since you may relate to my story and help me with your experience as project manager. Project manager is not the only job that would motivate me though, but you might be able to help me still.
EDIT: I really appreciate all of your answers, you seem to have so much to say about it and every bit of information is precious to me. Thank you !
EDIT2: I earned a badge through this question and I would like to add a few more details on my new experience and how I can relate to the answers given.
I accepted David's answer because it matches perfectly what I experienced for the past 2 years. Managing projects is a big word, well it was, I used to be the shadow guy who actually articulated a few key projects following rough guidelines from my manager. We actually worked hand in hand, splitting tasks and raising issues to each others as the project went on. Although he is a PMP, we had no time to actually plan and execute the project, we had to dive in something new and deliver quickly. It involved training of frontend/backend teams (finance, sales, IT, Support, etc.), adjusting the systems, ordering improvements, raising bug defects, testing, etc.
All this to say, my way into PM was that of necessity, I helped until I became an unofficial PM and as I write this now I am leading alone a project scaling on several countries. Visibility and recognition happens naturally as we interact with our colleagues and communicate on achievements. I feel much more involved and I am deploying my own vision for the direction to take from now on many fronts.
What does it take for going to PM? To me: - Competent HR and managers - Impeccable and accurate communication - Dedication, passion and hard work - Commitment to the success of the company - Curiosity and engaging everybody - Deliver and be "Impactful" (>relevant, >successful) - Communicate during reviews with your management your will to evolve - Stay very well organized, empower yourself (OneNote, Outlook rules/config, Excel skills, presentation skills, organization methods, etc)
I look back and feel that I was too focused on my own job and on my own technology to evolve in my previous job. I came to this one with an open mind, a learner mind and my curiosity made me a candidate for the internal leadership program in HR to groom future leaders of our company. I am continuing my road with great achievements and rewards. Thanks again to all who answered here, this helped me go through that process and grow.