Given the value that project management gives to an organization, it’s easy to understand why more and more companies are adopting it as a way to do business. Consequently, the demand for project managers is increasing, and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.
Almost anyone can benefit from a sound knowledge of project management skills.
- Laborers or tradespeople can be promoted into project management roles.
- Junior technical staff can increase their marketability and therefore, salary.
- Technical experts can enhance their ability to win more work.
Project management education is woefully lacking in the current education system. This means that anyone who studies and learns the principles of project management has an edge, even over well educated technical people.
Will it Continue to Grow?
The reasons that project management skills will continue to grow in demand are:
- More and more businesses are adopting project management as a way to do business. It used to be a fringe subject matter with a few knowledgeable participants, but it’s slowly becoming an integral part of how businesses are run.
- The stature of the profession is growing. Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) designations, issued by the Project Management Institute, have been growing at over 11% per year for the past 6-7 years. Over 625,000 PMP’s worldwide are spreading the word about the value of project management.
- Compliance and competitive drivers are beginning to appear which require organizations to meet standards in project management. Government legislation such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act are forcing organizations to adopt stricter financial controls, which their projects must also adhere to. Other government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration and Federal Highway Administration are using project management as a factor in selecting service providers. Still other organizations voluntarily pursue certifications such as ISO-9001 or Six Sigma, which requires competent project management to maintain and keep certification.
Project management theory, more specifically project cost management and control, is exactly what these businesses need to pursue their goals, and this will provide a solid floor for the career growth of project managers.
Project Management for Small Projects
Another trend in favor of demand for project managers is the growth of project management for small projects. Not long ago project management was a fringe subject that was seen as an added cost for small projects. Today that is changing, however. Companies are realizing the value of project management on small projects. This opens the door for people to learn project management and use it to obtain work in a role of project manager for small projects.
Particularly for technical people who are thrust into the project management role, a project management education (or certification) is a fantastic career enhancer.
Where to Get a Project Management Education
There are many places to pursue an education in the field of project management.
- On the top end of the scale, MBA’s in project management are offered by many universities and colleges. Most have an online option and evening/weekend study. They take several years to complete and have relatively high entrance requirements.
- An industry level certification like PMP (Project Management Professional) or Prince2, which is popular in the U.K.
- Online or classroom project management training.