Project management is one of the most promising professional fields of the 21st century. At the moment, the demand for project managers is reported to increase at a much faster pace than the demand for professionals in other fields. At the same time, the number of project managers is not growing as fast as the demand for them is.
Project managers are in great demand in a vast range of industries internationally. Whether it’s the field of information technologies, finance, construction, or manufacturing, all these domains require professionals who will be effective organizers, clear communicators, and fast problem solvers. Such are the key qualities for a person aspiring to be a project manager.
This article aims to provide an overview of what project management is, what project managers do, and why this is a great career path to consider. Suppose you would like to explore more about it - the Institute of Project Management is a globally recognised authority that has been educating in the field of project management for over thirty years and offers many courses relatable to all areas of project management.
The role of project management
The importance of project management lies in its ability to complete projects to the customer’s satisfaction. It is the process of leading a group of individuals – professionals in a team established to create the product or service according to the given requirements. Due to the complexity of projects across the fields, it is key to choose the right project management methodology to deliver fast and in desired quality. Without implementation of the right methods and hiring the skillful project managers, it may be thoroughly impossible to do so.
Before discussing the actual jobs that project managers do and the most competitive fields where project management experts are in demand, it is necessary to point out that knowledge about project management does not necessarily mean a change of a career path. For those individuals who found the vocation that suits their abilities and passions, knowledge about project management can help explore new possibilities within their chosen field. Completing the training and obtaining one of the project management certifications may lead to promotion and increase in salary and prestige in almost any professional domain.
What project managers do?
Regardless of the specific field, all project managers perform the following tasks:
Determination of start-up strategies
Recruitment of professionals
Decision making as to the skills and competencies of the team members
Besides these very generally framed tasks, there are specific tasks that project managers do in individual industry domains. Thus, a unique set of skills and competencies may be required for their performance. Here are some of the most competitive and fast-evolving industries which may be in need of qualified project managers:
The most competitive fields for project management
The following fields are worth looking into when pursuing a career in project management:
Civil engineers and architects by vocation may want to consider getting certified as project managers if they have good communication skills and knowledge of building codes. Their work will involve solving construction problems upon their visits to construction sites, consulting with the construction project managers, and work closely with the clients.
Construction and infrastructure
Just as with architecture, the construction and infrastructure project managers are mostly recruited from civil engineering graduates who have a decent knowledge of construction materials. Besides that, they will work with the framework of risk and budget management, managing contractors, taking care of plans, and official permits while at the same time keeping in touch with clients. The knowledge of building legislation and legal requirements is necessary for this field as well.
The field of engineering provides opportunities for project managers who possess both verbal and math skills and are good at organizing. Experience with blueprints and mechanical tools is a plus. These project managers interact mostly with stakeholders, researchers, and developers. While obtaining their project management certification they focus on CAD programs.
The fast-growing field of IT is where projects must be delivered quickly and efficiently. Software developers by trade with good management skills and a background in writing codes can become project managers to manage teams of software developers while managing the timelines, communicating with stakeholders and clients, and solving problems on the level of product development. IT product managers are knowledgeable and trained in Agile methodologies and they have, most of the time, a degree in computer science.
Similar to Information Technologies, the manufacturing field is in a need of qualified project managers who will communicate with customers and at the same time ensure efficient team work of the product developers. He will oversee quality control process while meeting the deadlines for final product delivery.
For individuals with a background in medicine and related fields, there is a possibility of becoming a project manager in health insurance companies. Besides a bachelor’s degree and appropriate certification in project management, these individuals must be knowledgeable about medical coding policies and great written, oral and organizational skills.
Other fields include hospitality, entertainment, finance and tourism, to name a few. These fields fall into the category of Business improvement and while they may not require formal education in a particular domain, they are in a need of good project managers with knowledge of management methodologies and strong interpersonal skills.