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Project Management – No.1 Career Choice

24 May 2011
Project Management – No.1 Career Choice

This year, as the Institute of Project Management, celebrates its 20th anniversary, project management is a growing, dynamic and exciting discipline that was rated by Fortune magazine as the number one career choice at the beginning of the 21st century. 

Today, it is at the forefront of business as it is increasingly being recognised as a key competence across all sectors:

  • There are in excess of 500,000 individuals with professional certification qualifications from the world's two leading project management organizations.
  • The value of projects worldwide annually is estimated at US$2 trillion
  • Projects account for 21% of the world GDP or 1/5th. of the world’s value generation
  • Google shows over 33,700,000 hits on “project management.”
  • There are over 200 universities around the globe that offer educational programs in project management.
  • Some of the world’s biggest IT service companies such as IBM, HP, Oracle and SAP have project management divisions with revenues exceeding US$1 billion/year.  

20 years ago project management was:

  • practised primarily in the construction and IT sectors.
  • education was in its infancy.
  • Professional, internationally recognized certification did not exist.

It is interesting to reflect on the comments of one of the leading management gurus of all time - Tom Peters -, who routinely exhorted businesses to: "Instill a 'project orientation' everywhere" 

Virtually every person in the company should spend a fair amount of his or her day on project teams with people from other functions: The essence of perpetual quality improvement, service improvement, speeding up this and that, and rapid product development is getting people from multiple, warring tribes working together on output-oriented activities that generally go unmanaged in our tradition, ‘vertical,’ ‘functional stovepipe’ organization. All managers in the sleek, new-look ‘projectized’ organization become first and foremost cross-functional project creators (1990 article titled Get Innovative or Get Dead). 

Projects now take place in all organization types and feature people who come to project management from many directions bringing with them their own particular take. The deployment of project management continues to expand in our fast-changing world. Emerging application areas for project management include new sectors such as nanotechnology, global warming and climate control, humans in space and future energy needs. 

Whatever the project management landscape will look like in 2030 it certainly does not appear to be going away. There will always be projects and hence a requirement for project managers. The Institute of Project Management (IPM) is dedicated to educating in this field, constantly improving project managers' skills and training them to be their most successful selves.