Project management has become an increasingly critical skill set in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape. More and more industries are adopting a project-oriented approach, and they need to ensure their employees possess the necessary project management skills to drive success. According to the Project Management Institute, there is a significant talent gap in this field, with the global economy expected to require 25 million new project management professionals by 2030. To close this gap, 2.3 million people will need to enter Project Management Offices of Excellence (PMOE) annually to keep up with demand. This talent shortage is likely to impact every region and could potentially result in a loss of up to $345.5 billion in global GDP by 2030. As a result, there is high demand for project management professionals who can address this talent gap.
This guide provides a complete overview of a project management professional, their qualifications, certifications, roles and responsibilities, career outlook, and salary to help you get started.
What Does a Project Management Professional Do?
A project management professional is a certified individual responsible for organizing, planning, and leading project teams to ensure projects are completed efficiently, on time, within budget, and to stakeholders’ satisfaction. Additionally, they work across a wide range of industries and sectors, including information and publishing, manufacturing and construction, finance and insurance, management and professional services, and oil and gas.
The role and responsibilities of a project management professional may vary depending on the industry, organization, and project requirements. However, in general, the role and responsibilities of these professionals include:
- Planning: Developing project plans that outline project scope, objectives, timelines, budget, and deliverables
- Scheduling: Creating a detailed project schedule that outlines project tasks, dependencies, and critical path analysis
- Monitoring and control: Monitoring project progress, identifying variances from the plan, and taking corrective action to keep the project on track
- Executing: Overseeing the implementation of the project plan to ensure that it is executed correctly and efficiently
- Quality management: Ensuring that project deliverables meet quality standards and customer expectations
- Leadership: Leading and motivating project teams, managing team dynamics, and resolving conflicts that may arise
- Time management: Staying on schedule is essential for completing a project successfully and delivering it within the allocated time frame
- Budget: Devising a budget for a project and sticking to it as closely as possible is crucial to ensuring that the project is completed within the allocated budget
- Risk management: Identifying potential project risks, assessing their impact and likelihood, and developing mitigation strategies to minimize their impact
- Stakeholder management: Identifying project stakeholders and communicating with them regularly to ensure their needs and expectations are being met
Qualifications and Certifications for Project Management Professionals
There are various paths to becoming a project management professional, and the qualifications required can differ based on the role and industry. Generally, most project management professionals possess a bachelor’s degree in project management, business, or a related field.
In addition to a bachelor’s degree, many project management professionals also pursue industry-recognized certifications such as Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), and PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) certification.
The Project Management Institute provides the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Moreover, it is widely recognized as one of the most prestigious certifications in the field. To obtain the PMP certification, professionals must meet several criteria. These include three to five years of previous work experience as a project manager, depending on their educational background. Moreover, the certification process involves passing a 180-question, 230-minute long exam designed by seasoned project managers to reflect real-world scenarios. Once earned, the PMP certification is valid for three years and can be maintained or renewed by earning 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) within its validity period.
The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification is designed for professionals who are just starting their careers in project management and do not have the required work experience for the PMP certification.
The PRojects IN Controlled Environments 2 (PRINCE2) certification is widely recognized in the UK and Europe. In fact, it is offered in two levels—Foundation and Practitioner—and requires passing an exam for each level. The PRINCE2 certification does not have a mandatory work experience requirement. It is, however, recommended to have some project management experience before pursuing the practitioner level.
Project Management Professional Career Outlook and Salary
Project management is a highly valuable and in-demand profession across various industries. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of project management specialists is projected to grow by 7%, while software development—a fast-growing project management profession, is projected to grow by 25% between 2021 and 2031. Project management and business operations occupations are also expected to see a steady increase over the next ten years.
The Project Management Institute estimates the total GDP of projectized industries to increase from $24.7 trillion in 2019 to $34.5 trillion in 2030. Furthermore, a recent PMI salary survey of over 40 countries shows that professionals holding the project management professional certification report higher median salaries, with an average of 16%, as compared to those without the certification. In India, the average salary of a project management professional is ₹18,00,00, as per Glassdoor.
As businesses continue to rely on project management to execute their strategies, project management professionals will continue to see steady growth in job opportunities and earning potential, making it an excellent career choice. So, if you’re interested in pursuing a career in project management, consider exploring the project management courses offered by Emeritus in partnership with top universities to enhance your professional prospects.
By Krati Joshi
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