Project Managers are integral to the smooth operation of many functions across varying industries. A multi-faceted role, project managers are equipped with a vast array of skills, knowledge, and experience that allows them to take on the responsibility of initiating, planning, managing and delivering projects of all forms.
It’s a job that requires the project manager to understand the needs of many different stakeholders and to possess strong communication skills. People management, of course, is a major part of a project manager’s day.
In The Value Of Project Management White Paper by the Project Management Institute, Adrian McKnight, PMP, program director at Suncorp-Metway Ltd. says the delivery of business outcomes is realised through the success of projects.
In essence that is the way that project management strategies drive organisational success,” he said.
The white paper also shared that nearly 60% of senior executives surveyed by McKinsey & Co. believed that ‘building a strong project management discipline is a top-three priority for their companies as they look to the future.’ Project management is a valuable function of successful business operations all over the world, ranging across industries and project scales of all sizes.
It’s possible to enter the project management world with an undergraduate degree, but if you’re considering pursuing this career path, consider the impact graduate study could have on your career prospects is wise.
As well, if you’re already active in a project management role, investing in further graduate study could lead to a number of immediate and long-term benefits that are unlocked through the achievement of a Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma or Master of Project Management.
The Project Management Institute’s 2018 Talent Gap Report revealed that by 2027, employers will need 87.7 million individuals working in project management-oriented roles. This enormous anticipated growth and makes this an opportune time for professionals and job-seekers to build project management skills. This report also highlights that job opportunities are growing because much of the current project management workforce is reaching retirement age.
“Attrition, particularly as seasoned practitioners reach retirement age, is creating many project-related job openings. In the United States, in manufacturing, attrition will cause nearly all open positions—97 percent—while in management and professional services just over half the openings—52 percent—will occur for the same reason.”
If you’re looking to move into project management, or elevate your existing project management skills, an expanding job market with rising salaries provides strong incentive to make the leap.
The benefits of project management graduate study
There’s a number of key benefits awarded through further study that greatly add to its appeal. These include:
- Increased employability. By adding a graduate degree to your achievements and resume, you’re positioning yourself competitively amongst a sea of job candidates. A project management graduate degree also demonstrates your commitment to the field and the investment you’ve made to date on growing your own knowledge and expertise.
- Enhanced networking opportunities. The graduate study experience will see you connecting with professors, teachers, tutors and other students who are also committed to expanding their own abilities within a crossover field. This provides you with many new opportunities to build connections that could continue to influence your career prospects in the future.
- Increased industry awareness. As project management is such a wide and varied field, it’s easy for individuals to begin to specialise in one particular type of project management. However, this can limit opportunities for new experiences and employment. By gaining a postgraduate degree, you’ll be equipped with up-to-date insight into how your field of expertise is relevant across the contemporary challenges facing many industries. Your degree will bring you up to speed and provide the opportunity to learn about new applications and opportunities for industry engagement.
- Sound theoretical foundation across a variety of fields. Project management is often a world of doing – of applying tools from a wide skill set to the functions and requirements of each day and each project. It’s all too easy to stay focused on the practicalities, but at times, this can lead project managers to fall out of touch with the theories that back up their daily work. Studying project management at a graduate level requires students to take a step back and examine the theoretical knowledge that underpins their work practice. This equips them with new or refreshed skills in analysis, planning, problem-solving and technical application.
Project management is not a career choice for the faint of heart, requiring a wide mix of skills, abilities, tools, and applications that can change from project to project. It’s a role that provides a deep level of job satisfaction for those who are suited to it, as projects are successfully completed and delivered and new challenges loom on the horizon.
Project managers an integral part of success for teams across industries and continents, providing an invaluable service and crucial guidance on projects large and small. Intel’s Ron Kasabian, GM, sums it up when he said it’s hard to imagine how you would go about delivering a project without program and project management discipline.
If these challenges sound right up your alley and you’re looking to upskill or invest in your own abilities, take a look at how an online graduate degree in project management can equip you with the tool you need to fulfil your project management ambitions.