Career paths in project management
Project management is one of the most promising professional fields for today’s graduate. At the moment, the demand for project managers is increasing at a much faster pace than the demand for professionals in many other fields. At the same time, according to the Institute of Project Management Ireland, 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 are in a need of professionals who will be effective organisers, clear communicators, and fast problem solvers.
The role of project management
The importance of project management lies in its ability to help those involved to complete projects to the customer’s satisfaction. It is the process of leading a group of individual 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.. For those individuals who find 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
schedule and time frame setting and follow-up
communication with clients and stakeholders
management of team culture
management of resources and individual tasks
Besides these tasks, there are specific roles that project managers do in individual industry domains.
Civil engineers and architects by vocation may want to consider getting certified as project managers if they have good communication skills and the knowledge of building codes. Their work will involve solving construction problems upon their visits to construction sites, consulting with the construction project managers, and working closely with clients.
Construction and infrastructure
Just as with architecture, construction and infrastructure project managers are mostly recruited from civil engineering graduates who have a decent knowledge of construction materials and processes. Besides that, they will work within 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. 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 numerical skills and are highly disciplined and organised. Experience with blueprints and mechanical drawing and CAD and BIM is a plus. Project managers in this area interact mostly with stakeholders, researchers, and developers.
In the technology sector is, projects must be delivered quickly and efficiently. Software developers by trade with good management skills and a background in writing code can become project managers to manage teams of software developers while managing 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 commonly have a degree in computer science or a related discipline.
Similar to technology, the manufacturing field requires qualified project managers who can communicate with customers while at the same time ensuring efficient team work and product development. Project managers in this area will oversee quality control processes 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, for example. Besides a bachelor’s degree and appropriate project management certification, these individuals must be knowledgeable about medical coding policies and have great written, oral and organisational 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, good project managers with knowledge of management methodologies and strong interpersonal skills will always be in demand.
This article was written by the Institute of Project Management. The Institute of Project Management, founded in 1989, is the first Irish professional body organization dedicated to the promotion of the project management discipline throughout Ireland.