Postgraduate study can future-proof your project management career

Disruption is here to stay, so safeguarding your career in today’s fast-changing business environment requires more than just treading water.

In fact, research shows that there’s a widening gap between employers’ need for skilled project management workers and the availability of professionals to fill these roles across the globe.

The Project Management Institute Job Growth and Talent Gap 2017-27 report highlights the fact that as opportunities grow, much of the available talent is reaching retirement age. The talent gap could result in a potential loss of some $US207.9 billion in GDP through to 2027 for the 11 countries analysed in the report.

Research suggests project management is growing

This gap, which was first highlighted by the Project Management Institute in 2008, has grown, and even outpaces the projections in its second analysis completed in 2012.

The report suggests that the gap is being driven by:

  • A dramatic increase in the number of jobs requiring project-oriented skills.
  • Attrition rates, including professionals retiring from the workforce.
  • A significant uplift in demand for project management, especially in rapidly developing economics such as China and India.

The report points out that the global economy has become more project-orientated, as the practice of project management expands within industries that were traditionally less project-oriented, such as healthcare, publishing and professional services. There’s also an imperative to encourage more talent to enter the profession and narrow the talent gap, it points out.

These factors are creating an extraordinary positive outlook for skilled project professionals. The project talent of today and tomorrow is at the forefront of substantial opportunity. And there’s an imperative to encourage more talent to enter the profession and narrow the talent gap.

The career is financially rewarding too, the research shows. In the US, wages of project management-oriented workers in projectised industries were far higher on average than wages of non-project-oriented professionals in 2017.

Working in project management is a great career, but with greater opportunities, more competition and new industry sectors requiring project management skills, further study is crucial. It's important to be well-trained and knowledgeable about the various aspects of project management, such as project risk management.

In fact, a number of industry professionals are realising that standing out from the pack is crucial to land plum project management roles.

How can postgraduate study help your project management career?

Serag Bchai is a property development manager for a major firm in the centre of Sydney. He bit the bullet and signed up for an online Graduate Diploma in Project Management for RMIT University, which he’s undertaking while working full-time.

The ultimate goal was professional and personal development, he says. “Education is extremely important to me, so being able to continue tertiary study while still working full-time is extremely important,” Mr Bchai says.

Serag Bchai is studying a Graduate Diploma in Project Management online at RMIT University, while working full-time as a property development manager.

“In my role I work a lot with teams, different stakeholders and starting new projects, so the online degree has given me the opportunity to study those three aspects in detail. It’s given me tools on how to manage a team, develop it, take it through a project, satisfy the stakeholders and drive a positive outcome.

“The course was quite flexible. You take one subject at a time in seven-week blocks. It’s a high level of commitment undertaking the online course, but again it provides flexibility if I’m travelling I can choose to delay my semester without interrupting my overall schedule.

“My degree has helped me open some doors and start that discussion about my career progression and professional development. It’s certainly taken down that barrier and given me a point of difference to my peers.”

Learn more about RMIT’s exciting online Graduate Diploma in Project Management to help set yourself up for a promising future. We also offer a graduate certificate in project management.