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Project management skills are the next big thing for career success: here’s why

PMI - Project management career

Arming yourself with dynamic project management skills, you’ll always be in demand!

Project management skills opens the door to a dynamic world of career possibilities. Project managers are the architects of success, orchestrating teams to deliver value and outcome. Whether it’s creating a new app, organising a music festival, or building a sustainable community project, project managers are the driving force behind change, progress and social impact.

And as work becomes increasingly projectized, the role of a project professional is becoming critical for success. In fact, 25 million new project professionals will be needed by 2030 to keep up with project demand.

Project professionals are at the core of every project. Building a dam, a highway, a stadium – all of these are projects and project professionals are the ones who plan, execute and deliver these projects to all of us.

If you’re undertaking a degree in STEM, Business or IT and looking for an in-demand career, project management is an intrinsic skill, integrated into every profession and everything we do. Every goal, big or small, can be achieved with smart project management tools and a problem-solving mindset. And it’s this passion and aptitude for solving puzzles, where others see disparate pieces, that makes project management skills a critical asset to have for ongoing success!

“Project management is all about change – if you want to bring something new to the world, go and do project management,” said Zoe Ogden, Early Professional Talent Strategy & Programs Leader, IBM Consulting.

What does a project management career look like?

Project managers work across various industries, from technology and construction to healthcare and entertainment. Picture yourself at the helm, collaborating with diverse talents and ensuring that projects stay on track, on time, and within budget. To excel in this role, honing communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills is key. Project managers are the unsung heroes who turn chaos into cohesion, making them indispensable in today’s fast-paced world.

“Project management is as much about people as it is about processes,” Conor McWeeney, talent acquisition lead for project management at MetaPM, advised at a recent panel held by the Project Management Institute (PMI) at RMIT in Melbourne.

“Learning soft skills at this time is invaluable, and you need to elevate communication, leadership, and conflict resolution,” he added.

If you’re into solving problems, working with a team, and delivering project success that is aligned with the vision of the organisation, project management could be the ideal career for you! It’s all about having a mindset that loves growth and finding solutions.

Steps into a project management career

So, you want to be a project manager…but, you don’t have to have “project” in your title or work at a project-centric organisation to gain valuable experience. Earning a project management certification is a critical first step to develop the skills and knowledge needed – in fact, PMI research shows those with a certification earn on average 33% more than those without in almost all countries studied in a recent survey.

PMI provides professionals at every stage of their career journey with the globally recognised standards, online courses, thought leadership, events, and tools they need to succeed.

For example, A Certified Associate in Project Management® (CAPM) is an apt course for a beginner who wants to hone their project management skills.

As your career progresses, you can then work towards further certifications such as Project Management Professional certification® (PMP). This recognises skills in managing people, processes, and business priorities of professional projects. To qualify, candidates will need to complete an exam with questions related to real-life project management experiences.

“It certainly helps to have expertise and knowledge in a particular industry, but many of the same processes and skill sets are transferable,” said Colleen Pender, Head of Technology, Technology Services, National Australia Bank, another of the panellists at the PMI event.

“Start thinking about how the skills you gain through volunteering and studying can be applied to other areas.”


STEM grad but don’t know what’s next? Find out more about the latest skills needed for graduate job readiness in this Q&A with Annie Sheehan


Annie Sheehan, ANZ Head of the Project Management Institute has had a stellar project management career ranging across software, technology, business, finance and management functions.

“At PMI, we’re dedicated to supporting the next generation of rising leaders with the skills and mentorship they need to excel in the future of work.

“It was inspiring to engage with young talent, project management experts and the broader PMI community in our recent ‘Campus to Career – Navigate your future’ series, to help students take their first steps into a PM career.”

This post is brought to you in partnership with the Project Management Institute. To find out more about a future career in project management go to: www.pmi.org/

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