Industries and businesses follow an S-curve because economies are never the same, supply demand is never the same. Every profession has its own crests and troughs, some careers, however, live through the curve. Project Management is one such career track. Everyone practices project management to a certain degree: farmers for their crops, parents for their children, chef for his restaurant. In business likewise, project management is an art. Project managers are artists who meticulously plan a wide array of metrics to ensure a project is delivered on time and within budget. If we break down any bridge we see around, any skyscraper or any bus terminus, we will see they are all congregations of a multitude of projects.
Industries most relevant to Project Management:
Project management is crucial to any business vertical or industry; however, there are certain key industries where project managers are the most critical resources. Listed down are a few of them:
Aerospace & Defense: With a rising demand in the aviation market as well as defense aerospace, the industry is in need of tailored and sharp project management professionals who would ensure impeccable executions of complex projects as required by the government, public private (PPP) infrastructure commercial projects ranging from aircrafts to airports.
Construction, Architecture & Engineering: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for project managers in the construction industry will grow multi-fold, thanks to the booming real estate industry and its associated ancillary industry verticals like architecture, engineering, civil, structural, etc. Commercial and residential housing projects are complex and involve multiple cross-functional management with precision and co-ordination, hence the requirement for a highly skilled project manager who will supervise coherently unto execution.
Information Technology: Information Technology, or IT, as we know is an evergreen industry. Even while the entire gloom was centered across all major industries back during the recession of 2008, IT continued to deliver results.
Finance: Increased financial regulations & mergers coupled with mounting pressure to perform or perish are forcing financial corporations to look towards skilled project managers to execute projects efficiently.
Healthcare: The global healthcare industry is undergoing a sea-change with respect to innovation and technology. As healthcare analytics and IT are coming of age, evolving over time, it is becoming all the more imperative for private healthcare providers and clinics to employ efficient project managers to ensure innovation is deployed within budget, within time with all constraints in play.
Job Profile of a Project Manager:
As a project manager, your primary objective will be to plan a project into phases, prepare SOW (statement of work), draft scope plan, devise work breakdown structures, ensure actual cost against budgeted cost, compliance within risks, managing & laying our risks during project slack, define milestones and timelines, manage vendors for procurement & purchasing, lastly ensuring the project is completed within time with minimal cost and resource overruns. An efficient project manager always has a Plan-B and contingency provisions in place because in the end, he owns the eventual accountability in case the project goes beyond time and cost budgeted for. In such a case, it is a poor project execution which affects quality and impacts the community at large.
Credentials Required for Project Management:
To become a hot cake in the project management market, it helps to have a globally sought after certification beyond real-life work experience. These certifications serve as skill credentials to differentiate you from the breed. Depending on the market and domain you want to work, there are several institutes which offer certifications of repute in the industry. They are:
- PMP – Project Management Professional certification by PMI (Project Management Institute, USA) for mid-level managers who are already managing a project
- CAPM – Entry level project management certification by PMI (Project Management Institute, USA)
- PgMP – Program Management Professional by PMI (Project Management Institute, USA), an advanced level certification for senior project managers in the industry.
- PRINCE2 – A parallel of PMI in the USA, PRINCE2 certification holds good for the UK market.
- Scrum Master – Another alternative to PMP which holds good in the US market.
- CompTIA Project+ Project management certification.
- AIPM – Project management certification for the Australian market.
- Gold Seal Certification – Certification offered by the Canadian Construction Association.
A project management career is an awarding career trajectory with starting profiles as Project Management Coordinators which evolve into Project Management Associates who further grow into Project Managers & Senior Project Managers across a timeline of 4-7 years. It is a monetarily rewarding career as well with starting salaries ranging from 3 lacs per annum for fresher PM coordinators to 5-7 lacs per annum for mid level Associates. An experienced middle managerial project management role will draw an average package of 10-12 lacs per annum and above, as one moves ahead in career.