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Career Opportunities in Project Management

12 Aug 2013
Career Opportunities in Project Management

Revolution in Technology and the Rapid Changes in Industries

There is no denying that this transformation in technology will hugely impact jobs but, at the same time, offers the world countless possibilities and opportunities, especially to project managers and other decision-makers. Project management is a strategic discipline that can shape the future of any organisation.

During the last two decades, we have witnessed explosive growth in the interest and application of project management worldwide, especially in Ireland. It has been challenging and interesting to participate in this advancement.

As per IPMA1, the future of the project management panel sheds light on the challenges and opportunities in this dynamic field. Passionate and enthusiastic individuals and collaborative professional organisations are shaping the future of project management. These organisations strengthen the voice of the project management profession and provide precious opportunities for project managers worldwide.

In any organisation, the project manager plays a decisive role in driving positive change and ensuring project success in an ever-changing landscape. Under this limitless change, the project management profession is a rewarding career that offers high salaries with great challenges but is generally and continuously stressful.

For that reason, project management careers are in high demand. Many people plan to enter this field, some through university education and some after years of experience in their field of expertise. Most practitioners who want to enter this world ask themselves if they must specialise in one area or industry to manage a project or if they can manage diverse projects. As an early career professional, it is better to choose a project in the field of expertise to gain experience and guarantee success. Later, with more experience, it is easier to move from one domain to another or several areas within the same organisation.

Opportunities Available in the Project Management Sector

To work in project management, you will meet many options in this career, starting from entry-level to director, and the most important here is to understand the requirements and the responsibilities of every role.

Most practitioners start their careers in non-managerial jobs, and they move forward with years to project manager positions. Here is a simple summary of the project manager’s career path:

The Entry Level

It represents the departure of the project management journey. As soon as you have the opportunity to be in one of the entry-level positions, you will help and assist the project managers in specific administrative tasks; you will learn the basics of this field, enrich your knowledge and boost your experience in project management and the most important you will develop your organisational and communication skills and enhance your time management skills. We can mention these positions such as project coordinator, assistant project manager, associate project manager and junior project manager.

Moreover, not only do the project managers have well-known certifications, but these entry-level positions can get a certification offered by IPM, known as the Certified Project Management Diploma. It does not require project experience, and it is suitable and fit for those who are just getting started.

Project Manager

After a few years of experience and when you are ready to take on more responsibilities and manage a team to accomplish goals and meet objectives, you gain the necessary skills; you can now apply for project manager positions in many different industries. Once you begin your career as a project manager, you will be responsible for ensuring that your projects are completed on time, within budget and with high quality. To complete this mission, you will need to have essential skills such as strong leadership skills, good problem-solving skills, and excellent communication skills; as soon as you develop these skills, you will become a successful project manager in your domain.

As a project manager and after a few years of experience, the best way to realise your effort is by enhancing your skills and your knowledge through education and having a professional and recognisable certification such as PMP® and PRINCE2® offered by IPM. This certification will open the doors for new opportunities to do more project management assignments and drive your project management career forward.

Once you have been certified, you can earn an annual average basic salary of around $83,000, which could be higher depending on the specific role and your level of experience.

Senior Project Manager

After several years of experience as a project manager, managing diverse types of projects, you can move to a senior manager position. The senior project manager manages and executes larger scopes of concurrent projects and has more responsibilities than the project manager. In addition, a project manager reports to the senior project manager. The Strategic Project Programme Management Diploma course offered by IPM is for project managers aiming to elevate their careers to the next level.

Director of Project Management

The director of project management has a wide range of responsibilities; he oversees the Project Management Office (PMO) to ensure its success. He can manage multiple project managers and interact with higher-level leaders within the organisation. IPM offers a Project Leadership & Management Diploma, which will help you prepare to go a step further to emerge as a project leader and director.

Consultant in Project Management

After an extensive career path as a project manager, you can choose to be a consultant in this field; this means you can choose when to work and what projects you want to work on.

Project Management Path

Career Opportunities Roadmap

Pay attention that once you get the opportunity to enter the world of project management, you will start a long journey of experience, ongoing development, and continuous progress through the coming years. Besides your expertise and certification maintenance, you will gain priceless soft skills, such as learning to communicate well, actively listen, motivate your team, make decisions, influence and inspire others, and the most relevant one is emotional intelligence and more.

So, a clear understanding of the state and evolution of education, training, certification, and professional practice is fundamental to project management's future development.

The IPM and UCC (University College Cork – Ireland’s third-largest university) have conducted a joint survey. When asked what sectors they are currently employed in and how they viewed project management as a career opportunity, here are the findings:

  • 65% were positive about their prospects, even though only one in four worked in organisations that offered dedicated career paths for project managers.
  • Almost 50% viewed project management as a “bolt-on” skillset to their primary area of expertise.
  • Interestingly, although 71% qualified from a range of 4 disciplines as project managers, they are now spread over a minimum of 14 business sectors.

Do not forget that qualified project managers are always needed to manage and control the work, regardless of the industry.


In conclusion, project management is changing continuously, and project managers and their teams need to stay ahead of this transformation and change. After the worldwide pandemic in 2020, the remote work trend became an applicable choice and team members can work on projects from different countries while maintaining an essential level of collaboration and integrity.

Recently, AI has joined project management, and some organisations have started to apply AI, machine learning, and other advanced technologies to project management. These facts take the project management field to a higher level, where it will undergo significant shifts and open more opportunities to realise unexpected insights and acquire invaluable skills and irreplaceable experience.

Reference Literature:

1IPMA. 2023. "Navigating the Future of Project Management: Challenges and Opportunities."