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The Project Management Talent Gap

10 Aug 2017
The Project Management Talent Gap

Worldwide, employers are encountering an increasing need for skilled project management professionals, but at the same time, the available workforce is decreasing.

Key drivers for the widening gap

  1. Organizations are acknowledging that projects are the vehicles driving change and innovation execution in our society today. This results in a dramatic increase in the number of jobs requiring project-oriented skills.
  2. Attrition rates, including many seasoned professionals reaching retirement age. That means for aspiring project managers that now is a good time to start a career in project management. Organizations, in turn, need to make an active effort to find and train the right talent as soon as possible.
  3. Research showing that money spent on projects accounts for 35% of GDP and is projected to increase thereby continuing the “projectification” of many aspects of our economies.

Implications of the widening gap

The implications of these factors are that Project Management will likely become a basic competence for very many people in society. These factors are creating an extraordinarily positive jobs outlook for skilled project professionals and as a result, the project talent of today and tomorrow is at the forefront of substantial opportunity.

In Ireland, economists are now predicting a return to full employment in 2018 – a situation last seen in 2007 – and capacity constraints are starting to appear in many sectors. The shortage of qualified talent poses a notable risk for organizations that rely on that talent to implement strategic initiatives, drive change and deliver innovation.

Demand is high for practitioners with the necessary mix of competencies—a combination of practical and people skills aligned to a strategic perspective as depicted in the IPMA Eye of Competence.

IPMA Eye of Competence 

PMA Eye of Competence

Project Managers contribute to a nation’s productivity, which supports GDP that in turn contributes to the standard of living. Policymakers can use this information to gauge the importance of project management skillsets to economic output.

What can you do to improve your job outlook?

Certification is a fundamental start, of course, and it’s a wise investment. But your development and learning shouldn’t stop after certification. More than ever, the pace of technological change requires project management professionals to continuously improve and expand their skill sets.

There are many paths to becoming a project professional and the Institute of Project Management has been promoting this agenda for over 25 years. 

The project management field is booming, and it’s creating a talent gap that will be growing even wider over the next ten years. That makes you valuable right now. Take steps to ensure it makes you even more valuable in the future.

Reference: Project Management Job Growth and Talent Gap 2017–2027, conducted for PMI by the Anderson Economic Group (AEG).