Project Management Career Trends

Project Management Career Trends

Project Management Career Trends and Opportunities

7 keys to growing your career in project management

The Project Management Institute Job Growth Report, 2017, estimates that by 2027, just ten years from now, there will be 87.7 million individuals working in project management orientated roles globally. These seven key 2018 Project Management trends highlight that ongoing education is key to becoming an experienced stand-out in this growing career sector.


1. Increased Opportunity

Rachel Burger, PM expert at Capterra, says a business agile approach to project management across all business areas will be the focus of 2018. Project Managers will be sought as advisers across the entire business. There is also an emerging need for a hybrid blend between agile and classic PM styles, and those who cope with bridging this need will see their career’s flourish.Johann Strasser, Partner at TPG a US-based equity and project management firm, believes the availability of staff will remain a critical factor in project planning with the struggle for good staff intensifying in years to come, creating more opportunities for those looking for a project management career.

2. Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning

Get ready for more acronyms – IoT, AI and ML, and even ‘iotaiml’ are here to stay. From multi-nationals to small business there will be more business units and projects ‘touching the tech’ than ever before via software and services.

  • Advances in PM software will include using AI in tasks such as knowledge management, talent matching, and creating reports.
  • IoT connects anything with an on/off switch to the internet and to each other. It is being used in security systems, lighting, clocks, appliances and more.
  • New PM positions will be created to manage the increased load of data collection and machine learning protocols.

3. Other Technology Advances

  • Wearables – A recent study on wearable technologies by US firm, Research, and Markets, reports that wearable technology improves the ‘productivity and efficiency in industrial sectors’. The use of smart glasses, wrist-worn devices, and head-mounted displays serves to increase safety while reducing error rates.
  • Driverless cars – Project Management needs to be bracing now for the impact of driverless technology, as major tech and automotive companies compete to gain traction in what will be a worldwide market.

4. Knowledge Collaboration

The trend to achieving project goals by collaboration continues as knowledge silos are being left in the past. Complex projects still require expert knowledge, but specialists need to think outside the box and be consultative to achieve their milestones. The all-rounder project manager who can understand and link dependencies between specialist areas will be highly sought after in 2018 and beyond.

5. Embracing Diversity

2017’s trend of Emotional Intelligence in Project Management deepens into diversity in 2018. Topics such as ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, and class are permeating every business area, and Project Management is next. There are new are opportunities available as the industry expands and welcomes this trend.

6. Millennial Project Managers

By 2020, Millennials will make up half the global labour force, and by 2030, they’ll account for 75%. Coupled with the increasing numbers of Millennials in the workplace is Gen-X and Baby Boomers retiring from work. The Project Management Institute states that retirement is the main reason why project management positions are opening, with 97% of these in manufacturing and 54% in IT.
Millennials are maturing in age and career milestones, and their experience will qualify them with credits towards a PMP career. Their use of cloud, collaboration and inclusiveness make them highly desirable employees or consultants.

7. Resource Management

Often hidden within Project Management, resource management and planning are going to be in demand in 2018. Johann Strasser at TPG Equity says to ‘plan for complete resource utilization’, including the resourcing all available staff with relevant team planning aligned to project planning. Automation and cloud-based systems will increasingly be employed to manage resources effectively.

Uk based firm, Wellington Project Management recently published their ‘The State of Project Management Annual Report 2017’, in which project management maturity is highlighted as a gap. Instead of taking on too many projects, without having the staff and maturity to balance, they believe 2018 will be about prioritising projects and working smarter to achieve them, realistically using the resources available. Work/life balance and workplace mental health is being seen as a priority over burnt-out and over-leveraged project teams.

Australian Project Management opportunities continue to increase and follow the 2018 Project Management trends seen in USA, UK and Asia. The best place to grow your career in project management is with The College for Adult Learning, certification and diploma courses.

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