If you can say 'I have juggled multiple tasks successfully, and delivered results on time, within budget and with high levels of customer satisfaction,' you are doing the work of two or three people! Now that can help you land a job."
Donna Farrugia, executive director, The Creative Group
Good project management skills are highly valued in IT and other industries. But people generally don't arrive in the workforce knowing how to initiate, plan, execute and close a project on time and on budget. More professionals are turning to project management training and certifications, such as CompTIA Project+, to improve their on-the-job performance and increase their value to future employers.
Project management is a core skill for professionals, regardless of whether or not their title is "project manager," says Alice Hill, managing director of the technology and engineering career website Dice.com. On any given day in late 2012, Dice advertised more than 3,000 project manager jobs and more than 14,500 jobs requiring project management skills.
Forty percent of IT executives plan to hire for project management skills in the next 12 months, according to Computerworld's 2013 Forecast survey.
Across all occupational categories, about 240,000 advertised jobs required project management skills in November 2012 alone, reports WANTED Analytics. The market research firm reports that information technology is the top occupation most frequently requiring project management skills — for systems analysts, systems managers, and software/applications engineer positions, for example. Other occupations most frequently requiring project management expertise include:
- Management (marketing, operations etc.)
- Business/financial (accountants, auditors)
- Architecture/engineering (industrial engineers, civil engineers, mechanical engineers)
- Office/administrative support (administrative assistants, office support etc.)
This cross-industry demand means that employees with project management skills have increased options, says Brian Cunningham, director of the project management office at VARtek Services in Dayton, Ohio. "If you have project management skills, you can use them to follow your passion."
A Corporate Asset
Companies need project managers to keep their organizations efficient during this current time of slow economic growth, says John Smyth, president of Real Property Solutions in Philadelphia. "Projects are much tighter now. The margins don't permit any critical mistakes."
A high-performing project manager is "invaluable to organizations seeking to accomplish their goals with limited resources and limited staff," adds Jacqueline Anderson, director of project management at Amerigroup in Virginia Beach. "There's an extremely high demand for project management skills in healthcare management."
In this business environment, the CompTIA Project+ certification has gained popularity and momentum in the last couple of years, as organization executives and group managers have realized that good project management fundamentals are important for all project team members, not just project managers.
"CompTIA Project+, with no prerequisites, easily available study material and a relatively low price point, is a much easier way to build a project management culture in an organization than some other training and certification products in the market," says Carol Balkcom, CompTIA director of product management.
Most important, project management skills get professionals noticed—by current and future employers. "Hiring managers want self-motivated, articulate and highly-organized candidates," says Paul Caplan, president of Rigzone, an online resource and career website for the oil and gas industries. "These are the very skills intrinsic to successful project managers who are able to motivate, organize and communicate with team members at every level. Professionals who possess these qualities and can display them in a job interview have the opportunity to stand apart."
Business today is so complex and multi-faceted, there is a great need for people with strong project management skills," says Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group, which recruits and places people in interactive, design and marketing jobs.
"With the economy still recovering, employers are cautious about overspending on anything," says Farrugia. "So, if you can say 'I have juggled multiple tasks successfully, and delivered results on time, within budget and with high levels of customer satisfaction,' you are doing the work of two or three people! Now that can help you land a job."