Top 9 Benefits Of Career In Project Management
Are you at a point in your life where you are thinking what kind of job is best for you? You might be considering a few options but you are unable to decide what type of career path would be most suitable for you. My suggestion would be to go for a career path in project management even if it is not among your options. Because following the project management career path will provide you many benefits.
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In the long run, project management jobs are much more rewarding than any other job.
You may ask what is so special about project management. Let us discuss the top benefits and advantages of choosing project management as a career.
What is Project Management?
Before we delve into the benefits of project management, let me tell you what a project is and why it is important for a business.
As per the PMBOK Guide, a project is a temporary endeavor to create a unique product, service, or result.
It means that a project creates something new; something that was not present in this world before the project was initiated. Furthermore, it creates a product, service, or result which has some tangible value.
A project is different from regular operations. Operations are repetitive and they do not produce anything new. Operations follow a well-defined process and are easier to handle.
On the other hand, project managers are always on their toes. They have to first define and then follow an unchartered territory. While performing project management tasks, they have to manage risks, innovate to tackle issues, and figure out novel ways to do things.
Some examples of operations are accounting, purchasing raw material, and manufacturing of goods.
Some examples of projects are developing an accounting software, designing a new automobile, and setting up a new manufacturing line.
The job of a project manager is quite difficult and … may I say… never boring.
Because of the nature of the job, project managers are in great demand across industries. They are paid much better than their peers.
By now, you might have understood why you should pursue a career in project management. Nonetheless, let’s look at the main benefits of a career in project management.
Benefits of Choosing Project Management for your Career
Project Management is a growing field. More and more companies are recognizing the advantages of qualified project managers. Here are the top benefits of pursuing a career in project management.
- Todays’ business environment is very competitive. Organizations have to make do with limited time, money, other resources. To overcome these challenges, they are always looking for innovative ways to get things done. Usually this means conceptualization and initiation of new projects. These projects require skilled and experienced project managers.
- Traditional managers focus on functional aspects of a business. They take care of operational activities and repetitive tasks. On the other hand, projects require management of diverse and cross-functional teams, which can be done only by individuals who are specialized in project management knowledge areas and skills.
Project managers have the necessary skills to lead a team of diverse individuals for meeting a larger goal within a defined deadline. They are competent to handle changes and manage risks on the way. They have specialized technical knowledge and interpersonal & communications skills to bring the project to the fruition.
- Project management is technology and industry agnostic. Principles of project like scheduling, risk management, budgeting, stakeholder management etc. can be seamlessly applied across industries. There is a very high demand for project managers in many different industries.
- Project management is never boring as projects have a definite beginning and end. As a project manager, you will get a chance to work on different types of projects. After a project finishes, you will get to initiate another one. This way you can acquire diverse knowledge and immense experience in a short period of time.
- The work of a project manager is much more meaningful than any other work in an organization. As a project manager, you can collaborate with cross-functional teams, solve difficult problems, and build innovative solutions. All these will be helpful for overall success of your organization.
Furthermore, a truly innovative product can make people’s lives better and transform the humanity.
- As a project manager, you can work remotely. Even before the Covid pandemic happened, it was quite normal for project managers to work from home. The main job of a project manager, on a day-to-day basis, is coordination and communication with the project team and other stakeholders. Nowadays, technology has become very powerful and cheap. It allows seamless communication with geographically distributed teams.
- The field of project management has a very well-defined and clear career path. You can start your career as a project coordinator. You can rise higher in rank as you progress through different roles.
As you gain experience and start delivering successfully, you can transition to senior project management roles. As years go by, you can expand your horizon to manage large and complex projects. Thereafter, you can go into program and portfolio management roles. If you want, you can quit active project management and move horizontally into project management office (PMO).
- There is a huge demand for project managers and it is growing rapidly. Here are a few data points that might interest you.
a. PMI’s Job Growth And Talent Gap Report suggests that across the globe, there’s a widening gap between employers’ need for skilled project management workers and the availability of professionals to fill those roles.
b. The report also states that By 2027, employers will need 87.7 million individuals working in project management oriented roles.
- I have saved the best benefit for the last. The ultimate goal of making a career is to make good money and this is where a career in project management is most helpful – It is considered as one of the most lucrative career.
As the demand for project management professionals is growing, so are the salaries. Here is an interesting data point – according to PMI Earning Power Salary Survey eleventh edition, project professionals earn a median salary of $116,000 in USA.
By now, you would be definitely interested in project management. You might be wondering how to get into this field. You can start by taking a formal education in project management. Many universities offer bachelors and masters courses in project management. If you find the cost of these courses is prohibitive, you can pursue an online university course from Edx or Coursera. If you are a working professional, you can opt for a professional project management certification like CAPM or PMP.
Do you think there is another benefit of a career in project management that I have missed? Or do you think, project management is only for senior professionals?
I would love to hear your thoughts.
Praveen Malik, PMP, has two-plus decades of experience as a project management instructor and consultant. He regularly conducts project management workshops in India and abroad and shares his project management thinking in his eponymous blog PM-by-PM.