Project management can be a rewarding career for the young

Nov 26 2012, 00:41 IST
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SummaryHave you ever wondered how the swank IT parks in our cities are set up so quickly? Or how new, huge airports get constructed? Or how bridges and tunnels are built across the ocean?

Have you ever wondered how the swank IT parks in our cities are set up so quickly? Or how new, huge airports get constructed? Or how bridges and tunnels are built across the ocean?

The success of such ventures depends on effective project management. Which means not just planning the project from A to Z, but also anticipating problems along the way and still managing to complete the project within the allocated time and budget. In fact, across industries, the key differentiator that has won organisations projects is their ability to deliver quality, meet deadlines, effectively manage resources and meet last minute change requests. Employers and entrepreneurs are now realising the merits of hiring trained or certified project professionals.

Project management is a profession that offers excitement, challenges and fantastic salary packages. It’s the only profession where the income levels continue to rise despite recession. Also, project management professionals are in demand across various industry segments including IT/ITeS, construction, engineering, finance, healthcare, telecom, consultancy, manufacturing and many such projects-driven industries.

With projects being mandated on amazingly large scales across the world, a shortage of 6 million skilled project professionals is expected by 2013.

As many as 95% of executives from all over the world surveyed by the Economist Intelligence Unit agree that skills that comprise the project managers’ skill set (execution, project risk identification and mitigation, communication, planning and team building) are most needed in their organisations.

As many as 75% of these executives also agree to the fact that new recruits/freshers at their organisations usually lack these critical project management skills.

And as many as 75% have ranked project management as the top 3 skills most wanted by employers (along with leadership and business analysis).

So, the time to acquire project management skills is now. A gap between supply and demand of project management professionals means there is a huge opportunity for the young to enter this field.

Even if one doesn’t want to be a project manager, these skills can help one stand out. If you are able to demonstrate to your potential employer that you have project management knowledge and skills, your employment options will be broader and your chances to land a job after graduation better.

The author is managing director, PMI (India)

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