Introduction to Project Management Careers

Project management (PM) has been around since the first caveman rolled a rock with his friends to cover the entrance to his cave. In ancient Egypt, India, China, and many other places, the scale of the projects that they created is beyond anything we can even imagine, often spanning many generations. The scale of the job responsibilities not only seemed legendary, but some of the project managers actually became gods in their cultures pantheon. And you thought it was just a career!

All of those projects required a project manager and project teams, someone who could oversee all of the moving parts, from people to materials to money to time.

Much of the wisdom of those project managers was handed from Master to Apprentice for generations. In many cases, the knowledge would be lost when the government changed and things needed to be learned all over again. In fact, in the case of places like Egypt, we’re only just beginning to rediscover how those project managers and engineers got the job done. In places like Stonehenge and Easter Island, we will likely never know. Ultimately, often the biggest and most important creations and monuments of the community are executed with the assistance of project managers, even if it was thousands of years before the term “project manager” was invented.

Fortunately, project management knowledge is a lot less one on one than it was in those days. Today, we’ve created a series of formal guidelines that every project manager can work by.

Today’s PM Industry

In today’s project management industry, there is a single overriding theme: not enough trained professionals. Sixty-six percent of businesses say that they can’t find trained, qualified project management professionals to do the work that needs to get done. – The Competitive Advantage of Effective Talent Management, 2013, PMI

Unlike Egypt or Stonehenge, the people who are paying for any given project are likely to be on the other side of the planet today. Business leaders are interested in project completion having people in place that they can count on to get the work done.

As the economy becomes more globalized, the need for PMs will increase.

As of 2020, there will be about 1.57 million jobs annually. Meanwhile, there are only about 800,000 certified project managers. – Project Management Between 2010+2020” (Project Management Talent Gap Report), 2013, PMI

Many, many businesses around the world are struggling to attract and retain project managers.  The primary motivation of the ownership/management is project success. Project-based hiring has also become a norm. With a shortage of project managers has created a significant gig economy where business leaders seek to hire project managers on a project basis.

What is a certified project manager?

There are no legal requirements that you have to have a certification to be a project manager. There is increasingly an industry standard that says that you should have a certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI). A Project Management Professional (PMP) is someone who has passed the Project Management examination created by the Project Management Institute with the help of professionals from around the world. While it’s not required to have a project management degree, you do need a two or four-year degree and some project management experience. Experienced project managers, who are really the only people who can take the PMP exam, have the hands-on experience to understand how project management works.

Why PMI certification?

Simply put, like so many other things, there needs to be standards to make sure that the people doing the work are doing it right and in a predictable manner.

PMI has put together a set of standards for project management offices that appear in the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). The first standards were released in September of 1991. In October of 2017, the most recent set of standards were released.

The PMBOK® Guide is the written standard for project managers worldwide. It has everything that a project manager needs to know and the standards that should be expected by their bosses.

To ensure that these standards are understood by project managers, PMI offers the Project Management Professional (PMP) exams. These are tests that ensure that the candidate has a thorough understanding of the information in the PMBOK® and the industry.

Is there a future in Project Management?

The answer is a very firm, “Yes!”

In fact, the need will continue to grow rapidly. Every industry needs and uses professional project managers to get their projects completed, on-time and on-budget.

The building of data centers, large public projects, and alternative energy projects all require a project manager who can make sure that the project flows well and according to plan.

There are a few things that I expect to see in the project management industry:

  1. Increasingly, a PMP certification will be a requirement, not a desired qualification, of a prospective project manager. Right now, the vast majority of project managers are not PMP certified, but that’s changing because the companies want the peace of mind of knowing that the person they hire knows what they’re doing.
  2. There will be more and more jobs that require a project manager. As projects become more advanced and more complex, they will require someone who can make sure that every aspect of the project is completed well. The job requirements of a project manager position are substantially the same around the world.
  3. Salaries for PMP certified project managers will continue to rise. They will consistently outpace salaries for the people who don’t have certification, just as they do now.  
  4. PMP certification will become a global requirement. This means that if one nation’s project managers embrace PMP certification, you will begin to see those PMs getting hired and working in other countries.

How to be a part of the project management’s future?

The simplest answer is to get PMP certified. There are some very clear requirements, but almost any business professional meets them.

PMP certification isn’t too difficult. It doesn’t take years of study, like being a doctor or a teacher.

It does require that you have a 2- or 4-year bachelor’s degree and some experience.  

Where do I start getting my PMP certification?

Start right here at PMTI. We offer study courses that will guide you through the exam. In fact, we guarantee that you will pass or your money back.

It is possible to study on your own. The books and information are all readily available. The reason that you should try to find assistance with your studying is that there are some tricks and skills that you can learn only from experienced trainers.

About Yada, the PMP Jedi Master

Yadagiri Senapathy, known as Yada, the PMP Jedi Master, has been a project manager since the 1990’s. He was part of the team that helped to write the guidelines for the industry and was an early advocate for standardizing the language and methods. Later, he founded the Project Management Training Institute (PMTI) to provide prospective project managers with a training resource that would help them to succeed and move forward the project management industry.

Yada is today leading the charge in the global movement to increase the use and respect for project managers worldwide.


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