PMI Talent Gap Report Highlights Persistent Disparity Between Available Talent and the Growing Demand for Project Management Skills

Philadelphia, PA

The ten-year outlook of project management-oriented employment examines why this talent gap exists and how organizations and professionals can meet the high demand

Project Management Institute (PMI), the world's leading association for project professionals and changemakers, today announced the release of Talent Gap: Ten-Year Employment Trends, Costs, and Global Implications, a ten-year outlook of project management-oriented employment. At a global scale, the report demonstrates the continual gap between the demand for project management skills and the availability of talent. It also discusses why the disparity exists, how it can affect economic growth, and the opportunities for organizations and individuals to strategically fill the gap.

According to the report, an increase in the number of jobs requiring project management-oriented skills, higher demand due to economic growth, and retirement rates will create the global need for 25 million new project professionals by 2030, meaning 2.3 million project managers and changemakers will need to fill project management-oriented roles every year to keep up with the demand. This shortage of talent may pose a considerable risk to organizations as they rely on project teams to implement strategic initiatives on time and on budget.

The impact of the gap could be felt globally and result in a possible loss of up to USD$345.5 billion in global GDP by 2030, creating a great opportunity for project professionals and changemakers, who, regardless of their role, are inspired and equipped to drive change.

“Projects and the changemakers behind those projects play a vital role in the global economy and society as a whole. And while project managers are the quintessential changemaker, any individual who possesses project management skills can help steer change,” said Joe Cahill, Chief Customer Officer of PMI. “Upskilling the workforce and empowering a new generation of talent with project management skills will be critical in narrowing the talent gap and creating positive impact. Organizations can help empower employees by providing learning opportunities, but can also spot qualified candidates by seeking out those who hold project management-related certifications.”

PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification is globally recognized as the “gold standard” of project management certifications. Earning the PMP® certification supercharges professionals’ careers regardless of industry as it proves project leadership experience and expertise in any way of working, as well as helps organizations to empower candidates to work smarter and perform better.

The in-demand nature and shortage of experienced talent makes project management-oriented roles financially attractive. According to the Talent Gap report, in 2019, salaries for project management-related roles in the U.S. were far higher on average than wages not related to project management by 78 percent. The average project management-oriented salary is substantially higher than other occupations in industries with significant project management requirements—$111,399 versus $62,572.

The report also demonstrates which sectors are most affected by this gap. According to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the largest and fastest growing project management-oriented role will be in software development—a projected increase of 14 percent between 2019 and 2030. Much of this growth will come from the development of mobile applications, IT security, and a rise in healthcare technology.

The report highlights that projects, and the successful management of them, are essential to industry and economic growth. The total GDP of projectized industries—industries with significant project management requirements—is estimated to increase from $24.7 trillion in 2019 to $34.5 trillion in 2030. The share of GDP increase due to productivity improvement in projectized industries is projected to be highest in China, Europe, and North America. In order for regions with a lower GDP to sustain growth, higher levels of productivity held up by project management-oriented roles will be crucial to their future.

“Organizations can be proactive in enabling project managers and changemakers by upskilling employees and building a culture that promotes continual learning. Now more than ever, it’s vital for employers to champion new learning initiatives and explore partnerships to equip employees with the necessary project management skills,” said Cahill. “These capabilities include power skills such as collaborative leadership, business acumen to create well-rounded employees, and mastering new ways of working such as tech-enhanced problem-solving tools.”

To learn more about the talent gap and take a deeper look into the statistics that support these findings, read the full Talent Gap report at:

About Project Management Institute (PMI)

Project Management Institute (PMI) is the leading professional organization for project management, and the authority for a growing global community of millions of project professionals and individuals who use project management skills. Collectively, these professionals and "changemakers" consistently create better outcomes for businesses, community and society worldwide.

PMI empowers people to make ideas a reality. Through global advocacy, networking, collaboration, research, and education, PMI prepares organizations and individuals at every stage of their career journey to work smarter so they can drive success in a world of change. 

Building on a proud legacy dating to 1969, PMI is a not-for-profit for-purpose organization working in nearly every country around the world to advance careers, strengthen organizational success, and enable project professionals and changemakers with new skills and ways of working to maximize their impact. PMI offerings include globally recognized standards, certifications, online courses, thought leadership, tools, digital publications, and communities.

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PMI Trademarks: Project Management Institute and PMI are trademarks and/or registered marks of Project Management Institute, Inc., in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Media Contact:

MaryKate Dougherty

North America Communications Specialist

[email protected]