Are You a New Grad Looking to Jumpstart Your Career

Graduation season is here. And while prospects for new grads are good this year, you may still need help thinking about that all-important first career step. PMI can help—with training, community and opportunities to learn and grow. Olivier Lazar explains how.

Written by Olivier Lazar | PMI • 1 June 2022

Are you a new Grad Looking to Jumpstart Your Career

You have a freshly minted high school or college diploma. Your career prospects are promising since job opportunities this year are more than plentiful and entry-level salaries are on the rise, according to a recent poll of U.S. employers.

Despite this positive outlook, however, everyone needs a little help landing that first full-time job and launching their career. Where do you turn for support? 

If you’re like many of your peers, you’ve probably turned to social media. Forty-six percent of recent college grads said they’ve consulted YouTube or TikTok about their job searches.

I have an alternate suggestion: come to Project Management Institute (PMI). Project management, after all, is a booming profession. According to a recent PMI analysis, global employers will need to add more than 25 million project management positions through 2030. That’s 2.3 million positions a year—cutting across all industries and geographies.

Even if you choose not to pursue project management as a career, project management skills are still in high demand and will burnish any resume. Indeed, project management was one of five areas that business leaders wanted to prioritize coming out of the COVID-19 crisis in 2021.

Project management skills aren’t just important on the job; they’re essential for anyone wanting to bring about change in the world. That’s why PMI offers training not just for project management professionals, but for changemakers of all kinds.

For example, PMI Project Management Ready™ introduces high school and post-secondary students to the concepts and skillsets of project management—making them more effective in the classroom, in their extra-curricular activities and in the area of social action. 

But what kind of career-launching support should you expect from PMI?

The first area is training. At PMI, we offer a wide range of online training programs and materials. And our standards and certifications are globally recognized, including the gold standard of project management certifications, the PMP®—Project Management Professional.

If you’re new to project management, however, you might consider KICKOFF or Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® certification. KICKOFF is a free, 45-minute course and tool kit that teaches the basics of project management. It’s intended for “informal project professionals”—individuals working in different functional areas (marketing, finance, HR) who manage projects but don’t have prior experience or training.

The CAPM is specifically designed for individuals just starting their careers. It provides a more extensive set of tools and allows you to operate in a wider variety of roles. It’s also an important credential for employers, who increasingly want project professionals to have a professional certification. Indeed, more than half (51 percent) of organizations surveyed by PMI require project professionals to hold some type of certification in their role.

Finally, you might consider pursuing PMI micro-credentials. As their name suggests, these certifications attest to your expertise in a specific skillset area such as citizen development or in a specific industry such as construction. It’s worth noting that these certifications and micro-certs are part of a broader effort by private sector organizations to help students acquire easily transferable skills outside of a traditional academic setting—think Walmart’s Live Better U and Google’s Career Certificates as other examples. 

PMI’s second area of support is community. We have hundreds of local chapters around the world where you’ll find the motivation and mentorship needed to advance your career. Local chapters sponsor valuable events and conferences, as well as certification study groups and opportunities for networking and volunteering.

Volunteering, in fact, is closely related to our third area of support: opportunities to build confidence and take action. PMI members and volunteers around the world are committed to using our resources and influence to bring about positive social change. 

In fact, PMI has set a goal to pledge 125,000 hours towards advancing the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by December 2022. With the help of PMI staff, members, chapters, credential holders, volunteers and any individuals or organizations who want to show their commitment, we are helping support issues such as gender equity, health and well-being, climate change and quality education. 

We know a commitment to social change is important to Gen Zers. A 2019 Deloitte survey reports that 46 percent of Gen Z survey respondents want to have a positive impact on society. But this commitment is also integral to who we are at PMI. “Integrated Social Impact” is one of the four strategic pillars of our strategy. And it’s why PMI’s philanthropic arm, the PMI Educational Foundation (PMIEF), has supported young changemakers for more than 30 years. 

For all these reasons, membership in PMI can be a source of competitive advantage in today’s job market. That’s because association membership, in general, is something of an underutilized resource. Although Millennials and Gen Zers account for 60 percent of the U.S. working population, they comprise just a quarter of overall association membership, according to Marketing Generals’ 2020 Member Benchmarking survey.

If you’re still a student, membership at PMI costs just US$32 a year, which is discounted to US$10, if your university or college is part of the Global Accreditation Center. 

At PMI, we believe in the power of rising leaders like you as you take your rightful place in the global workplace. We’re committed to helping you build your skills and fulfill your ambitions. Through our training, certifications and ongoing skill development, as well as our global community and opportunities for action, we can help you achieve your goals and bring about inspiring change.


Olivier Lazar headshot

Olivier Lazar
Vice President, Youth & Social Impact | PMI

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