Project Management Institute

Global jobs report 2015

In the year ahead, some nations’ economic forecasts look sunnier than others. For all, the need for project talent is clear.

BY NOVID PARSI
ILLUSTRATION BY NEIL WEBB

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While national economies will fluctuate in the year ahead—some expanding, others contracting—they will share one constant: a strong demand for project managers.

Project management will continue a decade-long trajectory of growth. From 2010 to 2020, as the profession grows by over US$6.6 trillion, the global economy is seeing 15.7 million new project management roles created in seven project-intensive industries, according to PMI’s 2013 Project Management Talent Gap Report.

Still, some countries have greater project practitioner demands than others. PMI’s 2013 Project Management Talent Gap Report shows that in 10 countries with established or quickly developing project-intensive industries, project management roles are expected to increase by over 13.4 million between 2010 and 2020, numbering more than 41.5 million by 2020.

As the need for project managers expands, so must practitioners’ skills and knowledge of global standards. Their organizations will benefit, as will the project managers themselves.

Here is the career outlook in the eight countries with the biggest need for project management skills.

AUSTRALIA

AT A GLANCE

Economic Outlook:

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2015 GDP Growth Forecast: 2.9%

Median Project Practitioner Salary: US$134,658

Sectors to Watch: Mining, energy

This commodity-rich country, dodging the worst of the global economic recession, enjoyed a mining boom over the past decade, fueled largely by Chinese demand. However, as China’s need for minerals tapered off, projects in Australia’s mining sector, which accounts for about 8 percent of the country’s GDP, have slowed.

Still, things aren’t standing still. “Despite a cooling of the mining and construction sector, this is still the dominant area for project managers in Australia,” says Dave Wright, PMP, managing director, QVC Solutions, Brisbane, Australia.

That dominance is reflected in reimbursement. Australian project managers in the resources industry have a higher average salary than project managers in any other industry. That’s particularly noteworthy given that the median salary for project practitioners is higher here than any other country, according to PMI’s Project Management Salary Survey—Eighth Edition.

While mining cools slightly, other industries, including energy and agriculture, are heating up, according to a 2014 Deloitte report. There are also growth opportunities for sectors like IT that play supporting roles to mining and other industries.

For practitioners eager to secure these jobs, Mr. Wright emphasizes the importance of the Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential. “The mining and construction sectors typically use A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), so certification through PMI will provide a competitive advantage,” he says.

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What is your top career goal for 2015?

“I have realized with the skills and competencies learned, a capable project manager can do just about anything! I have decided it’s time to grow, and I am starting my own business. I am buying a management consulting franchise. One of its core competencies is project management skills, as it’s about implementing its findings, not just consulting. It builds on my existing competences and develops new areas. I am really excited about it, so my goal is to build a great business (and, yes, the success criteria will be specific and measurable!).”

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—Gabby Kent, PMP, Moss Vale, Australia

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What is your top career goal for 2015?

“To continue to deliver world-class construction management services to Dallas Water Utilities and other clients while expanding to new clients. In order to deliver world-class construction management services, I need the best people, and to attract the best people I need to have the best projects and environment for them to work in. I’ll have a simple plan with metrics and milestones to keep me and the team focused while delivering results.”

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—JD Harrison, PMI-RMP, PMP, PgMP, regional construction manager, CH2M HILL, a PMI Global Executive Council member, Dallas, Texas, USA

An oil platform off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

An oil platform off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

BRAZIL

Speed Bumps Ahead

AT A GLANCE

Economic Outlook:

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2015 GDP Growth Forecast: 2.2%

Median Project Practitioner Salary: US$58,963

Sectors to Watch: IT, financial services, telecommunications

Brazil’s economy has hit a rough patch: It officially entered a recession in August 2014, after two consecutive quarters of falling outputs. While many analysts were predicting growth of 3 percent in 2015 a year ago, those estimates have been scaled back.

Yet the country’s unemployment rate has decreased to near record lows, from more than 13 percent in 2003 to around 5 percent in 2014. To set themselves apart, “project managers in Brazil should continuously invest in training, gain experience and develop their soft skills,” says João Gama Neto, PMI-ACP, PMP, professor of project management, INPG Business School, São Paulo, Brazil.

Despite the current slowdown, the Brazilian government sees smoother sailing ahead, with the economy bolstered by slowing inflation and credit expansion, plus a recovery in mining and oil output. IT, financial services, telecommunications, construction and the government are among the largest users of project management, Mr. Gama says.

“I believe that 2015 will be better than 2014, and we will have an increase in job opportunities in the second half,” he says.

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CAREER IN ACTION

“I started as a mechanical design engineer in the oil industry in Saudi Arabia. After I came to Ambitech Engineering as a project engineer in 2007, I started to lay the groundwork to become a project manager. It’s a big leap because project managers often have to lead multicultural teams and are on the hook for successes and failures.

I worked to earn the respect of my co-workers and manager. I took on more responsibility and expanded my project management knowledge base by reading and by attending PMI seminars. I reached out to other practitioners in the sector and learned from them.

I also made myself more useful to the company, going beyond managing the triple constraints to improve team dynamics and workflow processes. We handled oil-refinery shutdown projects in the range of US$100 million, and brought costs down by using shared resources and doing some tasks in parallel that traditionally were done one after the other.

I was fortunate to have a good mentor, a vice president at the company. I let him know what my limits were and he was able to guide me with technical experience as well as soft skills, like dealing with clients and work-related stress.

In 2011, I made the formal leap from project engineer to project manager, which came with a salary hike. Now I’m leading teams and handling projects that range from US$1 million to US$100 million.

I also got the PMP® credential, which shows you take project management seriously. It provided a strong foundation, helping me extend my knowledge and delve deeper into the discipline.

In your career, things don’t just happen. You have to look for opportunities, strat-egize and then work hard to achieve them.”

Imtiaz Javed, PMP, project manager, Ambitech Engineering, Chicago, Illinois, USA

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What is your top career goal for 2015?

“In 2015, I would like to be able to be engaged as a strategy manager in a small/medium company. For me, this would represent the better way to serve an organization, taking advantage of and finalizing more than 20 years of activities in the project and portfolio management field.”

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—Michela Ruffa, PMI-RMP, PMP, owner, ’roundPM—Project Management for business, Reggio Emilia, Italy

CHINA

A Slowed Expansion

AT A GLANCE

Economic Outlook:

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2015 GDP Growth Forecast: 7.3%

Median Project Practitioner Salary: US$27,156

Sector to Watch: manufacturing

With about 8.1 million practitioner roles opening through 2020, China is home to a greater expansion in project management than any other country. Project management employment in China will increase by more than 33 percent, according to PMI’s 2013 Project Management Talent Gap Report.

While China’s economic growth is expected to dip from 7.4 percent in 2014 to 7.3 percent in 2015, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the country’s labor market remains strong.

The demand for project managers must be filled with skilled practitioners, says Richard Gelders, PMP, co-founder and managing director, KMR Oriental Group, Shanghai, China. “There are many job opportunities for project managers in China and not enough qualified project managers to fulfill the demand,” he says. “Many companies are growing and developing fast, and most industries need project managers.”

Manufacturing (such as the automotive industry) and digital commerce have a particularly high demand, he says.

Project management in China has greatly matured, Mr. Gelders notes. “I feel positive about the changes in project management in China,” he says. “A lot of companies have recognized project management as a key skill. More will follow.”

An automobile factory welding assembly line in China

An automobile factory welding assembly line in China

Infosys’ headquarters in Bengaluru, India

Infosys’ headquarters in Bengaluru, India

INDIA

Help Wanted

AT A GLANCE

Economic Outlook:

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2015 GDP Growth Forecast: 5.9%

Median Project Practitioner Salary: US$27,052

Sectors to Watch: IT, construction, healthcare, oil and gas

India is close on China’s heels in terms of greatest need for project managers. With about 4 million project management roles created in India this decade, employment for these practitioners will increase a whopping 60 percent by 2020, according to PMI’s 2013 Project Management Talent Gap Report.

Overall, India saw a 34 percent spike in the number of people employed from 2005 to 2013. It now has the strongest hiring intentions globally, according to ManpowerGroup.

In 2015, India’s economic growth should approach 6 percent, the OECD predicts. From 2011 to 2020, it will average around 9.2 percent, according to Dun & Bradstreet. That surge will be spurred by the massive infrastructure investments of the new government, which the world’s largest democratic nation voted into power last year.

“The new government is planning to devote more resources to IT and infrastructure projects,” says Nilanjan Chanda, PMP, senior delivery manager, RS Software, Calcutta, India. “Project and program managers are required to bring efficiency in government projects that may be under public scrutiny.”

To take advantage, job seekers must have the right skills. Over three in five Indian employers report difficulty filling jobs, ManpowerGroup reports.

Because technology constantly evolves, project managers need to demonstrate an aptitude with agile approaches and the latest technology, Mr. Chanda says. “This is the major challenge IT project managers face around getting hired and promoted.”

In addition to the country’s ever-strong IT sector, India’s top hiring industries include project-rich sectors like healthcare, and oil and gas.

CAREER IN ACTION

“I’ve worked in hospitals in India and abroad—in administration, IT, business analysis. When I started my PhD research in hospital administration and healthcare, I found many hospitals in India where PMI standards were not used. I realized that in the healthcare industry here, projects often don’t finish on time or meet their objectives.

I began working as the lead on a project implementing software in 17 Indian hospitals and saw a lot of management chaos.

At that moment I could’ve gone into either project management or product development. I decided the healthcare industry in India needed more project management. So I got a proper education in project management techniques and the PMP® credential.

When I became certified, I asked for a salary hike, and was asked to prove the certification benefits. So I picked up a small software-implementation project at a hospital, and delivered it on time and on scope. Because of that, I got a significant salary increase—and was promoted to senior project manager. I was given more projects and delivered them with relative ease, because the way I was working was more streamlined.

Recently, I oversaw a project at a hospital that sees about 1,000 patients a day. We implemented its information system on time and per expectations. Presently I handle the software rollouts in three hospitals in India.

My colleagues notice the way my plans are more respected by management now, so they get motivated to get their own certifications. I encourage them to get a credential like the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® and, as they move up the ladder, to get the PMP, the Program Management Professional (PgMP)®, or the Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)®, and specialize in fields like risk management.

But we must not just get certified. We must follow the principles. Project managers must inculcate project management practices in their own organizations.”

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Ranjeeta Basra Korgaonkar, PMP, senior project manager, HealthFore, New Delhi, India

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What is your top career goal for 2015?

“Obtaining the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® or another certification in agile/Scrum tops my list. This formal training and certification will provide greater opportunities for managing my teams and projects and grow the daily interaction with the client. Our clients want to see proof of experience and certifications to back it up.”

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—Baxter Mickey Rains, PMP, PMO manager, Integratek—IT division of Pharma-Bio Serv, Dorado, Puerto Rico, USA

Skyscrapers line Paseo de la Reforma street in Mexico City, Mexico

Skyscrapers line Paseo de la Reforma street in Mexico City, Mexico.

MEXICO

Growing Maturity

Latin America’s second-largest economy will be strengthened by ongoing economic reforms—especially in the energy and telecommunications sectors, according to the International Monetary Fund. Project practitioners should reap the rewards.

“With the reforms and their implementation over the next year, there will be an explosion in the need for project managers in the energy and telecommunications sectors,” says Francisco Herrera, PMP, program manager, Coppel SA de CV, Culiacán, Mexico. This will lead to new infrastructure projects that will result in “exponential growth” for project management positions, Mr. Herrera adds.

That demand follows a maturing project management landscape. “More organizations recognize that project management is necessary to achieve business results,” he says. “The better prepared will have the best promotions, positions and salaries.”

Increased responsibility is reflected in salaries. In Mexico, a project manager who oversees an initiative with more than 20 team members makes 29 percent more than one with fewer than five team members. Moreover, a project manager overseeing a project with a budget greater than US$10 million makes 64 percent more than one with a project under US$100,000, according to PMI’s 2013 Salary Survey.

There should be plenty of opportunities for practitioners to take advantage of those statistics. Last year, the Mexican government launched a US$590 billion infrastructure plan that includes 743 projects in sectors such as energy, communications and transportation.

AT A GLANCE:

Economic Outlook:

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2015 GDP Growth Forecast: 4.1%

Median Project Practitioner Salary: US$44,763

Sectors to Watch: Energy, transportation, telecommunications

NIGERIA

Diversified Opportunities

After a decade of sustained growth, Africa’s most populous nation boasts the continent’s largest GDP, thanks in part to its increasingly diversified economy.

Nigeria—Africa’s biggest oil producer—will continue to grow as it repairs major oil pipelines and expands production in non-oil sectors, according to the International Monetary Fund. The key non-oil sectors are agriculture, which employs about 70 percent of the labor force, IT, trade and services.

With many projects launching, the country needs project managers with strong planning skills, says Deji West, finance director, Afren, Lagos, Nigeria.

For project practitioners looking for work in Nigeria, Mr. West says the “outlook is positive,” adding that there’s a clear way to get ahead: attaining the PMP® credential. The research backs him up: Nigerian project practitioners with the PMP credential earn about 22 percent more than others, according to PMI’s 2013 Salary Survey.

While Mr. West finds that the Nigerian government would benefit from a greater use of project management standards and practices, “multinational organizations have embraced project management and use it constantly,” he says. “This is creating a better experience base in Nigeria.”

AT A GLANCE

Economic Outlook:

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2015 GDP Growth Forecast: 6.5%

Median Project Practitioner Salary: US$35,707

Sectors to Watch: Oil, IT, agriculture

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What is your top career goal for 2015?

“My top career goal for 2015 is to strengthen my portfolio management skills and develop a portfolio management strategy that enables my team to deliver value to the business and our customers faster. I want to strengthen relationships with key stakeholders and team members and implement tried-and-true best practices that enable our talented resources to work smarter and deliver more with less. I want to develop a portfolio that other IT organizations in the transit industry recognize as the model.”

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—Ashley Rice, CAPM, PMP, IT program manager, Regional Transportation District, Denver, Colorado, USA

CAREER IN ACTION

“I joined the R&D project management team of Lucent Technologies in the Netherlands in 1996, working on software development projects. My first project was an on-time delivery.

Around 2000, Lucent was having trouble. They had about 250 project managers, but there were layoffs. By 2007, only about 30 were left—I was one of them.

I was doing sales projects, which were profitable, but our sales were going down. Still, I felt if I got fired I could find another job because I was confident in my capa-bilities—and the PMP® credential gave me confidence.

Because of the economy, people thought, ‘I should stay where I have a job.’ But I thought, ‘I can wait until someone else changes my environment, or I can change my own environment.’ That is what I did at the end of 2007 when I left Lucent.

I wanted to do something different, and Telstra, the telecom operator in Australia, asked me to join them as a project director overseeing a major transition of their network.

I signed the contract, and planned to move my wife and three children to Australia. But in January 2008, the Australian regulator decided not to allow Telstra to continue its project, so we changed our plans again.

Fortunately, Canon Europe asked me to join their IT group to run several major infrastructure projects. I stayed in the Netherlands and joined Canon in February 2008. In my current role, I oversee a lot of interesting, difficult projects, like the integration of multinational printing company Océ with Canon. In your career, you have to take some risks.”

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–Stefan Willard, PMP, ICT portfolio manager, Canon Europa NV, Amstelveen, the Netherlands

UNITED KINGDOM

Surging Forward

AT A GLANCE

Economic Outlook:

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2015 GDP Growth Forecast: 2.7%

Median Project Practitioner Salary: US$90,666

Sectors to Watch: IT, construction

The U.K. economy has been speeding up since 2012—and looks to keep up the pace in 2015, according to PwC. Last year, not only did the U.K. unemployment rate hit its lowest level in six years, but the rate of employment equaled the record set in 2005.

That’s good news for project practitioners in the United Kingdom, which is seeing a demand for almost 1 million project managers through 2020.

The tech industry has been a particular beneficiary of the economic upswing, KPMG reports. More than two-fifths of all U.K. tech companies plan to hire by mid-2015.

Project managers will need to handle the changes typical of the tech industry. “Change management skills are being asked for more and more,” says Paul Yeomans, managing director, Manifestly Important, York, England. “Project managers who are strong in this area will be well placed to advance.” The construction sector also will see an expanding need for project managers, he adds.

“The outlook is positive, with the jobs picture for project managers continuing to improve in line with the economic recovery,” Mr. Yeomans says.

However, that also comes with an uptick in job competition, which Mr. Yeomans sees as the main challenge for job seekers. “It is becoming increasingly important for individuals to differentiate themselves with extra knowledge, skills and qualifications,” he says.

A man waits for a train in London, England

A man waits for a train in London, England.

Outside the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street, in New York, New York, USA

Outside the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street, in New York, New York, USA

UNITED STATES

Firmer Ground

AT A GLANCE:

Economic Outlook:

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2015 GDP Growth Forecast: 3.5%

Median Project Practitioner Salary: US$108,000

Sectors to Watch: Finance, construction, healthcare

After an unsteady recovery from the global recession, the world’s largest economy now stands on firmer ground. The United States should see growth of about 3 percent in 2015 and 2016—which would be its fastest within the past decade, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Project managers are feeling that growth spurt, too. The U.S. demand for project practitioners is expanding by more than 12 percent, resulting in almost 6.2 million jobs in 2020, according to PMI’s 2013 Talent Gap Report.

In 2014, U.S. employment levels finally approached their pre-recession highs, according to a Deloitte report. Employers now intend to hire at their strongest rate in over six years, ManpowerGroup reports. Between 2012 and 2022, U.S. employment should increase by almost 11 percent, with healthcare accounting for almost one-third of new jobs—more than any other sector.

Project managers in the United States—whose median salary ranks third in the world after Australia and Switzerland—will benefit from a hiring push in project-rich sectors.

“As companies look to gain efficiencies and improve their bottom line, the awareness of project management as a valuable skill and the demand for skilled project managers have definitely increased in the United States,” says Ruth Stevens, PMP, director, Grant Thornton LLP, New York, New York, USA. Ms. Stevens says she has noticed an increasing number of job listings indicating that a PMP® credential is either a “definite plus” or “required.”

In addition to healthcare, Ms. Stevens says, financial services and insurance are among the largest, most visible sectors with a project manager demand. With construction jobs up to 6 million in June 2014 (up from 5.4 million in January 2011), that sector is also in need: A January 2014 survey of Associated General Contractors of America members shows that almost half (48 percent) were having trouble filling project manager/supervisor roles. PM

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What is your top career goal for 2015?

“I cannot single out just one goal, as I have both volunteer and professional objectives that matter a lot to me due to their broad impact. However, it so happens that both share a number of key characteristics, with enhanced collaboration and social media aspects at the core.”

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—Anca Slusanschi, PMP, senior project/program manager, Ministry for Primary Industries and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Wellington, New Zealand

This material has been reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner. Unauthorized reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited. For permission to reproduce this material, please contact PMI.

PM NETWORK JANUARY 2015 WWW.PMI.ORG
JANUARY 2015 PM NETWORK

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