The Role of the Project Manager: Outlook 2021

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The Role of the Project Manager

If you are interested in pursuing a job in the business field, think about becoming a project manager. It’s a great career that relies on a person who can lead, influence, and help others. A job where at the end of the day, you have a sense of pride for what you accomplished. But, what exactly is it? A project manager works for some type of business in charge/holds responsibility for the day-to-day management of the project. According to Association for Project Management (APM), a project manager must be competent in managing six different aspects of a project:

  • Scope
  • Schedule
  • Finance
  • Risk
  • Quality
  • Resources 

The purpose is to explain why this career will fit a business major, the future of this field, what you can expect if you work as a Project Manager, and how to become qualified to be one. 

Project Manager Duties/Expectations

So, we gave a little synopsis on what the job description entails, but it’s pretty broad, right? Well, that’s because business is broad! You can be in the automotive industry, small-business, financial industry, etc…it’s pretty open-ended. However, as a project manager, your duties, no matter the industry, remain the same. Let’s look at the most essential skills.

  • Planning– as a Project Manager, one of the most important (and daunting) tasks can be meeting deadlines. That’s why planning is instrumental in this career. You must determine a project’s scope and its available resources, precisely planning where to go from there. It’s the first step and arguably the most important.
  • Organization– just like planning, this is super important. If you’re not organized, you will get lost in your project, which doesn’t make for a very good project manager.
  • Time Management– you are in charge of a project. You have to meet certain deadlines, so to do that, you must be highly skilled in time management. 
  • Budget/Cost Estimating– it’s time to crunch the numbers! It’s your project. You have to know how much can be spent and keep it within that budget. 
  • Leadership/Communication– you will be in charge of a team as a manager. You must have effective communication skills, or else your project will fail. You need to be a leader to your team, assess mistakes, and find ways to fix them.

These are just a few out of the many different duties and skills you’ll need to be a rockstar Project Manager. However, if you get these down, you’re on your way to success!

The Future of Project Managers

There’s another reason this profession is being highly recommended. According to Project Management Institute (PMI), through the year 2027, the project management-oriented labor force is expected to grow by 33%, with nearly 2.2 million new jobs a year through 2027. And across the world, employers will need nearly 88 million people in project management-oriented roles. That is a HUGE number! Imagine graduating with your degree and finding a job in a successful field with endless opportunities. And don’t worry money talks. According to a PMI Project Management Salary Survey, the median salary in the United States exceeds $100,000. There’s truly never been a better time to become a Project Manager. So, you won’t have that fear of studying for a degree that won’t matter in the future, and there is proof that this one will.

How to Become a Project Manager

So, I’m assuming we got your attention? Great! It’s time for the next steps. Here’s what you need to do to become a Project Manager. You need to earn your degree, preferably in business. There are also tons of online programs you can join to earn it faster. 

Here’s some valuable information you will learn in a typical Project Manager program:

  • Identify project management opportunities
  • Learn the value of project management practices
  • Assess/prioritize requirements
  • Design/implement management processes with quality assurance in mind
  • Create flexible projects that will account for changes and constraints
  • Apply waterfall, predictive, agile, and DevOps frameworks
  • Make investment assessments/budget restrictions on given projects
  • Learn communication skills with team

Degree programs make it easy to get right into the field, and the fact that there are so many job openings expected, it’s nearly guaranteed you’ll find a job that suits you best. You also can get a PMP (Project Management Professional) certification. This is an easier route than earning your degree, but still valuable in the field. You must register through the Project Management Institute, take a course, pass the exam, and you’re on your way to becoming a Project Manager.