Project manager roles are up for grabs globally

One of ESI’s top ten trends in project management for 2014 has shone light on the challenge that organisations trying to recruit project managers with the right mix of qualifications and experience, are facing.

Despite huge demand for project managers in what continues to be a growing and evolving industry, many of the key project management roles such as those at the VP and executive level – e.g. PMOs, product strategy and portfolio management – remain unfilled due to the lack of suitably experienced applicants.

Organisations therefore need to make sure they focus on their retention policy – particularly if they have invested in training – in order to avoid being in the difficult position of trying to find suitably qualified and experienced applicants.

The reason for the staggering number of project manager roles up for grabs globally, despite high unemployment levels, is down to a greater need for skills that go beyond that of the basic project manager candidate.

Despite the growing number of opportunities for project managers, there is an ever-increasing amount of pressure on organisations as a consequence of the global meltdown – particularly in developed countries.

Consequently, there is now a much greater emphasis on the need for strategic thinking when it comes to executing projects.

Employers have now realised that a stronger understanding of an organisation’s overall business goals, and the role its projects will play in this, is an essential pre-requisite when it comes to recruiting.

Finding opportunities

Fortunately for those that possess this, along with a strong set of technical, business and leadership skills – and perhaps most importantly – a willingness to relocate, there has never been a better time to be a project manager.

The areas offering a wealth of opportunities in project management include the USA with its development in the healthcare sector, Brazil’s 10-year-energy plan and China with the construction of 74, 565 miles of high-speed track by 2020.

India meanwhile has a $100 billion investment in its Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor development project while Australia predicts to generate a further 355,000 new project management roles by 2020 and Japan, 2.6 million, according to the PMI.

If you want to give relocation some serious consideration, the PMI’s Project Management Salary Survey reveals what you can expect to earn depending where you live.

Australia comes out on top, with Switzerland in second, USA third, Netherlands fourth, Germany fifth, Canada sixth, New Zealand seventh, Belgium eighth, Sweden ninth and the UK in tenth place.

Before you think about getting on a plane though, remember that the demand and opportunities for skilled project managers will also vary by region and sector.

The six big industrial sectors of Energy, Healthcare, IT, Construction, Finance, and Defence all face different challenges and economic outlooks. However, they are all filled with opportunities for those project managers who are prepared to keep their skills – particularly in leadership – as sharp as they can possibly be.