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From the Desk of Kim Paxton


Why Your Next Job Title Should Be Project Manager

If you are in the market for a rewarding career with staying power and a generous paycheck, you might add “Project Manager” to all of your job alerts feeds. Project Management is a great career for hybrid organizational skills and technical know-how; best for those highly business-minded folks that can speak IT with the rest of them. Why am I such a proponent of a Project Management career?

Because I have seen thousands of still-thriving IT PM careers launch with our Fortune 500 clients since I started in 2007 and it’s never left our top five in-demand jobs at KellyMitchell. Oh and guess what, it’s not leaving anytime soon…

In fact, General Assembly recently named project management as one of the top 3 most promising careers of 2020 so you can be confident that you are in a field with opportunity.

In addition, the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) 2015 Global Job Report predicts that between 2010 and 2020, 15.7 million new project management roles will be created globally across seven project-intensive (and high-growth) industries. That means there are a lot of PM jobs coming down the pipeline in areas such as:

  • Manufacturing

  • Finance and insurance

  • Business Services

  • Oil and Gas

  • Information Services

  • Construction

  • Utilities

We are also seeing the demand for project management roles, at a variety of skill levels, with a large number of the businesses we work with. This is especially true in some of our larger markets, where current reports point to double-digit growth in open project management roles over the past two years. A few of our markets where project managers are most in demand, according to CareerBuilder’s Supply and Demand portal, include:

  • New York, NY – 23 percent growth in PM roles over the past two years.

  • Atlanta, GA – 12 percent

  • Chicago, IL - 11 percent

  • Washington, D.C. – 9 percent

  • Charlotte, NC – 9 percent

The impressive stats don’t stop there. The PMI also found that between 2010 and 2020 the global project management profession will grow by over $6.6 trillion. (Yes, that’s trillions of dollars). IT Project Manager is forecasted to be a hot job industry for the foreseeable future, which means hot job prospects for you – no matter what your skill level. All of that capital pumping into the industry, and the high demand for talent to fill open roles, is driving up salaries as well. The earning power for project managers, in a wide variety of roles, well exceeds that of many other professions. PMI reports that the median annual salary for project managers is $81,000, and those who have a PMP (Project Management Professional) certification are likely to earn 22 percent more than those without such credentials.

In addition, project managers with less than three years of project management experience in the United States earned a median $74,900, while those with more than 10 years of experience earned $120,000 and above, both according to PMI. When you take into consideration that the U.S. median household income, meaning that of entire family, is $53,657, project managers are at a salary advantage.

What Projects Do Project Managers Actually Manage?

At KellyMitchell, IT is the common denominator for PMs working and thriving across a seemingly endless variety of industries and specialties. We have them working all over the place, literally and figuratively. So what do project managers do? If you are looking for a short and sweet answer, click here. They see projects through from the very first inkling of an idea all the way to completion. For example, if you’re interested in healthcare, project managers are key players in moving that industry from the paper record era to the digital age. Maybe software development is more your forte.

If so, software project managers are integral parts of coordinating the complex code, design, and specs that go into building a new, let’s say, mobile app. They are often required to be intimately involved in each step of the process from the ideation phase all the way through to delivery, ensuring all parties involved are in the know and satisfied. What all project manager roles do share is an obsession with organization, communication, and the ability to successfully achieve a business need from inception to implementation. With technology moving faster than ever before, the project managers of today, and the future, are increasingly important to ensure technical teams and overall strategic goals, are closely in sync. They must work quickly, with precision, and understand how to communicate with different audiences. For example, project managers would present the details of a project differently to software engineers, then say, graphic designers. While managing so many moving parts, and working with a variety of different specialized skill sets may be challenging, it is also intensely rewarding. Project managers are often working with hefty budgets. Translation: they have a chance to do some really cool stuff. Sometimes that cool stuff might be something that changes the way we interact, shop or learn. If you’re curious if project management is the right field for you, we encourage you to do a little homework. Check out sites like PMI for information on everything from the certifications required to the latest studies, and since you’re already here, head on over and join our project management talent network. You’ll be a part of a strong community of project managers, and have access to the hottest job openings, training resources, educational materials, and important industry news. Kim Paxton is Vice President of Operations at KellyMitchell, overseeing the technologies, tools, and processes that go into our recruiting and delivery infrastructure. The short version is: she makes our organization work. A formal technical recruiter, Kim is passionate about aligning the right people with the right solutions.

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