Project management may sound like a straightforward role, but the reality tends to be somewhat more complicated.
Yes, they’re all responsible for planning, organizing, and executing projects from inception to completion, and within the specified timeframe and budget. But different industries have vastly different approaches to project life cycles and work style—so the role of a project manager tends to vary across different industries, whether it’s information technology, software, construction or manufacturing. This article examines the role of a project manager, different pathways into the field and the key skills involved.
If you’re interested in learning more about this in-demand career track—you’ve landed in the right place.
We succeed when you succeed
We're dedicated to setting you up for career success. Check out our industry-first look at promotions, raises, and job growth a year and beyond Thinkful graduation.
Job Outlook for Project Managers
As organizations scale up and pursue more complex tech projects, the demand for project managers has increased significantly in recent years. And we expect that trend to continue.
According to the Project Management Institute, by 2027, there will be nearly 22 million new project management jobs. In many industries, the need for talented project managers could increase as much as 33% - much higher than the average growth rate.
All of this growth is due to the fact that organizations, especially those in tech, are engaging in more nuanced, multi-faceted projects. Whenever an organization decides to develop a new service, app, or website feature, that project will entail multiple teams across different disciplines, and even in different offices. Business leaders have recognized that they need professionals who are specifically trained in keeping everyone on track, moving in the same direction, and aligning everyone around the same project goals and timeline.
And that's exactly what a project manager does.
Project Management Job Titles
If you're pursuing a project management education, then you'll expect to become a Project Manager. And that is the most typical career path: you're likely to start off as a Project Management Associate or Project Management Assistant, and work your way up the ladder to Project Manager II or Senior Project Manager.
But there are actually a range of different job titles that all relate to project management, including:
- Project Communications Officer
- Project Leader
- Program Manager
- Development Manager
Include these titles in your job search to get a full view of all the opportunities that are available. And of course, always read the job description carefully so you know exactly what the expectations are.
Aspiring project managers can reach out to their network through colleagues, friends, or referrals via a training institute or through the PMI. They’re advised to apply for relevant project management positions online, as well as on popular job portals and company websites. Some of the places where you can seek project management-specific positions are listed below:
Project Management Institute (PMI): Top employers often post their jobs on the PMI portal. You can upload your resume to the portal, browse through relevant listings, and apply for positions that you feel are a match for your experience.
LinkedIn: Creating a detailed LinkedIn profile allows you to network with other professionals in the same or related fields and connect to different recruiters and employers. The site also has regularly updated job listings and is popular with top organizations across the globe, and particularly in the US.
Glassdoor: Glassdoor provides information about different positions and profiles hosted by every organization, a review of the working culture, salary data, and interview tips by existing or former employees. You can get an idea of the type of openings in project management through this portal.
Indeed.com: This is a popular online job search platform. You can post your resume and skills here, and apply online directly to any open positions. It matches job seekers with prospective employers and provides information on the organization, its culture, work profile, and salary structure. Some of the top companies hiring project managers at various levels are:
Cisco: This telecommunication giant, headquartered in California, has a huge requirement for project managers to handle their equipment production, software, and other tech services.
Southern California Edison: With more than 5 million customers for its electric infrastructure, this organization has numerous opportunities for project managers.
Jacobs: A renowned name in industries like construction, aerospace, defense, pharmaceuticals, and transportation, Jacobs has a range of project management opportunities available.
SAIC: This company is into logistics and supply chain, with a good number of customers. Project managers in SAIC have posted good reviews regarding the work environment and salaries.
Microsoft: This tech giant is a pioneer in computer software and allied technologies, and happens to be one of the most reputable places to work for. Needless to say, they have numerous global opportunities, especially for project management professionals skilled in the Agile framework. Many more companies like JP Morgan, CBRE, Verizon, Insight Global, Citi, Deloitte, TEKsystems, IBM, PPD, ADP, Northrop Grumman, JLL, Tata Consultancy Services, and Cognizant Technologies Solutions hire droves of project management professionals each year.
More Than A Job: Start Your Project Management Career
If you’re interested in pursuing this exciting career track, check out our Technical Project Management Online Bootcamp. We set you up for success long-term in the field of project management, and pair you up with a personal mentor to help guide you through the course material every step of the way.
Launch Your Project Management Career
An online project management course aimed at helping you launch a career. One-on-one mentorship, professional guidance, and a robust community network are on hand to help you succeed in Project Management.