PMI Report: Project Management Job Growth and Talent Gap 2017-2027

Linh Tran, Tuesday 11 July 2017 | Reading time: unknown

Organizations see an increasing need for PM professionals, but at the same time the available workforce is decreasing. The report “Job Growth & Talent Gap 2017-2027” examines the reasons for this gap.

Reasons for the widening gap

The PMI has shown in his latest Pulse of the Profession Report that the project management maturity of organizations is increasing. Not only are they getting better at implementing PM processes and methods, they are also finally seeing the fruits of their labor. IT project success rates are finally improving after years of continual decline. This means that organizations are acknowledging the benefits of implementing project management, particularly as a driver for more efficiency and innovation. This of course means that the demand for project management professionals is increasing across all industries.

There are various reasons for the discrepancy between the demand and the availability of PM talent. The number of jobs requiring project-oriented skills and the demand for PM talent, particularly in China and India, will increase dramatically over the next 10 years. But at the same time the number of PM professionals is decreasing. One of the reasons for the attrition rates is current talent retiring from the workforce. That means for aspiring project managers that now is the perfect time to start a career in PM. Organizations in turn need to make an active effort to find and train the right talent as soon as possible.

Consequences of the widening gap                                          

Project management plays an important role in increasing the productivity of organizations and countries. It is predicted that project-oriented industries will contribute US $20.2 trillion to the GDP of the 11 analyzed countries. Vice versa, if organizations do not react quickly to ameliorate the shortage, they risk a GDP loss of US $208 billion.


PMI Report: Job Growth and Talent Gap 2017 – 2027

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Job openings in project-oriented sectors

Previous studies have predicted the rapid growth of project-related jobs. In 2012 it was forecasted that there would be a total of 52.4 million project-related jobs, but by 2017 there are already 65.9 million jobs in the field. It’s notable that even industries that were traditionally less project-oriented, have put a bigger emphasis on project management. The biggest number of job openings in the next ten years will occur in traditionally project-oriented industries:

  • Manufacturing and construction: 9.7 million
  • Information services and publishing: 5.5 million
  • Finance and insurance: 4.6 million
  • Management and professional services: 1.7 million
  • Utilities: 279,000
  • Oil and gas: 49,000

New jobs for project talent per year

Particularly developing economies such as China and India will see a drastic growth in demand for project talent in the next decade. These two countries are projected to have new project job openings of 1.1 million (China) and 706,682 (India) per year until 2027. The US will have 213,974 job openings for project talent per year. New job openings per year in the other analyzed countries:

  • Brazil: 56,440
  • Japan: 36,979
  • UK: 16,820
  • Germany: 11,690
  • Australia: 9,990
  • Canada: 8,964
  • Saudi Arabia: 2,695
  • UAE: 2,051

High demand for PM talent leads to a higher average salary and salary growth  

For anyone who is considering a career in PM, this means that now is the best time to do so, because the prospects are very good. Another argument that speaks for a PM career is that the high demand for talent leads to a higher average salary and salary growth compared to non-project-related occupations. The median salary for project-oriented occupations in the US in 2017 is $105,000 while workers in non-project-oriented occupations earn a median wage of $58,000.


Read the full report here: Project Management Job Growth and Talent Gap 2017-2027

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