Ed Naughton

Positive Future Demand for Project Managers

A number of reports by economists and researchers indicate that global demand for individuals who are appropriately educated in the principles and tenets of project, program and portfolio management will increase dramatically over the next decade.

This is due in large measure to the growth of projectized industries.

A report in The McKinsley Quarterly said that $12 trillion – or one fifth of the world’s GDP – will be invested in projects each year in the next decade.

The world economy is increasingly dominated by projects.

A 2008 study by Anderson Economic Group reported that overall demand for workers in project-oriented occupations is growing faster than in other occupations.

At the same time, the supply of qualified project professionals will be falling during the next decade.

Many experience project managers are nearing the retirement age and not enough individuals are entering the profession every year.

In the next decade, PMI may see 30 percent or more of its current 330,000 members entering retirement while the Australian Institute of Project management (AIPM) also estimates one-third of project managers in Australia will retire in the same timeframe.

Because the profession is extremely young (formally established in the 1960s) there is not enough awareness of its importance among the growing generation of students and workers.

Anderson also validated the global project management talent gap by looking at 10 global economies.

The economies were selected for their potential growth of projects and demand for project management professionals.

Of the $4.5 trillion forecast increase in project investment by 2016, about $200 billion will be at risk from project management skills shortages.

So despite world economic woes, project managers can take comfort in the fact that they are part of a profession that is likely to be in demand.

Ed Naughton
Director General Institute of Project Management

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  1. 1.

    PM Hut

    “At the same time, the supply of qualified project professionals will be falling during the next decade.”

    I think this should be changed to:

    “At the same time, the supply of quality project professionals will be falling during the next decade.”

    The number of certified Project Managers is increasingly exponentially at the moment, due to the huge demand. Schools are giving degrees as well as accelerated courses in Project Management, where the students are young people who were never exposed to a project (not even as developers).

    The quality of Project Managers is certainly going into the wrong direction, namely because schools think that you can start your career life as a Project Manager. Project Management is about experience, and not a certification (check http://www.pmhut.com/the-pmp-is-not-a-panacea ).

    I wonder how Projects will be managed by a certified someone with only a theoretical experience.

    Monday 30th November 2009, 7:49 pm

  2. 2.


    Most definately PM comes with experience though a formal qualification puts the experience in perpective.
    In college, pm is demonsrated to the student through the final year project and on completion it(the project) is analysed, at least it should be.
    I would recommend a formal qualification after some years experience on projects. It seems to me that everyone wants to be a project manager whether they have the experience or not…

    Thursday 3rd December 2009, 1:01 pm

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