Skills In Need – Why Are Project Managers So In Demand?

We keep hearing in the press, industry publications and in fact pretty much everywhere that project managers are in high demand and that this demand is only expected to continue to grow over the course of the next few years at least. Just why, however, is there such a demand for those with project management qualifications and the skills that are needed alongside this? The answer is quite simply that projects are becoming increasingly more complex, and this means that there is a need for much more effective project management. Industry leaders and management at all levels are recognising that project management is a vital success factor when it comes to achieving the goals that they have set for their organisation.

Agile for the future

For those individuals in the project management field, agility is the way to not only fuel career growth but also relevance. For the companies that successfully adopt this methodology, agile offers the ability to do more than survive in a competitive workplace but also to thrive. Agility means continually learning, adapting, and building resilience. It is important that everyone works together in order to build a culture in which every individual has the necessary tools, the best guidance on their career path and the necessary skills in order to succeed.

If you are wondering just how you should be helping yourself to power your own path towards better success within your role, then read on. Here, we look at the skills that are in demand.

The role of Learning and Development

Those individuals who work as professionals in the field of learning and development need to make sure that the employees that they look after have all of the necessary skills that will enable them to navigate and improve their own immediate working environment. A recent report from LinkedIn Learning has looked at the skills that companies need now; these skills are based on a number of factors:

  • A range of current job postings.
  • The standard skills of those professionals who are targeted by recruiter mails.
  • Those individuals who were hired for a role in the last six months.

The list offers some valuable insights that can assist employees when it comes to growing their careers.

  1. Management
  2. Communication
  3. Customer service
  4. Leadership
  5. Sales
  6. Project management
  7. Research
  8. Analytical skills
  9. Marketing
  10. Teamwork

These top 10 skills that are in demand place project management at number 6. However, a closer look at the list will show that many of the skills on the list are not role specific but, in fact, the types of “soft skills” that are encompassed under the umbrella of project management.

There is no denying that project manager courses like AMP PPQ are essential for those looking to fill a professional role in the field of project management. However it is important that these human skills are not neglected as these are still vitally important, particularly with the increasing prevalence of hybrid working practises such as remote working, often referred to simply as working from home.

What are soft skills and why are they needed?

Soft skills, sometimes referred to as core skills or people skills, are the essentials that help anyone to be better at their job. They are of particular importance with the field of project management, where they can make all the difference to how well a project team can deal with the strains of a project. Plus, more importantly, how a project manager leads a project and interacts with the members of their team. Good soft skills can help to create a more cohesive unit where every team member feels like they have a voice and their contribution matters.

From the list of 10 identified skills, the majority of the skills mentioned are certainly considered to be essential for anyone in the field of project management, with the possible exception of sales. However, it could certainly be argued that, in fact, it is a good idea for any project manager to have at least a rudimentary understanding of sales skills in order to “sell” the elements of the project. This includes elements such as timescales, alterations to the budgets and even the elements of the project that are achievable to the project’s stakeholders.

If these skills are so much in demand across a number of industries and roles, then it isn’t hard to see why a project manager who will have worked hard to hone these skills in order to be the best they can be in a project manager role will be particularly in demand.

Project management training

Not everyone who decides to undertake project management training intends to look for a role within the field of project management. The foundation levels of project management training will offer some fantastic insights into teamwork and things like better communication skills that are ideal for a wider range of individuals.

Having said that, many people who just want to dip their toes in the idea of gaining a little understanding of project management often find themselves making a decision to take this learning further and gain a project management qualification. The reason for this is often simple; they quickly realise these are skills and knowledge that they can use in any industry and in a wider range of roles. Project management qualifications are not geared towards any particular industry, although specific industry knowledge is usually required for many project manager roles depending on the industry.

The skills that are essential to project management are highly sought after by employers from all industries. They appeal to those looking for ways in which they can keep their company moving forward within what is becoming an increasingly competitive marketplace. The realisation that project managers possess all of these skills in need in addition to the essential project management skills, has made them a highly sought-after profession and one that looks increasingly likely to be swelling its numbers in the coming years. Those who already have the necessary skills will find themselves in the enviable position of having their pick of the jobs, with plenty left for those who are newly qualified and looking for their first role.