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project management job outlook

  • A-Z INDEX |

    Occupational Outlook Handbook

Management Occupations

Workers in these occupations establish plans and policies, direct business activities, and oversee people, products, and services.

Overall employment in management occupations is projected to grow 8 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations; this increase is expected to result in about 883,900 new jobs over the decade. In addition to new jobs from growth, opportunities arise from the need to replace workers who leave their occupations permanently. About 1.1 million openings each year, on average, are projected to come from growth and replacement needs.

The median annual wage for this group was $102,450 in May 2021, which was the highest of all the major occupational groups and more than the median annual wage for all occupations of $45,760.

BLS employment projections, wage, and other data for related occupations not shown in the following table are available on the  Data for Occupations Not Covered in Detail  page. Information highlighting physical demands, cognitive and mental requirements, and other qualifications for workers in this group are available in a BLS Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS) profile.


Administrative services and facilities managers plan, direct, and coordinate activities that help an organization run efficiently.

Bachelor's degree $99,290

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers plan programs to generate interest in products or services.

Bachelor's degree $133,380

Architectural and engineering managers plan, direct, and coordinate activities in the fields of architecture and engineering.

Bachelor's degree $152,350

Compensation and benefits managers plan, develop, and oversee programs to pay employees.

Bachelor's degree $127,530

Computer and information systems managers plan, coordinate, and direct computer-related activities in an organization.

Bachelor's degree $159,010

Construction managers plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects from start to finish.

Bachelor's degree $98,890

Elementary, middle, and high school principals oversee all school operations, including daily school activities.

Master's degree $98,420

Emergency management directors prepare plans and procedures for responding to natural disasters or other emergencies. They also help lead the response during and after emergencies.

Bachelor's degree $76,730

Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers run establishments that produce crops, livestock, and dairy products.

High school diploma or equivalent $73,060

Financial managers create financial reports, direct investment activities, and develop plans for the long-term financial goals of their organization.

Bachelor's degree $131,710

Food service managers are responsible for the daily operation of restaurants or other establishments that prepare and serve food and beverages.

High school diploma or equivalent $59,440

Human resources managers plan, coordinate, and direct the administrative functions of an organization.

Bachelor's degree $126,230

Industrial production managers oversee the operations of manufacturing and related plants.

Bachelor's degree $103,150

Lodging managers ensure that guests have a pleasant experience at an accommodations facility. They also plan, direct, or coordinate activities to ensure that the facility is efficient and profitable.

High school diploma or equivalent $59,430
Medical and health services managers plan, direct, and coordinate the business activities of healthcare providers.

Bachelor's degree $101,340

Natural sciences managers supervise the work of scientists, including chemists, physicists, and biologists.

Bachelor's degree $137,900

Postsecondary education administrators oversee student services, academics, and faculty research at colleges and universities.

Master's degree $96,910

Preschool and childcare center directors supervise and lead their staffs, design program plans, oversee daily activities, and prepare budgets.

Bachelor's degree $47,310

Property, real estate, and community association managers oversee many aspects of residential, commercial, or industrial properties.

High school diploma or equivalent $59,230

Public relations managers direct the creation of materials that will enhance the public image of their employer or client. Fundraising managers coordinate campaigns that bring in donations for their organization.

Bachelor's degree $119,860

Sales managers direct organizations' sales teams.

Bachelor's degree $127,490

Social and community service managers coordinate and supervise programs and organizations that support public well-being.

Bachelor's degree $74,000

Top executives plan strategies and policies to ensure that an organization meets its goals.

Bachelor's degree $98,980

Training and development managers plan, coordinate, and direct skills- and knowledge-enhancement programs for an organization’s staff.

Bachelor's degree $120,130

2021 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

Last Modified Date: Thursday, September 8, 2022

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project management job outlook

Is Project Management the Right Career for You?

project management job outlook

Use this guide to make an informed choice.

Curious about project management as a career option? What does this job entail? Is it for you? The authors have been in project management for about two decades and they answer some questions you might have before deciding if this is the right career for you.

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The Covid-19 pandemic has caused massive disruptions globally. According to several studies, governments will spend more than $10 trillion on reconstruction projects in the next 10 years. This means there will be millions of projects — more than ever — put into production within the decade, and each will require a project manager.

Project management jobs are already aplenty. Do a quick search on LinkedIn and thousands of roles will pop into your feed. To the point, we did a search while writing this article and found more than half a million openings in the United States alone. These are just a few indicators that the project economy is here to stay.

If you’re curious about this career, now is a great time to start learning about the field, what it takes to land a project management role, and if it is the right path for you.

Let’s start with the basics.

The role “project manager” is exactly what it sounds like: a person responsible for the day-to-day management of a given project. Think of this position as the chef d’orchestre , football coach, or a CEO of a temporary team who works to create, manage, and track a project from start to finish. Almost every industry — from tech to retail to publishing — requires people with this skillset.  As a project manager, you could be employed by a startup or a big corporation. You could work full-time, freelance, or even be a consultant.

A big advantage of this career is that the skills required are transferable. Project managers often have the flexibility to easily move between industries. One of us (Antonio) spent 10 years in consulting, moved to banking, got bored, and ended up working in pharma. The other (Yasmina) stayed in the telecom industry, but managed a wide range of projects — from software to mobile delivery.

Knowing all this, you might be thinking, “But is this something I can actually do?”

The answer is, yes. You may not have all the skills right now, but with dedication, perseverance, and passion, anyone can learn to be an outstanding project manager. Based on our experience, we’ll answer some questions you may have, whether you are a fresh graduate or someone in the early stages of their career.

1) What does a project manager really do?

In the broadest sense, project managers are responsible for planning, organizing, and managing the completion of a project, while ensuring that it delivers the expected results on time, on budget, and within scope.

The exact duties of a project manager will depend on their industry, organization, and the types of projects that the manager is tasked with overseeing. But broadly, all project managers share responsibilities across what’s commonly referred to as the “project life cycle.” It consists of four phases:

2) What basic skills do I need to apply for a project manager position?

You’ll need to have a mix of hard skills, soft skills, technical know-how, and an understanding of the business landscape you’ll be operating in.

Hard skills

You need a good understanding of basic project management concepts, methods, and tools that will help you make a reliable project plan, identify the stakeholders of your project, or manage the project risks.

More and more universities now offer project management courses, but you can also learn the basics by enrolling in online courses, listening to podcasts on the subject, and watching related webinars to keep up-to-date on any new developments.

You can also learn a great deal from people who are doing the job you want. If you’re curious about the role, reach out to project managers in your organization or those in your social circle for informational interviews . You can ask:

Once you have a few years of experience, we recommend that you undergo a project management certification. Two good options are those offered by Project Management Professional (PMP)® from the Project Management Institute and Axelos, PRINCE2® Foundation Project Management Certification. Having a professional and well-known accreditation will open doors to more project management assignments and propel your career forward.

Soft skills

In this role, you will need to learn to communicate well, to actively listen to your colleagues and stakeholders, and to motivate your team. These are skills that we often pick up at school, for example by collaborating with peers on a presentation, leading a field trip, organizing an event, or participating in debates. Still, they can easily dull without practice, and so must be continuously honed.

Here is an overview of some of the most relevant ones and tips on how to practice them:

Remember that you won’t acquire these people skills overnight. It’s important that you’re patient and persistent.

Technical know-how

You will also need to have a minimum understanding of the technical aspects involved in the project. For example, if you’re implementing a new HR application, you must take the time to comprehend some of the technical aspects of the software, like the phases of the development, the configuration tools, or how it is tested and integrated.

You don’t need to become an expert; a certain level of understanding will give you credibility with the team and the stakeholders. It will also help you justify a course of action when talking with your sponsor. If you’re interested in a project that’s centered on a topic or industry you are less familiar with, you can take an introductory course, read literature on the topic, or talk to subject matter experts to learn more. For example, you might say: “I’m new to the field. I don’t intend to become a technical expert like you, but I’d like to get a general understanding of X so that I can be effective in my new role and helpful to my team. Would you mind meeting me to share some insights?’

This should not be a one-off exercise. Make sure that you have a plan on how to keep your technical knowledge up to date depending on what projects you work on.

A basic understanding of the business landscape

Last, but not least, being able to connect the project outcomes to concrete business challenges and the strategic goals of your organization is essential for project buy-in and success. Most of the stakeholders, including senior management, will be more supportive of the project when that connection is made because they will clearly see that the project contributes to an organizational priority.

For example, if your organization works in the social development field, and you’re asked to manage a project to increase access to education in Mauritania, you should have knowledge of the different educational systems  — which are the most successful, why, and which alternatives will best fit the specific needs the project wants to address.

Doing this work will help you better define your project and how its purpose fits with your organization’s priorities. In addition, when you are able to make these connections and explain them to your team members, you bring much more purpose (and motivation) to their work.

3) What kind of opportunities are available in project management?

Project manager roles take different job titles: project manager, delivery manager, scrum manager, agile coach, product manager. The titles can vary, depending on the country or region you’re in, but what’s important is that you understand the requirements, responsibilities, and the impact of your role so you can make informed decisions.

According to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the largest and fastest project management oriented employment growth will be in software development — a projected increase of 14% between 2019 and 2030. Much of this growth will come from the development of mobile applications, IT security, and a rise in health care technology.

The current leading industries are manufacturing and construction, information and publishing, finance, and insurance. When it comes to growth by region , four-fifths of the project management employment growth will occur in China and South Asia alone.

There isn’t a unique playbook here. Career success doesn’t only translate into  climbing your organization’s hierarchy . You could also consider exploring other development paths, like we have done, such as participating in strategic, frontline projects or leading a global project team. These experiences can be both enriching and rewarding.

4) How do I figure out which companies have the best opportunities?

You can find project management opportunities in all sorts of industries. But which one is good for you? Here are some questions you can as suring your interview to guide your decision:

5) Do I have to specialize in one area or can I manage different kinds of projects?

This is a question we get asked often. Our answer is: initially “yes,” but in the long term “no.”

As a fresh graduate or early career professional, we recommend choosing a project in your area of expertise to maximize your success rate and increase your self-confidence. When you gain more experience as a project manager, you’ll have the following choices: stick to the same kind of projects, remain in the same industry but in a different technical field, or move from one domain to another.

When you apply for a new job, your experiences on the ground, your technical expertise, a project certification will determine your success. The best way to grow and develop a career in project management is through continuous learning.

Becoming a successful project manager is not only about your experiences on the ground, your technical expertise, or a project management certification. It is about the opportunity to amplify your learning and to build strong relationships with your stakeholders. By embracing a career in project management, you’ll make your own small contribution to shaping a better future for humankind—which is more important now than ever before.

Good luck with all your projects and your career as a project manager!

project management job outlook

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Job Outlook for Project Managers

A degree may open the door to a variety of opportunities and diverse career paths. The degree programs offered at AIU will not necessarily lead to the featured careers. This collection of articles is intended to help inform and guide you through the process of determining which level of degree and types of certifications align with your desired career path.

Project management can be a great career option for highly organized individuals who enjoy complex planning and process-oriented work. Because many different industries rely on project managers to get their products and services to market on time and as promised, the demand for project management jobs often corresponds to market trends and growth. With demand for project managers through 2027 increasing at a faster rate compared to other occupations, 1 today’s job outlook for project manager roles and project manager job growth appears favorable.

Project Management Job Growth

The future of project management is predicted to be one of increasing demand, with an overall positive career outlook for project management professionals. The Project Management Institute (PMI) reports an "extraordinarily positive jobs outlook for skilled project professionals." Pointing to a rising need for project management professionals globally as well as a larger portion of the existing professional talent pool reaching retirement age, they estimate that employers will need 87.7 million individuals working in project management-oriented roles by 2027. 1

The PMI also points out that a number of industries are seeing an increased demand for project management positions as these fields change, particularly those with rapidly changing technology needs. 1

Industries with the highest levels of expected project management job growth include: 1

Now that we’ve explored the general career outlook for project management roles, you may be wondering, “What do project managers do exactly, and how do you get into project management as a career path?” Below we cover the basics of the field and some common entry-level jobs.

What is Project Management?

PMI defines project management as "the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements." 4 Working across multiple industries and in many different types of companies (from production to finance to healthcare), project managers coordinate internal efforts to make sure all projects are completed according to plan, on budget and to desired quality standards.

Job duties may include ensuring that timelines are met for all projects (both new and ongoing). In order to keep processes running smoothly, a project manager works with various internal teams to set realistic expectations and create reasonable timelines and plans for completion of projects. This may also involve checking in with all departments involved to make sure they have the resources needed to complete the project. For this reason, those who seek project management opportunities must be flexible and able to adjust to new demands or market conditions as well as being highly organized and able to maintain clear documentation of many different tasks and sub-tasks in multiple stages of completion. 5

Possible Project Management Jobs

Because project managers deal with process planning, sometimes getting input from multiple departments, they don't necessarily need to be subject-matter experts. This means that, in addition to the positive job outlook for project managers reported by PMI, there is often a wide variety of opportunities for those looking to get into the project management field as well.

PMI lists project management within a number of different fields and sub-categories, including: 1

Should You Pursue a Project Management Degree?

If the future of project management is appealing to you, an online project management degree could help you start down that path. While educational requirements will vary by industry, company and position, the PMI requires at least some kind of secondary degree for most of their project management certifications . Additionally, a project management degree (often offered within a business administration program) can offer well-rounded instruction in workflow and management strategies, creative problem solving techniques, budgeting, resource management and other skills needed to oversee complex projects in an organization.

It may be possible to move into project management roles after working for a few years in other entry-level positions in a company. However, a degree may offer students an opportunity to develop project management skills in advance of or alongside actual work experience with a chance to develop useful on-the-job skills before entering the workforce. You may still want to look into the various professional certifications available when considering advanced positions, but for those who want to enter the project management field and take advantage of project management opportunities as soon as possible, an online project management degree can be great preparation.

1. Project Management Institute, Project Management Job Growth and Talent Gap 2017–2027, on the Internet at https://www.pmi.org/-/media/pmi/documents/public/pdf/learning/job-growth-report.pdf?sc_lang_temp=en (visited on February 22, 2019). 2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, "Computer and Information Systems Managers: Summary," on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm (visited February 22, 2019). This data represents national figures and is not based on school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. 3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, "Construction Managers: Summary," on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/construction-managers.htm (visited February 22, 2019). This data represents national figures and is not based on school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. 4. Project Management Institute, "What is Project Management?" on the Internet at https://www.pmi.org/about/learn-about-pmi/what-is-project-management (visited on February 22, 2019). 5. Project Management Institute, "Who Are Project Managers?" on the Internet at https://www.pmi.org/about/learn-about-pmi/who-are-project-managers (visited on February 22, 2019).

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What Is a Project Manager? A Career Guide

Learn about skills, salary, requirements, and reasons to consider a versatile career in project management.

[Featured Image] A project manager in business casual clothing leans against cardboard boxes and talks to their coworker.

What is a project manager?

A project manager is a professional who organizes, plans, and executes projects while working within restraints like budgets and schedules. Project managers lead entire teams, define project goals, communicate with stakeholders, and see a project through to its closure. Whether running a marketing campaign, constructing a building, developing a computer system, or launching a new product, the project manager is responsible for the success or failure of the project.

The project manager role is in demand in just about every industry. Let’s take a closer look at what project managers do, why you should consider a career in project management, and how you can get started.

What does a project manager do? Tasks and responsibilities

A project is typically divided into five different phases: initiation, planning, execution, and closure. 

Throughout the project lifecycle of a project, the project manager is responsible for:

Defining the scope of the project

Staying on schedule

Planning a project’s cost and sticking to a budget

Managing project resources (including teams and workers)

Documenting the progress of the project

Communicating with stakeholders

Assessing risks


Leading quality assurance

The sheer variety of tasks means no two days on the job (or two projects) are quite the same. On any given day, you might be interviewing and hiring new talent, managing team meetings, reallocating resources to cover an unexpected expense, or updating stakeholders on the progress of the project.

Learn more about the lifecycle of a project in this video.


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Course 1 of 6 in the Google Project Management: Professional Certificate

Essential skills for project management

In this position, you play a key role in a company’s success. While many technical and workplace skills go into efficient project management, honing these five skills can help you build a foundation for success in the field:

Leadership: You’ll lead a team to achieve a goal.

Communication: You’re often the first line of communication for team members, vendors, stakeholders, and customers.

Organization: The ability to prioritize and multitask will keep projects running smoothly.

Critical thinking: Analyzing and evaluating a situation critically helps prevent issues before they happen.

A sense of humor: Approaching a project with a positive attitude can ease stress and energize your team.

Project management can be a challenging career, but you’ll never face those challenges alone. You’ll often work alongside team members and use software or online tools specifically designed to streamline the process. The specific project management software depends on the project or company but will often include the capability to track time and budgets, create plans and reports, manage invoices, and share calendars across multiple teams. 

Read more: 11 Key Project Management Skills

Project management methodologies

As you learn more about project planning, you may encounter terms like Agile , Scrum, or Waterfall. These refer to various methodologies—a set of guiding principles or strategies—for managing a project. Common approaches and methodologies include:

XP (Extreme Programming)

Choosing a methodology (or a combination of methodologies) is one of the first decisions you’ll make as a project manager. Which you choose will depend on the industry and type of project. 

For example, if you’re working in software development, you may choose to employ Agile techniques. Scrum, an approach to Agile management, uses daily team meetings and short (for example 30-day) “sprints” to develop projects quickly and efficiently. The Lean method, developed by Toyota in the 1970s, seeks to maximize value and minimize waste. It’s still commonly used in the manufacturing industry.

Read more: 12 Project Management Methodologies: Your Guide

Why pursue a career in project management

Just about every company has projects. That means just about every company could use a project manager. 

Whether you’re interested in construction, architecture, fashion, design, computer science, robotics, or something else entirely, chances are you’ll be able to use project management skills in your career. And since it’s such a versatile career, you can leverage these transferable skills to enhance your resume, no matter where your career takes you.

Read more: How to Become a Project Manager: 5 Steps

How much do project managers make?

According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), the median annual project manager salary across all industries in the United States is $115,000 [ 1 ]. Most project managers earn between $93,000 and $140,000, with industries like consulting, resources, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, and food and beverage offering the most compensation [2] .

Project management: Job outlook

According to the Job Growth and Talent Gap report from PMI, employers will need to fill some 2.2 million new project management-oriented roles each year through 2027 [ 3 ]. Job seekers with a combination of leadership and technical skills will find themselves in demand in the coming years.

Industries like health care, manufacturing and construction, information services and publishing, finance and insurance, and management and professional services are expected to see the biggest growth in project-oriented roles, according to the PMI report.

Project manager qualifications

Project management is diverse, and you’ll find that qualifications often vary by industry and company. When looking at what you need to build a career in project management, consider two main areas: education and certification.

Higher education

A bachelor's degree is typically the minimum requirement to become a project manager with 68 percent of professionals holding a bachelor's degree and 14 percent holding a master's degree [ 4 ]. Many project managers have a degree in business, computer science , or an industry-related field. While not always a strict requirement, a degree can help you develop the leadership skills you’ll need on the job. Some companies may look for candidates with a graduate degree such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Master of Science in Management (MSM).


Whether you’re just graduating from college or looking to pivot to a new career in project management, a professional certificate or certification could help enhance your resume to make you more appealing to hiring managers. 

Project Management Professional (PMP): If you already have a few years of experience working on projects in a professional setting, you can advance your career with the PMP credential from the Project Management Institute (PMI). The UCI Project Management Professional Certificate fulfills the educational requirements for the PMP exam. By earning this certificate, you’ll prepare yourself to pass the exam, and receive a university-issued credential for your resume. Learn more about how to get a PMP certification .

Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM): If you're just getting started in project management, the CAPM is an entry-level project management certification also administered by the PMI. Designed for those without formal project management experience, it can help open a path to several entry-level project management positions. Read more about the CAPM certification .


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Start your path to a career in project management. In this program, you’ll learn in-demand skills that will have you job-ready in less than six months. No degree or experience is required.

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Skills you'll build:

Organizational Culture, Career Development, Strategic Thinking, Change Management, Project Management, Stakeholder Management, Business Writing, Project Charter, Project Planning, Risk Management, Task Estimation, Procurement, Quality Management, Project Execution, Coaching, Influencing, Agile Management, Problem Solving, Scrum, Effective Communication

Career pathways in project management

Getting your first job is only the beginning. As you hone your skills and see projects to completion, you’ll find new pathways to advancement. Here’s a look at the hierarchy of project management roles. Keep in mind these might vary from organization to organization:

Career LevelTasks
Project coordinatorAssists with administrative tasks for specific projects
Project manager IManages small projects under supervision of the Senior PM
Project manager IIManages one large project or several smaller projects
Project manager IIIManages multiple or high-priority projects
Senior project managerLeads multiple project teams or programs
Program managerOversees a group of related projects to deliver outcomes that benefit the organization
Portfolio managerManages an organization’s collection of projects and programs
Director of Project Management Office (PMO)Directs strategic planning of multiple projects and reports to executive management

Getting started in project management

Choosing a career as a project manager could open up doors in multiple industries. If you’re ready to take the next steps toward this new career, learn more about earning a Professional Certificate such as the Google Project Management Professional Certificate through Coursera.

Article sources

Project Management Institute. " Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey—Twelfth Edition (2021) , https://www.pmi.org/-/media/pmi/documents/public/pdf/learning/pmi_salary_survey_12th_edition_freeversion_final.pdf." Accessed August 30, 2022.

Northeastern University. " How Much Does a Project Manager Make? , https://www.northeastern.edu/graduate/blog/ways-to-increase-pmp-salary/." Accessed August 30, 2022.

Project Management Institute. " Project Management Job Growth and Talent Gap 2017–2027 , https://www.pmi.org/learning/careers/job-growth." Accessed August 30, 2022.

Zippia. " Project manager education requirements , https://www.zippia.com/project-manager-jobs/education/." Accessed August 30, 2022.

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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Project Management | 2021 Job Outlook

Project Management | 2021 Job Outlook

Industry Advice Management

Project managers are vital in today’s fast-paced, results-oriented workplaces. By overseeing every aspect of a project from conception to completion, trained project managers have the tools required to keep any scope of work on track.

As project managers become more and more instrumental in the successful completion of work across industries, the job outlook for project managers continues to improve, as well. Read on to learn what the work of a project manager entails, how much these professionals earn, and how you can stay competitive in this growing field. 

Download Our Free Guide to Advancing Your Project Management Career

Learn what you need to know, from in-demand skills to the industry’s growing job opportunities.


Project Management Responsibilities

At the most basic level, a project manager’s responsibility is to guide a project toward completion, but the actual process of doing so is much more complex. Their work begins with a project initiation phase , in which the main objectives of the work are defined, contributing parties are identified, expectations are set, and the scope statement for the work is fully established. 

Next comes the planning phase , in which project managers meet with stakeholders and develop an actionable process for the project to follow. This includes establishing the project’s scope, budget, timeline, risk, etc., and identifying the key deliverables and tasks that make up the scope of this work.

The executing phase begins when the individual members of the project team are ready to embark upon their tasks. During this stage, project managers primarily focus on time management , facilitating communications, streamlining processes, and adapting the project scope to reflect any changes. Throughout this phase—as well as during initiation and planning—project managers must also work to monitor the processes they have set in place. This includes ensuring timelines are being followed, budgets are being respected, and key milestones are being reached.

The final stage of a project is the closing phase , in which the project manager makes sure all activities have been successfully completed throughout the scope of the work. This phase also includes working with the stakeholders to ensure all their expectations have been met, releasing any resources held for the project, and archiving any necessary files for future reference.

Though project managers may also have to own very industry-specific tasks depending on the organization they work for, these phases outline the general responsibilities of a project manager.

Project Management Job Outlook

Considering the growing reliance on project managers across industries, individuals trained in this discipline have a very promising career outlook. As of 2017, 71 percent of global organizations had a project management office, and those numbers have continued to increase over time. It’s estimated that an additional 22 million jobs will be added in the sector by 2027, representing a projected 33 percent growth for the industry. This growth trend is also expected to generate a total of 88 million jobs in the field worldwide by that time.

However, alongside this exciting career outlook comes the concern of a talent gap between the number of individuals needed for these roles, and the number of people actually qualified to do the work. For this reason, those hoping to change careers might consider earning an advanced degree and becoming qualified to work in the project management industry. In the same regard, existing project managers will likely need to invest in further education in order to not only stay abreast of changes in this fast-evolving industry but to also remain competitive as others undoubtedly prepare for a career in this fruitful field, as well.

Project Management Salaries

The median salary for project managers to be $116,000 per year . While most in this field make between $90,000 and $140,000 annually, there are quite a few factors that determine where on this scale a project manager might fall. These factors include the individual’s education and experience level, the size of the organization they are working with, where their organization is located, and even their own declared specialization in the field.

Learn More: How Much Do Project Managers Make?

There are a variety of steps project managers can take to ensure that they are on the higher end of the pay scale. Those willing to relocate, for instance, should consider moving to cities where project managers make above the national average —including New York City, Houston, Atlanta, and Chicago—or even to countries like Switzerland or Australia, which offer average salaries of $ 132,086 and $101,381, respectively.

Others looking to find that competitive edge in the industry might aim instead to earn a graduate degree in order to obtain a mid- or senior-level project management position, expand their skill sets, and increase their overall salary potential. After all, graduates of advanced degree programs in general earn up to 28 percent more on average than those with just a bachelor’s degree.

Gearing Up For Success in a Growing Field

Pursuing an advanced degree in project management is a strategic way to stay relevant in this thriving industry.

Elevate Your Skills

Learning about project management from industry leaders will help elevate your skills while also enabling you to keep up with project management practices and tools that are timely and relevant. For example, the reliance on project management software for high-performing projects has increased to 77 percent in 2018. Now, more than ever, project managers need to have a current understanding of these types of programs in order to complete their work. A master’s in project management program provides the necessary exposure to and training on these types of practices needed to keep project managers prepared for these changing elements of the industry.

Gain Relevant Industry Experience 

Alongside the exposure to relevant tools and practices, pursuing an advanced degree at an institution that places great value on experiential learning also gives you an edge in this competitive industry. Experiential learning provides students with hands-on exposure to real-world projects and processes, unparalleled access to top companies, and valuable networking opportunities that can positively impact your career post-graduation.

Learn More: 5 Reasons a Master’s in Project Management is Worth It

Finally, the opportunity to declare a project management concentration while in grad school is a major benefit for those who want to increase their salary. The opportunity for specialization allows professionals to hone in on the specific industry, methodology , or discipline they’re interested in post-graduation and tailor their studies to best set themselves up for success. 

Those who choose to focus on a particular industry while in school, for instance, may earn a higher salary than their peers when they graduate. For example, PayScale reports that a general project manager might make between $48,000 and $111,000 per year on average, whereas a PM who specializes in IT could make anywhere between $55,000 and $125,000 per year.

Declare a Specialization

Similarly, project managers hoping to stand out in a competitive field may consider specializing in product , program , portfolio , or operations management. This decision can also subsequently increase your earning potential in the field: Program and portfolio managers earn an annual average of $127,517 and $140,780 , respectively, compared to a general project manager’s $91,245 earned annually.

Those interested in the benefits of a concentration within their graduate program should consider Northeastern’s Master of Science in Project Management , which provides a built-in opportunity for students to declare a specialization. Currently, Northeastern students can choose from concentrations in:

No matter their reasons, project managers looking to stay ahead in this constantly growing industry should consider advancing their education through either a graduate degree or the completion of a project management certification .

Learn more about how Northeastern’s Master of Science in Project Management program can set you up for success in this thriving field.

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Did you know.

Employers will need to fill 2.2 million new project-oriented roles each year through 2027. (PMI, 2017)

Master of Science in Project Management

Behind every successful project is a leader who forged its path.

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How to Use Microsoft Outlook for Project Management

Manage emails, projects, and tasks from one place in Microsoft Outlook. Here's how.

If you or your business already use Microsoft Outlook as your email application, it's a good idea to use it as a full-fledged tool for project management. Why use another hefty software with an unfamiliar interface when you can assign tasks, set reminders, and due dates to your task lists in Microsoft Outlook?

Maximizing your productivity is an easy affair with Microsoft Outlook. It comes embedded with numerous useful tools that help you categorize projects, label them, and do so much more. Let's take a look at all that you can do with Microsoft Outlook as a project management tool.

1. Assign Tasks

If you work with a small team, assigning tasks is simple and effortless when you're using Microsoft Outlook. Go to To-Do on the left panel and proceed to Add a task . Once you've added the task, right-click and choose Create new list from this task .

After you've made the task list, right-click and select Share list . You'll have the option to Create Invitation link for people to allow people to join and edit this task list. This feature is incredibly useful for sorting projects within a small or mid-size team.

2. Add an Email Alias

Work updates and project communication can get lost in the flurry of everyday emails you receive, even when you're being too careful. One missed email can lead to delays and demurs of all kinds. One simple way of dealing with this problem is by creating an email alias in Microsoft Outlook.

It's an additional email address that uses the same contact list and settings to receive emails. You can do it by going to Add an Alias and creating a new email address, or using an existing one to work as your alias. All emails received at this address would be put in a special project management software, by default.

3. Create a Group

If you're trying to keep all the project members informed on all project updates, you can create a group easily. This also makes the task of sharing calendars easier (more on that later).

Go to People on the left panel, and look for Groups and create one. You'll be asked to add members, and once you've done that, you'll be shown a group email ID where you can send all project-related mails and be given access to the group calendar. You can set new events, get updated on the upcoming ones, and stay ahead of deadlines.

4. Share Calendars

There's nothing better than being on the same page when you're working on a project. Project visibility is crucial to project success. A good way to ensure that is by sharing a project calendar that's accessible to all members of the project.

RELATED: How to Make Outlook Less Distracting With These Quick Tips

You can not only see what others are working on, but also focus on event milestones and key project events that are upcoming. With a calendar integration like that, you're bound to never miss important updates. Now, you can share your calendar with your contacts.

You'll find the share option on the top right, and you can also choose to reflect the project group's calendar activities to show up on your calendar to stay updated.

5. Use Rules to Drive a Project

If you'd like to automate a few mundane processes and take charge of your email inbox as well as your project, there's no better way to do that than using rules. To get started, you can simply right-click on an email and go to Advanced actions .

Click on a Create Rule from the drop-down . You can either choose to move the existing email to a folder of your choice, and if you'd like to do more, select More Options . You can also add an action and decide what happens every time you receive a mail from this recipient.

6. Categorize Everything

When your work is remote and a lot of communication happens over email, it is best to categorize and label different projects so that you don't miss out on important correspondence. You can right-click an email and choose Categorize from the drop-down. Now, you can either choose from the categories already available or proceed to create a new one.

If you have to introduce changes to an existing category, you can do that in Manage Categories .

7. Use the Search Bar

If you are not a believer in categorizing everything or putting labels to your emails, you can just use the search bar to look for project emails. Give a relevant keyword, and it will find exactly what you're looking for, every single time.

RELATED: How to Color Categorize Your Outlook Calendar

The search bar lets you search specifically in a folder of your choice, or a subfolder, thus making your task way easier. It saves time as well as a great deal of effort. Moreover, you can also search in deleted emails, conversation history, or specify other details like subject, keyword, and recipient to help find what you're looking for.

8. Make New Folders to Differentiate Projects

You can always set up a new folder to contain information about a project. When you do that, the chances of mixing up projects or missing important emails and deadlines would be reduced to a minimum. Click on the three lines at the top left of your screen, and go to the end of the drop-down.

There, you'll find New Folder , and it'll take you less than a second to make a new folder.

9. Use Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and OneNote

Microsoft Outlook or its web version Outlook.com comes embedded with Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and OneNote. You can access Microsoft's suite of productivity software easily from the home page. You can find them on the left panel, and you can get started in no time.

These integrations help you do presentations, add notes, create spreadsheets, and documents, in no time—all from the convenience of one singular screen.

Microsoft Outlook Makes Project Management Easier

Perfect for remote teams who work online, Microsoft Outlook is extremely useful for assigning tasks and automating mundane tasks. When you have the option to create new folders, subfolders, email aliases, and sort everything into categories, nothing can go wrong.

Microsoft Outlook can be useful for your project management by allowing you to create tasks from an email, create sticky notes, and create boards, so that you can see everything at a glance. With a project management tool that comes with your email application's familiar interface, you can stay on top of your productivity tools anywhere, at any time.


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