You want a new job. But you don’t want to waste time applying to industries that have a surplus of skilled project resources. By knowing where the action is, you can target your applications and get yourself in front of the recruiters who are actively looking for people like you.
In this article, we’ll look at 5 industries where project management talent is at a premium. These are all great places to start your job search.
- Financial Services
Strayer University’s Strayer@Work Skills Index points out that there’s a 13% gap in project management skills in the financial services industry. The Skills Index is a real-time analysis, so there’s a chance the situation might look different in the coming months, but we think this is a realistic gap that is here to stay.
What this means is there’s more demand for financial services project managers than there are skilled project managers able to fit the role. It’s a good opportunity for project managers wanting a new challenge as great candidates will find themselves in demand.
How to break in: Financial Services is traditionally a more cautious industry. Routes into financial institutions could be through moving up through the ranks from a relatively junior Project Office position, or proving your transferable skills by demonstrating your experience in projects relating to IT, data, analytics or regulation.
The situation is even worse in healthcare, with the Strayer@Work analysis showing a big demand for program and project management skills that can’t be filled. The gaps at the time of writing are 38% and 37% respectively, so there’s a huge growth area for project managers wanting to move into healthcare, or for healthcare professionals to step sideways and grow their careers with a move into project management.
How to break in: Much of the growth in healthcare project management is to do with the increasing amount of technology in use in our hospitals and healthcare settings. Demonstrate that you have technical awareness by showcasing big data and digitalization projects. Being able to show that you have deep understanding of the need for security and confidentiality is important too, as projects often involve patient records.
- Engineering and Construction
Globally, engineering and construction are areas that have traditionally required project managers and will continue to do so. Think about growing economies: with urbanization in China and India soaring, project managers with skills in infrastructure projects are highly in demand.
Closer to home, these are still growth areas in some parts of the country. Where there’s investment and urban renewal, there will be the need for skilled project managers to help oversee and lead transformational change to our locales.
How to break in: It’s hard to move from an office-based project management job to one that sees you on site building roads, but it’s not impossible. Look for entry-level positions, join relevant professional bodies, reach out to professional staffing firms and network like crazy to find your perfect role.
Alongside construction and infrastructure projects comes a need to manage third parties and procurements. We’re predicting that project managers with experience of navigating government regulations and the challenges of dealing with politics in purchasing will be in demand.
Organizations are almost routinely looking for ways to save money. In increasingly competitive markets, cost savings are required to not only stay in business but to drive down the operating costs of a company to maximize profits and return on investment.
Someone who can negotiate a good financial outcome on elements of their project is definitely someone who can add value to the company’s bottom line. Equally, and more broadly, project managers who can deliver efficiencies with how they get work done, through making better use of lower cost offshore expert resources, for example, will also be highly in demand.
How to break in: Nearly every organization will have a procurement function, but a good bet will be to target larger professional services or consultancy firms who specialize in delivering savings for their clients. Alternatively, start building you experience in this area in your current job, so you can showcase the savings you have made on projects on your future job applications.
- Information Technology
It would be impossible to write about industries hiring project managers without mentioning IT. The January 2017 PM Network magazine from PMI® points to IT being one of the growth areas for project management in the USA. The article cites US Department of Labor statistics showing that management occupations including IT project management are expected to grow by around 6% between now and 2024. It might not seem much, but given the economic turmoil of recent years, this is a good uptick.
IT is a huge industry with recruitment needs ranging from security experts through to big data project managers, self-driving cars, artificial intelligence and The Internet of Things. That’s on top of the more common but still equally as necessary roles in software development and IT infrastructure project management.
How to break in: IT qualifications can show hiring managers that you have an awareness of the industry and the jargon, which will help you hit the ground running. Most projects have some element of IT, so get a good understanding of the complexities of the technology involved in whatever you are working on now.
Whatever your current or target industries, the good news is that project management skills are highly transferable. The technical and professional skills, plus the knowledge you have of working in a team and with other stakeholders, are all essential qualities for making your next career move, wherever you want to end up.
Want to change industries? We can help you seek out the area that’s the best fit for your skills and help you find the perfect job. Get in touch and let us help you find your next career move.