When was the last time you picked up a pen and paper? Some of us might still leave reminders for ourselves on sticky notes instead of putting them in a notes app or creating them in Google, Siri or Alexa.
You might be racking your brain, wondering if you could even find sticky notes or a notepad at home if you needed one. If that is the case, you understand how much technological innovation has impacted the way today’s project management professionals do their jobs.
What Do Technology Trends Mean for Project Management?
Gone are the days of A3 worksheets in filing cabinets. Today’s project managers will not cut it in the competitive job market with process knowledge and organizational skills alone.
Indeed.com, one of the world’s largest platforms for applicants and talent seekers, emphasizes technical skills as a must-have for project managers: “Being tech-savvy and having hands-on experience with the latest technology can allow you to increase the speed of your team’s productivity. By knowing how to adapt to current technology trends, you may be able to increase output and your team’s ability to get things done effectively.”
Examples of recent advances in project management include:
- Software systems and artificial intelligence (AI): These tools have taken over a lot of manual repetitive planning, tracking and reporting tasks, allowing for more efficient and strategic work. In one Forbes article, Dana Brownlee describes the incorporation of AI as “shifting the Project Manager’s core focus to understanding how to leverage this technology to deliver more value for customers.”
- Data collection: With intelligence comes data, and once you have data, you need to do something with it to justify the investment of resources. This means that a significant part of professional development for project managers will include adding systems proficiency to their repertoire. Organizations are eager to leverage all this new data to scale, innovate and optimize their business.
- Information security (InfoSec): Every organization that handles client information, sensitive data or intellectual property needs to protect it, which requires an internal IT team focused on network security, among other responsibilities. That is where IT project managers come in.
- Remote workforce: It is a widely accepted reality that, since the COVID-19 pandemic, a significant portion of the workforce is remote or hybrid. The transition to remote’s success can be attributed to quality collaboration tools like cloud-based project management software.
What Is the Job Outlook in Project Management?
Project Management Institute (PMI) is a professional association for project managers and the leading authority in project management. The organization’s talent gap analysis indicates much higher-than-average demand for project management professionals.
According to PMI, “through 2027, the project management-oriented labor force in seven project-oriented sectors is expected to grow by 33 percent or nearly 22 million new jobs.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual income for a project management specialist has risen from $73,570 in 2020 to $94,500 in 2022, with the top 10% earning more than $159,140.
How Do I Get There?
The high demand for project management professionals is creating an academic and economic imperative to train new and aspiring project managers to thrive in this tech-focused environment.
One such program is the Master of Science in Management Information Systems at Lamar University. This program teaches students how to leverage leading systems such as Oracle’s Primavera P6. Online software reviewer Capterra describes Primavera P6 as “the only solution that integrates project and portfolio planning and delivery teams for planning, resourcing, risk mitigation, scheduling, and program management.” Additional platforms include Tableau, Advanced Excel, M.S. Access, SAS Visual Analytics and Salesforce.
The exposure to the enterprise systems developed through this program allows you to make an immediate organizational impact in your jobs. It also prepares you with specialized skills for career advancement.