Project Career
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Last Updated: Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 21:02
  
India will need close to 400,000 new project professionals in various industries by 2020, says Raj Kalady while giving a low down on the career.

Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing, managing, leading, and controlling resources to achieve specific goals. It is the application of knowledge, skills and techniques to execute projects effectively and efficiently- a strategic competency for organisations, enabling them to tie project results to business goals — and thus, better compete in their markets.

Development of project management skills has become increasingly important as business success is closely related to the successful projects implementation. An adeptly performed project has a lasting effect on a company’s reputation and credibility and therefore provides the competitive advantage. Project Management is the entrepreneurial side of business. A formal education in project management is certainly the most sought after preference for people with a strong interest in strategic business activities, like creating and developing business opportunities, allocating appropriate levels of resources, and managing risk at the business portfolio level.

Prospects

Project management education in India has assumed great significance. It is a young but in-demand profession, which offers a great challenge as well as excitement. It is also a great way to earn a good income.

India has a high demand for project-oriented professionals from now through 2020. As per Anderson Economic Group’s study - ‘Estimating Project Management Practitioner Skills Gap, 2010-2020’, India is projected to need almost 400,000 new project professionals in project-oriented industries every year till 2020.

Not much in the business world would get accomplished today if tasks weren’t organized around projects. So it only follows that if you’re a more efficient project manager, you’ll be that much more valuable to prospective employers. With 400,000 positions predicted to open up every year up to 2020, this is the time to acquire skills that can teach you the process of project management.

Career Path

A recent report indicates that 25 per cent of companies that have reduced their headcounts in other specialties will still be hiring project managers.

While the availability of open positions is one part of the appeal of having a career in project management career path, the substantial salaries are another enticement. It’s the only profession where the income levels continue to rise despite recession. According to the Project Management Salary Survey- seventh edition, the median annualized salary of a project manager in India with 5 to 10 years of work experience is Rs 20, 00,000. The salaries will continue to climb, indicating not that project management professionals are demand, but also that organisations are increasingly recognising the value of trained project managers to their overall business goals.

Project management professionals possess skills that can be used in virtually any industry – from information technology to consumer goods to business services. This career mobility ensures that project managers can readily find work, even if their current industry is affected by an economic downturn or cyclical demand.

Skill Set

A project management aspirant should have good leadership skills and must be professional in dealing with authority. He or she must also have a great eye for details and must be competent. Other than the leadership qualities the person must also have certain amount of technical knowledge and skills such as execution, project risk identification and mitigation, communication, planning and team building.

Job Role

The project management is arguably the most challenging of roles within the project team. As the project progresses through its various life cycle stages, project managers must be able to adapt themselves to the changing demands of the project and the team.

S/he must define what a project will achieve - and then ensure it meets those goals. The first step is to estimate the time, human and capital resources, and steps needed. Then, the project manager forms the teams to carry out the tasks - and leads them toward completion. They provide much-needed direction to ensure that at every phase of the project, each contributor knows what's expected. They communicate with upper management and outside vendors and clients as needed. In fact, proactive communication is one of a project manager's most important functions.

Career Trajectory

A fresher will be doing either an operations role or a role which requires project management skills. Given that project management is a profession which is applicable across all management disciplines as well as useful as a life skill, it has become imperative to learn, understand and become an expert on project management skills.

With tight budgets and strict project expectations, company managers are looking for ways to help ensure the success of their organisational efforts, especially when it comes to expensive technology or infrastructure initiatives. As a result, businesses have a new appreciation for people with project management certifications. Certification is an important step in a practitioner’s career development, as it recognises qualified and competent individuals.

Professional credential (PMI certification) demonstrates to the important stakeholders that a project manager possesses the relevant knowledge, experience and the skills to bring projects to successful completion. As the demand for skilled project managers is high, practitioners who hold such credential are well positioned to provide the professional skills necessary to lead project teams and achieve successful project results. Those who do not have project management experience but wish to start a career in project management may enroll for the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM).

PMI certifications are transferable across industries and geographic borders. They are portable and not tied to any single method, standard or organization. Skilled and certified project managers are invaluable to businesses implementing complex, project-based processes completed by teams of workers. This specialty fulfills an increasingly important role in countless companies.

The author is Managing Director, PMI India


First Published: Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 21:02


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