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Project management has emerged in recent years as a rapidly-growing field in the US. Naturally many professionals are exploring project management as a career possibility.
Recent data from the Project Management Institute (PMI) shows that 25% of companies that have actually reduced their workforce will still be hiring skilled project managers in the coming years. Also, an Anderson Economic Group study found that 1.2 million project management jobs are needing to be filled each year.
Professionals with project management skills are needed in many industries, which we outline in the career options below.
#1 Project Manager
A general project manager is responsible for the planning, implementing, quality control and reporting of status on a business project of various types. The project manager is responsible for managing the project team, which normally includes people from many areas of the organization who are needed for that project.
The PM is responsible for defining the project scope, setting up the project schedule, and updating it as the plan evolves. Project managers also set up the budget for the program and manage it so that there are no cost overruns.
For many projects, the schedule needs to be broken down to a daily or hourly level, and formal schedules are set up using the critical path method. PMs need to set up milestones for the project schedule and keep the project on track. He or she also needs to report to higher level managers about the status and progress of the project.
The median salary for all project managers according to Glassdoor.com is $91,000 per year.
#2 Construction Manager
A construction manager is responsible for planning, coordinating, budgeting and supervising various construction projects from the beginning to the finish. Their duties include the following:
- Perform cost estimates, set up project budgets and timetables to complete work
- Keep track of the work being performed and ensure that the budget is being followed
- Work with engineers, architects and other stakeholders in the project
- Choose subcontractors and set up and coordinate they work performed
- Deal with any work delays and emergencies
- Stay in compliance with all legal and regulatory matters, including safety and building codes
A construction manager also can be referred to as a general contractor or project manager. They are responsible for managing, supervising and coordinating many types of construction projects for public, commercial, residential and industrial projects. They can work on either buildings, bridges, roads, memorials and other projects.
Job growth in this field is slower than average, with 5% more jobs expected by 2024. The median salary is $89,300.
#3 Information Security Analyst
An information security analyst is responsible for planning and carrying out computer and information security measures to protect the computer networks and systems for an organization. The responsibilities of information security analysts continues to evolve as the number of cyberattacks continues to grow.
Some of the duties of an information security analyst include:
- Monitor their company’s network for any security breaches, and investigate when a violation happens
- Install and use cyber security software that protects sensitive data
- Write reports that detail any security breaches that have occurred
- Do penetration testing so that any vulnerabilities in the system can be determined and patched
- Develop new security standards and best security practices for the company
- Work with stakeholders to implement new security features for the company
These managers also are deeply involved in creating the disaster recovery plan for the organization. This is the procedure that allows IT workers to continue operations of the IT department even after an emergency event.
Information security analysts and managers must have both technical and project management skills to do their job effectively.
Jobs in this field will grow by 18% by 2024, which is much faster than average. The median salary is $92,600.
#4 Information and Computer Systems Manager
Information and computer systems managers are responsible for all of the computer related activities in an organization. They are responsible for determining what the IT goals are for a company, and how to use computer systems and software to implement those goals. Some of the duties of information and computer systems managers include:
- Analyze the computer needs of the organization and recommend potential upgrades
- Plan and direct how these systems are installed, and also provide for the maintenance of the software and hardware
- Ensure that the network and electronic documents in the organization are secure
- Learn about any new technology that could be used in the company that can improve or upgrade the computer systems of the organization
- Determine what the short and long term worker needs are for the department
There are several types of computer and information technology managers, depending upon the size of the company. The most common are chief information officer, chief technology officer, IT director and IT security manager.
The CIO is in charge of the overall technical strategy of the company, while the chief technology officer usually is in charge of evaluating new technology and how it can help the organization. The CTO usually has a more technical background than the CIO.
This field will grow by 15% by 2024, as more computer and information technology managers are needed to manage more complex technological infrastructure for a variety of companies and organizations. The median salary is $135,800 per year.
#5 Management Analyst
A management analyst helps a company to improve their efficiency and profits by advising senior level managers about how to make the company more profitable and efficient. Some of the duties of management analysts include:
- Collect information about the problem that needs to be solved or the business procedure to be improved
- Interview workers and do onsite observations to determine the personnel, methods and equipment that are needed
- Develop new business solutions or management practices
- Provide recommendations for new procedures, systems and even organizational changes
- Work with managers and other stakeholders to ensure that business process changes are effective
A management analyst needs to have strong project management skills, and may work in certain areas such as inventory management or the reorganization of corporate structures after a buyout.
Many management analysts are self employed, or they may work for a large consulting company with many large corporate clients.
This field will grow quickly in the next several years, with 14% job growth expected by 2024. This is much faster than average when compared to other jobs.
The median salary for management analysts is $81,300.
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- Successful Project Management Career. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.villanovau.com/resources/project-management/successful-project-manager-career/
- Management Analyst. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm