Project management is a profession that appears to stay strong even when the political and economic climate is uncertain. APM’s 2019 Salary and Market Trends Survey of over 4,500 project professionals from multiple sectors found 77 per cent of professionals were optimistic about the next five years. We also found that the project profession is going against the redundancy trend with the expectation of job losses falling from 14 per cent in 2017 to 11 per cent this year.
Why might project management be so resilient?
- Job fulfilment
81 per cent of project professionals stated they were satisfied in their current roles, a trend that has been growing since 2015. Whether contractors or permanent employees, job fulfilment is relatively high, with many expressing positivity in terms of organisation growth and a good supply of jobs in the next five years.
- Financial security
Project management continues to boast stable pay across age brackets, which contributes to optimism for a secure future. The profession offers appealing starting salaries, with 43 per cent of 18-to-24-year-olds saying they earned between £25,000 and £34,999. And it doesn’t stop there, 70 per cent of respondents expect a pay and benefits increase in the next year too.
- Movement in the field
Nearly a third expressed that they are likely to change employer over the next 12 months. The capacity to move and grow within project management is appealing – many project professionals are contractors, so they have the freedom to change their workplace. These opportunities to shift and progress in different fields means no job is ever the same, and this diversity could be why project management continues to stay strong.
- Future growth
The future of project management appears to be bright as well, with positivity around individual growth. There is a very positive outlook from those beginning their careers in the project profession, 78 per cent of 18-to-24-year-olds rated their own prospects as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’.
Project professionals also seem to feel positive with 69 per cent rating their mental health as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. A positive working environment in a demanding role could be why many stay within project management even if they move between sectors. However, we recognise that wellbeing is a topic that must be explored so stayed tuned with APM for further investigation.
These could be some of the reasons why project management endures as a profession, but we acknowledge that there is much to develop on as well – whether it’s continuing to reduce the gender wage gap or having clearer career paths through project management. However, it is exciting to know that project management can ride out uncertainty and stand strong against political and economic doubt. Many different sectors offer new and existing professionals a sustainable and interesting career filled with opportunities to grow and learn.