Future Jobs: Project Management

If we may speak in metaphors, project managers are the glue that keeps a diverse team of specialists close-knitted. Being a jack of all trades, these professionals need to master multiple stages of the project development skillfully in order to be able to evaluate the progress of each team member. In this article, we will cover job opportunities, internships, and online courses that will provide project managers with up-to-date hard skills.

According to the World Economic Forum report on the jobs of tomorrow, Project management is one of the seven distinct professional clusters that show the biggest growth in job opportunities in 2020-2022.

Find jobs in the USA here.

Who Are Project Managers?

Project managers are team leaders who are responsible for planning, target setting, and executing a project.  This position is universal with respect to its soft skills across many industries, yet hard skills are what distinguish professionals with specialized competencies.  Project managers are the link between the client and the firm and are the first person to contact in case of any issues.

Product analyst
Product analyst

As the name states, these professionals manage teams with members from different backgrounds and rarely participate in the production part themselves. Their job is to maintain progress, communicate clearly, and expedite task completion in a way that reduces overall failure, maximizes benefits, and minimizes costs.

Some of the hard skills that specialists should master in order to manage the project execution process productively are the following:

  • Software Testing
  • Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
  • Development Tools
  • Business Management
  • Data Storage Technologies
  • Web Development
  • Manufacturing Operations
  • Digital Literacy

To have a better understanding of the requirements and job conditions you will need to consider, let’s have a look at some of the job openings in the field of cloud computing.


Emerging Project Management Jobs

Emerging professions in project management are those that have experienced the most growth over the previous five years. To arrive at these conclusions, LinkedIn and Burning Glass Technologies track the number of job openings posted in digital job boards and the number of professionals who are hired into new opportunities. Here are a few openings in this field:

Quality Assurance Tester

The position is responsible for understanding requirements gathered during the project initiation phase, creating an end-to-end test plan and test cases, and executing the plan and managing all activities in the plan to ensure that all the objectives are met. A Bachelor’s degree in business or a related field is required while 2+ years of relevant Quality Assurance Testing and Software development are required.

Agile Coach

Professionals continuously promote the development, self-organization, and the sense of responsibility of the team and thus create a pleasant working environment. Candidates should have a degree in business, media informatics, or a related field. Several years of professional experience as a Scrum Master are required.

Product Analyst

The main tasks are to work closely with the product manager and key stakeholders to identify business priorities. Additionally, analysts continuously analyze key user journey routes and KPIs to identify areas for potential business growth.

Digital Product Manager

Additional experience that you gain throughout your studies will demonstrate your work readiness to potential employers. To do that, consider taking part in an industry-specific competition or applying for an internship like the one below. A Master’s degree and extensive experience with SQL and Google Analytics are required.

Fall 2020 Remote Paid Internship in Product Management at CBS Interactive

CBS Interactive is the premier online content network for information and online operations of ViacomCBS as well as some of the top digital brands in the entertainment industry.

The company is looking for a talented and highly motivated individual with strong Product Management skills to join our CBS All Access Team. CBS All Access is a fast-growing streaming platform, offering services across web, mobile, and OTT devices.

The intern will attend scrum team activities (grooming, planning, standups, story writing, and prioritization) and will collaborate with developers, designers, and partners to implement and manage product releases.

The internship is paid and can also be for university credit if it meets the candidate’s university’s guidelines.  The time commitment for the role is full-time, 40 hours per week for 10 weeks or part-time, 20h hours per week for 15 weeks. The intern must be a student currently enrolled in an accredited college, university, or bootcamp.


Project Management Additional Learning Priorities

Team brainstorming over the project
Team brainstorming over the project

Data scientists at Coursera have looked at the learning activities of individuals employed in emerging professions and have created a list of distinctive priorities for upskilling in those fields. Here are the five top courses to take as a supplement for anyone employed in project management:

Digital Product Management: Modern Fundamentals

Being a product person today is a new game, and product managers are at the center of it. This course will help you along your learning journey and will equip you with the skills and perspective you need to create the actionable focus required to manage your product successfully. You will also focus your work using modern product management methods and amplify existing products. This course is ideal for current product or general managers interested in modern product management methods.

Software Product Management Specialization

This course highlights the importance and role of software product management. The course explains the value of process, requirements, planning, and monitoring in producing better software. This course delves into a variety of processes to structure software development. It also covers the foundations of core Agile practices, such as Extreme Programming and Scrum.

Agile Development Specialization

Agile and design thinking offer an effective approach to product development, one that results in valuable solutions to meaningful problems. In this course, you’ll learn how to determine what’s valuable to a user early in the process by focusing your team on testable narratives about the user and creating a strong shared perspective.

AI For Everyone

If you want your organization to become better at using AI, this is the course to tell everyone, especially your non-technical colleagues, to take.  In this course, you will learn the meaning behind common AI terminology including neural networks, machine learning, deep learning, and data science; what AI realistically can and cannot do, and how to work with an AI team and build an AI strategy in your company.

Introduction to Software Product Management

For those working in the tech industry, this discipline will become a springboard to the goal of getting into a managerial position. Throughout the specialization, you will learn the philosophy, core values,​ and principles of Agile software development. ​You will be challenged to think about how you would cover the project’s “holy trinity”: (a) meeting client needs, (b) delivering on schedule, and (c) staying within budget. ​

In addition to possessing a broad spectrum of hard skills and a high level of empathy, project managers need to be gurus of time-management, prioritizing, and implementing new, innovative approaches to problem-solving.

Photos: Shutterstock / Photomontage: Martina Advaney

Other articles on Future Skills and Jobs here:

Future Jobs: Human Resources

Future Jobs: Care Professions

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