Skilled project management professionals are proving to be a tangible asset to organizations, and employers are acknowledging their contribution directly to the bottom line. The Project Management Institute (PMI) reports that companies worldwide experienced an 11.4% loss of investment in 2020 due to poor project performance. The project manager role is predicted to continue increasing in significance and certified Project Management Professionals (PMP)® are uniquely positioned for the ride.
project management careers
The value created by PMPs doesn’t just extend to their organizations. It’s also personal. Professionals who strengthen their careers with a project management certificate earn a 32% higher salary on average in the United States, according to recent findings by the PMI. That’s an added bonus for those with PMP certification, as over half of those surveyed by PMI for its biennial report saw an increase in their total compensation for the year.

PMI is now projecting a 13.6% growth rate for the PM labor force between 2019 and 2030. In response to a global shortage of project talent, 2.3 million people will be required to enter the field every year to meet demand.

This exponential growth period will bring millions of Project Management Professionals worldwide to the following key industries:

  • Manufacturing and Construction
  • Information Services and Publishing
  • Finance and Insurance
  • Management and Professional Services

PMI estimates that by 2030, 25 million project management employees will be needed to meet global talent demands. Bolstering a career with a project management certificate is one of the best ways to meet this rising demand and ensure a higher salary.

Employers worldwide consider PMP certification to be the industry standard because the knowledge, skills and experience required for the certificate are transferable across trades around the world. Project management certification is often listed as a job requirement for PM-related careers. At Purdue, the online Project Management Essentials and PMP Exam Preparation courses are led by instructors who are experts in the subject matter they teach, and can help students pursue a valuable PMP credential.

Professionals in careers with a project management certificate are ideally positioned to succeed in the following roles*:

Job Title: Director of Project Management/Project Management Office (PMO)

  • Average Salary (US): $145,000
  • Job Description: The Director of PM/PMO leads, manages and supports all PM functions of an organization, including supervisory responsibilities of PM team members and administrative staff. This role requires the consistent execution and integration of current and proper PM practices as they relate to the strategic goals of an organization.
  • Related Skills:
    • 15+ years of experience in project management-related roles
    • An in-depth understanding of PM functions and processes
    • Demonstrated experience leading a team
    • Goal-oriented with strong organizational and analytical skills

Job Title: Portfolio Manager

  • Average Salary (US): $140,000
  • Job Description: Depending on the size of an organization and the particular scope of its program(s), a portfolio manager may be responsible for analyzing investments related to one or more projects. Portfolio managers must also stay well-informed of current market conditions that have the potential to impact the fiscal health of a program, project, company or client. This role may require strategy development alongside other portfolio managers and executives.
  • Related Skills:
    • Proven ability to analyze the fiscal scope of a project
    • Extensive economic research experience
    • Exceptional understanding of compliance regulations
    • Proficiency in problem solving and time management

Job Title: Program Manager

  • Average Salary (US): $127,100
  • Job Description: The Program Manager is responsible for managing multiple programs or multiple projects within a program. This person may perform the supervisory duties of one or more project managers and their teams. Program Managers aid in the strategic development of an organizations program(s) and projects, and are thus largely responsible for program(s) results and ROI.
  • Related Skills:
    • Goal-oriented with a proven track record of fiscal responsibility
    • Excellent communication skills with a demonstrated strategic approach to program planning
    • Exceptional organizational abilities
    • Strong ability to multitask

Job Title: Project Manager I-III (0-10 years of experience)

  • Average Salary Range (US): $83,000 – $115,000
  • Job Description: The Project Manager is responsible for handling the scope, timeline and available resources of a particular project. The Project Manager supervises a project team and is accountable for the team’s performance. Meeting the fiscal goals of a project in an allotted time is crucial to a Project Manager’s success.
  • Related Skills:
    • Goal-oriented with demonstrated time management skills
    • Exceptional organizational abilities and communication skills
    • Strong ability to multitask
    • Proven ability to lead a team

Job Title: Project Management Specialist

  • Average Salary (US): $84,500
  • Job Description: The Project Management Specialist is responsible for a specific role of a project, like risk management or ensuring timeline accuracy. This person reports to the Project Manager and as such, is responsible for keeping their supervisor up-to-date on all progress and changes related to the project.
  • Related Skills:
    • Fundamental understanding of the project management process
    • Strong communication skills
    • Task-oriented with a demonstrated ability to adequately manage time.
    • Extremely detail-oriented

Job Title: Project Management Consultant

  • Average Salary (US): $120,000
  • Job Description: The Project Management Consultant is responsible for providing industry expertise as it relates to the objectives and profitability of an organization. This person consults with project management teams regarding the development and execution of a project’s budget and timeline. Maintaining current market knowledge is a critical aspect of this role, as the Project Management Consultant is often called upon to provide direction and advice to senior level staff.
  • Related Skills:
    • Demonstrated senior-level project management experience
    • Extremely goal-oriented and analytical
    • Excellent communication and relationship-building skills
    • Proficiency in problem solving and time management

*Salary ranges are provided by PMI’s Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey, Twelfth Edition report and do not include self-employed averages.

Purdue University’s Online Project Management Series

Professionals who participate in Purdue University’s online project management series can gain a wealth of field knowledge, solid foundational skills, and exceedingly effective preparation for the PMP exam in order to obtain a project management certificate. Course materials and activities align closely with A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) to help students retain project management knowledge and apply it to their current projects.

Project Management Essentials
This 100% online, instructor-led course runs for eight weeks and allows working professionals to gain familiarity with basic project management concepts and terms. Students are empowered to begin effectively applying their newly acquired knowledge and skills to current projects and earn project management hours that can help qualify them to take the PMP exam. Experienced PME instructors engage students in a stimulating range of learning activities including directed study of the PMBOK® Guide; participation in online threaded discussion forums; viewing recorded lecture videos; taking quizzes and self-tests; and completing written assignments. They also participate in online discussions and welcome the opportunity to coach interested students on an individual basis via email or scheduled phone appointment.

PMP Exam Preparation
This 100% online, instructor-led course is for project managers with a minimum of three years’ experience and assumes prior knowledge of the PMBOK® Guide. PMI’s 180-question, multiple-choice PMP exam is demanding, and students must engage in independent study following the course to pass the PMP exam.

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