Top Industries Hiring Project Managers
The Best Sectors for Project Management Jobs
Project management is a growing business area, and there are now undergraduate and specialist post-graduate courses aimed at giving you the skills you need to excel in the role. But whether you are new graduate looking for your first project manager job, or an experienced professional wondering how to switch industries as a project manager, where should you look for your pick of the jobs?
1. Engineering and Construction
Construction and civil engineering projects have always needed project managers and right now the situation is no different. Even in times of global recession, countries still need to replace old housing, build facilities for a growing population and refresh infrastructure. Urban renewal leads to a spike in seeking out people with the right skills to lead and manage local and international infrastructure change. That makes it a good place to start looking for a project manager job.
Large-scale innovative build projects like the UK’s Crossrail project create jobs in a wide-range of roles, with project management being a sought-after skill for the contractors working on these jobs.
If you haven’t had previous experience in heavy industry or construction work it can feel difficult to make that move. However, many project management skills are transferable, so if you have experience of leading successful projects in other industries, don’t rule out a move to engineering if it appeals to you.
With an aging population globally and developments in technology, healthcare is undergoing a radical transformation right now. From being involved with building new hospitals, to providing outreach services in hard-to-reach communities, there is a lot going on.
Digital project managers will also find plenty of opportunities as the healthcare industry moves from predominantly paper-based record keeping to totally digitizing patient medical data. The experience of big data projects, databases and technical awareness at all levels will help you secure a move to healthcare.
This is also a good area to target if you are interested in developing your skills in process improvement projects. There is much that could be streamlined in healthcare management processes, and knowing that financially many healthcare providers are stretched is encouraging leaders to look for smarter ways of delivering the same services at the same price.
On top of all that, working in healthcare is immensely rewarding: it’s an industry where you can quickly see how much of a difference your project is making to the local community.
3. Financial Services
Over the last decade, project management has become integral to the way that financial services businesses operate. With the drive for getting better returns from smarter ways of working, and implementing transformative change to align with strategic plans and the evolving expectations of customers, there is a lot to be done.
Project managers need to know how to manage change, and how to operate within a highly regulated industry. It’s not all spreadsheets and accounting: financial services firms also have to keep up with developments in IT, customer services, marketing and meet the needs of their own internal staff population, so there is a wide range of projects taking place behind the doors of some of the world’s oldest financial institutions.
Legal project management is a specific branch of project management that has evolved over the last few years. Project managers can enter the profession from any background, not necessarily a legal one, but if you do have legal skills that could be seen by recruiters as an advantage.
Legal project management is a fascinating area and project managers in this area often get involved with setting the budget for a piece of legal work. You would be working alongside solicitors, lawyers and other specialists to ensure that legal services are delivered effectively. As law can be complex, having a project manager on the team to ensure work continues to move in the right direction can be a huge asset for a legal firm.
A project manager job in this sector will require you to build deep domain knowledge, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing!
The IT sector continues to be at the forefront of hiring for project management professionals. The range of work for project managers to get involved with is staggering: everything from developing solutions with alternative currencies like bitcoin, improvements in artificial intelligence, and projects to implement and exploit solutions like big data.
On top of all the newer ‘branches’ of tech, there is still the need for project managers to lead development and infrastructure work as well.
IT is a good place to get experience if you want to work in an agile environment: there are a wide range of methods and approaches in use so you will be able to find something to fit your skills. If you are just now thinking about how to become a project manager, have a look at IT jobs for an idea of the range available.
Wherever you are currently in your career journey, it’s good news that project management is a sought-after skill. Where will it take you?