The field of project management has grown at a steady pace over recent years in terms of professional recognition. Project management is now a profession recognised by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) in the US, and by many other professional bodies worldwide. The American Society for Quality (ASQ) named project management as one of three of their professional specialties, along with accounting and law. In the UK, the Association of Project Management (APM) offer a 'Charted' Project Manager status which is gaining traction internationally. Project Management is becoming widely recognised as a profession likely to be considered by people looking for work in the future partly because it involves a diverse range of skills.
Conversely, project management can feel like a poorly defined profession to some. The fact that there is such wide range of skills involved can be a somewhat intimidating. Projects can often be complex with many stakeholders and possible reputational issues. Quite daunting to some people. Project Management is used across many industries, from IT to Construction and much in-between. Can a Project Manager manage anything? The answer is of course 'it depends'.
It will likely be an interesting challenge for the project management community to find a more impactful way to make project management roles more attractive to the next generation of job hunters. Good quality training and clear standards across industries help train people for the task at hand. In Australia we have a growing base of good quality Project Management training and education providers.
Even for those project managers with many years experience, the corporate landscape, the technology and the expectations of stakeholders are constantly shifting which makes staying up to date all the more important.
Project Management has the potential to be one of very few, truly future proof professions. Those that succeed in this highly competitive industry will be the people who stay ahead of the trends, the PMs who seek training and networking, and who seek to adopt the frameworks and methodologies of the future.