PMI’s 2018 Jobs Report Forecasts Bright Future for Project Managers


PMI’s 2018 Jobs Report Forecasts Bright Future for Project Managers

February 20, 2018

Approximately 22 million project managers will be needed between 2017-2027 worldwide.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) released its 2018 Jobs Report in January 2018. PMI’s research, according to its Project Management Job Growth and Talent Gap report that was also released recently, indicates that 22 million new project-oriented jobs will be created between 2017 and 2027. The 2018 Jobs report is available on PMI.org and PMI members can view it by logging in. The author, Kate Rockwood, includes quotes and insights from project managers worldwide, all of whom project increasing demand in their fields, ranging from telecom and IT to healthcare and construction.

Why are so many project-oriented jobs needed? The primary reason is the rate of global change. The global GDP growth is projected to be 3.7 percent in 2018, but in India it is projected to be 7 percent and in China it is projected to be 6.6 percent; in addition, Turkey, Indonesia, and Iceland are projected to have strong GDP growth. With the change in global growth comes the need for new projects, particularly in manufacturing and construction as new products are created and new structures need to be built to accommodate demand (Rockwood, 2018). Among 11 countries surveyed, 9.7 million new project-oriented jobs are likely to be needed in the manufacturing and construction sector, followed by 5.5 million in information services and publishing and 4.6 million in finance and insurance.

How can project managers position themselves to take advantage of this demand? The report outlines several ways, and we would like to highlight three of these. The first way is by developing and continuing to develop basic and advanced project management skills. There are now over 800,000 project managers worldwide with the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification (PMI, 2018), and it continues to be a highly competitive certification in many fields.

The second way is by increasing knowledge of Agile. Both Agile and hybrid methodologies of Agile/Waterfall are increasing in use, so any project manager that can navigate an Agile environment, especially Scrum or Kanban, will likely be in higher demand. Although Agile originated in software development, it is seeing increasing use in other fields.

Finally, project managers can position themselves well by increasing their leadership skills. The report notes that many organizations are looking for project managers that can take leadership roles on teams and that can display high emotional intelligence. Leadership skills are increasingly important for any job, but in project management they are becoming far more important.

In conclusion, while the world is rapidly changing, the demand for project managers and people in project-oriented positions is likely to increase at the same time. Project management and Agile practitioners can take advantage of this trend by increasing their skills in project management, Agile, and leadership.


  1. Rockwood, K. (2018). 2018 Jobs Report: In A Time Of Change, Demand For Project Talent Will Keep Rising. PM Network, 32(1), 28–47.
  2. Project Management Institute (2018, January). PMI Today, January 2018. https://www.pmi.org/learning/publications/pmi-today
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