Filling the Gap: Can Technical Management Save the World?

The demand for skilled technical project managers is growing at a time when more and more are retiring, according to a recent report from the Project Management Institute (PMI). The gap is swelling between open positions and available professionals. The need for employees with skills in leadership, strategic and business management, and technical management is more important than ever. PMI warns that this gap in qualified candidates could lead to a loss in profits of over $200 billion globally through 2027.

Globally, PMI predicts that there will be over 2.2 million new roles each year that require this expertise. In the US, that projection is over 200,000 new jobs each year until 2027. There are opportunities abound for professionals with technical management experience and education. You can learn to inspire innovation and success in information systems, product development, research, laboratories and more.

The Skills You Need for Technical Management

Technical management is labeled by PMI as one of the 3 talents in their ideal skill set. This is a talent that requires competencies such as data gathering and modeling, requirements management and traceability, risk management, scope management, agile practices, and project governance among others.

In addition, technical project managers are expected to be familiar with leadership and business management practices. To develop these talents requires both learning on-the-job and practical training in the classroom.

In leadership, technical project managers need to be familiar with guiding and motivating. This is done through coaching, mentoring, interpersonal skills, problem solving, team building and more. For business and strategic management, required proficiencies include:

  • planning and analysis
  • industry knowledge
  • customer relationships
  • business models and structures
  • competitive analysis

technical management

Studying in an applied program with industry professionals is one of the key ways that technical managers learn the expertise needed to be a part of this field. Core knowledge in courses that cover management, communication, and innovation are the foundation of a practical curriculum. Based on that foundation and to specialize in the field that suits you best, you can choose your own path in fields such as:

  • cybersecurity
  • data science
  • systems engineering
  • product development
  • health IT
  • geographic information systems

Developing practical experience with each of these skillsets can put you in a position to claim one of the many jobs that opens over the next decade. PMI’s report states that project-oriented industries will contribute over $20 trillion across the globe. With an impact like that, it’s clear why developing the necessary skills to join this workforce would be in anyone’s interest.

Job Expansion & Rewards

The breadth of knowledge for technical managers takes time and effort to learn, which is why they bring so much value to companies. These skills are so valued that organizations and industries around the world are increasing their demand and entire sectors are becoming more project-oriented.

Some of the leading sectors with job openings over the next decade:

  • manufacturing and construction
  • information services and publishing
  • finance and insurance
  • management and professional services
  • utilities
  • oil and gas
  • healthcare

When PMI first started making these projections in 2008, they anticipated a strong growth rate in the number of available jobs, anticipating over 52 million jobs by 2020. In 2017 there were almost 66 million project management jobs. In the US this could mean almost 214,000 new jobs on average each year over the next decade ready to be claimed by professionals with technical management training and experience.

technical management

Project Management Job Growth and Talent Gap Report 2017-2027

Technical and project management jobs also offer competitive wages. Project oriented positions can pay as much as 82% more than non-project positions. Technical management as a key skill in these jobs could help you to earn those pay improvements.

Where to go from here

If you have a technical background and want to get into project management, pursuing a degree or certificate in technical management may offer a valuable credential. Credit courses taught by industry-leading professionals can show your current and future employers your ability to lead teams, projects, and organizations. Flexible evening class schedules mean that you can put these skills to use immediately and not wait a year or more to put what you learn into practice. UMBC offers this applied masters at both its Shady Grove and Baltimore campuses.

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