Project management has become an increasingly vital function to businesses across industries. Project management consultants work to help pharmaceutical, financial, biotech, software, information technology and other firms succeed by streamlining projects to meet objectives and add to organizational profitability.
Professionals who wish to pursue a project management consultant career can boost their chances of success by enrolling in an MBA with a specialization in Project Management program.
Between 2010 and 2020, more than 15 million project management-related jobs will be generated globally, according to a 2013 report by the Project Management Institute® (PMI). Nearly 700,000 of the projected positions will be in the United States, which will push the number of project management professionals nationwide above 6 million.
Employment growth will likely result from a number of factors, such as an expanding economy, a more complex business environment, increasing use of technology, and the trend toward outsourcing and globalization – all of which are expected to spur demand for knowledgeable PM consultants. Despite the predicted job growth, competition will be keen, and job seekers with experience and advanced educational qualifications should have better prospects.
Project management consultants bring specialized skills and knowledge to assist companies in making the best possible business decisions. They typically provide oversight and leadership in executing projects from planning to completion. Daily tasks can include managing budgets, resources and relationships to achieve organizational objectives, as well as planning, developing and executing schedules to ensure timely completion of projects.
These PM professionals often define and monitor each team member’s role and function, and coordinate all team activities throughout the life-cycle of a project. Identifying and managing project risks and developing solutions are additional duties.
During the execution of a project, a PM consultant analyzes data, and identifies trends and inefficiencies to prevent problems from arising. Providing roadmaps and periodic recommendations to senior management are common functions of the role, as is the creation and implementation of mitigation and contingency plans.
Other tasks required of a PM consultant can include: facilitating meetings; building positive relationships with clients, vendors and management; tracking documentation and data collection; creating presentations; and conducting follow-up studies on projects.
According to a 2013 salary survey by PMI, the top 25% of project management practitioners in the United States earned more than $116,000 annually. Worldwide, the median salary exceeded $88,000, with 71% of survey respondents reporting an increase in total compensation during the preceding 12 months.
Numerous factors can determine an individual’s salary potential and employment opportunities, including work experience, educational qualifications and local market conditions.
For some project management consultant positions, a bachelor’s degree and work experience may be sufficient. However, some employers will show preference to candidates with certifications and advanced degrees, such as MBAs.
Enrolling in an MBA in Project Management can provide the knowledge and advanced tools sought by employers. Coursework typically includes applied project management, mastering project management, project tools and techniques, and financial management.
Professionals who have earned an MBA with a specialization in Project Management should be prepared to:
“A culture of project management that fully understands the value the profession delivers, while supporting strategic competencies, creates competitive advantage,” noted PMI’s 2105 Pulse of the Profession® study.