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Close to Two Million Project Management-Related Roles in Asia Pacific Over Next 10 Years: PMI Talent Gap Report

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The ten-year outlook of project management-oriented employment examines why this talent gap exists and how organizations and professionals can meet the high demand

Qinthara Fasya, DigitalCFO Asia | 5 July 2021

Photo by @myleon on Unsplash

Project Management Institute (PMI), the world’s leading association for project professionals and changemakers, today announced the release of Talent Gap: Ten-Year Employment Trends, Costs, and Global Implications, a ten-year outlook of project management-oriented employment. The report demonstrates the continual gap between the demand for project management skills and the availability of talent. It also discusses why the disparity exists, how it can affect economic growth, and the opportunities for organizations and individuals to strategically fill the gap.

According to the report, an increase in the number of jobs requiring project management-oriented skills, higher demand due to economic growth, and retirement rates will create the global need for 25 million new project professionals by 2030, meaning 2.3 million project managers and changemakers will need to fill project management-oriented roles every year to keep up with the demand. This shortage of talent may pose a considerable risk to organizations as they rely on project teams to implement strategic initiatives on time and on budget.

Project management growth trend continues in Asia Pacific despite the pandemic

Project talent is at the forefront of a substantial opportunity in Asia Pacific. An increase in the number of jobs requiring project management skills is particularly prevalent in developing and emerging countries. The Asia Pacific region is estimated to see an annual average of 193,047 project management-oriented employment (PMOE) opportunities 

According to the report, by 2030, PMOE in the region is slated to grow from 5.7% from 13.5 to 14.2 million. Sectors like manufacturing and construction (73.4%), and finance and insurance (13.2%) are likely to be the two largest PMOE sectors and will continue to be the top two in 2030. Projected industry GDP in the region for 2019 was $4,070 billion and is projected to increase to $5,479 in 2030, an increase of 34.6%.  

The impact of the shortage or project managers could be felt globally, with a possible loss of up to USD$345.5 billion in global GDP by 2030—of which $24.1 billion is at risk in the Asia Pacific region—creating a great opportunity for project professionals and changemakers, who, regardless of their role, are inspired and equipped to drive change.

“To meet the growing demand for project managers in Asia Pacific, organizations need to build a culture of continuous learning. To foster their own talent, organizations will need to champion new learning initiatives and explore partnerships to equip employees with the necessary project management skills. Empowering employees with power skills such as collaborative leadership, business acumen to create well-rounded employees, and mastering new ways of working such as tech-enhanced problem-solving tools, is a need of the hour,” said, Ben Breen, Managing Director, Asia Pacific and Head of Global Construction, PMI.

PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification is globally recognized as the “gold standard” of project management certifications. Earning the PMP® certification supercharges professionals’ careers regardless of the industry as it proves project leadership experience and expertise in any way of working, as well as helps organizations to empower candidates to work smarter and perform better. Respondents with a PMP certification reported 22% higher median salaries than project professionals without one according to the 2020 Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey.

The Talent Gap report highlights that projects, and their successful management them, are essential to industry and economic growth. The total GDP of projectized industries—industries with significant project management requirements—is estimated to increase from $24.7 trillion in 2019 to $34.5 trillion in 2030.

“Globally, we foresee a 14.9% increase in the number of project management roles within the Finance & Insurance industry. In the Asia Pacific region, Finance & Insurance will continue to be the second largest sector requiring project management professionals by 2030. To meet this demand, organizations will need to empower employees with power skills such as collaboration, empathy and innovation. They will have to upskill their workforce to master new ways of working that help them adapt to the dynamic business environment. Adoption of automation and tech-enhanced problem-solving tools will allow organizations to build agile work models. ”

said Ben Breen, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, and Head of Global Construction, Project Management Institute.

The projected demand by the manufacturing and construction sector in Asia Pacific for project management professionals is higher than the global average of 59.7%, indicating the continued role this region will play as a vital manufacturing hub.

It also underlines the acute need for construction to meet infrastructure needs. The Asian Development Bank estimates that Asia alone will need to invest $1.7 trillion each year until 2030 to maintain growth momentum, tackle poverty and respond to climate change, meaning plenty of opportunities for project management professionals in this field for time to come.

To learn more about the talent gap and take a deeper look into the statistics that support these findings, read the full Talent Gap report at:

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