Project Management Industry Report

Opportunities / Trends / Skills & Qualifications

Project management is a fast-growing industry in Australia. Not only is it growing as a specific discipline, it is also an essential skill in a large range of jobs and industries.

Project management roles are available in an increasing range of sectors, from mining, construction and engineering, to business, IT and finance. Project management roles are also growing in our government sectors, from defence and law enforcement to emergency services.

We offer Project Management qualifications attained through Recognition of Prior learning (RPL) at a range of levels to meet the entry requirements for Project Management roles at a variety of levels.

Our Project Management qualifications include:

In this report you will find:

  • Industry Snapshot
  • Emerging Trends in Project Management
  • Required Skills & Qualifications
  • Certificate IV Explained
  • Diploma Explained
  • Advanced Diploma Explained
  • Example Job Positions at Each Level
  • How to gather evidence from your career for RPL
  • Complementary Qualifications

Project Management Industry Snapshot

The interesting feature of project management is that it is becoming both a universal skill and a specialist skill.

In occupations and companies across the spectrum, employees are being asked to oversee projects. These can range from small scale, simple projects, such as identifying a new photocopier service for a company to overseeing large scale, complex projects – like the construction of facilities for the Olympic Games.

At Churchill Education, we have seen clients come through with both a universal, lower level project management skill set and a higher level, specific skill set. And yes, one of Churchill’s Alumni really was overseeing the project management of a significant part of an Olympic Games.

The difference in complexity of these projects is of course reflected in the level of qualification awarded. But make no mistake, project management is an essential skill to successfully completing a vast array of roles across all sectors.

And increasingly, project managers are regarded as a central element in most organisations, particularly when it comes to change management – something very important in a rapidly changing business landscape.

Forecasts predict that Project Management positions will number more than 120,000 by 2022, with up to 8,400 new job openings over the next five years according to Job Outlook.

Internationally Project Management is forecast to grow 33% by 2027.

The average annual income range for Project Managers is $100,400 – $170,00. For Program Managers it is $154,000 – $262,000. Over 54% of Project Managers are 35-54 years of age.

In all industries and regions of Australia, there are a range of opportunities for project managers, as project management skills and experience are in increasing demand.

Project management roles can be found in any industry.

Some key examples include:

  • Mining
  • Construction and Engineering
  • Finance and Insurance
  • Business
  • Healthcare
  • Trades
  • Manufacturing
  • Law
  • Defence and Aerospace
  • Renewable energy
  • IT
  • Education

Emerging Trends in Project Management

According to Forbes, there are four emerging trend in Project Management:

Trend #1: Projects will increasingly be impacted by artificial intelligence and data technology

  • Artificial Intelligence technology is likely to automate many administrative duties.
  • Scheduling and tactical planning will be carried out in the first instance by Artificial Intelligence from hard data.
  • Project Managers’ focus will shift to leveraging technology to achieve more value.

Trend #2: Project managers will need broader skills

  • Skills in Artificial Intelligence technologies will increasingly be required. Now, the key here is to remember that when databases and project management software first started entering the market, it was all new to everyone – and we still learned how to use it and make it work for us. The same will be true of Artificial Intelligence technologies.
  • As projects become more complex, project managers will need to collaborate with a broader group of stakeholders.
  • Soft skills such as communication, negotiation and team building will become more important. We are seeing this borne out in the required skills listed in job advertisements.

Trend #3: Customised / hybrid Project Management methods and approaches

  • To respond to rapid change, organisations are requiring increased flexibility in project management methodologies.
  • Tools and content on agility and change.
  • Prioritisation of speed to market and change readiness, over processes and procedures.

Trend #4: Increase of diversity in project management teams

  • Workplaces will become more diverse into the future.
  • Diversity will be influenced by changing parental roles, gender identity, an aging workforce, and globalisation. Teams of the future will also include a greater range of workers, from full time and part time to contract/freelance and remote work. Fast shift in the traditional working patterns of teams emerged during the global pandemic of COVID-19.
  • More diversity on a range of levels will require project managers to deal with complicated administrative duties, interpersonal communication and team cohesion.

Project Management Skills & Qualification Requirements

Project management skills are highly transferrable and in demand in a range of Australian industries.

Project management positions are required by many large and small companies, in a range of industries, from mining and construction to business and IT. Project management skills are also highly valued in a number of public sector departments including defence, police, emergency services, government investigations and health.

Employers are looking for project managers that are:

  • Experienced and skills at creating, negotiating and coordinating changes to projects, contracts and programs.
  • Adept at dealing positively and productively with a range of stakeholders and resolution of any issues.
  • Able to demonstrate a proven track record for achieving project timelines and meeting budget constraints.
  • Experienced with finalising projects, providing detailed reporting, analysing data and recommendations for process improvements.

Useful project management skills include:

  • Leadership skills
  • Change management
  • Conflict resolution
  • Attention to detail
  • Vision and big picture thinking
  • Communication skills
  • Negotiation skills

We read a range of advertisements for roles that required some project management responsibilities. When hiring for roles that are exclusively project management focused or roles where a component involves running projects, there are some key soft skills that consistently rise to the top of the list:

  1. Outstanding stakeholder managementProjects require people to pull together, turning a project from an idea into a result. Make no mistake, knowing how to manage all the people and keep them focused on a common goal is going to test your project management skills.
  2. Thriving through changeProjects are inherently about change. Change is the constant so successful project managers need a foundation of resilience. They must be able to lead a team through ambiguity and thrive in complexity.
  3. Strong work ethicHow often have you seen a project start and then never finish? Pushed to the side when it gets too hard or work mounts up in other areas. Incomplete or partially completed projects cost companies dearly so it is important that successful project managers have a strong work ethic to see projects through to completion.
  4. Action orientedDecisions need to be made throughout the life of a project and action needs to be taken. No-one needs a project manager who gets stuck and can’t make a decision. This role calls for the type of person who can weigh the options and take action.
  5. Balancing the Big Picture with the DetailProjects are a playground for numbers – budgets, timelines, resource allocation, personnel and KPIs. An effective project manager needs to enjoy both – drilling down into the detail when required to ensure the big picture is realised.

So, when you are responding to advertisements for these types of positions and sitting in an interview, be ready for some examples of how you have effectively managed projects to completion. Think about how you brought people together and overcame problems through your ability to plan, pivot and persist.

Qualification Requirements

Formal qualifications are not necessarily mandatory for entering the project management industry. However, job advertisements largely require the successful applicant to hold formal qualifications in Project Management and also Program Management. Statistics show that more than 60% of Project Managers hold a Diploma or above.

Project Management Qualifications & Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

What is the Certificate IV in Project Management Practice about?

At the Certificate IV level you are someone who is able to work autonomously, and apply project management skills in a variety of contexts. You are likely to be a member of a project team, responsible for undertaking certain components of the overall project delivery. You are in a support role, not responsible for the overall outcome. You are adept at using project tools and methods to support the aims of the project.

There are no pre-requisites to enrol in the Certificate IV in Project Management Practice. It is comprised of nine units of competency – three of which are core units (compulsory) and six elective units (which allows some range to match your experience or interests to particular units).

The core units focus on the ability to apply project management techniques, manage timelines and adhere to project management quality standards.

Elective units include a wide range of topics including budgeting, human resources management, IT, communications, risk assessment, procurement, stakeholder engagement, contract law, WHS policies, data management, data analysis, data presentation, cyber security, environmental sustainability, governance and policy implementation.

Examples of Position Titles relevant to Certificate IV level work:

  • Project Administrator/Coordinator
  • Project Records Officer
  • Project Analyst
  • Quality Officer
  • Small Business Operator

What is the Diploma of Project Management about?

At the Diploma level you are someone who is able to apply project management skills in a leadership capacity. You may have managed projects in a number of contexts and industries. You have experience at the management and leadership level, and are responsible for project objectives. You have well established project management knowledge and a range of specialist, managerial and technical skills. You use your skills to plan, implement and review your own work and that of a team.

There are no pre-requisites to enrol in the Diploma of Project Management. It is comprised of 12 units of competency – eight of which are core units (compulsory) and four elective units (which allows some range to match your experience or interests to particular units).

The core units focus on the ability to manage all elements of a project, including scope, timeline, quality, budget, HR, IT & Communication, risk and integration.

Elective units can be selected from a range of management topics including managing IT systems, building innovative working environments, continuous improvement, stakeholder engagement, governance, sustainability, data management, Work Health & Safety and team leadership.

Examples of Position Titles relevant to Diploma level work:

  • Project Manager (industry specific)
  • Project Leader/Team Leader
  • Project Contract Manager
  • Program Managers
  • Project Analysts
  • Project Contract Managers
  • Construction Managers
  • Health and Welfare Service Managers
  • Software/ICT Managers
  • Engineering Project Manager

What is the Advanced Diploma of Program Management about?

At the Advanced Diploma level of your career, you are someone who applies specialist skills and knowledge, combined with program management experience across a range of sectors.

A program is a set of connected projects. A program manager is responsible for the outcomes of multiple interrelated projects and the teams that undertake these projects. At this level, you are an individual who uses initiative and skill to design, plan, direct and lead a range of functions, with responsibility for individual and team performance.

You use well developed communication and reasoning skills to analyse a variety of information, and share your knowledge with team members. You use conceptual and creative skills to solve complex problems.

There are no pre-requisites to enrol in the Advanced Diploma of Program Management. It is comprised of 12 units of competency – four of which are core units (compulsory) and eight elective units (which allows some range to match your experience or interests to particular units).

The core units focus on the ability to execute a program, engage stakeholders, implement governance and manage benefits. Elective units include a wide range of topics including monitoring, evaluation and reporting, finance management, organisational change, developing emotional intelligence in teams, managing a flexible workforce, program delivery, risk analysis, collaborative alliances, developing contracts and community practices.

Examples of Position Titles relevant to Advanced Diploma level work:

  • Program manager
  • Senior delivery manager
  • Program manager health
  • Program delivery manager
  • Program director
  • Strategic project manager

Gathering Evidence from your Project Management career for RPL

We help people from all over Australia turn their project management experience into Project Management qualifications and the question we are always asked is what evidence do I need to produce?

The list of evidence required varies depending upon the level of project management you are completing in your work.

But a simple starting place is to think of the evidence for your RPL application just like managing a project:

  • What is your role in the project?

    Are you responsible for completing a part of a project – perhaps representing the component your team has to contribute to a wider project? Or are you the Project Leader, coordinating the whole project and reporting up to a project sponsor? Or perhaps you are the Project Sponsor and the whole project will fall at your feet in terms of ultimate accountability.

  • What action do you take in the project?

    What do you plan? How do you monitor it? How do you control on the project? How do you report on the project?

  • What documents did you prepare for the projects you work on?

    Gather up some examples of your projects and this is a great start. Don’t forget to lay your hands on the old project management faithful if you can – the Gantt chart!

As always, we will guide you on the full evidence you will require once we have established your eligibility through our free preliminary assessment.

What Other Qualifications Complement a Project Management career?

It makes sense that a career in Project Management focuses on acquiring Project Management qualifications. But what other qualifications are also valued in this field?

In preparing this report, we spent considerable time reviewing online job advertisements and position descriptions to see what other skills and qualifications employers are looking for.

The specialist complementary skills and qualifications we often found mentioned were:

  • Leadership and Management skills
  • Business skills
  • Logistics experience
  • Work Health and Safety qualifications
  • Security and Risk qualifications
  • Human Resources qualifications

From there, it helps to align the qualifications to a similar level that sits with your Project Management qualification.

If you are at Certificate IV level in Project Management, then you could consider adding some academic recognition of your skills and knowledge in one or more of the following qualifications:

For Project Management positions in business and people management:

From there, it helps to align the qualifications to a similar level that sits with your Project Management qualification.

If you are at Certificate IV level in Project Management, then you could consider adding some academic recognition of your skills and knowledge in one or more of the following qualifications:

For Project Management positions in business and people management:

For Project Management positions requiring specialist / technical skills:

If you are at Diploma level in Project Management, then you could consider adding some academic recognition of your skills and knowledge in one or more of the following qualifications:

If you are at Advanced Diploma level in Program Management, then you could consider adding some academic recognition of your skills and knowledge in one or more of the following qualifications:

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