It's Always a Great Time to Be an IT Project Manager

If you read my GoCertify postings regularly, then you already know I cover the monthly employment figures and trends from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. So does CompTIA, often in more depth and breadth than I can muster on my own.


Recently, I was looking at the latest monthly infographic from their Employment Tracker. One of the half-dozen tables and graphics that make up this visual jumped up and bit me. It appears as a graphic for this post, in fact, and the item at the bottom of the table is what's striking.


Ed T Figure 1 09 15 17

Source: CompTIA Employment Tracker September 2017


This table lists the five kinds of IT positions that appear most frequently on job posting sites, classified ads, company job postings, and so forth and so on. The category of "Information Technology Project Managers" almost turns this "Top 5" group positive all by itself, as compared to all four other categories.


Not only that, but "IT project manager" is a more-or-less permanent fixture in this elite group of high-demand IT job categories as far back in time as you want to go.


What does this mean? Salary surveys and "skills wanted" surveys confirm the assertion that IT project managers are always in high demand. They can choose from a broad range of available positions, and they make pretty darn good money.


It's worth noting here that, while there are a number of project management certifications out there, the top credential by far is Project Management Professional (PMP), curated by the Project Management Institute (PMI).


According to information that my colleague, Mary Kyle (herself a PMP for over a decade now), and I gathered for our Tom's IT Pro feature Best Project Management Certifications For 2017, the outlook for certified project manager just keeps getting better. We amassed some interesting factoids about this profession, as well as identifying the cr�me de la cr�me certifications in this arena.


Here's a snapshot of a few of the more interesting tidbits:


? PMI's Project Management Salary Survey, 9th Edition, shows global median annual salaries for PMP holders at $81,000, and the upper quartile of PMPs earn more than $110,000.
? Employment facilitator Robert Half lists project management as a hot certification, with an annual salary range from $97,000 to $151,000.
? PMI's PMP credential has appeared in nearly every "Top 10" certification list for high-paying, popular, in-demand or most desirable IT certs since the early 2000s.


PM Rules PM thinking

Just for grins, the Top 5 project management picks we identified for our 2017 feature on Tom's IT Pro are as follows, with job posting numbers to back up our choices:


PMP (PMI) — 45,367 postings across all job boards
CSM (Scrum Alliance) — 26,548 postings
CAPM (PMI) — 1,636 postings
PRINCE2 (AXELOS) — 833 postings
Project+ (CompTIA) — 129 postings


Now let's take a look at what's changed since last year. The detailed findings for our 2018 update won't be posted to Tom's IT Pro until mid-October, so consider this a scoop. You'll notice right away that, though employer interest in the CSM cert has dipped some, interest in PMI's two certs is booming. And look at the healthy numbers for our two newcomers from Six Sigma:


PMP (PMI) — 53,024 postings across all job boards
CSM (Scrum Alliance) — 13,970 postings
Six Sigma Green Belt (ASQ) — 4,379 postings
Six Sigma Black Belt (ASQ) — 3,946 postings
CAPM (PMI) — 2,118 postings


Because we maintain nearly 30 such articles for Tom's IT Pro, and update them annually, I can tell you from profound ongoing experience that those kinds of numbers are astounding. In many other certification categories, the Top 5 aggregate count is higher than the count for the No. 1 slot.


What you're seeing here is some serious certification demand, folks. That's perhaps the most telling demonstration of the real power of project management in IT. So, if you're looking for another credential to drop into your certification portfolio, a project management cert could be your best possible choice. �Nuff said!


Would you like more insight into the history of hacking? Check out Calvin's other articles about historical hackery:
About the Author

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran who's worked as a software developer, technical marketer, consultant, author, and researcher. Author of many books and articles, Ed also writes on certification topics for Tech Target, ComputerWorld and Win10.Guru. Check out his website at, where he also blogs daily on Windows 10 and 11 topics.