Project managers help define the scope, time frame, budget and resources needed to take projects from plan to reality.
Seattle is one of the fastest-growing big cities in the United States, and that population growth has transformed downtown in less than a decade – peppering the skyline with construction cranes and new buildings. The influx of people has led to an increased need for office space, housing and changes in overall infrastructure. Overseeing many of the day-to-day, practical aspects related to growth and development are project managers.
Although their work is often done behind the scenes, project managers are the ones tasked with taking new projects from start to finish. They help define the scope, time frame, budget and resources needed to actualize projects.
Gary Siville, a project manager with more than 20 years of experience and a current Master of Science in Project Management student at City University of Seattle, remembers when he first encountered the project management field decades ago.
“I looked out the window and saw skyscrapers and windows and bridges,” says Siville. “I realized that somebody needs to know what day the crane is going to be there, and when to set it up. It was a career milestone. Therein lies the need for project management orchestration and facilitation: to have everyone doing what they need to do to support the project.”
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Project management is a growing career field, not just in Seattle – and not just in construction. The Project Management Institute’s 2017 Job Growth and Talent Gap report noted that there is a significant shortfall in skilled professionals needed to fill project management roles. These roles span industries from health care to technology, and finance to aerospace.
“Every day is different, which is one of the things I like about project management,” says Siville. “Some of it is documentation – creating a project management or risk management plan – and other days it’s consulting and offering guidance on how best to use project management methodologies and principles.”
Project management is still an evolving field, and professionals are continually utilizing the core principles in new and varied ways.
“What’s nice about project management is that you can take the basics and methodologies and apply them,” says Siville. “It’s not just knowing how to use a tool, it’s knowing how to apply that tool to the current project you’re in. Each project is a challenge and unique.”
With the geographic and economic growth of the Seattle area, more project managers will be needed to support the work that needs to be done to sustain it. This translates to an increase in opportunities for those looking to advance within or transition into the field of project management.
City University of Seattle offers Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Project Management degrees, available fully online. The degrees are accredited by the PMI Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs. Learn more at www.cityu.edu or 888-422-4898.