Assuming that a tech company’s biggest hiring needs revolve around things like software development and database management would be reasonable. Yet this is not the case. The most in-demand skill right now is project management. Tech companies are desperate to hire team members who bring both IT and project management skills to the table.
Why is that? There could be any number of reasons. One possibility is the shift toward remote work initiated by the coronavirus crisis. Now that companies know large-scale remote work is a viable option, they are aggressively moving in that direction. This inevitably means a lot of big projects to actually implement remote work plans.
Top 10 Most Wanted Tech Skills
Dice Insights contributor Nick Kolakowski wrote a piece in early March 3021 discussing the most wanted tech skills among U.S. employers. Some of the skills on his top thirty list are expected. Others are not. Most surprising is that project management ranks number one. It is followed by SQL, software development, Java and software engineering, to round out the top five.
Farther down the list is project planning and development. Though related to project management, it is apparently considered its own discipline by HR managers. You might consider it one step down from actual project management. Either way, HR managers are looking for it.
IT Skills Still Required
Tech companies hiring project managers are willing to pay them for their skills. According to Kolakowski, the median salary for tech project managers is just over $80,000. Of course, that kind of money requires some experience. But know this: project managers also need to have IT skills.
As with project management in most other industries, IT project managers have to know at least the basics of what their staff members are doing. For example, managing a project with a heavy focus on databases requires at least some knowledge of MySQL. Otherwise, a manager will not be able to make heads or tails of the information being fed to them by their database experts.
Outsourcing Project Management
Even as tech companies ramp up hiring, they still need effective project management until the right job seekers come along. Some companies are choosing to limp along. Others are outsourcing project management in the interim. Companies like the Janiko Group are more than willing to provide on-demand project-management-as-a-service (PMaaS).
Applying the on-demand model to project management accomplishes several things. First, it allows companies to utilize outsourced project management on an as-needed basis. When the demand is there, the vendor is ready to step up. In the absence of the person, the company isn’t paying for ongoing project management services it doesn’t need.
Outsourcing also helps to control project costs through expert management. Companies providing PMaaS are experts in things that trained IT personal may not be: budget analysis, cost containment, etc. They offer invaluable experience that is hard to come by elsewhere.
If you are in the tech industry and looking for something a little bit different, you might want to consider project management. Combining your IT skills with specialized project management training could make you a hot commodity among companies more than willing to compete for your services. The fact of the matter is that project management skills are currently in high demand among technology companies. You might as well get in on it.