project management job outlook

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Is Project Management the Right Career for You?

  • Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez
  • Yasmina Khelifi

project management job outlook

Use this guide to make an informed choice.

Curious about project management as a career option? What does this job entail? Is it for you? The authors have been in project management for about two decades and they answer some questions you might have before deciding if this is the right career for you.

  • What does a project manager really do?  In the broadest sense, project managers are responsible for planning, organizing, and managing the completion of a project, while ensuring that it delivers the expected results on time, on budget, and within scope.
  • What basic skills do I need to have to apply for a project manager position? To be eligible for a project manager position, you need to have hard skills, soft skills, technical know-how, and an understanding of the business landscape you’ll be operating in.
  • What kind of opportunities are available in project management? Project manager roles take different job titles: project manager, delivery manager, scrum manager, agile coach, product manager. The titles can vary depending on the country or region you’re in, but what’s important is for you to understand the requirements, responsibilities, and the impact of your role so you can make informed decisions.
  • Do I have to specialize in one area or can I manage different kinds of projects? As a fresh graduate or early career professional, we recommend choosing a project in your area of expertise to maximize your success rate and increase your self-confidence. When you gain more experience as a project manager, you could stick to the same kind of projects, remain in the same industry but in a different technical field, or move from one domain to another.

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The Covid-19 pandemic has caused massive disruptions globally. According to several studies, governments will spend more than $10 trillion on reconstruction projects in the next 10 years. This means there will be millions of projects — more than ever — put into production within the decade, and each will require a project manager.

project management job outlook

  • Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez is the author of the Harvard Business Review Project Management Handbook , five other books, and the HBR article “ The Project Economy Has Arrived. ” His research and global impact on modern management have been recognized by Thinkers50. A pioneer and leading authority in teaching and advising executives the art and science of strategy implementation and modern project management, Antonio is a visiting professor in seven leading business schools and founder of Projects & Co mpany and co-founder Strategy Implementation Institute and PMOtto . You can follow Antonio through his  website , his LinkedIn newsletter  Lead Projects Successfully , and his online course  Project Management Reinvented for Non–Project Managers .
  • Yasmina Khelifi  is a French telecom engineer and project manager with 3 PMI certifications. She has been working in the telecom industry for 20 years. She is a passionate volunteer at PMI. She is also a regular volunteer blogger on and a volunteer international correspondent at PMWorld Journal. She is the host and founder of the podcast “ Global Leaders Talk with Yasmina Khelifi. ” Yasmina is the author of  How To Become a Culturally-Aware Project Manager (ebook; Bookboon Learning). Yasmina can speak 6 languages and has a MSc in Mobile Telecommunications. You can connect with her on Linkedin and subscribe to her newsletter about global leadership.

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Northeastern University Graduate Programs

Project Management | 2021 Job Outlook

Project Management | 2021 Job Outlook

Industry Advice Management

Project managers are vital in today’s fast-paced, results-oriented workplaces. By overseeing every aspect of a project from conception to completion, trained project managers have the tools required to keep any scope of work on track.

As project managers become more and more instrumental in the successful completion of work across industries, the job outlook for project managers continues to improve, as well. Read on to learn what the work of a project manager entails, how much these professionals earn, and how you can stay competitive in this growing field. 

Download Our Free Guide to Advancing Your Project Management Career

Learn what you need to know, from in-demand skills to the industry’s growing job opportunities.


Project Management Responsibilities

At the most basic level, a project manager’s responsibility is to guide a project toward completion, but the actual process of doing so is much more complex. Their work begins with a project initiation phase , in which the main objectives of the work are defined, contributing parties are identified, expectations are set, and the scope statement for the work is fully established. 

Next comes the planning phase , in which project managers meet with stakeholders and develop an actionable process for the project to follow. This includes establishing the project’s scope, budget, timeline, risk, etc., and identifying the key deliverables and tasks that make up the scope of this work.

The executing phase begins when the individual members of the project team are ready to embark upon their tasks. During this stage, project managers primarily focus on time management , facilitating communications, streamlining processes, and adapting the project scope to reflect any changes. Throughout this phase—as well as during initiation and planning—project managers must also work to monitor the processes they have set in place. This includes ensuring timelines are being followed, budgets are being respected, and key milestones are being reached.

The final stage of a project is the closing phase , in which the project manager makes sure all activities have been successfully completed throughout the scope of the work. This phase also includes working with the stakeholders to ensure all their expectations have been met, releasing any resources held for the project, and archiving any necessary files for future reference.

Though project managers may also have to own very industry-specific tasks depending on the organization they work for, these phases outline the general responsibilities of a project manager.

Project Management Job Outlook

Considering the growing reliance on project managers across industries, individuals trained in this discipline have a very promising career outlook. As of 2017, 71 percent of global organizations had a project management office, and those numbers have continued to increase over time. It’s estimated that an additional 22 million jobs will be added in the sector by 2027, representing a projected 33 percent growth for the industry. This growth trend is also expected to generate a total of 88 million jobs in the field worldwide by that time.

However, alongside this exciting career outlook comes the concern of a talent gap between the number of individuals needed for these roles, and the number of people actually qualified to do the work. For this reason, those hoping to change careers might consider earning an advanced degree and becoming qualified to work in the project management industry. In the same regard, existing project managers will likely need to invest in further education in order to not only stay abreast of changes in this fast-evolving industry but to also remain competitive as others undoubtedly prepare for a career in this fruitful field, as well.

Project Management Salaries

The median salary for project managers to be $116,000 per year . While most in this field make between $90,000 and $140,000 annually, there are quite a few factors that determine where on this scale a project manager might fall. These factors include the individual’s education and experience level, the size of the organization they are working with, where their organization is located, and even their own declared specialization in the field.

Learn More: How Much Do Project Managers Make?

There are a variety of steps project managers can take to ensure that they are on the higher end of the pay scale. Those willing to relocate, for instance, should consider moving to cities where project managers make above the national average —including New York City, Houston, Atlanta, and Chicago—or even to countries like Switzerland or Australia, which offer average salaries of $ 132,086 and $101,381, respectively.

Others looking to find that competitive edge in the industry might aim instead to earn a graduate degree in order to obtain a mid- or senior-level project management position, expand their skill sets, and increase their overall salary potential. After all, graduates of advanced degree programs in general earn up to 28 percent more on average than those with just a bachelor’s degree.

Gearing Up For Success in a Growing Field

Pursuing an advanced degree in project management is a strategic way to stay relevant in this thriving industry.

Elevate Your Skills

Learning about project management from industry leaders will help elevate your skills while also enabling you to keep up with project management practices and tools that are timely and relevant. For example, the reliance on project management software for high-performing projects has increased to 77 percent in 2018. Now, more than ever, project managers need to have a current understanding of these types of programs in order to complete their work. A master’s in project management program provides the necessary exposure to and training on these types of practices needed to keep project managers prepared for these changing elements of the industry.

Gain Relevant Industry Experience 

Alongside the exposure to relevant tools and practices, pursuing an advanced degree at an institution that places great value on experiential learning also gives you an edge in this competitive industry. Experiential learning provides students with hands-on exposure to real-world projects and processes, unparalleled access to top companies, and valuable networking opportunities that can positively impact your career post-graduation.

Learn More: 5 Reasons a Master’s in Project Management is Worth It

Finally, the opportunity to declare a project management concentration while in grad school is a major benefit for those who want to increase their salary. The opportunity for specialization allows professionals to hone in on the specific industry, methodology , or discipline they’re interested in post-graduation and tailor their studies to best set themselves up for success. 

Those who choose to focus on a particular industry while in school, for instance, may earn a higher salary than their peers when they graduate. For example, PayScale reports that a general project manager might make between $48,000 and $111,000 per year on average, whereas a PM who specializes in IT could make anywhere between $55,000 and $125,000 per year.

Declare a Specialization

Similarly, project managers hoping to stand out in a competitive field may consider specializing in product , program , portfolio , or operations management. This decision can also subsequently increase your earning potential in the field: Program and portfolio managers earn an annual average of $127,517 and $140,780 , respectively, compared to a general project manager’s $91,245 earned annually.

Those interested in the benefits of a concentration within their graduate program should consider Northeastern’s Master of Science in Project Management , which provides a built-in opportunity for students to declare a specialization. Currently, Northeastern students can choose from concentrations in:

  • Clinical Trial Design
  • Construction Management
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Information Security Systems
  • Leadership 
  • Leading and Managing Technical Projects
  • Organizational Communication
  • Agile Project Management
  • Program and Portfolio Management
  • Business Analysis 

No matter their reasons, project managers looking to stay ahead in this constantly growing industry should consider advancing their education through either a graduate degree or the completion of a project management certification .

Learn more about how Northeastern’s Master of Science in Project Management program can set you up for success in this thriving field.

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Did you know.

Employers will need to fill 2.2 million new project-oriented roles each year through 2027. (PMI, 2017)

Master of Science in Project Management

Behind every successful project is a leader who forged its path.

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Job Outlook

Job outlook for project managers in the United States

Project manager job growth summary. After extensive research, interviews, and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

The projected project manager job growth rate is 8% from 2018-2028.

About 36,400 new jobs for project managers are projected over the next decade.

Project manager salaries have increased 8% for project managers in the last 5 years.

There are over 426,229 project managers currently employed in the United States.

There are 167,116 active project manager job openings in the US.

The average project manager salary is $91,578.

Are project manager jobs in demand?

Project manager job and salary trends over time, project manager jobs over time, project manager job growth rate over time, average project manager salary over time, project manager salary by year, project manager jobs by state, most common states for project managers, most common cities for project managers, project manager job outlook: expert opinions, our panel of project manager experts.

Ohio State University

Heidelberg University

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University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

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University of Hawaii at Manoa

The University of Texas at Arlington

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Kansas State University

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University of New Mexico (UNM)

Freed-Hardeman University

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Oklahoma Baptist University

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Weber State University

University of Tennessee

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Swarthmore College

Auburn University at Montgomery

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Western Carolina University

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The Touro College

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Davenport University

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Maryville University

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Sacred Heart University

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Azusa Pacific University

Dr. Laura Deeter PhD

Applied Horticulture And Horticultural Business Services

What general advice would you give to a Project Manager?

Dr. Laura Deeter PhD: Be open to learning and trying something outside of your comfort zone. Be willing to work hard and don't expect to be project manager right out of school. Hard work will get you there fast enough.

What Project Manager skills would you recommend for someone trying to advance their career?

Dr. Laura Deeter PhD: There are more than enough positions out there to find one with a good starting salary. Apply for as many as you can. Be willing to relocate to another city or state.

What will help Project Managers increase their earning potential?

Dr. trish berg.

Business Administration, Management And Operations

Dr. Trish Berg: Being a project manager involves constant change, learning, and interaction with diverse teams in various departments of an organization. The best parts of being a project manager include working with diverse people, building relationships, creating something new with each new project, empowering and motivating teams, gaining global knowledge, collaboration, impacting organizational culture, and delivering value with completed projects. Some of the difficult parts of working as a project manager include sometimes having accountability without the needed authority to be successful, not having diverse enough skills and having to use estimation and guesswork at times and relying on others for their knowledge. Project managers deal with a lot of uncertainty and must be resilient in how they react to each bump in the road.

Dr. Trish Berg: Daily, project managers create plans, create work schedules, build, and motivate teams, assign, and track work from start to finish, set project setting scopes and budgets, create workflow plans, and define what key performance indicators (KPIs) are which is how they can measure project success. Project managers must be both people focused, and task focused. Successful project managers understand what Sinek calls the power of the why in order to successfully motivate teams towards success.

Dr. Trish Berg: One career field that is in high demand and growing is project management. With the complexity and flexibility needed in today's fast-paced culture, many organizations in diverse industries rely on project managers to complete jobs and organize teams to meet the needs of customers. Daily, project managers create plans, create work schedules, build, and motivate teams, assign, and track work from start to finish, set project setting scopes and budgets, create workflow plans, and define what key performance indicators (KPIs) are which is how they can measure project success. Project managers must be both people focused, and task focused. Successful project managers understand what Sinek calls the power of the why in order to successfully motivate teams towards success.

Dr. Longzhu Dong Ph.D.

Management + Marketing Department

What soft skills should all Project Managers possess?

Dr. Longzhu Dong Ph.D.: The world of international business has changed a great deal in the past few years. Due to increased globalization, massive technological advances in online coordination, and the Covid pandemic, the need to develop project managers who can lead fully functioning global virtual teams (GVTs) has never been greater. Indeed, studies show that virtual teams are becoming the norm, and more and more multinational companies rely on GVTs to deal with their day-to-day challenges. However, leading and working in GVTs poses unique challenges that traditional leadership approaches do not seem suited to tackling well. Such challenges include cross-cultural misunderstandings, lack of trust and spontaneity, poor communication, hard to focus and hold teammates accountable, all of which may result in low productivity. Therefore, to thrive in the international business world today, a manager may need an entirely different set of skills. Perhaps the most important soft skill is cultural intelligence (CQ). CQ refers to the ability to relate and work effectively across different cultures, triggering a train reaction in GVTs. It first requires people to have an open mindset, which helps them realize that cultural differences are just differences and that every culture has its own way of defining "right" and "wrong." Just as the famous Confucius teaching goes, "all people are the same; only their habits differ." Indeed, when differences are seen as something neutral, the negative consequences of cultural bias can be minimized. CQ can also improve GVT communication effectiveness by better understanding visual and auditory cues such as body language and facial expressions so that GVT members will not form false impressions based on stereotypes. When everyone on your team is ready for open dialogue, GVTs can easily clarify shared team goals and guidelines, set clear expectations of each role, and foster trust along the way. If CQ is the most important soft skill, then being tech-savvy would be the most important hard skill. Technological advances in online coordination/communication make global virtual teams possible and function well. As of right now, there are a lot of great online tools (e.g., Zoom, Google Meet, etc.) that integrate all key types of communication: conference call, breakout rooms, text messaging, file sharing, and online collaboration. However, simply being able to use various virtual meeting tools well is not enough because there's no one-size-fits-all tool for every team all the time. Being tech-savvy asks managers to steer the digital transformation in their teams promptly. It requires managers to constantly evaluate the emerging new technologies and make sure their choice of the tools "fits" their teams' needs over time, which may include members' network conditions, tool preferences, work style, tech skill levels, and the nature of the task/project. Working in a global virtual team isn't necessarily only about challenges and lower productivity. It can become a valuable advantage and even build a 24/7 work cycle in teams, with proper training on CQ and technological skills.

David Rockwood

School of Architecture

What skills stand out on Project Manager resumes?

David Rockwood: -prior relevant experience -prior related experience -scope/complexity of projects

David Rockwood: -communication -team building -accuracy -responsibility

What hard/technical skills are most important for Project Managers?

David Rockwood: -construction process/sequencing -structural and MEP systems knowledge -scheduling and workflow

What skills will help Project Managers earn the most?

David Rockwood: -ability to lead and manage large complex projects -ability to provide oversight and judgment as to best practices

Bijan Shapoorian

Civil Engineering

What are the biggest trends we'll see in the Project Manager job market given the pandemic?

Bijan Shapoorian: Construction Management as a profession involves performance of several different tasks such as Cost Estimating, Planning and Scheduling, Supervision and Inspections to name a few. Some tasks such as cost estimating and planning and scheduling can be conducted remotely while some tasks such as supervision and inspection remain face to face. Recent pandemic along with the increased usage of technological tools have influenced the method of conduct for many professions and businesses. However, construction management will not be going through a transition as fast as some other profession such as Engineering and Architectural services. This is due to the nature of this profession.

Bijan Shapoorian: Staying up to date with the new software and available technology remains as one of the major challenges in this industry. Most software offer online tutorials.

Brett Horton Ph.D.

Undergraduate Program in Hospitality Management

Will there be an enduring impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Project Managers?

Brett Horton Ph.D.: - The enduring impact is the opportunity to experience first hand coming out of a major hospitality economic downturn. Many hotels and hospitality operations are rebounding from near or complete closure. Such an amazing time to get in on the fast track to the top of an organization. There will be numerous opportunities that did not exist in March of 2020. - Graduates are positioned to thrive more than the graduates in 2020 in that the number of open positions is huge. They have the opportunity to start with a career with great companies and great leaders and grow as fast as they so desire. - The only downside may be moving up too fast and now being completely grounded in the basics due to being hired and put in positions of authority before they may be fully prepared.

What certifications/licenses/courses can have the biggest impact for Project Managers?

Brett Horton Ph.D.: The successful leaders are those who: - Have a degree in hospitality management and understand what just occurred. -There are few certifications necessary for work in the hospitality. Food safety is required for some positions, but this has likely been obtained while in school. Additional certifications may be obtained in the first 5 years of employment.

Brett Horton Ph.D.: - Willingness to take on increased responsibility - Willingness to move locations - Willingness to work in different departments to learn and grow with the organization

Elsa Maria Castillo

UNM Engineering Student Success Center

Elsa Maria Castillo: The pandemic has definitely impacted the job market, and although we still get requests for candidates for internship opportunities or jobs from our various partners, during the pandemic there has been an increase of requests in the following areas: Cybersecurity, Weapons Development and Testing, Aerospace, Quality Control Engineers, design and development of Prosthetics, Optics, Solar and alternative Energy systems, and Telecommunications. A slight shift into the development of medical technologies, data analysis, coding, artificial intelligence, robotics, and virtual reality is evident.

What's a good job out of college for Project Managers?

Elsa Maria Castillo: It all depends on the level of education, training and experience attained by the student during their college years. For instance, what I would consider a good job for someone with Bachelor's degree in Engineering would be a position conducting research and development in the respective engineering field either at a multinational corporation or at a national lab with six figures and that offers additional educational benefits for the individuals to continue advancing in their careers. For example, a few years ago I had a student who graduated with a Bachelor's in Chemical Engineering, who conducted a lot of research as an undergraduate student and participated in various internships. He wanted to go directly into the workforce before attempting graduate school. His training and experience allowed him to get a job at a multi-national corporation that offered him a starting salary of $105,000 plus financial support to continue with graduate school. That for me is a great job out of college and the student does not aim to pursue a graduate degree right away.

Kristen Roberson

Department of Marketing

Kristen Roberson: The workplace will forever be altered due to the pandemic, and the effects of those in career transitions, not just those graduating now, will be impacted for some time. It will take some time for the new normal to be normal.

What's a day at work look like for a Project Manager?

Kristen Roberson: That depends on the role they are in, but the big hurdle is going to be landing that first role. They need to be willing to shift their plans, be ready to try contract or project-based work. No matter where they land, the ability to self-manage will be more critical than before 2020 since more work will be remote and much more video conferences, and a lot less travel.

Dr. Daryl Green

College of Business

Dr. Daryl Green: I have been researching emerging employment trends for several years. While working for the Department of Energy as a senior engineer, I have served as a college recruiter. There were gaps in the students' skill sets compared to employers' needs. I later co-authored a book called Job Strategies for the 21st Century to provide students with the necessary tools for future employment. 2021 will be very difficult due to the pandemic. From my research, here are 2021 employment trends to consider: -Global Market - We are connected! Since employers can tap into human resources across the world, students will compete against others across the globe. -Students who understand this employment reality will be better prepared. -AI and Automation - Artificial intelligence is disruptive technology. Companies can avoid the high expense of labor through automation. According to 2013 Oxford University study, nearly half of American jobs are at risk of being taken over by computers by 2033. Students need to understand AI technologies. -New Work Model - 2020 brought in the explosion of working from home due to Covid-19. Employees already wanted to have more flexibility in life. They got it from employers. Companies responded by offering 70% of full-time workers the ability to work from home! -Freelancing - Freelancing is part of the gig economy. It goes much further than Airbnb and Uber. In the gig economy, businesses hire independent contractors to perform individual jobs, called "gigs." The total freelancing income is almost $1 trillion. Therefore, students who have an entrepreneurial mindset will fare better. -Digital & Ecommerce - Covid-19 ushered the digital economy. If companies did not have a digital platform in 2020 with the lockdowns, they did not exist. According to the Internet World Stats, there are currently 4,208,571, 287 internet users. Therefore, students cannot afford to miss this continuing trend of digital platforms.

Dr. A. Tye Gardner Ph.D.

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. A. Tye Gardner Ph.D.: Getting a master's degree goes a long way to making candidates stand out and improving earnings. My recommendation is to tailor your MS degree to the specific field you're interested in working in, because employers really want to see candidates that are passionate about the field, and very few people survive a graduate degree without at least a little passion. Available salary data indicates that if you choose an affordable program (let's just say Weber State University), it takes only a few years to pay off the added cost, increases starting salaries, and dramatically improves long-term earning potential. Moreover, you can find electrical engineers with MBAs at C-level positions all over the country. It turns out being an EE makes you a good candidate for business leadership.

Scott Gilpatric

Department of Economics, Haslam College of Business

Scott Gilpatric: Certainly some individuals will have an enduring impact if the pandemic really disrupted their life. For example, if they are a parent got very sick and the student became unable to continue in college, or their performance really suffered. But more broadly, I actually think we will come out the pandemic this summer with a strong economy-possibly even the strongest economic boom since the late nineties. So I think for many it will be a very good time to be starting a career.

Scott Gilpatric: That really depends on the individual. The most important factor in a first job coming out of college might be the opportunity to learn about yourself, learn what you are good at, and find a good direction for furthering your own growth in skills and understanding what you want your career to be. Obviously compensation matters, but often the work environment will impact job satisfaction more than money. Finding a place where you look forward to working with your colleagues most days is incredibly valuable, and a lot of compensation is required to offset the unpleasantness if you dread going to work every morning.

Scott Gilpatric: The easy answer is being really proficient with handling data, including being comfortable with learning to code in whatever manner might be needed. There's no question those skills are likely to open doors. But in a very different way, one thing that really matters is being able to talk comfortably about ideas and developments in economics, business, or policy areas, signaling a strong base of knowledge. Towards that end, reading deeply, not just the headlines but long-form analysis in places like The Economist and other high-quality publications can be really beneficial.

Stephen O'Connell

Department of Economics

Stephen O'Connell: Recessions are a tough time to enter the job market and we're in the worst recession since the Great Depression. It remains to be seen whether the labor market will bounce back strongly, but it certainly won't bounce back in time to ease the situation of the class of '21 very much. Be ready to be persistent and resilient in your job search. On the positive side for public policy work, the Trump Administration and the pandemic have left us with immense challenges of resuming normal, evidence-based policymaking and managing recovery from the pandemic. So public policy analysis may be a more robust area of the job market.

Stephen O'Connell: Work that uses your skills and builds new ones. There is a premium on your own flexibility over the couple of years, with a lot of job-market volatility due to uncertain structural impacts of the pandemic.

What technical skills for a Project Manager stand out to employers?

Stephen O'Connell: The organization, presentation and interpretation of data are probably particularly valued. Comfort with all kinds of online productivity tools. As always, capacity for critical thinking. For now especially, ability to work independently within a team that meets only remotely.

TeWhan Hahn Ph.D.

TeWhan Hahn Ph.D.: Writing skills including email writing, being able to work in teams, and knowing the workplace etiquettes.

TeWhan Hahn Ph.D.: There will be more openings for employees who are willing to work remote.

Brett Lehman Ph.D.

Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work

Brett Lehman Ph.D.: It might be a surprise to say that some things will remain steady during the pandemic. The job market will still require candidates with critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, oral and written communication skills, and project management skills. With so many aspects of the workplace changing rapidly, such as how we communicate with each other and unforeseen problems adding up, these skills may be more important than ever. The ability to continue projects, collaborate, and lead a group effort during these trying times will look impressive.

Brett Lehman Ph.D.: Sociology students with research and public speaking experience will have improved job prospects. This could be developed in many courses, though some core areas for us are Research Methods and Statistics. Most employers collect and analyze data of some kind. Then they have to organize the results properly and present the findings to a variety of audiences. Any course that require students to do their own projects, make difficult decisions, justify those decisions, and then explain the results give students a leg up in critical thinking skills and much more. Students might also have similar experiences through community service, independent/supervised research projects, or an internship.

Angela Sebby Ph.D.

Angela Sebby Ph.D.: While jobs may be slower to return to the capacity pre-Covid, the industry and tourism employment will rebound as people still want to travel and explore diverse foods, cultures, and experiences. However, the enduring impact will be the rapid onset of technology that allowed for limited contact with employees and others has become the new norm. Although human interaction is an important aspect of service in the tourism industry, employers have found that they can reduce the number of personal interactions but still deliver an acceptable level of quality service. What would have taken years to adopt, COVID created an amplified adoption.

Angela Sebby Ph.D.: Business, creative, and organizational skills - I would recommend that upcoming graduates are proficient in Word, Excel (highly used), Powerpoint, Outlook (especially how to send meeting requests and calendar organization), TEAMS, Gantt charts for team management, Mindmapping for creativity, and design software. Additionally, I would recommend that they learn how to properly utilize social media for marketing and PR, not just personal posting. Finally, email etiquette would be essential.

Jodi Smolen

Career Services Department

Jodi Smolen: Given the pandemic, new employees must be very proactive. They may be working from home--so they need to speak up, ask for advice and make sure they are delivering what is needed. They are missing out on those chance meetings in the hallway--so they may have to schedule Zoom sessions with peers or supervisors to touch base more often. Students in marketing need to be savvy with social media. They need to be comfortable posting and following on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. Companies are looking for ways to meet their clients in comfortable spaces. Given the pandemic, I think job trends are subject to change. Companies are still figuring out when/if they will be able to return to the office. Some firms are fully in-person while others are rotating staff in and out of the office, so they are not at full capacity. As business picks up for companies, I see they will be able and willing to hire more employees to handle the influx. At Touro College, our students receive a superior education. As marketing students, they should compile a portfolio of class projects as they move through their classes and add anything they create on their own time as well.

Jodi Smolen: I think this depends on the industry. Finance students give themselves an advantage by taking the Securities Industry Essential (SIE) exam during college. The exam does not require employer sponsorship and it is good for 4 years. If students want to become a securities trader, investment banker, or financial advisor, the SIE exam is a necessary step before they take the Series 6 and 7 exams after graduation. It shows a prospective employer that the student is serious about a career in the financial services industry. In addition, finance students should hone their advanced Excel skills. Whether they do this in college, or on their own time, knowing Pivot Tables and VLOOKUP will set them apart from other candidates. Computer science students should know that Python is in strong demand. If they know the basics of this language, they will have more job opportunities in different industries. Similarly, many data science jobs require Python, SQL or R programming languages. Candidates who pick up programming languages easily can learn on the job, but it is always more desirable to walk into the job knowing the language they want to use.

Department of Management

Todd Terry: Graduates as they prepare to enter the workforce should pay particular attention to their ability to communicate with coworkers. This communication could happen through face-to-face interactions, remote meetings with the aid of technology for example, meeting by computer software, written communication through instant messaging, or emails. Also, part of communicating is being a good listener. Graduates should have good critical thinking skills. They will need to be adaptive and able to analyze data to make good informed decisions. In today's work environment, working on teams is a regular function. Therefore, employers are looking for the candidate who can professionally interact with other team members, have a positive attitude and a good work ethic.

Todd Terry: What once was well defined with working hours, an office space, coworkers being close by to develop relationships with seems to be misplaced during the current working environment. In the working situation we are in today, graduates will need to be flexible with working hours as work hours may not be defined and could change by day. Office space may mean that one is working remotely from home. Building of relationships with coworkers will be done using technology as coworkers may be located in many different areas or time zones. In general business will continue to function remotely. The pandemic has created a sense of creativity in how business is done. The one major component the pandemic has created is where large and small businesses are conducting daily business functions from remote locations. This practice has proven that business can be effectively done without having to travel to distant locations. Consequently, business travel will be continue to be slow.

Meaghan Goodman Ph.D.

Speech-Language Pathology

Meaghan Goodman Ph.D.: At this point it is hard to say. Certainly, there were immediate impacts as students and professors alike shifted to learning and teaching in a virtual world. Some students had to tackle online learning while sharing resources like Wi-Fi with parents and other siblings. Long term, it is possible that coronavirus may impact hiring for the foreseeable future. With more money needing to be shifted towards personal protective equipment, and cleaning procedures and supplies, many businesses including hospital systems and school districts will be taking a closer look at their bottom line. I do think this pandemic highlighted a need for highly skilled Speech-Language Pathologists. For some, contracting COVID-19 meant intubation (a procedure in which a tube in inserted through the mouth and into the trachea to provide breathing support for critically ill patients). We are often consulted for patients requiring prolonged intubation. After a patient has intubation removed, we are often consulted in evaluating damage to a patient's swallow as well as their vocal quality. Because of the nature of intubation, patients aren't able to speak, so alternative forms of communication must be established, lending another opportunity for a Speech-Language Pathologists to demo

Meaghan Goodman Ph.D.: A bachelor's in communication sciences and disorders can prepare you for three different tracks. First, it can prepare you to become a licensed Speech-Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA). This is someone who works under a fully credential speech-language pathologist. Often times, they carryout intervention plans developed by a fully credentialed speech-language pathologist. If graduate school is on your horizon, a bachelor's degree in communication sciences and disorders will prepare you for acceptance into a Speech-Language Pathology program, or an Audiology program. If you are not accepted into a graduate program right away, working as a speech-language pathology assistant (SLPA) is a great way to get experience in the field!

Keith Hassell

Sacred Heart University’s Center for Career & Professional Development

Keith Hassell: Employers are increasingly looking for applied skillsets and additional certifications to set a candidate apart. Sacred Heart University has recently launched a remote work certification, which houses three modules - focusing on the remote worker, the remote team and the remote leader, providing the tools and resources to comfortably leverage and utilize virtual platforms at various organizations. Additional specialized training, certifications and more are great selling tools pending on the specific area of interest. Certifications are common in areas such as project management, sales, IT/network/software, Google application and more. The candidate needs to think, "What can I do that is beyond my coursework to show I am passionate about my field? How do I make myself stand out?" Certifications is an attainable way to do this. In addition, soft skills continue to be equally important in today's job market. NACE (the National Association of Colleges and Employers) identified seven core competencies that employers seek from entry level candidates which include critical thinking/problem solving, oral/written communication, teamwork/collaboration, digital technology, leadership, professionalism/work ethic, career management and global/intercultural fluency.

Bala Musa Ph.D.

Department of Communication Studies

Bala Musa Ph.D.: Remote working and telecommuting will continue to grow proportionately, as part of organizational operations. Self-managed teams, global collaborations and machine-learning will be among the biggest trends in organizations of the future.

Bala Musa Ph.D.: Digital literacy, cultural literacy, information technology, data management and human communication skills courses and certifications will continue to be relevant in the workplace.

Bala Musa Ph.D.: A good job out of college is one that allows you to apply creative and critical thinking skills. Future work environments will require employees to innovate and adapt. Any job that helps you cultivate, sharpen and apply those skills will serve you and your organization well. It will prepare you to adapt in the face of change and future disruptions.

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Table of Contents

What is a project administrator, the importance of project administrators in today's project-driven environments, what qualifications do i need to become a project administrator, key responsibilities of the project administrator, project administrator job description, skills required to become project administrator , project administrator career path , how to become a project administrator , project administrator job outlook, ace your role in project management with simplilearn, exploring the impactful role of a project administrator.

What Is a Project Administrator? Roles and Responsibilities

Project administrators are critical to the effective implementation of numerous projects in various industries. They oversee and organize various tasks, ensure that deadlines are reached, and maintain team focus on the project's objectives.

The project administrator supports project management teams with administrative duties and supplementary operations. They aren't just those who push papers; they also have to ensure everyone has what they need to keep the project going forward.  

So, let’s uncover ‘what is a project administrator’ and their roles and responsibilities in detail.

A project administrator is a specialist in project facilitation, reporting, and analysis under the guidance of a project manager . Because the job demands regular monitoring and control of all project factors, it requires a significant deal of responsibility and effective time management. They also arrange the required team members. In addition to ensuring the project is completed on schedule and within the budget, the project administrator's job description can also involve securing further contracts.

In the dynamic commercial enterprise panorama of today, an organization's ability to carry out projects correctly is important to maintaining its competitiveness. Every successful mission has a skilled project administrator at its center who is the engine of the task's success. 

Project administration requires cooperation with a diverse range of team members at every level to ensure that the project stays on course and goals are met on schedule. Depending on the size of the organization or project, there can be dozens of project management jobs to ensure everything is going according to plan. 

Efficient Management of Resources

Project administrators manage resources by making sure they are available when needed. Effective resource management impacts timely delivery, cost containment, and project efficiency. Team members must have access to data that tells them what to work on next at every stage of the project. 

Mitigation of Risks

Any project involves risks, including unstable markets and technical difficulties. Project administrators can help minimize interruptions, lower the chance of project failures, and increase overall project resilience by proactively addressing potential risks and concerns. Risk assessment and developing mitigation techniques are essential parts of project management.

Efficient Communication 

It is often recognized that one of the major issues facing companies today is effective communication. Establishing communication channels, holding meetings, and sharing project information are all key goals for project administrators to make sure everyone is aware and on the same page. Encouraging board members, customers, and consumers to inspire collaboration between other roles. Uplifting open and transparent communication, which in turn reduces miscommunication in teamwork.

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Formal qualifications are not necessary to become a project administrator, though they could be helpful. But if you are proficient in computer literacy and office administration, it can act as leverage for you. 

  • A bachelor's degree in a related business administration or subject.
  • At least two years of experience in an administrative role.
  • Ability to function both individually and in groups.
  • Excellent communication and organizing abilities.
  • Expertise in Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Familiarity with project administration software.

While a project administrator's work can vary greatly, fundamental responsibilities will always need to be met. Ensure you have the ability to perform these jobs before applying for this position. 

Tracking of Tasks 

Keeping an eye on the project plan is central to the undertaking of the project administrator’s task. The project administrator is accountable for taking care of individual tasks, even as the project manager ensures that each crew member contributes to the growth of the task.

Project administrators meticulously review the timetable, and team members provide them with task-by-task updates. Upon discovering the possibility of missing the deadline, they promptly notify the project manager. 

Budget Management

Project administrators are frequently in charge of managing a team's resource management strategy and keeping track of project spending. The project administrator works in the background to ensure the project stays within the budget. In contrast, the project manager is focused on allocating resources and conducting transactions for project needs. 

The project administrator prioritizes the most careful planning and scheduling of program operations, programs, and resources. They ensure that the board is aware of their roles and responsibilities by helping to define project objectives, deliverables, and milestones clearly. A project's success depends on efficient planning and scheduling, which in turn reduces the possibility of scope array and unforeseen deadlines.

Organizing Meetings

An integral aspect of the project workflow is the meeting. Frequent meetings can encourage teamwork and guarantee that all team members communicate openly. Meeting scheduling is usually the responsibility of administrators, but managers set the agenda. The project administrator is responsible for ensuring everyone on the team is informed by sending out meeting notes and action items following each meeting.  

Routine Maintenance of Documents

Keeping up-to-date and complete project documentation, including meeting minutes, progress reports, project plans, and other relevant records, guarantees that project activities are accurately recorded. It also serves as a historical resource for projects and promotes knowledge transfer. It is important to inform stakeholders regularly about project status, progress, and obstacles encountered.

Hiring External Contractors

Project administrators frequently assist in contracting, even though project managers typically decide when contractors are required. This could involve creating budgets for contract work, maintaining and negotiating contracts, recording contractor activity, and enabling payments. 

Become a Project Management Professional

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  • 22 Million Jobs Estimated For Project Management Professionals By 2027

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  • 12 Full-Length Simulation Test Papers (180 Questions Each)

Post Graduate Program in Project Management

  • Receive Post Graduate Program Certificate and Alumni Association Membership from UMass Amherst
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Here's what learners are saying regarding our programs:

Katrina Tanchoco

Katrina Tanchoco

Shell - manila ,.

The interactive sessions make a huge difference as I'm able to ask for further clarifications. The training sessions are more engaging than the self-paced modules, it's easier now that i first decided to take up the online classroom training, and then followed it up with the self-paced learning (online and readings).

Nathan C

PHC Business Manager , Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit

I wanted to transition into the Project Management field and wanted the right opportunity to do so. Thus, I took that leap forward and enrolled in this course. My learning experience was fantastic. It suited my learning style.

To do their jobs, project administrators need a broad range of both hard and soft skills. The following are some of the most crucial skills to master if you wish to work in project management: 

Risk Management

Employers prefer candidates who can clearly understand how their actions will affect the team and project and take calculated risks . This calls for a certain amount of self-assurance as well as the capacity to understand the risk involved in a project. 

Time Management

Most businesses have tight schedules, and lost time often creates budget overruns. Employers appreciate applicants who can manage more time because they can manage the job better. With this capability, you can better manage your time, complete the project on time, and make sure that the project is completed before the deadline. 

Interpersonal Skills

Professionals who possess interpersonal skills are better able to forge lasting bonds with one another at work. Active listening, negotiation, mediation, dispute resolution, and persuasion are crucial interpersonal skills. 

Knowledge Of Project Management Software

Many companies nowadays use project management control software programs to automate and streamline their methods. Using these technologies efficiently is an important talent for an undertaking administrator and might simplify their job. 

Organization Skills

Excellent organizing abilities are highly valued by employers, as disorganized and careless project administrators are less likely to complete the tasks assigned to them. Setting priorities, juggling multiple tasks, and recording the project schedule for future reference are a few organizing skills. 


Throughout a project's lifecycle, circumstances can change quickly. In these situations, flexibility can assist project administrators in modifying existing procedures, creating new strategies, and guaranteeing the project's success.

Apart from project management, the project administrator can utilize their skills for other related activities. They can be plant managers, day-to-day company operators, or project managers who plan and execute projects. In addition, they can receive summons for managerial roles, such as construction manager or operation manager. If they are passionate about technology, they can take up roles as infrastructure project managers, business analysts, or IT project managers. 

Professionals can pursue a very wide variety of career paths before becoming project administrators, but the following are some of the most common:

Get a relevant degree. Since a project administrator role is entry-level, it is necessary to obtain relevant degrees to stand out to recruiting managers. Although you can enter general project administration with any degree, business or project management-focused degrees are very beneficial.

Many project administrators have master's or bachelor's degrees in business administration, project management, or similar subjects. Acquiring a degree in these fields can provide invaluable expertise and qualifications. 

Development as a Professional

Take into consideration earning project management certifications from online portals like Simplilearn. These credentials can improve your abilities and employment opportunities. See in this a credential specific to the profession and highly regarded, such as the PMP certification . 

Gain competence by working towards VET credentials like a Diploma in Project Management or Certificate IV in Project Management Practice. In this case, a BA in, let's say, finances can do you better because it gives you many more possibilities for different job positions.

Get Experience

Getting your industry-relevant expertise started in a temporary or support role might be a terrific way to start your career. Prior administrative assistant experience may be necessary for many project administrator positions. Prior expertise in different fields will benefit your career as a project administrator. They can also have additional certifications like Agile and PRINCE2 .

Our PMP Certification Training Course is aligned with the latest PMP exam guidelines to help you get started the right way! Pass your exam in the first attempt! Enroll now!

Project Administrator employment is expected to grow. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in project administration is predicted to grow by 10% over ten years between 2020 and 2030. One of the great expectations in this matter is that the demand for such services will be caused in many fields by the growing need to administrate support services. Having energy or environmental experience working on commercial projects will be valuable since both fields will be in high demand. 

Simplilearn's PMP training course covers the core subjects required of a project management professional. It covers current developments in technology and project management techniques and fundamental skills needed in project managers. Project management is a key theme of the courses offered at Simplilearn, focusing on commercial and strategic understanding. You can also take tests to ace your interviews.

1. How do project administrators stay organized? 

Project administrators can use various tools for work delegation, team communication, and project classification according to project status. By working together and delegating tasks using automation tools, you can boost engagement, creativity, and productivity.

2. Can a project administrator become a project manager? 

Project managers and administrators collaborate closely throughout the project. As they gain experience, they can use their knowledge to advance into project management roles.

3. What is a project administrator's typical salary? 

An average project administrator receives $73,000 in compensation annually. The pay varies according to experience and qualifications, among other things. While the highest-paid project administrators make over $80,000 annually, the lowest-paid project administrators only make $65,000.

4. How do project administrators deal with conflict?

Project administrators can establish an environment where disagreements are resolved amicably by identifying them, encouraging candid communication, and cultivating a team-oriented work environment. You can easily achieve long-term collaboration goals by acting as a mediator when required.

Our Project Management Courses Duration And Fees

Project Management Courses typically range from a few weeks to several months, with fees varying based on program and institution.

Recommended Reads

An Introduction to Project Management: A Beginner’s Guide

The Basic Principles of Project Management

What is Agile Project Management?

Project Management Interview Guide

PMP Study: 3 Types of Contracts in Project Management

What Is Project Management?

Get Affiliated Certifications with Live Class programs

  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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How to Become a Business Operations Manager

By Stephen Carrozzino

Published: March 5, 2024

A career as a Business Operations Manager is exciting and challenging, perfect for those with a keen interest in business, a knack for problem-solving, and a desire to lead. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about becoming a Business Operations Manager – from the essential skills you’ll need to develop to the education pathways you can take and the steps involved in climbing the career ladder.

Career Summary

Business operations manager salary.

Business Operations Manager Salary

According to , you can expect the following range for a business operations manager’s salary:

  • Entry Salary (US$54k)
  • Median Salary (US$85k)
  • Executive Salary (US$133k)

In comparison to the average income for U.S. citizens, which was around $60,575 as of 2022 , Business Operations Managers often earn a higher-than-average salary , especially at the median and executive levels.

What does a Business Operations Manager do?

A Business Operations Manager’s primary responsibility is to ensure that the daily operations of a business run smoothly. This role typically involves managing teams, implementing efficient processes, making key business decisions, and working with both internal teams and external partners. They also handle financial management, vendor management, and strategic planning, among other duties.

Business Operations Manager Career Progression

  • Business Operations Associate: An entry-level role where individuals support the operations team by assisting with various tasks such as project management, process improvement, and data analysis.
  • Business Operations Manager: This mid-level role is responsible for managing daily operations, making key business decisions, managing teams, and coordinating with other departments.
  • Senior Business Operations Manager: In this senior role, individuals often take on more complex projects, lead larger teams, and contribute more to strategic planning and decision-making.
  • Director of Operations: This executive role oversees all operations within a business, develops operational strategies, and works closely with the top executives to achieve the company’s goals.
  • Vice President of Operations/Chief Operations Officer ( COO ): In larger organizations, business operations managers may have opportunities to progress to the role of a vice president of operations or COO. They are responsible for aligning operations with the organization’s overall strategy and driving operational excellence.

Business Operations Manager Career Progression

  • The opportunity to make key decisions that significantly impact a business.
  • Exposure to many different aspects of the business leads to a broad understanding of the organization.
  • The role is often challenging and varied, leading to personal and professional growth.
  • High earning potential, especially at senior and executive levels.
  • The role can come with high stress due to its nature of being responsible for many aspects of the business.
  • Long hours are often required, mainly when dealing with operational issues or key projects.
  • The role often requires dealing with conflict, both within teams and with external partners or clients.

Useful Skills to Have as a Business Operations Manager

  • Leadership and Team Management
  • Strategic Thinking and Planning
  • Financial Management and Budgeting
  • Excellent Communication Skills
  • Analytical Thinking and Problem-Solving
  • Understanding of Business Law and Regulations

Popular Business Operations Manager Specialties

  • Supply Chain Operations
  • Financial Operations
  • Sales Operations
  • Human Resources Operations
  • Production/Manufacturing Operations

How to become a Business Operations Manager

Business Operations Manager 5 Steps to Career

Being a Business Operations Manager is a rewarding and challenging career path offering diverse responsibilities. However, getting there involves several steps and a dedicated education and professional development approach.

Education: The First Step to Becoming a Business Operations Manager

Getting a degree in a relevant field is the first step in becoming a Business Operations Manager. It lays the foundation and equips you with the knowledge and skills required in business operations.

Do I Need a Degree to Become a Business Operations Manager?

The short answer is yes . While there are exceptions to every rule, most companies prefer hiring Business Operations Managers with at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration, management, or a related field. A degree tells employers that you understand business principles and management techniques and possess the critical thinking skills necessary for the job.

Why is it Important to Get a Degree in Business Operations Management?

A degree in Business, Operations Management, or a related field is crucial because it provides an in-depth understanding of business principles, processes, and practices. It exposes you to subjects like project management, operations management, logistics, finance, and human resources – all vital components in a Business Operations Manager’s role.

Furthermore, a degree is often a prerequisite for higher-level roles. It serves as an indicator of your commitment, knowledge, and skills in the field.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Degree?

A bachelor’s degree in Business, Operations Management, or a related field typically takes four years to complete. However, the duration can vary depending on the institution, your pace of study, and whether you’re studying full-time or part-time.

The Standard Track: Four Years

In a standard track, you would complete your bachelor’s degree in about four years. This timeline assumes that you’re studying full-time, which usually means taking about 15 credit hours, or roughly five courses, per semester.

Throughout these four years, you’ll delve into various subjects, from the basics of business administration to the nuances of operations management. You’ll study finance, marketing, human resources, supply chain management, project management, and more. In many programs, you’ll also complete capstone projects that allow you to apply your learned skills to real-world scenarios.

Accelerated Programs: Less Than Four Years

Some universities offer accelerated programs that allow you to complete your degree in less than four years. These intensive programs often require a larger course load each semester or may include summer sessions. While challenging, this option could be excellent if you’re eager to dive into your career quickly.

Part-Time Studies: More Than Four Years

Part-time studies could be a viable option if you’re balancing other commitments like work or family. As a part-time student, you would take fewer courses each semester, extending the duration it takes to complete your degree. While this means spending more time before you graduate, it allows for flexibility in managing your education alongside other aspects of your life.

Transferring Credits: It Varies

Perhaps you’ve already completed some college-level coursework and hope to transfer these credits toward your degree in Business, Operations Management, or a related field. The impact on your timeline will depend on how many credits you can transfer and how they align with your new program’s requirements.

How Much Does It Cost to Study Business Operations Management at University?

The cost of studying Business Operations Management can vary greatly depending on the institution, the country, and the type of degree program. As of 2023, the average cost of a four-year degree program in the United States can range from $20,000 to over $100,000. However, numerous financial aid options, scholarships, and work-study programs are available to help offset these costs.

Can I Become a Business Operations Manager through Online Education?

Absolutely! Online education has revolutionized the way we learn, and it’s no different for aspiring Business Operations Managers. Many reputable universities and colleges now offer online degree programs in Business, Operations Management, and related fields, allowing you to balance your education with other commitments.

The advancement of technology has significantly impacted the realm of education, leading to the growth and acceptance of online learning. Online education has become a game-changer, especially for those who wish to balance their pursuit of higher education with other aspects of their lives, such as full-time employment or family responsibilities.

Online degree programs in Business Operations Management can provide a balance between your education and other life commitments. They typically offer the flexibility to complete coursework at your own pace and at times that work best for you. This convenience can be incredibly beneficial if you’re already in the workforce or managing other significant responsibilities.

Web Resources to Learn Skills to Become a Business Operations Manager

Aside from formal education, numerous web resources allow you to learn and develop the skills needed to become a Business Operations Manager. Websites like Coursera , edX , and LinkedIn Learning offer project management, financial management, leadership courses, and more.

Blogs, podcasts, and industry-specific publications like Harvard Business Review and Business Insider can also be invaluable resources. They provide insights into business operations management’s latest trends, challenges, and opportunities.

Practical Experience: The Gateway to Becoming a Business Operations Manager

While education sets the groundwork, nothing can substitute the value of hands-on experience in the field. Gaining practical experience as an aspiring Business Operations Manager involves:

  •   Exploring internships
  •   Understanding the skills you’ll acquire
  •   Learning about the work-life balance in this profession

Internship Opportunities for a Business Operations Manager

Internships indeed serve as a pivotal stepping-stone on the path to becoming a Business Operations Manager. These practical experiences, often undertaken during or shortly after your degree, bridge the gap between academic knowledge and real-world business operation dynamics.

Many organizations – from major corporations to thriving startups and even purpose-driven non-profit organizations – understand the value of internships and hence offer positions in business operations. These opportunities will expose you to the daily responsibilities of a Business Operations Manager. You might assist with project management, contributing to strategic planning, analyzing operational processes, and suggesting improvements.

Internships also offer a fantastic platform for networking. You’ll interact with professionals at various levels within the organization, fostering relationships that could benefit your future career. Moreover, making a strong impression during your internship could lead to a job offer from the same organization.

You can find internships through various sources:

  • University career centers offer listings, connections, and resources.
  • Online job search platforms like Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn have internship listings.
  • Company websites often advertise internship opportunities.
  • Joining professional associations related to operations management provides networking and internship resources.
  • Attend career fairs and networking events to meet employers offering internships.

Make sure to regularly check these sources, tailor your application, and proactively inquire about opportunities.

Skills You Will Learn as a Business Operations Manager

As a Business Operations Manager, you’ll acquire diverse skills essential for driving business success. These can be broadly categorized into technical skills and soft skills .

Technical skills include:

  • Project Management: Overseeing projects from inception to completion.
  • Financial Management: Understanding and managing budgets, forecasting, and financial reporting.
  • Operational Efficiency: Streamlining processes for maximum efficiency.

Soft skills include:

  • Leadership: Guiding, inspiring, and motivating a team.
  • Communication: Effectively conveying information and fostering open dialogue.
  • Problem-Solving: Identifying issues and developing innovative solutions.

Remember, these skills are learned through formal education and honed during internships and on the job.

Work-Life Balance of a Business Operations Manager

The work-life balance of a Business Operations Manager can vary based on factors like the company culture , industry, and individual workload. Since it’s a role that involves overseeing multiple facets of a business, it can be demanding and may occasionally require longer hours or weekend work.

However, with effective time management and the ability to delegate tasks appropriately, Business Operations Managers can achieve a satisfying work-life balance. It’s also noteworthy that many companies today strongly emphasize work-life balance, offering flexible schedules, remote work options, and wellness programs.

What’s the Career Outlook for Business Operations Manager?

Becoming a Business Operations Manager isn’t just about getting the skills and qualifications; it’s also important to understand the career outlook, job opportunities, and types of companies that could be your potential employers. Let’s dive into each of these topics.

What is the Career Outlook for Business Operations Managers in the US?

The career outlook for a Business Operations Manager is generally promising. According to the U.S.News , there is a projected employment growth of 6.7% for business operations managers from 2021 to 2031. This growth rate equates to approximately 209,800 new jobs.

The increasing complexity of global business operations and the need for firms to improve efficiency and control costs are among the factors driving this growth. As a Business Operations Manager, you can expect a dynamic and evolving career that responds to these demands.

Business Operations Manager Popular Career Specialties

Job Opportunities for a Business Operations Manager

As a Business Operations Manager, you’ll find job opportunities in various industries, given the versatile nature of this role.

Here are some common job opportunities for business operations managers:

  • Operations Manager: Business operations managers often start their careers as operations managers. In this role, they oversee day-to-day operations, manage teams, and ensure efficient business processes.
  • Supply Chain Manager: Many business operations managers specialize in supply chain management. They are responsible for managing the flow of goods and services, coordinating with suppliers, optimizing inventory levels, and ensuring timely delivery.
  • Process Improvement Manager: Business operations managers with expertise in process improvement may work as process improvement managers. They identify inefficiencies, streamline processes, implement best practices, and drive continuous improvement efforts.
  • Business Analyst : Some business operations managers transition into business analyst roles. They analyze data, identify trends, provide insights for decision-making, and support strategic planning and operational improvements.
  • Operations Consultant: Business operations managers may work as consultants, either independently or as part of consulting firms. They provide expert advice to organizations on improving operational efficiency, optimizing processes, and implementing best practices.

What Type of Companies Hire a Business Operations Manager?

Due to the versatile nature of the role, almost every type of company needs a Business Operations Manager.

Here are a few examples:

  • Large Corporations: Many large corporations hire business operations managers to oversee and optimize their operations across multiple departments or business units. These corporations span various industries such as technology, manufacturing, retail , finance, healthcare, and more.
  • Startups and Scale-ups: Startups and scale-up companies often require business operations managers to establish and streamline their operations as they grow. These managers play a crucial role in setting up efficient processes, managing resources, and ensuring smooth day-to-day operations.
  • Consulting Firms: Consulting firms frequently hire business operations managers to work with clients on improving their operational efficiency, optimizing supply chains, and implementing process improvements. These managers provide valuable insights and recommendations to drive operational excellence for client organizations.
  • IT companies: The IT field offers a wealth of opportunities for Business Operations Managers. You could manage project delivery, streamline operational processes, or even handle client relationships. With the rise of tech companies and the digitalization of businesses, the demand for Business Operations Managers in this sector is more than ever.
  • Financial Institutions: Business Operations Managers are vital in the world of finance. Banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions rely on them to streamline processes, manage teams, and deliver financial services. In this industry, you might oversee the implementation of regulatory changes, manage risk, or develop strategies to increase customer satisfaction.
  • Retail and E-commerce Companies: In the retail and e-commerce industry, Business Operations Managers ensure that all operations, from order processing to delivery, run smoothly. You may also be responsible for inventory management, customer service, and digital marketing. The goal is to ensure customers’ seamless shopping experience and improve business performance.
  • Manufacturing and Production companies: The manufacturing industry is a popular sector for Business Operations Managers. As a manager in this field, you’ll be critical in overseeing production processes, ensuring quality control, managing supply chains, and coordinating with other departments for seamless operation. Your skills will be instrumental in increasing efficiency, reducing waste, and contributing to the bottom line.

Should I become a Business Operations Manager?

Making a career choice is a significant decision that has far-reaching implications on your professional life and personal satisfaction. Having covered the steps to becoming a Business Operations Manager, the different sectors offering opportunities, and the career outlook, you might now wonder, “Is this the right path for me?” Let’s discuss some considerations to help you make an informed decision.

First and foremost, it’s essential to understand the role of a Business Operations Manager thoroughly. This position requires a balance of technical knowledge, interpersonal skills, and problem-solving knack. You’ll be expected to wear many hats – from managing people and projects to making strategic decisions that impact the business’s bottom line.

Consider your strengths, skills, and areas of interest. Do you enjoy leading and managing teams? Are you good at strategizing and problem-solving? Are you keenly interested in business processes and how to improve them? If the answer to these questions is yes, you might find a career as a Business Operations Manager both fulfilling and rewarding.

A career in business operations management can provide numerous opportunities for growth and advancement. However, remember that this role can also be demanding. While it offers diverse responsibilities and learning opportunities, it may also require long hours and the ability to handle high-pressure situations.

Ultimately, choosing a career is more than deciding what you will do to make a living. It’s about finding a path that resonates with who you are, what you’re good at, and where you want to be in the future. Take a moment to reflect on the journey of becoming a Business Operations Manager and whether this career path aligns with your aspirations, skills, and interests.

Careers Related to Business Operations Manager

  • Business Analyst
  • Finance Director
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Marketing Manager
  • Project Manager

Frequently Asked Questions

Can i transition into a business operations manager role from a different field.

It’s possible to transition into a Business Operations Manager role from different fields, especially those related to business administration, finance, or project management. Your transferable skills, such as leadership, problem-solving, and strategic planning, can be valuable in a business operations role.

Can I work remotely as a Business Operations Manager?

With the advent of digital technologies and the shift towards remote work in many industries, working remotely as a Business Operations Manager is possible. However, this can depend on the company’s policies and the nature of the work.

What’s the difference between a Business Operations Manager and a Project Manager?

While there’s some overlap, a Business Operations Manager typically oversees the day-to-day operations of a business or department. At the same time, a Project Manager manages specific projects from initiation to completion. Both roles require strong leadership and organizational skills.

Are they any professional organizations for Business Operations Managers?

Yes, several professional organizations exist for Business Operations Managers, such as the American Management Association (AMA) and the Production and Operations Management Society (POMS). These organizations offer resources, networking opportunities, and professional development programs.

What are the most challenging aspects of being a Business Operations Manager?

Some common challenges include managing teams, making strategic decisions under pressure, and constantly looking for ways to improve efficiency and effectiveness. However, these challenges can also provide opportunities for growth and learning.

Can i pursue a part-time or flexible role as a Business Operations Manager?

While full-time roles are more common, part-time or flexible roles may be available, depending on the company and the nature of the work. Some companies may offer flexible working hours or remote work options to accommodate different needs and lifestyles.

Stephen Carrozzino

About the Author

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Humanitarian affairs officer, p3.

  • UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Org. Setting and Reporting

The position is located in the Operations and Advocacy Division (OAD), Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). OCHA is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. OCHA also ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response efforts. OCHA's mission is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors in order to alleviate human suffering in disasters and emergencies; advocate the rights of people in need; promote preparedness and prevention and facilitate sustainable solutions.

This position-specific job opening is being advertised for the position of Humanitarian Affairs Officer with the OCHA Regional Office for Asia-Pacific (ROAP) in Bangkok, Thailand. Under the overall supervision of the Head of Office OCHA ROAP, the incumbent reports to the Head of Operations Unit.


Within delegated authority, the Humanitarian Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties:

• Provides support to humanitarian operations in countries under the remit of the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, including through the undertaking of extended field missions. Deploy rapidly and on short notice, as required, to provide emergency support and technical expertise to countries with OCHA offices as well as RCOs and UN Country Teams. • Monitors, analyzes and reports on humanitarian developments, disaster relief/management or emergency situations in assigned country/area. • Organizes and prepares studies on humanitarian, emergency relief and related issues; organizes follow-up work, including interagency technical review meetings to support policy development work and decision-making on important issues. Drafts and prepares regular situation papers/reports highlighting relevant operational factors affecting the humanitarian situation and response efforts. • Prepares or contributes to the preparation of various written reports, documents and communications, e.g. drafts sections of studies, background papers, policy guidelines, parliamentary documents, briefings, case studies, presentations, correspondence, etc. • Ensures appropriate monitoring and reporting mechanisms; provides information and advice on a range of related issues • Reviews and provides advice on policy issues related to safeguarding humanitarian principles and ensuring the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance. • Partners with other humanitarian agencies to plan and evaluate humanitarian and emergency assistance programmes and help ensure that latest findings, lessons learned, policy guidelines, etc. are incorporated into these activities, including gender-related considerations. • Provides substantial support to sector/cluster working groups as required and facilitate exchange on cross cutting issues. • Establishes and maintains contacts with government officials, other UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, diplomatic missions, media, etc. • Support advocacy initiatives on issues impacting humanitarian needs and response efforts through the collection of information, liaison with humanitarian partners, governments • Manages the production of appeals for international assistance, including Humanitarian Response Plans and Flash Appeals. • Ensures the proper use and spending of donor contributions channeled through OCHA. • Undertakes and provides support to technical assistance and other field missions, e.g. participates in field trips to undertake in-depth reviews of specific country coordination mechanisms. • Organizes and participates in work groups, meetings, conferences, consultations with other agencies and partners on humanitarian and emergency relief-related matters. • Performs other duties as required.


• PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of a range of humanitarian assistance, emergency relief and related human rights issues, including approaches and techniques to address difficult problems. Analytical capacity and in particular the ability to analyze and articulate the humanitarian dimension of issues which require a coordinated UN response. Ability to identify issues and judgment in applying technical expertise to resolve a wide range of problems. Ability to conduct research, including ability to evaluate and integrate information from a variety of sources and assess impact on the humanitarian rights situation in assigned country/area. Ability to work under extreme pressure, on occasion in a highly stressful environment (e.g. civil strife, natural disasters and human misery); ability to provide guidance to new/junior staff. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

• TEAMWORK: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

• PLANNING AND ORGANIZING: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.

Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in political science, social science, public administration, international studies, economics, engineering, earth sciences or a related field. A first-level university degree in combination with two years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in humanitarian affairs, emergency preparedness, crisis/emergency relief management, rehabilitation, development, or other related area is required.

Experience coordinating Humanitarian Programme Cycle (HPC) processes at the national level (such as the development of Humanitarian Response Plans, Flash Appeals, Response Plans and Emergency Response Preparedness/Contingency Plans) is required.

At least two (2) years (in the last five years) of humanitarian experience at the international level in the field (actual setting where a mission or project is being implemented) in emergency situations (complex emergency or natural disaster) is desirable.

Experience in a humanitarian context within the UN common system or other comparable international organization is desirable.

Experience in the Asia-Pacific region is desirable.

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is desirable.

Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

This position is funded for a finite period of one year. Extension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and the availability of the funds. Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-general and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position. An impeccable record for integrity and professional ethical standards is essential.

External candidates (including OCHA temporary appointees and OCHA national field staff) who are selected for a position in field duty stations may be strategically placed on a fixed term appointment limited to a specific position or to a specific country office in accordance to the paragraph 2.2 (b) of administrative instruction ST/AI/2013/1 on the administration of fixed-term appointment which provides that an FTA may be granted to individuals who are "(b) Selected but not reviewed by a Secretariat review body for appointments limited to specific entities".

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Reasonable accommodation may be provided to applicants with disabilities upon request, to support their participation in the recruitment process.

By accepting a letter of appointment, staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General, who may assign them to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). Further, staff members in the Professional and higher category up to and including the D-2 level and the Field Service category are normally required to move periodically to discharge functions in different duty stations under conditions established in ST/AI/2023/3 on Mobility, as may be amended or revised. This condition of service applies to all position specific job openings and does not apply to temporary positions.

Applicants are urged to carefully follow all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira, and to refer to the Applicant Guide by clicking on “Manuals” in the “Help” tile of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.


How to apply

Latest updates, projet 21 - tchad: monitoring de protection - rapport mensuel (avril 2024), unicef zambia flash update (cholera) - 8 may 2024, gaza: el dique humanitario flotante es bienvenido, pero insuficiente.

Peru + 7 more

DTM - Encuesta de Monitoreo de Flujos: TerminaleRegión Desaguadero, Perú, Ronda 1 (Octubre - Dicimbre 2023)


  1. Career Outlook in Project Management

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  4. Project Manager Salary

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  5. Is a Project Management Career Right for You?

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  6. Global Project Management Job Trends 2023

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    Still, the PM Network 2021 Jobs Report reveals that prospects may vary greatly by region: Africa: After surviving its worst economic recession in half a century, Africa is projected to recover in 2021, with GDP projected to grow by 3.4 percent, according to the African Development Bank Group. But the tension between managing costs and pushing ...

  14. 2022 Jobs Report

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is projecting 4.9 percent economic growth in 2022—still trending upward, but a dip from the 5.9 percent expected to cap 2021. The leveling of growth is expected to span all regions and nearly all the world's largest job producers.

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    The job outlook for project managers varies depending on their industry. While employment data is unavailable specifically for project managers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides this information by industry. ... Here are six jobs you can get with a graduate degree in project management. Some jobs may require you to earn a graduate ...

  16. What Does an IT Project Manager Do?

    IT Project Manager Salary and Job Outlook. Wondering what the average salaries are for IT project managers? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer and information systems managers such as IT project managers earn a median annual wage of $159,010. Those in the top 10% of this occupation earn an annual average salary of ...

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