This year the Project Management sector within Ireland is set to be both challenging and opportunistic for candidates and clients alike.

Throughout 2018, the PMO (Project Management Operations) sector and the technology industry as a whole experienced well-reported growth. Ireland’s unemployment rate continues to lower and in January 2019 was reported as 5.3% – a ten year low.

In 2019, Project Managers now have a choice of employment opportunities, resulting in what’s known as a candidate driven market.

IBEC forecasts that employment is on track to grow by a further 2.5% in 2019. With regards to jobs within the Project Management sector, the industries that we anticipate growth in include Fintech, Retail, IT, Construction, Utilities, Consultancies and the Public Sector.

Demand for Project Managers in 2019

The Central Bank of Ireland has forecasted an unemployment rate of 4.9% for 2019, which means we’re quickly approaching full employment.

Moreover, the Cpl 2019 Salary Guide showed there have been year-on-year wage increases for the past five years. While Chartered Accounts Ireland have forecasted wage inflation will accelerate to 3.6% in 2019 from 2.4 % in 2018.

As a result, the skills shortage is only going to get tighter. This will have a knock-on effect of increased daily rates and higher salary demands within the Projects sector.

There’s good news globally speaking too. The Project Management Institute predicts the demand for Project Managers will outstrip supply over the next 10 years. By 2027 employers will need 87.7 million individuals working in project management-oriented roles.

Project Management Trends 2019

Digital Transformation

The digital revolution has resulted in a rise in competition within Dublin’s financial services market.

To remain competitive banks are developing and their online offerings and need the right people to manage these projects.

Candidates that have the technical and digital transformation prowess and that can support and advise these companies will be in increasingly high demand. As such relevant candidates can now dictate rates and salaries.

Most in Demand Project Management Jobs:

  • Agile Coaches
  • Product Owners
  • Scrum Masters
  • Business Analysts
  • Transformation Manager

Throughout 2018 we found that ERP Migrations/Implementations (Microsoft Dynamics to SAP), were the most in-demand programmes of work.

This niche skill set required contractors that have worked on a global scale, and both project & programme management experience.

For 2019 it looks no different and many organisations have already contacted our PMO recruitment team about hires for CRM and Financial System upgrades this year.

Dominant financial institutions have also invested in new systems such as Temenos, a new cloud-native banking software solution. The adoption of these new techniques has created a demand for skill sets which are often quite scarce in Ireland.

Frequently Cpl is now required to look to the UK and Europe to fulfil these niche skill sets. Luckily, we can do this as we’re well positioned to respond to these demands and have a sizeable presence throughout mainland Europe.

Digital Implementation projects have in the past been the bedrock for daily rate contract work. The need for clients to upscale quickly to meet project demands has caused daily rate increases, with little sign of it slowing down in 2019.

GDPR – Project Managers

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in May 2018. GDPR updated data protection legislation to reflect the rights and privacy expectations of the EU’s consumers.

As a direct result, in early 2018, the PMO team here at Cpl were tasked with finding numerous Projects Managers with Data Protection or Cyber Security qualifications.

Companies from all sectors required these skills to manage large scale projects that ensured they were GDPR compliant before the May 2018 deadline. However, the skills deficit in this area again redirected our search abroad to meet client demands.

For skilled projects Managers and Analysts in Ireland, it allowed them to command an increased rate of up to 800€ per day. We expect the same trend running into 2019 as many companies within the Irish market are still playing catch-up with regards to GDPR legislation.

Brexit – Projects and Change Managers

As the UK’s potential departure from the EU gets nearer we predict demand for experienced Project Managers who can support organisations in managing change during a period of uncertainty.

In a recent PWC report, it stated that nearly 61% of project and change managers in Ireland caution that their existing employers aren’t fully equipped for Brexit.

The report also revealed that most managers think Brexit will present a window of opportunity for new relationships and client openings, with financial services set to benefit the most.

Just another reason to expect a demand for PM’s that can help steer financial institutions throughout this turbulent time.

Project Management Courses & Upskilling

If you’re starting off your Project Manager career I’d advise joining the Project Management Institute.

You’ll get access to valuable knowledge and networks, plus it is a good talking point at interview stage as most Senior Project or Programme Managers are likely to be members.

PMO Courses

Prince 2 Foundation or Practitioner certification is a good place to start your qualification path. Both offer courses on a weekend basis which is handy if you have a Monday to Friday job.

Alternatively, there is the Project Management Professional cert (or PMP as it’s widely known). This is universally acknowledged as the Oscars level of certification when it comes to Project Management.

It’s a rigorous and detailed exam that covers the entire Project life cycle and charter that a Project Manager will encounter in their careers. It’s a demanding test but if you pass and have the accompanying entry requirements it’s an insurance policy that should propel your career.

PMP Requirements:

  • 35 hours of project management education
  • 4,500 hours of directing and leading projects
  • Four-year secondary degree

For those concerned that they don’t have the necessary qualifications, The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) is also an option and is widely recognised and regarded by Irish employers.

The PMI itself now offers qualifications for Projects Managers that have excelled in their career and are finding themselves managing programs or portfolios of work. This qualification is known as the PfMP (Portfolio Management Professional).

The PMI also offer courses for PMO (Project Manager Office) experts and coordinators, such as the PMI Scheduling Professional PMI-SP. Each course is a stepping stone and a way for an aspiring project and programme manager to stand out from the crowd.

The Outlook for the Future

2019 and beyond should prove to be a very opportunistic time for Project Managers and those working within the wider PMO market.

It’s imperative that more people enter the profession to narrow the widening talent gap that is so imminent. However, those who have already cultivated a career within the Irish market are well placed to command attractive daily rates going forward.

As both GDPR and Brexit are presenting challenges for the entire business sector, this will, in turn, prove to be an opportunity for Transformation, DPO and Cybersecurity Project Managers.

Staying competitive in the market is also crucial, so upskilling and keeping abreast of current methodologies is a wise choice for anyone wishing to solidify a career in the project management sector in 2019 and beyond.

Interested in learning more about Project Management job opportunities in Ireland? Get in touch, I’d be delighted to advise.