The human touch in a robot-run world: Why Project Managers are hotter than ever in 2024

human hand and robot hand hovering over glass ball

Forget flying cars and robot butlers; the real future was ushered in over the last year with widespread adoption of AI, and it's driving a surprising career boom: project management. Yes, the very role often seen as spreadsheets and charts is experiencing a renaissance, fueled in part by the rise of artificial intelligence.

Growing demand

In an age where machines tackle the mundane, the "soft skills" of a project manager have become superpowers. Leadership, communication, emotional intelligence – these are the keys to steering diverse teams through complex projects, navigating changing priorities, and inspiring peak performance. AI can't replicate these, and that's where skilled project managers become the irreplaceable human glue holding projects together.

Consider a few recent findings and headlines:

According to the Forbes article, some of the most popular sectors with opportunities for project managers include technology, construction, manufacturing, and finance.

Why now?

AI is not the only factor driving demand for project managers. Because we know project managers love a good list, we’ll give you 7 of the many additional reasons this field is growing:

  1. Acceleration of digital initiatives across industries.

  2. Need for skilled project managers to lead digital transformation projects.

  3. Addressing challenges associated with remote work environments.

  4. Ensuring compliance and risk management through effective project management.

  5. To remain competitive, companies need to focus on hiring problem solvers and relationship builders who can help them drive change and deliver strategic value.

  6. As companies grapple with issues like climate change, geopolitical issues and economic tumult, there’s a demand for project professionals who can navigate change and risk.

  7. Companies need empathetic, skilled leaders to ensure they understand how diversity, equity and inclusion issues can elevate the impact of projects.

Paths to a career in project management

If you’re born to be a project manager – and you likely are if you’re smart enough to consider a path which such notable demand – you're probably ready to lay out your path via a spreadsheet. There are a few routes you can choose to take that all lead to a successful career in project management.

The most traditional is to earn a bachelor's degree: While not always required, a bachelor's degree in a field like business administration, engineering, or project management can give you a strong foundation in the principles and practices of project management.

Another option is to get certified: Earning a project management certification, such as the Project Management Professional (PMP) or the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), can demonstrate your knowledge and skills to potential employers.

A less traditional option is to take the experiential route. Start by looking for entry-level positions in project management, such as project coordinator or assistant project manager. This will give you the opportunity to learn the ropes and gain practical experience. If you have specialized experience in a certain field and would like to advance your career via project management roles, you can volunteer to lead or manage small projects within your current role. This will demonstrate your initiative and ability to handle project tasks.

How to develop your skills

Lifelong learning and a growth mindset or key skills necessary to a successful career in project management. Take online courses, attend workshops, and network with other project managers. Attend industry events or webinars and connect with other project managers to learn from their experiences and build your professional network.

No matter which path you choose, the most important thing is to gain experience and develop the skills that are essential for success in project management. These skills include:

  • Leadership: The ability to motivate and inspire others to achieve project goals.

  • Communication: The ability to clearly and concisely communicate with stakeholders.

  • Organization: The ability to plan, schedule, and track project tasks.

  • Problem-solving: The ability to identify and resolve problems that arise during a project.

  • Teamwork: The ability to work effectively with others to achieve a common goal.


In a world increasingly powered by AI, it's not the robots taking over projects, but the humans who manage them. If you possess the vision, the leadership, and the empathy to guide teams through complex endeavors, then becoming a project manager might just be the smartest career move you make.

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