When looking for jobs in a field as expansive as project management, you want to set yourself apart from the competition with the skills, experience, and education that can make your resume stand out. With so many certificates and online courses out there, it is hard to decide which to invest in so that your resume has the best possible reception among prospective employers.
The best investments are ones that address rising trends in business and meet the needs of a company struggling to stay a step ahead of their stealthy competition. You want your resume to shine with the sparkle of a rare gem amid the growing stack of other job candidates who pale in comparison to your expertise and stunning credentials.
If all this talk of rare gems and shining credentials has you dreaming of better days with your head in the clouds go ahead and stay right there – investing in the cloud just may be your ticket to a ride on the hottest project management trend of the decade. Project managers with cloud computing experience are hot right now and heavy in demand.
Taking the Pulse of Industry Leaders
The Project Management Institute is the premier organization for project managers across industries. This organization offers professional networking, seminars, and online discussions on just about everything related to project management. They are also the organization that oversees the credentialing of project managers; so they should obviously be well-informed about trends that savvy project managers should be watching for. On their website they tell their members that “a study commissioned by IT consulting and software firm Avanade in December 2008 and January 2009 found a 320 percent increase over the previous nine months in the number of respondents who said they’re testing or planning to implement cloud computing technology.”
This is great insight for project managers weighing the pros and cons of additional training to secure a solid competitive advantage over other candidates. Further, with the expansion of the global marketplace and consumer push for more transparency and “green” business practices, project managers with cloud computing experience are in demand for a number of reasons. A project manager with the proper training in the applications of cloud technology is well positioned to lead company wide initiatives addressing several current strategic business transformations at once.
The same report underscores the advantages of cloud computing by saying that, “With cloud computing, you’ll see a smaller carbon footprint with less paperwork, a reduced need for storage and a decreasing demand for office space.” Project managers who bring an understanding of cloud computing to the table increase desirability as corporate executives find themselves in need of project managers who can spearhead company wide projects to bring cloud computing on board.
The Move toward Standardizing and Fully Integrating the Cloud
Another important event solidifying the need for more project managers with cloud computing literacy happened in April of 2011. At that time the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) launched a huge cloud computing initiative which indicated that cloud computing is here to stay. With cloud computing becoming more and more how business in the international marketplace is done, the IEEE set out to standardize the practice and establish best practice protocols for its global applications.
In a statement regarding cloud computing an IEEE representative stated, “Cloud computing will change everything. It is one of the three aspects of the ‘perfect storm’ of technology waves currently sweeping across humanity, the other two being massive deployment of very smart mobile devices, and ubiquitous high-speed connectivity.”
The IEEE is over 400,000 members strong, representing 160 countries world-wide. It is the largest professional association on the globe and is dedicated to promoting science and technology across the world. They set standards of practice in place to be used internationally. Membership and other information about the organization can be found here.
Out of the Clouds and Down to Earth
If all of this information about cloud technology has your mind spinning with possibilities, you’ll probably want to take some time to get a plan in place for securing the skills and education you’ll need to build your niche in the cloud. Consider the type of project management work that you do. When looking at and comparing regionally ranked online universities you’ll want to partake in a program that complements what you already offer an employer.
While most certificate programs will cover topics like “cloud migration,” “virtualization,” and “cloud project management” you’ll need to be able to think of concrete ways you can align your skills with cloud technology training. Here are some solid examples of how cloud technology can be used by project managers across industries to facilitate more effective business practices; the cloud can help you:
- reduce paper waste, by storing files electronically on the Internet
- increase productivity through improving access to data via mobile devices anywhere an employee is working (think easier access for data needed to create reports, or persuade a potential investor)
- streamline efficiency with a decrease in redundant files and procedures
- increase team collaboration through discussion groups, real time data sharing, and increased access to shared projects and documents
- promote cost-effective growth (software that a client need is on cloud, no need for an IT professional to load software on every user’s computer)
- increase time efficiency with remote management capabilities and meetings possible with web-based tools which allow team members to check in with one another and respond to simple items via cloud technology
- improve triple bottom line effectiveness through efforts like: reducing energy costs from decreased copying/printing and increasing ability for flexible employee scheduling (working at home through cloud)
In The End
For project managers looking for ways to set themselves apart from the competition, it is a great idea to look at the business trends currently reported through reputable trade associations. Investing in additional training through an online program in a hot trend such as cloud computing is a smart way to learn more, network with peers, and gain mentoring through the top notch professionals teaching in a reputable program.
In addition to online courses, attending local events and conferences or participating in online forums is also a good use of your time. Connecting with top notch peers through a professional association shows a prospective employer that you are dedicated to advancing in the field and know how to go after what you need to secure the competitive advantage.
Project managers with cloud technology training will be able to meet a wide range of employer’s needs throughout the entire global marketplace and compete for top jobs not just here at home, but also internationally. Investing in cloud training to complement your current education and experience just might be that little extra gem your resume needs to leverage yourself into positions where the sky really is the limit. Go on, what are your waiting for – reach for the cloud!