Today we publish an interview with Noel Radley, managing editor and researcher at online project management technology research firm Software Advice. She has lead a research on the Digital Project Manager and the results are very revelaing about the current situation of these professionals.
Q1. Noel, what was the universe of your research on Digital Project Manager role?
A: “In April, we published an analysis of current project manager job listings to reveal the ideal PM candidate. As a follow-up report, we wanted to learn what employers seek in a digital project manager (DPM), a rapidly growing role in web-development and software industries. We analyzed 200 job listings to uncover the current skills and certifications employers are most looking for in DPM candidates.”
Q2. What are the main conclusions from your research on the Digital Project Manager role?
A: “A main conclusion from our research revealed that 58 percent of employers prefer or require candidates to have a higher education degree. When we drilled further into the areas of academic concentration, we discovered that the top requested degrees were Business and Marketing, both at 18 percent, closely followed by Tech/IT/IS and Communications/English, both at 15 percent. Experts we talked to explained the diverse top concentrations by the fact that the DPM role involves both right- and left-brain thinking: it is both an art and a science.”
Q3. Based on your research on the Digital Project Manager role, what are the new skills most demanded for Digital Project Managers?
A: “Our analysis identified that 75 percent of DPM job listings mentioned specific technical skills in their descriptions. Of those, the most-requested skill was web programming. Since the DPM role is highly involved in web-centric projects and tasks, including web design, this top requested skill is logical. In addition, as the role of a DPM also requires more traditional project management methodologies and ideologies, it makes sense that the third-most requested skill we discovered is knowledge in project management software.”
Q4: OK, technical skills over management skills. According to the role descriptions analyzed in your research, do DPMs really manage the project budget? What is the average salary of a DMP compared with a traditional PM?
A: “The data we analyzed didn’t reflect any key findings about budget-specific roles, and we chose to not focus on salary (many listings didn’t include salary information). However, a specific DPM position within a company might include certain project budget aspects, such as social media or advertising budgets, but that might not necessarily mean the overarching project would be overseen by a DPM.”
Q5: Do you plan to do a periodic update of your report on the Digital Project Manager role?
A: “It would be very compelling to continue this research as a year-to-year report: follow the evolution of the DPM role and how it might change over time. Tracking the skill sets and certifications that employers are looking for would be beneficial for professionals looking to learn more about how to make the switch into this role.”
Below you can see the results of this research study: