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AURAK Masterclass

Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, March 1, 2023: As the shift from efficiency-driven to change-driven productivity gains rapid momentum, there is an acute talent gap in project management-oriented employment globally, and the world would need 25 million project professionals by 2030, according to the PMI (Project Management Institute) study.

The talent gap is likely to impact every region, which could result in a potential loss of up to $345.5 billion in global GDP by 2030 if jobs go unfilled, according to the PMI report.

Quoting the PMI study, experts at a Masterclass in ‘The Talent Gap in Project Management Oriented Employment’ at the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) pointed out that many studies forecast that project management linked jobs would be among the most sought-after by 2030.

Dr. Muataz Hazza Al Hazza, Associate Professor in Industrial Engineering, AURAK, said that project management jobs will among the Top 10 in-demand categories in 2030. He quoted a study by Microsoft using LinkedIn data that placed Project Manager jobs at No. 5 on the top 10 list.

Referring to the rise of Project Economy, a phrase coined by author Antonio Nieto, Dr. Muataz said the critical importance of this phenomenon has been endorsed subsequently by Harvard Business Review,  IBM Executive Cindy Anderson, ISO, Forbes magazine and a number of other renowned experts, the gist of which was that modern work is increasingly becoming  project-based rather than role-based.

Observing that ‘we were entering the fifth industrial revolution’, Dr. Muataz commented that current indicators point to a higher weightage to project management in the years to come, and all progressive countries were shifting the focus to a project economy, including the UAE. For example, the PMI UAE Chapter strategy changed its vision statement to: ‘Empower and influence individuals with the innovative Project Economy principles to turn ideas into a reality.’

According to Dr. Muataz, the most dramatic example of project management competency was provided in the development and commissioning of the Covid-19 vaccine. “What would normally take more than a decade was achieved in less than a year,” he said.

Eng. Ali Abdulla Alsuwaidi, Inspection Engineer and Corrosion Specialist, Adnoc Gas Processing — while underlining the projected need for 25 million project professionals by 2030 — said talent shortage would pose a serious threat to the project economy. To close the talent gap, 2.3 million people would need to enter PMOE every year – this would include project managers and all changemakers, according to the PMI report.

“So, we are speaking of a massive talent gap across the globe,” he said. “This gap will be all the more acute in the MENA region due to the high youth unemployment and two thirds of the population being under the age of 35, leading to a $3 billion loss in GDP by 2030.”

Dr. Mohammed Alnahhal, Assistant Professor, Industrial Engineering, School of Engineering, AURAK, spoke about the extra risks posed by global supply chains, and provided tips on how to manage these risks. Citing classic examples of disruptions in supply chain management – including the famous case of Ericsson going into losses because of its failure to foresee the fallout of a fire in a microchip supplier (Philips) factory – he said without successful implementation of supply chain management, businesses could face major disasters. He stressed on resilience — which is the ability to recover quickly from disruption — as a key prerequisite in project management.

The Masterclass was hosted by AURAK to highlight the university’s Master of Science in Engineering Project Management that includes a field application project, a capstone course in which the graduate student evidences the ability to apply the program learning outcomes to an applied project that integrates all basic elements of project management: planning, organizing, securing, managing, leading and controlling resources, to result in achievable specific goals project.

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