Interview with Chris Field: Attracting young people as PM: interview

Chris FieldTomorrow’s International Project Management Day is Chris Field. The UK’s biggest event to celebrate is Synergy.
Over 1000 project managers will be converged on the O2 arena in London. Chris Field, the President of the UK PMI Chapter and one the organizers, was my interview.
Is project management a good career choice when there is so much doom, gloom, or high unemployment? He had this to say.
Chris, why are so many young people choosing project managers?
I have no doubt that many young people are entering the profession, in some cases by design and others by accident. When their boss throws them a ball, they can’t help but catch it!
We could do so much more to promote this profession to those who are considering it for their future. Project management is an exciting career with endless possibilities. We need to spread awareness about this profession at all ages, especially among young professionals.
You are the President of the UK Chapter PMI. What does PMI do to encourage young people in project management?
There are many exciting initiatives offered by PMI that are geared towards younger people. The CAPM accreditation, for example, is designed to help those who are in the beginning stages of their project management careers. It’s an exciting qualification that equips those who enter the profession with the tools they need to manage projects effectively.
The Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF), which supports a variety of projects that introduce young people to project management, also grants funding to the UK. This grant is currently funding our work in a Hampshire school to introduce children and teens to Project Management.
I have written previously about the work of PMIEF in schools, but I didn’t know there were similar initiatives in the UK. This is good news for school-aged children because it helps them organize themselves effectively to complete education projects and it opens up the possibility of project managing as a career. What about young adults?
PMI has the Global Accreditation Centre for Project Management Education Programs (GAC), which accredits degree programmes at the bachelors, masters, and doctorate levels in project management offered by accredited institutions of higher learning worldwide.
This program is a great way for universities to get in touch with you. In the UK, we plan to put more emphasis on reaching students and teachers during 2012.
Students are the future generation of project managers, and I want to make sure they have every opportunity to experience the rewarding career of project management.
This could lead to new members. How many members are under 30 in the UK Chapter?
Recent surveys suggest that 20% of our members are younger than 35, so we still have a lot of work to do in attracting young members to the profession.
I hope that more people will choose to make project management a career. I enjoy it and believe it has a lot of potential. Why do you believe project management is a good career choice?
It is the only career I know of. It allows you to work with people from all walks of life.
You can also expect some amazing results as a project manager. This is because you are responsible for delivering some of the most complex projects in the world, such as major construction projects or the development and implementation of an IT system.
Thanks, Chris!
This article was published for the first time on 2 November 2011.