Project Managers: Stand Up and Be Counted

Tommy Goodwin is Government Relations Manager for the Project Management Institute.

Every day, project managers strive to transform ideas into reality. On January 1, 2018, the United States federal government began formally recognizing the work that project managers do and the significance of their contributions to the U.S. economy.

As the new year began, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) added “project management specialist” to its Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) system. The SOC reflects the current occupational composition of the U.S. workforce. Information about SOC-recognized occupations—such as employment levels and projections, pay and benefits, skills required and demographic characteristics of jobholders—is widely used by individuals, businesses, researchers, educators and policymakers. For example, the SOC forms the basis for the monthly U.S. jobs report.

This addition is big news for the project management profession, and it comes on the heels of another significant win for the profession. In December 2016, then-President Obama signed the Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (PMIAA), which established a job series and career path for federal project and program managers. With the BLS classification, there is now government recognition of project managers as part of a dedicated profession that impacts the U.S. economy in both the public and private sectors.

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"Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard of no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

- William Shakespeare

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