Communication and Project Leadership Skills are the Most Sought After Competencies in Project Management, New ESI Study Reveals

PR Newswire

Inaugural Asia Pacific Project Management Salary Survey offers insights into salary trends across countries, employment outlook, and core skillsets respondents think will fast-track their project management career

SINGAPORE, April 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- ESI International( ), the world's leading project management training company, today announced the key findings of its inaugural Asia Pacific Project Management Salary Survey, which was conducted with over 600 project management managers across multiple industry sectors in Asia Pacific, spanning mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Australia and New Zealand, as well as Southeast Asia nations including Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

In addition to uncovering salary trends across countries, the study also aims to examine the factors impacting salary improvement, employment outlook, and critical competencies hiring managers look for when recruiting project management professionals.

Key Takeaways:

-- Countries with the highest and lowest mean monthly

salary recorded: Across all industries, roles, and

experience levels, Australia emerged as the country

with the highest mean monthly salary registered

within the project management profession (USD11,350),

followed by New Zealand (USD9,161), Hong Kong

(USD7,500), Singapore (USD7,033), Malaysia (USD4,316),

mainland China (USD3,663), India (USD3,453) and

Indonesia (USD3,428).

-- Only 9 per cent of respondents were specialised in

Agile project management: Project management

professionals across Asia Pacific have the most

experience in programme management (24 per cent),

traditional or Waterfall project management (20 per

cent), and project portfolio management (19 per

cent), regardless of the industries they are in.

While only 9 per cent of survey respondents were

specialised in Agile, organisations in regulated

industries, such as the financial services sector,

are increasingly turning to Agile to align business

needs with IT and meet regulatory compliance.

-- Most respondents did not expect a further salary

improvement in 2014: Aside from annual increment and

bonus payouts, 62 per cent of respondents did not

expect a further salary improvement this year. Given

the current competitive business environment, the

finding indicates that organisations may be looking

at investing in training programmes for skillset

development and upgrading rather than salary

revisions in the near term.

-- Better economic outlook and increased job

responsibilities attributed as top factors in improving

current salary: 44 per cent of survey respondents

attributed a better economic outlook as a factor in

improving their current salary, while 31 per cent

attributed it to increased job responsibilities, which

will require acquisition of new skills, professional

experience and credentials.

-- Project leadership, and communication and general

management skills, rated by respondents across most

industries as the top two competencies for career

advancement: Across most industries, project

leadership, and communication and management skills,

are the top two critical competencies singled out by

respondents for career advancement. Technical or hard

skills were ranked as of lower importance to their

careers by respondents across most industries.

-- Agile project management (Scrum) and stakeholder

management regarded as critical competencies by

respondents from financial services sector for career

advancement: Respondents from the financial services

sector considered Agile and stakeholder management as

the top two core proficiencies vital for career


-- Fairly bullish hiring outlook across Asia Pacific for

the first half of 2014: Hiring managers who are

looking to add new headcount to the project management

team are likely to do so within the next 3 or 6 months.

-- Communication and project leadership skills are the

most critical and sought after competencies in project

management: Hiring managers across Asia Pacific regard

communication and project leadership skills as the most

critical competencies when recruiting project management

professionals. These are also the same critical

competencies that survey respondents across most

industries think will help fast-track their careers.

"Business soft skills are just as critical for career success even for a hard skills-centric profession like project management. Continuous learning and competency upgrading is therefore instrumental in aligning both technical and business skillsets with industry requirements and advancing the project manager's career path," said Raed S. Haddad, Managing Director for Asia Pacific, ESI International. "Organisations are advised to adopt a more strategic view on training and development, given the significant cost and time advantage of developing talent internally versus hiring from the outside, in order to address staffing challenges associated with the shortages of experienced project managers today."

To download a copy of the full report, please visit:

About ESI International

ESI International is a global project-focused training company helping people around the world improve the way they manage projects, contracts, requirements and vendors through innovative training in project management( ), business analysis ( )and contract management( ). In addition to ESI's more than 100 courses delivered in more than a dozen languages at hundreds of locations worldwide, ESI offers several certificate programmes through our educational partner, The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1981, ESI's worldwide headquarters are in Arlington, Va., USA. To date, ESI's programmes have benefited more than 1.35 million professionals worldwide. For more information visit


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