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Project Management has no need to manage its popularity

Keyword data proves project management to be the favourite for managers’ looking to enhance their skills

By Sarah-Jane McQueen, General Manager of CoursesOnline. CoursesOnline is a platform through which learners looking to improve their skills can choose online courses from across the UK, to develop their project management and other skills. 

Project management is a diverse area of management that requires many of the central skills any leader needs: communication, problem-solving and goal-oriented decision-making. With this in mind, it is no wonder that training and skills in project management are so highly regarded in organisations and are one of the most searched for courses by managers looking for training opportunities. 

In fact, project management is the most popular type of training course for managers who want to develop their careers and improve their managerial abilities. Data from Ahrefs’ Keyword Planner found that of the top 10 managerial training courses that people regularly searched for online, project management was the number 1, with a huge 9300 searches annually.


Not only is project management the most searched term, but it sails above the rest as the most relevant course for managers with 3500 more searches than the second most searched course; business management. But why is this?

Why is project management so popular in comparison to other approaches?

It’s clear to see why project management wins out against some of the more niche training courses such as hotel and property management, but what makes it skyrocket above the more general courses such as business management? It is likely due to the skills and knowledge developed in project management being so transferable. Whereas these other niche management training areas will have some general skills which apply to all managers, project management helps develop abilities that apply across the board.

Some of these skills include:

  • Communication and team working 
  • Leadership
  • Planning and forecasting 
  • Risk management 
  • Budgeting 
  • Problem-solving and adaptability 
  • Time management and organisation
  • Decision-making 

How can Project Managers identify which of their skills they need to improve?

With such a vast array of key skills that project management develops, it can be tricky to know what to focus on. However, it is important for every worker to keep track of their professional development, especially those in management. Throughout the course of your career, you should keep track of the new things you learn, any new tasks you take on, and how you progress in your role. Setting up a professional development plan (PDP) or a Skills Assessment is a good way to know where you are in your professional skills profile and how you can improve. 

You can do this by first noting down the skills you already have that you have learned in your management position such as leadership and communication. You should then periodically rank these skills in terms of how well developed they are, and if you can, get others (the staff you manage, co-workers, and managers) to rank you on these. As your current role has many skills which will help you in project management, it is a good idea to write the skills that project managers need and see where your skills gaps might be. 

How can Project Managers find time to complete their training alongside their day-to-day roles?

Finding enough time in the day is always a challenge, so it is no wonder that for many, further training and skills development seems a distant dream they simply don’t have the time for. If you have daily duties and think you can’t fit in time for your training, however, think again, because with a few simple tips you can develop your skills and keep up with daily work tasks without wearing yourself thin.

  1. Participate in work-based training opportunities

If your organisation conducts workshops, offers training days, or engages in professional development days then take full advantage of these. Businesses are keen to encourage staff to stay and work their way up in the company, so stay up to date with development opportunities and ask your line manager about upcoming training opportunities. 

  1. Learn from Current Project Managers 

If you are in management currently but want to train in project management specifically, then there is no better way than to learn from those currently working in the role. If you can discuss the details of project management with someone who is experienced in the role, and gain insight from them then not only will you be able to work on the skills needed to succeed but you may have your foot in the door when it comes to working in the project management team. Networking in business is important as is demonstrating your willingness to learn and gaining real-life experience from project managers is a great opportunity. 

  1. Study with an Online Project Management Course

Distance learning courses are a great way of gaining qualifications and developing your skills whilst working. The flexibility of online learning means you can study in your own time, at your own pace, and in the comfort of your own home or office. Without the need to commit to specific times or locations, you can take the pressure off and study an accredited project management course when you have time as well as saving time and money on a commute!

  1. Read, Watch and Learn 

Finally, there are thousands of resources that can help you learn more about project management. In your spare time, you can read books and articles or watch videos online which discuss project management and broaden your knowledge of the role. This is a good option if you are just thinking about getting into project management and can be very useful to support your study if you are on a distance learning course. 

Project management is a highly popular career sector with numerous opportunities for success, and those who are already in management often choose this avenue to specialise in. Through recognising skills gaps, discussing training opportunities with your organisation, and undertaking online qualifications in project management, you can hone the skills you need to succeed in this rewarding management position. 

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