Project Managers' career paths and selection criteria

Gkolfinopoulou ElisabethStudent: Elisabeth Gkolfinopoulou
Year: 2021
Affiliation: National Technical University of Athens/Athens University of Economics and Business
Level: Postgraduate
Thesis written in Greek


This dissertation investigates the professional path of the executives who take up the position of Project Manager. It seeks to establish the existence of any "career path" followed by the majority of project managers or to reinforce the view that undefined factors still prevail in the professional path of the latter. The research questions before it are worded as follows:


Is there a common beaten track or simply the future project manager found them at some point (accidentally?) in the sights of the administrators and on the basis of what criteria was chosen against third parties?


The answer to the question is initially used by the current knowledge from the study of the existing literature. A questionnaire shall be drawn up for the purpose of obtaining data, the replies of which are the data of this work.

The questionnaire is sent electronically to project management professionals who are part of the researcher's wider contact circle and are further promoted by them. The choice of the above method also contributed to the timing of the drafting of this in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic wave.
The main conclusions drawn from the analysis relate to the apparent trend towards shrinking the 'randomness' factor in taking up the position of project manager.
There are clear indications of the common characteristics that project managers now display. In particular, strong agreement is reached on the need for initial & postgraduate studies (albeit with a wide subject range), experience in project management and technical training. Equally important are the demonstration of hard work and the existence of systematic and conscious targeting towards the management of projects. They also name the most important virtues that a successful project manager must possess in which the dominant positions are occupied by responsibility, communicative virtues and hard work.
These findings bring to light new aspects in the issue of the professional course of project managers which remains to be confirmed by future investigations. This deepening will have multiple positive consequences, taking into account the rapid increase in the projects carried out and the growing need for competent executives, adequately equipped for the successful performance of the demanding tasks of the project manager.

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