MIDDLE EAST WATCH
Project management education needs to catch up with the rapidly
maturing Middle East marketplace.
BY RANIA AL-MAGHRABY, ITIL, PMP
The maturity and development of project management in the Middle East depends not only on the availability of enough project managers to satisfy
demand, but also on the education that informs
how those project managers think and work.
The academic project management programs
currently offered in the Middle East do capture
the essence of the profession and provide the
foundation on which students can build careers.
The programs usually incorporate hands-on
practice, interactive case studies and workshops to
teach students how to transfer skills to real-life
Still, the region’s project management educational opportunities are not as comprehensive as
they could be. The curricula aren’t necessarily
aligned with a specific framework such as A Guide
to the Project Management Body of Knowledge
(PMBOK® Guide) or Prince2. And most of these
programs are complementary courses, not stand-alone, dedicated specialization tracks with fully
specialized and standardized curricula.
The maturity of the available project management academic programs in the region generally
isn’t sufficient for the market’s needs.
To bridge the gap, some students opt for a master’s
in business administration (MBA) degree in project
management offered by numerous schools in the
region. These courses examine project management
in the wider context of business administration, offering an insightful look at how project management
really plugs into business life. Given the high professionalism of most MBA programs and institutions, we
can expect project management tracks to be of the
same quality and include case studies and real-world
Another option for Middle Eastern students is to relocate
and join more established programs outside the region.
The downside of relocation, in addition to cost, is that
they won’t be exposed to the local market’s characteristics
and needs—valuable knowledge if they return to the
region’s job market.
Improving project management education across the
region will ensure the profession matures in the Middle
East—and that we have highly educated project managers
who are knowledgeable about the project landscape
they’re operating in. PM
Rania Al-Maghraby, ITIL, PMP, is an
independent project manager from Egypt
in the IT field. She is the founder and
current president of itSMF Egypt
Chapter. She can be reached at: