ASIA PACIFIC WATCH
Left without company backing, project managers in Asia Pacific are
investing their own money into education and training.
BY LYNDA BOURNE, DPM, PMP
With corporate training budgets decimated by the current downturn, many project man- agers are taking it upon themselves to upgrade their education.
We’ve noticed a significant shift in our local Australian
training market since the beginning of the year. Almost all
corporate training has stopped and discretionary skills-development courses have been abandoned. However, those
downturns have been counterbalanced by a pickup in interest from self-funded trainees looking to boost their position
in the job market. Despite the tough times, it seems
Australians are prepared to spend their hard-earned dollars
on training—provided there’s a clear ROI at the end.
Patrick Lam, Ph.D., is seeing a similar trend at the
Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
“Compared with last year—before the global financial
crisis—more applications have been received, both for
full-time and part-time post-graduate programs. Although
“In 2009, things are different,” Mr. Smith says.
“Many positions, especially senior roles, express a strong
preference for PMP qualifications. Realizing this, and
knowing the number of people like me seeking jobs in
the current economy, it seemed strategic to invest in
something that would help me to differentiate myself in
The training not only helps project managers prepare
for the exam, but gives them “an appreciation for present-day expectations of project managers,” Mr. Smith says.
“Defining scope, making a schedule and delivering to it
is only a start,” he says. “Managing stakeholders, maintaining professional standards and dealing with cultural
issues in virtual teams are a few of the areas where much
effort has gone into raising the bar for project managers.”
The training paid off—Mr. Smith is now a PMP
credential holder. “Those three letters are a prized asset,
representing commitment as well as knowledge,” he says.
In 2009, things are different. Many positions, especially senior
roles, express a strong preference for Project Management
Professional (PMP)® qualifications. —Delbert Smith, PMP
the information is not given in their applications, I would
think most people are using their own resources to finance
their studies,” says Dr. Lam, the university’s program
leader for the master’s and doctoral program in project
Apart From the Pack
Looking to stand out in a cluttered job market, many
project managers are seeking training that will help them
earn a certification. Delbert Smith, PMP, took workshops
as he prepared to earn his Project Management
Professional (PMP)® certification.
Certainly the recession has changed the way companies
approach training, but it would appear the value attached
by project managers to both formal academic qualifications and professional credentials has not diminished. PM
Lynda Bourne, DPM, PMP, is the managing director of
Stakeholder Management pty Ltd. and
director of training at Mosaic Project
Services pty Ltd., both in Australia. Dr.
Bourne graduated from the Royal
Melbourne Institute of Technology as the first
professional doctor of project management.