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Project Management or Change Management?

New answer on Jun 18, 2024
5 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Jun 14, 2024

Hi,  Junior Consultant Here! My experience is in hybrid cloud projects, specifically in SAP and Oracle environments. My work has involved functional support, project management, and change management, although not simultaneously. 

While I've enjoyed both project management and change management equally, I'm now looking to specialize in one of these areas through certifications, training, and further development. 

Instead of opinions on which one I should choose based on personal preference and enjoyment (I equally enjoy both btw) I would like to know the facts. Which of these two fields offers better growth opportunities, is more crucial to organizations, and has the potential for higher salaries? Additionally, which one can serve as a better stepping stone to leadership and executive positions?

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replied on Jun 15, 2024
Top Performer: From Science to working for BCG's C-suite

Project Management

Project managers ensure projects are completed on time, within scope, and on budget. Their role directly impacts the successful delivery of business initiatives.

-              Demand: High demand across various industries, especially in tech, construction, healthcare, and finance.

-              Career Path: Clear progression from project manager to senior project manager, program manager, portfolio manager, and ultimately to PMO (Project Management Office) director or VP of Project Management.

-              Visibility: High visibility in organizations, often interacting with senior stakeholders and having a direct impact on strategic initiatives.

-              Executive Potential: Strong project management skills are valued at the executive level, especially for roles like COO or CTO, where overseeing large-scale projects is critical.

Salary Potential (assuming US)

-              Entry-Level: $60,000 - $90,000

-              Mid-Level: $90,000 - $120,000

-              Senior-Level: $120,000 - $150,000+

-              Executive-Level: $150,000 - $200,000+

Cons: Can be stressful with tight deadlines and significant responsibility for project outcomes.


Change Management

Change managers ensure that organizational changes are smoothly and successfully implemented, with a focus on people. They are vital for achieving the human side of change, which is crucial for the success of any transformation.

-              Demand: Gaining traction, particularly in industries undergoing digital transformation or organizational restructuring. Critical in mergers and acquisitions, IT implementations, and cultural change initiatives.

-              Career Path: Progression typically goes from change manager to senior change manager, change management lead, and roles such as director of change management or head of organizational development.

-              Visibility: Increasingly important in strategic initiatives, especially those involving significant organizational changes. They often work closely with HR and executive leadership.

-              Executive Potential: Essential for roles such as Chief Transformation Officer, Chief People Officer, or other executive roles focused on strategic change and human capital.


Salary Potential:

-              Entry-Level: $55,000 - $85,000

-              Mid-Level: $85,000 - $115,000

-              Senior-Level: $115,000 - $140,000+

-              Executive-Level: $140,000 - $180,000+

Cons: Slightly less established career path compared to project management, but rapidly evolving.


I hope this helps to give you an initial view.

However, I would recommend you look specifically for roles in your specific industry and geography. Also, connect with professionals in both to understand their experiences. Good luck!


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Anonymous A on Jun 15, 2024

Appreciate the facts... but I was hoping for a more personalized answer with your opinion perhaps on which career path is better and for the region, I am currently in Canada but would like to move to the UAE in a few years.

Content Creator
replied on Jun 18, 2024
Ex Bain Manager , Deloitte Director| 200+ MBB Offers | INSEAD

Both fields offer significant opportunities, but change management being a sub-set of project management could be a tad limiting in terms of broader executive leadership opportunities . To chose the best option you will need to do a deeper reflection on what direction will be more fulfilling for you and where your interest, talent and skills will provide an advantage in terms of progression. 

  • Project Management: Offers high demand, broad applicability, and potential for higher salaries. It is a robust stepping stone for executive roles related to operations and strategy.
  • Change Management: Growing importance in organizations focusing on transformation. It offers strategic roles that can lead to executive positions in organizational development and transformation.

Consider which field aligns more with your long-term career aspirations and where you see the greatest potential for impact and personal growth.

Hope this helps

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Content Creator
replied on Jun 15, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Wow that really depends on the organisation and the aspirations that they have, 


if I had to choose, I'd go for the former.

The skills you learn within Change Management are part of Project Management as a whole. 

And the leadership skills that you develop through Project Management certifications will help you at all leadership levels within an organisation. 

It might be worth to also ask a couple of seniors in your organisation for guidance, and understand to the extent to which these certifications were useful for them. 


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Content Creator
replied on Jun 16, 2024
1300 5-star reviews across platforms | 500+ offers | Highest-rated case book on Amazon | Uni lecturer in US, Asia, EU

Hi there,

Project management allows you 10x more flexibility going forward since the skillset is broader and more versatile.

Given that versatility = leverage in all areas of life, I'd go with project management. :-)



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replied on Jun 17, 2024
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Private Equity | Market Estimates | Fit Interview

Aren't they the same thing? :)

Change Management is a subset of Project Management. To be honest, I don't see them as different careers, and most likely people transition from one to the other. I would stick with the one you enjoy the most.

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Anna gave the best answer


Top Performer: From Science to working for BCG's C-suite
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