Project Manager meeting with their team to discuss next steps

Whatever your choice of tech profession, mastering the relevant tech skills is critical. Securing raises and promotions, however, may hinge just as heavily on your project-management skills. New data suggests that many employers want technologists who grasp Agile and other key management concepts.

The following breakdown is courtesy of Emsi Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country. Based on data from the past 30 days, we can assemble a list of employers’ most-desired tech skills. Note how project management dominates the number-one slot by a healthy margin:

Even if you don’t want to ascend to a manager position, project-management skills can help smooth out your workflow, negotiate effectively with team members, and potentially land bigger and more interesting projects. As you can see from the above list, employers are also intensely interested in mastery of project-management methods such as Agile, Scrum, and Kanban, which many companies utilize extensively; master those, and you’ll boost your ability to integrate with a new team if you jump jobs. 

If you want to become a project manager, consider earning popular certifications such as Project Management Professional (PMP) or Certified ScrumMaster (CSM). The median project manager salary is $80,280, according to Burning Glass, which rises with skills and experience; earning certifications can unlock the jobs that demand them, as well as give you more leverage when negotiating for raises, benefits, and new projects. There are also avenues (some of them largely self-taught) for learning management methodologies such as Agile, even in a remote-work or hybrid-work context.  

When interviewing for any project manager position, keep in mind that project manager interview questions about soft skills and hard skills will crop up—always have a few answers rehearsed about projects you’ve managed and challenges you’ve overcome, including inter-team conflict. When designing your project manager résumé, spend time highlighting your accomplishments utilizing a diverse mix of skills, as well.