Online doctorate in project management programs allow students and working professionals to earn higher degrees by completing online coursework. An online PhD in Project Management program is most often set up so that scholars may learn about the techniques, concepts and resources used to upgrade a company’s overall organizational and performance capabilities. Usually instructors focus on imparting knowledge concerning leadership, team building and management.
No matter what kind of online doctorate in project management program a student chooses, it’s usually best to opt for one that is fully and currently accredited and reputable. Completing an accredited program might also be a vital component of professional certification.
Before applying to an online doctorate in management programs, it’s a good idea for prospective students to gauge whether they have what it takes to be successful project managers. One of the most essential qualities a project manager should have is a sound comprehension of business strategy. What this means is that managers should possess knowledge outside of the varied realm of project management in order that they are able to realize how their plan fits into the organization’s overall strategy[i].
Project managers should also be able to show their worth rather than simply tell how they plan to implement their ideas. Not only is this an instrumental trait when it comes to the bench-marking process, it may also be the thing that means the difference between being passed over for a job and being seen as the perfect candidate for a job.
Another quality is being able to overcome adversity. Strategies don’t always go perfectly according to plan, and when they don’t a project manager is expected to be able to nimbly navigate the choppy waters. Finally, it’s also good if a project manager has the ability to bring teams together and improve their performance throughout the project by motivating them and making sure the lines of communication are always open. Even if a doctorate program doesn’t teach students these abilities, they should work on harnessing and improving them on their own.
Examples of courses that are likely to be included with online doctorate in project management programs include management theory, application of action research, qualitative research methods, organizational alignment and leadership theory. A distance learning doctorate program is also likely to have a dissertation requirement that students must fulfill before they receive their degrees. Special dissertation courses could be included that focus on dissertation methods, literature review, findings and discussion.
A doctorate program’s curriculum may be divided into core courses and concentrations. Such concentrations might include enhanced career strategies, life cycle and performance management, special topics in project management and quality management. Students might choose a concentration based on his or her project management and career goals. Concentrations might well be just what future project managers need to take on more complex projects and qualify for specialized job opportunities.
While not mandatory, project managers who earn certifications from the Project Management Institute show their expertise and commitment to excellence to future employers. One of the eight certifications is Certified Associate in Project Management. This certification is aimed at preparing project managers for larger projects and bolstering their current capabilities. Qualifications include a secondary degree and 1,500 hours of professional experience. Having at least 23 hours of project management education before sitting for the certification exam may also suffice[ii].
PMI Risk Management Professional is another certification option, one that is an ideal choice for individuals who have an abundance of experience with risk management and those who would like to focus on the risk management aspect of project management. Applicants for this designation should have either a secondary or four-year degree and anywhere from 3,000 to 4,500 hours of experience paired with 30 to 40 hours of a project management education[iii].
Individuals who have the qualities of a project manager but don’t quite see themselves as project managers have several other degree options to consider that are similar to project management. Such options include environmental and social sustainability, nonprofit leadership, technology management, executive leadership and global leadership.
Environmental and social sustainability doctoral degree programs are usually concentrated on preparing students to help organizations conserve energy and resources in a way that supports people, profits and the environment. Doctoral programs in nonprofit leadership are structured to provide individuals with an education on community development, nonprofit leadership principles, grant writing and fundraising.
Applying to an online project management doctorate program could go a long way in making sure graduates have the tools and education background necessary to help companies fulfill their potential. A combination of the right qualities and certification may also help managers earn a higher salary and take on new projects. Distance learning programs are offered around the world, ensuring future project managers have plenty of options for finding the perfect school that features the perfect concentration.
Sources: [i] .pmi.org/learning/professional-development/career-central/four-must-have-traits-for-project-managers.aspx | [ii] pmi.org/certification/certified-associate-project-management-capm.aspx | [iii] pmi.org/certification/risk-management-professional-rmp.aspx