Project management is a broad field that seeks to prepare students to pursue potential career opportunities in a number of industries. These industries may include information technology, business or construction. In all of these positions, he or she sees must be capable of balancing a number of factors as he or she sees oversees the day-to-day operations of one or more projects. As such, a masters in project management program is designed to prepare students to initiate, plan, execute, monitor, control and close out a project within a specific budget and time frame.
Qualities of a Student in a Masters in Project Management Program
To effectively manage a project in any industry, an individual must be able to see how each element contributes to the success of the whole, and balance competing constituents. Some qualities that may help students succeed in the field might include:
Excellent communication skills
Outstanding time management skills
Excellent organization skills
Ability to multitask
Ability to prioritize
Good business sense
Ideally, a project manager should also demonstrate proficiency in following arenas:
In addition to the general skills needed to succeed in project management, a project manager may also need training in utilizing specific tools, techniques or software programs specific to his or her industry. Many masters in project management degree programs offer just such instruction.
Popular Masters in Project Management Degree Programs
Depending on the undergraduate degree you have obtained, there are different paths to choose from in graduate school. Students who are interested in earning master’s degrees in project management might find a number of different degree options. Some programs seek to provide advanced training in the principles of project management as they apply to any field, while others include project management as a part of an advanced degree that focuses on a specific career field.
Master of Science in Project Management (MSPM) – This type of program typically focuses on the advanced practices and methodologies of project management itself, and may offer students the opportunity to take courses specific to their chosen industry.
Master of Business Administration (MBA) – An MBA provides comprehensive business training, including courses on everything from human resources to economics. A project management MBA is one that includes courses or a concentration in project management alongside more general business classes.
Master of Science in Management (MSM) – This field of study approaches management principles from an academic standpoint. It may take a broad perspective on business management issues such as policy and general operations, and may emphasize research into project management and other management fields.
Master of Science (MS) with a project management concentration – Some programs offer the opportunity to undertake advanced study of a particular field with an emphasis on project management within that field. For example, a student may work toward an master’s in information technology with an emphasis on project management.
Project Manager Certification
In addition to the accreditation conferred by the university, many students seek to obtain accreditation by the Project Management Institute (PMI). This prestigious organization sets global standards for the industry and offers a number of educational opportunities and credentials for professionals in the field. Some universities offer degrees approved by PMI’s Global Accreditation Center (GAC). Others help students to gain PMI professional development units or credentials to bolster their career.
Common Coursework in a Masters in Project Management Degree Program
Coursework will vary depending on the institution and program chosen. However, classes typically cover topics such as:
Planning and strategies
Budgeting and Scheduling
Tools and technology
Legal and ethical issues
At the master’s degree level, some programs culminate in a research project that gives participants the opportunity to contribute new knowledge to the field. Students may also have the opportunity to gain additional credentials, such as PMI or LEED certification, as part of their course of study.
Potential Career Paths for Project Managers
Project managers are needed in many industries, and may find potential employment opportunities in industries including:
Architecture and engineering
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