Campus Masters of Project Management Programs
Individuals who possess strong organization and communication skills and who are proficient at multitasking and problem solving may be interested in earning a masters in project management on campus. Depending on their background and careers goals, they may choose to pursue a masters in project management on campus, or an MBA in project management.
Many industries utilize project managers to oversee a project from the planning phase through the final closeout. Project managers coordinate with a team to create a budget, define the scope of work and set deadlines for the project. They then work to utilize human, material and technological resources to compete the project within the agreed-upon parameters. Many universities offer masters degrees in project management on campus, where students can interact with peers and professors face-to-face as they learn the tools and techniques needed to excel in this industry.
Masters in project management on campus progams come in many types. A master’s in project management focuses specifically on the skills necessary to see a project from its inception through its completion. Some MBA programs offer a project management concentration alongside more general business classes. Other master’s degrees may be specific to a particular field, but include project management classes.
Prospective students have a number of choices in where and how they complete their program. Traditionally, classes were offered on-campus, and students attended classes in person. This type of program is still popular. However, students may also apply for online masters in project mangagement programs or hybrid masters in project management programs, as well. A project management MBA on campus will look different from an online or hybrid MBA. While an on-campus program may lack the flexibility of an online program, it may offer more in-person interaction and networking possibilities.
In addition to the potential career benefits that earning a masters in project management on campus provides, many students also wish to become certified by the Project Management Institute (PMI). This respected organization sets quality and educational standards for the global project management community. Some university programs are accredited by the PMI’s Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs (GAC). GAC accreditation is a rigorous process, but one that adds prestige to a program and its graduates. Others schools offer opportunities for students to accrue PMI credits and credentials as part of their master’s level coursework.[i]
Project management is a diverse field that may offer professionals the opportunity to purse a number of different potential career paths. Project managers might pursue potential career opportunities in industries including; healthcare, information technology, construction, transportation and engineering. Depending on their education and experience, they may oversee projects related to green technology, software development or infrastructure. While many work for corporations, government and nonprofit organizations also employ project managers. A small sampling of project management careers includes:
Regardless of the industry, one of a project manager’s primary tasks is to constantly monitor the progress of a project and ensure that budgets, deadlines, quality control standards and other specifications are being met. They must serve as a liaison between laborers or technicians and owners or clients to ensure that the product delivered meets expectations in every way, while also providing a profit for the company.
Job prospects in project management are as varied as the industries this field encompasses. However, the outlook is positive for project managers in many sectors. According to O’Net, in 2014 the median wage for a project manager in information technology was $83,410 annually, with a projected growth of 3% to 7% over the next ten years[ii]. Environmental engineers earned $83,360 in 2014, and face a faster-than-average project growth of 15% to 21% in the coming years[iii]. The 2014 median wage in construction management was $85,630. This field also faces faster-than-average job growth (15% to 21%) over the next ten years[iv].
A project manager must be able to balance the needs and expectations of many individuals and groups as they plan, schedule and execute a project. They should be adept at building teams and coordinating with others. In many ways, they are like the hub of a wheel, serving as the center where the disparate elements of a project come together. Students who choose to pursue master’s degrees in project management on campus can find a number of interesting programs and unique opportunities. They may have the chance to participate in research projects, network with peers and professionals, and gain valuable professional certifications. By advancing their education, they can enhance their current career or pursue new potential career opportunities.
Sources: [i] http://www.pmi.org/Certification.aspx | [ii] onetonline.org/link/summary/15-1199.09 | [iii] onetonline.org/link/summary/17-2081.00 | [iv] onetonline.org/link/summary/11-9021.00