Earning an online masters in project management might help prepare you to pursue potential career opportunities in a variety of industries. Help implement and plan resources that organizations need to complete projects with this degree program.
Online masters in project management programs focus on helping students learn how to lead team members and organize large and small projects to ensure quality and timely completion. Students in a master’s in an online project management program usually engage in coursework that shows them how to use qualitative and quantitative analysis to plan, organize, execute, and measure the success of projects. Online project management master’s programs also typically include coursework in organizational leadership, and technology.
The business world has seen several changes. Increasing globalization, the rise of the Internet and the age of the startup have all come together to establish a landscape different from the standard office environment of years past. Specifically, many businesses now take a more project-focused approach to problem solving. Smaller companies especially might find the smaller size and agility of project-centric groups to be more manageable and more flexible in a world where financial resources may be hard to come by. Of course, a project is only as good as its management strategy, which is why the role of the project manager may often be considered important in an organization.
Unlike standard business education, online project management master’s degree programs take a much shorter-term approach to accomplishing corporate objectives. Whereas business leaders need to be trained to think long-term, project managers' goals are generally more centered on immediate to middle-term completion of a goal, be it a product development or a service campaign.
The Project Management Institute broke the processes involved in this sort of business leadership into five categories: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing[i]. These are the key competency areas that graduate programs in this field are likely to be geared toward. From soft skills like time management and communication to more concrete objective-oriented actions like quality control and financial planning, project management is designed to give graduates the skills and knowledge they need to successfully handle all aspects of a temporary assignment from inception to postmortem.
Graduates of an online masters in project management program may wish to pursue career paths in the world of consultancy. For example, construction is an industry that commonly operates on a project basis. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction managers earned a 2012 median annual salary of $82,790, with jobs expected to grow by 16 percent through 2022[ii]. Those who are interested in exploring a more business-situated career may wish to consider professions such as management analysts. These professionals operate on a consulting basis to help companies improve their operational efficiency and maximize profits. The BLS reported that this job earned a 2012 median annual salary of $78,600, and there is a 19 percent growth in jobs expected through 2022[iii]
Market research might be another career option for graduates of an online project management master’s degree program, as companies strive to adapt their marketing strategies to cater to new generations of consumers. According to the BLS, market research analysts earned a median annual salary of $60,300 in 2012, with jobs expected to grow by 32 percent through 2022[iv].
Moving further into the 21st century, companies are likely to have to continue adapting to new ways of doing business. Smaller, more agile firms may flourish in this ever changing business world, and these organizations tend to operate on a project basis. Educated and trained professionals who are adept at project management may be well situated to help lead the charge moving into the new business landscape.
Sources: [i] pmi.org/About-Us/About-Us-What-is-Project-Management.aspx | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/management/construction-managers.htm | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/market-research-analysts.htm
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