Virginia Masters in Project Management Programs | MBA in Project Management
Masters in project management programs are designed to help prepare students to initiate, plan, execute, monitor, control and close out a project within a specific budget and time frame.
What is Project Management?
Project management is a broad field that seeks to prepare students to pursue potential career opportunities in a number of industries. Whether working in information technology, business or construction, a project manager 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.
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:
- Problem Solving
- Team building
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.
MBA in Project Management | Masters in Project Management Program Types
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)[i]. 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[ii]. However, classes typically cover topics such as:
- Project organization
- Planning and strategies
- Financial accounting
- Human resources
- Stakeholder management
- Risk management
- Budgeting and Scheduling
- Communication techniques
- 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
- Global business
- Government agencies
- Green technology
- Information technology
- Infrastructure development
- Nonprofit organizations
- Software development
Within these fields, a project manager may oversee a project in its entirety, or focus on a single phase of the project. Potential job titles for project managers include:
- Administrative service manager
- Computer and information systems manager
- Environmental restoration planner
- Event manager
- Financial analyst
- Human resource manager
- Industrial production management
- Procurement specialist
- Project/program manager
- Quality management
- Sales manager
- Supply chain management
For individuals who are organized and excel in flexible, solution-oriented thinking, a masters in project management degree could strengthen their skills while introducing them to new techniques and new ways of thinking. Whether you choose to pursue a master’s degree in project management or a project management MBA, this type of program could enhance your career and lead to new opportunities. In addition to the traditional on-site degrees offered by brick-and-mortar institutes, many programs are now offered online or as a hybrid that allows students the flexibility to earn a degree while continuing to work in their current occupation.;
Sources: [i]pmi.org | [ii]usnews.com/education/online-education/project-management-masters-degree
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