What Can I Do With a Degree in Project Management?
Project management requires the use of skills, knowledge, and techniques to plan activities that meet specific project requirements. In essence, a project manager is solely accountable for either the failure or success of a project. Being a project manager means you will need to fill the responsibilities of various roles, which is commonly referred to as having the ability to wear multiple hats. Examples of this include performing research, identifying resources, delegating tasks, and developing progress reports. Many employers will expect you to work on multiple projects at the same time. A notable benefit of being a project manager is that you can oftentimes assemble your own team, allowing you to pick team members who you believe will be the most valuable according to the projects you assign them to.
With a degree in project management, your most common responsibilities will include:
- The planning, performing, and closing of a project
- Team management
- Meeting expectations of the project
What are the Types of Degree Programs for Project Management?
To become a project manager, you will need to get a degree. Earning this type of credential in project management equips students with an exclusive combination of technical skills that can be applied to projects to ensure they are completed with the utmost efficiency and effectiveness. Students will obtain the necessary knowledge and skills to know how to budget, plan, negotiate, and communicate properly as a project manager. Most degree programs that concentrate in project management follow set guidelines that have been established by the Project Management Institute, a highly-recognized organization that is known for its superior credentialing services. There are various levels of degrees that you can obtain in project management. Each level of degree will determine what you can do with your credential.
- Associate’s: To obtain an associate’s project management degree, you will need to complete two years of schooling. The courses will consist of general education and a few elective classes that are centered around project management.
- Bachelor’s: A bachelor’s degree takes four years of schooling to complete. If preferred, you have the option to take part in accelerated programs, which allow you to obtain this advanced degree in only three years. Courses in a bachelor’s program consist of a unique combination of general and project management courses and certain electives.
- Master’s: A master’s degree in project management will generally take one to three years to complete. These degrees may consist of MBA programs that are designed especially for project management. There are other master’s programs available, though, such as science programs that are designed for specializing in this field of concentration. A master’s program will include advanced courses as well as a heavy amount of research.
- Ph.D.: To earn a Ph.D. in project management, you will have to complete an extensive amount of credit hours as well as one or more residencies and a dissertation. A Ph.D. allows you to stand out as a distinguished professional in the field of project management and will greatly expand your career opportunities.
What are the Benefits of a Master’s Project Management Degree?
Receiving a masters project management degree is highly preferred by many employers. This credential will help you become a trusted leader in the eyes of stakeholders who are involved in the business projects you are responsible for. Your advanced skill set will enable you to hone in on project details, such as pain points, solutions, and theories. Project managers with a master’s degree are able to work in a variety of industries, including utilities, construction, information services, oil and gas, finance, insurance, and manufacturing.
What jobs can I get with an associate’s degree in project management?
With an associate’s project management degree, you will be able to acquire entry-level project manager positions. You may or may not be required to have previous experience in the field of project management. At this level, you will likely be expected to perform basic project management tasks, such as budgeting, project coordination, and phase scheduling. Popular job options for those possessing this type of degree include:
- Supply chain manager
- Quality assurance specialist
- Project leader (small projects)
- Construction project leader (small projects)
What jobs can I get with a bachelor’s degree in project management?
A bachelor’s project management degree will provide you with a solid background in a variety of project management topics. It is not uncommon for those with a bachelor’s in project management to acquire a degree in a different field with a specialized focus on project management. For example, a lucrative position in project management is that of an engineering project manager. To excel in this line of work, you will need a bachelor’s degree in engineering with a concentration in project management. Other job positions that you can secure with a bachelor’s in project management include:
- Information technology project manager
- Project consultant
- Project coordinator (medium size projects)
- Project analyst
What jobs can I get with a master’s degree in project management?
The most common jobs for someone with a master’s degree in project management are:
- Business Project Manager: This is a corporate position that will require you to work directly with clients and within the company’s infrastructure where you will consult with stakeholders about various business projects.
- Construction Project Manager (large projects): Working as a project manager in the construction industry will involve supervising construction projects. Tasks will likely include overseeing the building process of commercial properties, residential homes, and other building projects.
- Information Technology Project Manager: This position requires you to work with entire networks, computers, and servers as well as maintaining and building computer systems.
- Senior Project Manager: One of the highest positions in project management, as a senior project manager you are expected to have at least ten years of experience in project management.
What jobs can I get with a Ph.D. in project management?
With this type of credential, you can expect to make upward of $100,000 a year. You will be expected to have many years of experience related to project management, with much of this experience directly focused on the management of large projects. This type of degree also puts you in a good position to teach at a post-secondary institution as a project management professor. Common job positions that are secured by professionals with this credential include:
- General operations manager for large companies
- Computer and information systems managers (large networks)
- Construction management (multi-million dollar projects)
Job Opportunities Expand With PMP Certification
In addition to earning a project management degree, it is highly recommended that you acquire PMP certification, which is available through the Project Management Institute. Studying for this exam generally takes six to 12 months, and it is suggested that you take at least one PMP prep course; there are many prep courses available, many of which can be taken online. Obtaining this credential proves you are a committed to your profession as a project manager and can open doors to high-paying careers that are not accessible to professionals without PMP certification. “PMP certification holders earn 20 percent more than their non-certified peers.”