What Are the Requirements for Getting a Project Management Degree?

PricewaterCoopers conducted an extensive study which consisted of reviewing 10,640 projects. These projects were performed by 200 companies from 30 different countries, with these companies operating in a variety of industries. Astonishingly, only 2.5 percent of the reviewed projects were actually completed. Another study conducted by Spikes Cavell found that a breakdown in communications was the number one contributing factor in 57 percent of failed projects.

The Benefits of Working In Project Management

No matter the industry you are working in, project management skills can be of the utmost value. Some employers even hire workers who specifically work under the title of project manager. The better projects are carried out, the more efficient and effective a business can operate from day to day.

As a project manager, you will be responsible for creating processes that can be performed on a repeatable basis; these processes will enhance project success, but they must also be flexible so as to adapt to any operational changes that take place.

To become an effective and successful project manager, you will need to possess several skills, with the number one being leadership. Being a leader is essential to this role because it will be your job to guide team members through a variety of project phases as well as to create solutions for any obstacles that become present while the project is being completed.

There are multiple benefits to be gained by employers when they hire talented project managers. Such benefits include:

  • Increased odds of achieving desired results
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Increase in profit margins
  • Improved productivity
  • Gain a fresh perspective on operational processes
  • Mitigate risks related to unsuccessful projects
  • Completion of projects according to strict deadlines
  • Better use of resources

If you are interested in becoming a project manager, it will be to your full advantage that you acquire a formal education and earn a degree in this area of concentration. Fortunately, there are many programs for you to choose from that focus heavily on project management. For now, let’s take a close look at the requirements for getting a degree in project management degree, which schools offer the best programs, and the many skills that you will need to be successful in this line of work.

Knowing How to Get a Degree In Project Management

When pursuing a degree in project management, you first need to assess your many options. Some formal educational paths will lead to a degree while others will lead to the earning of a certificate. Your preferences will determine which type of credential is best for your intended career path.

There are various levels of degrees that you can earn in project management. Each degree level has different prerequisites and requirements that you must meet in order to enroll in a program. Basically speaking, there four levels of degrees that you can earn to become a project manager:

  • Associate’s
  • Bachelor’s
  • Master’s
  • Ph.D.

If you have a specific employer in mind that you wish to gain employment through after graduation, or perhaps you are already employed and you are seeking a promotion, then you will need to speak with a supervisor to determine which level of degree you need to secure the position of a project manager. Different employers have different degree requirements.

To earn an associate’s degree in project management, you will, at the least, need to have a high school diploma or GED. Some schools offering project management degree programs will also mandate that you have a minimum SAT or ACT score. You can contact the school’s admissions office to determine the exact requirements you need to meet. Below is a more in-depth look at the requirements you must meet for earning a degree in project management.

Requirements for Getting a Project Management Degree

Bachelor’s Degree in Project Management

You don’t necessarily have to have an associate’s degree to enroll in a bachelor’s program for project management; however, if you do, this may lessen the amount of time it takes to complete your bachelor’s studies. Associate degrees take 15 to 24 months to earn. Bachelor degrees take 36 to 48 months to earn, with the first two years heavily focusing on general studies. If you have no intention of extending your education beyond the earning of a bachelor’s degree, then you will need to complete a program that has a concentration in business management or project management. If, however, you do intend to continue your education, you can earn your bachelor’s credential in any field of study and then apply your academic background to an advanced-level program that concentrates on project management.

Master’s Degree in Project Management

To enroll in a master’s degree program in project management, you will first need to earn your bachelor’s credential. As part of your master’s program, you will study a variety of advanced topics relating to:

  • Project execution
  • Administration
  • Cost planning
  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Risk mitigation
  • Management theory
  • Ethics
  • Strategic thinking
  • Research

A master’s degree will take you anywhere from 12 to 36 months to earn, with most programs being available both online and on campus.

Ph.D. in Project Management

To earn a Ph.D. in project management, you will complete a lengthy amount of formal studies, with courses focusing on:

  • Leadership Theory and Development
  • Organization Innovation
  • Scenario Thinking
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods
  • Doctoral Research
  • Life-cycle
  • Performance Management
  • Risk and Quality Management
  • Portfolio and Program Management

A Ph.D. program also has multiple other requirements, including the completion of a dissertation. Many programs mandate that you complete a residential symposium as well. Earning this type of degree will usually take you anywhere from two to six more years after you have earned your master’s. This means you will spend a total of seven to 12 years in school after graduating high school.

Which Schools Offer the Best Project Management Programs?

Top Bachelor’s Programs in Project Management

Marist College

Marist College offers an online bachelor of arts in project management, with courses focusing on:

  • Human resources
  • Legal issues in organizations
  • Task delegation
  • Economics of social issues

American InterContinental University

During the completion of this school’s online bachelor of business administration w/a concentration in project management, you will earn 180 credit hours. The program can be completed in as little as 36 months and covers a variety of in-depth topics, including:

  • Consulting
  • Management and leadership
  • Materials planning
  • Time management

Top Master’s Programs in Project Management

Walden University

To earn your master’s in project management at Walden University, you will be required to complete 27 credits as well as a capstone course. Throughout the completion of this program, you will be provided the opportunity to earn various types of project management certificates.

Capella University

This master’s program puts a strong emphasis on analytics and business leadership. If preferred, you can have your courses customized according to areas of concentration that help you meet your career goals. For example, if you wish to become a project manager in the engineering industry, you can customize the program so that a variety of your courses directly cover advanced engineering topics.

"Management is, above all, a practice where art, science, and craft meet." ~ Henry Mintzberg