What You Should Know About This Degree
Not all colleges and universities offer a distinct project management degree; some include a project management concentration within existing business administration or management offerings. While project managers share some duties with other types of managers, they’re also responsible for initiating, planning, executing, and completing projects for private and public organizations. Project management degrees typically offer case studies and software-based planning exercises, allowing students to dive deeper into the specific details of the profession than do more generalized business curriculums.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 1.3 million people work as project management and business operations specialists in the United States.
The most prestigious certification for project managers stateside is PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP), held by more than 1 million people globally. Specialized certifications are also offered by PMI, the Global Association of Quality Management, and similar organizations in disciplines such as agile methodology, quality management, and IT security.
Though certification isn’t mandatory to work as a project manager, a designation that reflects your skills and commitment to the profession can help you land that first job and advance in your career. For example, a 2020 PMI survey found PMP holders earn 22% more than peers without the designation.
Here are some questions to consider when researching project management degree programs:
- Am I eligible for this program? Bachelor’s, certificate, and associate’s degree programs typically have the same admission requirements as other majors. However, for a master’s degree, you must have a bachelor’s degree in a related subject and, typically, experience working in the field.
- Are courses offered synchronously or asynchronously? Some online programs are synchronous, which means students learn remotely but meet online at certain times for lectures or exams. Others are asynchronous: Students read materials independently and submit projects within deadlines. Similarly, hybrid classes combine in-person and online learning. Make sure you understand the delivery method when weighing options.
Give yourself plenty of time to explore all the alternatives available. Make sure you meet any application requirements. Once you narrow down your list to your top choices, leave plenty of time to meet the school’s application deadlines.
To help finance your education, find out which scholarships, financial aid packages, and employee tuition reimbursement programs may be available.