What Can I Expect from an Online MBA in Project Management?
An online MBA in project management is designed to immerse students in business processes and paradigms while also focusing on the principles of project management and their use in the workplace. Multidisciplinary courses enable students to garner the knowledge necessary to fill business leadership roles after graduation. The flexibility of MBA learnings combined with project management aptitude lets graduates work in nearly any industry and make a positive difference there by applying the information learned while finishing the degree. This type of MBA degree and specialization gives students the tools necessary to further their career, as well as hands-on opportunities to apply that knowledge even before graduation.
Online degrees like an MBA in project management affords students flexibility and convenience to study in their own way and at their own time. That lets currently working professionals remain in their roles while attending school. Additionally, many programs now rely on asynchronous scheduling and learning, which gives students the opportunity to learn at their own pace. Other MBA programs follow lock-step curriculum designs that mandate classes be accomplished in a specific order and with set deadlines. Although more restrictive than asynchronous studies, students continue to have the flexibility to complete assignments and learning experiences as they can best fit in with personal time constraints. Online degrees also allow students to complete their coursework where they currently live, eliminating the need to move closer to a brick-and-mortar in-person college to complete studies.
Concentrations Offered for an Online MBA in Project Management
|CONCENTRATION||DESCRIPTION||POTENTIAL CAREERS FOR THIS CONCENTRATION|
|Management||Student immerse themselves in theory, skills, knowledge, and techniques designed to let graduates manage projects, organizations and personnel upon graduation.||Executive Management, Operations Manager|
|Human Resources||Offers important knowledge for graduates to lead HR programs, manage personnel, and administer all human resources functions within their purview, while also applying MBA knowledge and project management practices.||Human Resources Manager, HR Project Manager|
|Leadership||Students are equipped with the knowledge and skill sets necessary to lead a team, department or entire organization.||Corporate Leadership, Corporate Project Manager|
Curriculum for an Online MBA in Project Management
Schools vary in the curriculum offered through MBA’s in project management because of widely varied concentrations and specializations. MBA learnings focus on business courses, often including accounting and financial classes. Project management courses teach the various stages of managing projects and how to incorporate those stages with overall business management principles. In many cases, colleges grant an MBA as a standalone degree with project management as a specialization or concentration.
Students working on an MBA in project management may encounter some of the following courses:
|Project Management Fundamentals||General survey on project management principles and stages and provides hands-on opportunities to directly experience working through the process.|
|Business Systems and Processes||Introduction to Business Process Management and Operations Management, enabling students to better understand business functions in the workplace.|
|Financial Management||Learn the fundamentals of financial management including the concept of budgeting, financial planning, money management, asset management and accounts payable and receivable.|
|Decision Making and Ethics on Projects||Students focus on making ethical decisions for project management and using information to make effective choices.|
How Long Does It Take to Get an Online MBA in Project Management?
An online MBA in project management can range from 36 to 48 credits necessary to complete the degree. The difference in credits required is often due to students selecting to take additional courses toward a specialization or concentration. An MBA typically takes between 2 and 3 years to finish, with various factors shortening or elongating the time required. Most colleges require that master’s degrees be completed in under 5 years of total study.
End-of-degree opportunities like practicums, capstone projects and courses, thesis options and internships may add time required to complete the MBA degree. Enrolling in an asynchronous course that allows students to choose how long it will take to complete a class can also influence how long it takes to earn the degree. Students who have previous studies toward an MBA may be able to transfer completed credits to their new online program if approved by faculty. Previous experience and certification as a project manager may also enable students to take fewer courses.
Certifications and Licenses an Online MBA in Project Management Prepares For
|Project Management Professional||The Project Management Institute offers a rigorous vetting process for project management candidates, including on-the-job experience in project management, education earned and time-in-service. After approval of credentials and education, candidates sit for a 200-question test to achieve certification.|
|Professional Human Resources||The Human Resources Certification Institute grants several different certifications to human resources professionals which vary based on experience, education and career aims. After applications are approved, HRCI requires candidates pass a 200-question test prior to certification.|
Accreditation for Online MBA in Project Management
Accreditation is a rigorous process universities and degree programs work through to have an outside perspective on the quality of education offered to students. Accreditation requires adherence to various principles to judge the way in which a higher education institution delivers educational opportunities.
MBA programs often seek accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, as it’s considered the gold standard in business education accreditation. Schools can also seek accreditation from regional bodies like the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the federally run Higher Learning Commission.
Students should ascertain whether their school of choice for earning an MBA in project management has been accredited by an appropriate organization. Degrees from accredited programs tend to carry more weight than those by schools who have not yet earned accreditation.
Employment Outlook for MBA in Project Management Graduates
Job Placement: Master’s v. Bachelor’s
Project managers who have earned a bachelors and those who have gone on to earn a master’s can both expect to earn attractive salaries. MBA in project management graduates may enter hard-to-fill positions and earn higher salaries as a result.
The positions available to someone with an MBA in health care management offer lucrative salary opportunities. A graduate degree also gives professionals negotiating power to improve their benefits package, providing the chance to land more vacation hours, higher bonus potential and better work environment options. The chart below shows the salary ranges available for several positions commonly held by those with an MBA in health care management.
The project management specialization offers growth in both positions available and salaries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics includes project management roles under the General and Operations Managers statistics. Degreed and certified project managers can achieve high level salaries based on the industries they work in.
|Industry||Number of Professionals||Salary|
|Management of Companies and Enterprises||92,770||$162,410|
|Restaurants and Other Eating Places||68,080||$81,030|
|Management, Scientific and Tech Consulting||81,140||$160,460|
|Computer Systems Design and Related Services||62,490||$166,200|
Graduates with an MBA in project management can pursue various fields of work within diverse industries to apply the knowledge and tools they gathered during graduate studies.
|JOB TITLE||JOB DESCRIPTION||MEDIAN SALARY||PROJECTED GROWTH RATE|
|Project Managers||Project managers take on project management opportunities of various sizes and complexity and apply tested paradigms and procedures to enable successful project outcomes. Project managers who are certified, have completed master’s level education and accrued many hands-on hours with smaller projects can move into managing larger scale projects and programs.||$84,290 per year||N/A|
|Human Resources Manager||Human resources managers can apply their MBA and project management learnings to effectively manage all people-centric tasks and responsibilities within an organization, including launching and overseeing projects and programs.||$110,120 per year||9%|
Graduates who have earn an MBA in project management are eligible to join many different professional organizations to stay at the forefront of industry changes, take advantage of continuing education opportunities and network with peers.
Project Management Institute: With almost half a million members, the Project Management Institute confers certifications, manages local chapters for project management professionals, and offers continuing education courses, a variety of industry resources and periodic events and conventions.
Society for Human Resource Management: The largest organization of its kind to serve human resources professionals, the Society for Human Resource Management includes almost 300,000 members in 165 countries around the world. SHRM boasts an enormous learning library, vast amounts of continuing education courses, branch groups around the country and many events and networking opportunities.
Financing Your Online MBA in Project Management
Students have many considerations to manage while looking for the best MBA in project management program to meet their career ambitions. One of the largest of those considerations is how they will pay for the degree. Online degrees are often less expensive than those offered in-person but still cost quite a lot of money to complete. Fortunately, students can access many different types of financial aid in order to enroll in and complete their graduate degree.
To explore financial aid options, students can first begin by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that is administered by the government. Based on how questions in the application are answered and personal finances and demographics, students can be matched with appropriate financial aid options in order to pay for their schooling. The federal government offers secured loans to students that feature low interest rates and long pay-back times. The government also offers grants to grad students, often based on demographics linked with underrepresented communities.
In addition, students can find financial aid opportunities through their school of choice, industry organizations, non-profits, philanthropic concerns, local organizations and through the companies for which they already work. The types of financial aid offered can depend on a student’s financial situation, as many grants and scholarships look for students with demonstrated needs. Grants and scholarships are also broadly available for students who are the first in their family to seek higher education, minority students and students who intend to use their graduate program skills to serve the country in hard-to-fill roles or public service organizations.
|Financial Aid for Graduate Students|
|Knowing Your Options|
|MBA Financial Aid Guide|
Deadline: May 1
Eligibility: Undergraduate and graduate students can apply for this scholarship to offset the cost of their project management education if they reside in the Baltimore area, are the child of a member of the Baltimore branch of the Project Management Institute and show strong academic skills in their studies.
Deadline: May 1
Eligibility: This scholarship can be earned by students at every level of higher learning and is based on pursuit of a career in project management as well as well-rounded involvement in extracurricular opportunities, high achievements through academics and well-formulated objectives for future careers in project management.
Deadline: February 10
Eligibility: This scholarship is awarded annually to graduate students pursuing an MBA. The scholarship does not automatically renew but students can apply for scholarships multiple years in a row. To earn this scholarship, students must have at least a 3.25 GPA, a well-rounded resume, a personal statement including career goals, up-to-date transcripts, 2 letters of recommendation, proof of United States Citizenship and demonstrated financial need.