Project managers are always in more demand in the 21st century. More companies are turning to a more project-based approach to meeting their goals. They rely on expert project managers to oversee every aspect of projects so that everything flows smoothly, so that the timeline, scope and budget are met.
It is estimated that at least 1.2 million project management jobs open up each year. Also, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment for managers will increase by 6% by 2024, and the demand for effective project managers should be even higher.
Most organizations today need skilled project managers to lead all project phases, and to ensure that each project meets essential business goals in the most timely way possible.
Earning a master’s degree in project management will offer you the chance to enhance your business and management skills os that you can advance your career. This is one of the most versatile college degrees in business that one can earn.
A degree in project management will emphasize practical management strategies, project management software, and a blend of project management application with theory.
Project management is so important to businesses today, you will be able to qualify for many leading management roles, such as:
- Financial manager: Responsible for the overall financial health of a company or organization. They lead projects on financial reports, investment activities and come up with strategies to plan for the long term goals of the company.
- Chief financial officer or CFO: They are responsible for the accuracy of the financial reporting for a company; this is especially important for publicly traded companies. They also must oversee the financial goals and budgets of the company.
- Management analyst: These are also called management consultants, and they propose ways to improve the efficiency of an organization. They must carefully analyze financial data and other types of information, which may include expenditures, revenue and employment records. They then make recommendations on how to increase profits and efficiency.
- Risk managers: They control financial risk in company projects by utilizing strategies that can limit or offset the likelihood of a financial loss, or a company’s exposure to any financial uncertainty.
Why Earn a Master’s in Project Management?
Earning a master’s degree in project management can help you to become an outstanding leader on projects at your company. There are many growing industries where there is growing demand for professionals who are highly skilled in leading projects from beginning to finish:
- Construction: Project management careers in construction are the most common career paths with this degree. The main goal in a construction project is to assist with the design and the development of a construction project. It is also very important to locate the right contractors to handle the work, and to ensure the project is on time and on budget.
- Manufacturing: Project managers in manufacturing work to assist in developing and designing new products and more efficient manufacturing processes. The main goal here is to create and adhere to timelines and budgets, while bringing along new manufacturing processes and products.
- Information Technology: IT is one of the most exciting fields that offer new career opportunities to professionals with this master’s degree. IT based projects have intangible deliverables, but there is just as strong a need for good product management. IT project managers work closely with companies to better help them to identify their needs and to recognize their changing business environments.
- Consulting: This is another new and growing field where project managers can work. Some of the most experienced project management professionals join consulting groups or start their own consulting business. In either case, excellent project management skills are needed.
A project management master’s degree is an alternative to an MBA, and it is just as competitive to be admitted as that traditional business graduate program. For example, the admission requirements for Penn State’s World Campus for its project management masters are as follows:
- Official transcripts from all bachelor’s programs
- GPA of at least 3.25
- GMAT scores are required, but GRE scores may be substituted. All test scores must be from the last five years.
- Updated resume with extensive business experience; 3 years is usually expected.
- Three business or educationsl references
- Personal statement describing how previous work experience fits into earning a degree in project management.
Curriculum and Courses
The Penn State Master of Project Management is a highly desirable degree that will provide you with the essential project management skills to be a successful business leader.
This online Master of Project Management degree utilizes problem based learning to offer you a complete understanding of all critical areas of project management practice and theory. This is a 30 credit program that may be completed in only two years. It is highly respected, highly rated, and accredited by the AACSB, which is the most respected accreditation agency for business education in the US.
As a student of this two year project management program, you will have a much better understanding of how to management your work projects in the following areas:
- Commercial and procurement law
- Business and corporate strategy in project management
- Planning, resource management and cost control
- HR and the importance of project teams
- Project management organizational theory
This program also offers several electives that you can use to match both your professional and personal goals:
- Enterprise architecture
- Enterprise resource planning using SAP software
- Creative research project in a current project management problem in your company
- Supply chain management
Your required courses include:
- Planning and Resource Management
- Project Management
- Cost and Value Management
- Commercial Law and Project Procurement
- Interpersonal and Group Behavior
- Strategy: Corporate, Business and Project
- Management of Projects
Career Outcomes and Job Titles
Some of the job titles that you may have after you graduate with this master’s degree include:
- Project manager
- Project management analyst
- Master scheduler
- Industrial production manager
- Business planning analyst
- Operations research analyst
- Administrative services manager
- Information systems manager
Job and Salary Outlook:
- Financial Manager — Employment in this field will increase by 7% by 2024, which is about as fast as average. It is thought that planning, directing and coordinating investments will continue to be in demand as the economy continues to recover. The median pay in this field is $117,000 per year.
- Management Analyst — Job demand for management analysts will increase by 14% by 2024, which is faster than average when compared to all other occupations. Experts believe that demand will soar in the healthcare field, as higher costs are being seen there due to our aging population. The median salary is $81,320.
- Operations Research Analyst –They use advanced analytical and mathematical methods to help companies to solve their project problems. This field will see very fast growth by 2024 – at least 30%. The median wage is $78,200.
Scholarships and Grants
- Colorado Technical University: This college offers a tuition scholarship program that graduate students can use towards their tuition for their project management degree.
- OSP International Scholarships: This project management corporation offers a scholarship to students who are considering a career in project management.
- Project Management Institute (PMI): This is the leading project management organization in the US. It offers various project management certifications, such as the PMP and CAPM.
- International Project Management Association: This is the top international project management association in the world, and is a great resource for networking and education.