What Does it Mean to Study Project Management?
Your career advancement in 21st-century business depends on specializing in one integral function. Being a project manager is about directing the success of one particular project using a set of polished skills, practical experience and proven methodology. The need for employees with efficiency, speed, and quality provides a steady demand for qualified project management professionals in today's business world.
A business degree in project management adds to your natural talent for organization, time management, attention to detail, persistence, interpersonal communication and ability to adapt to problems and changing priorities. You'll gain the skills you need to provide clear directions with authority, create timelines for your projects, gather materials and resources, and forecast and plan for any unseen glitches.
Project management is a relatively new profession, but one that is expected to be in higher demand as organizations recognize the need for this type of business specialization, which offers administrative and strategic support for key projects.
Types of Project Management Degrees
In a project management degree program, you'll learn about the five processes of project management: initiating, planning, executing, controlling and closing. You'll also study management topics such as human resources, communications, risk management and procurement.
The minimum level of education for a career in project management is a college degree, usually as a specialization within a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. Industry professionals are increasingly turning to online degrees in project management and related specializations. These provide two primary advantages: allowing the student to earn a degree at his/her convenience, without having to take time off work, and giving the working adult the opportunity to immediately apply lessons learned to the workplace.
Bachelor's Degrees in Project Management
Online project management bachelor's degrees usually take three to four years to complete. The curriculum can include some liberal arts courses as well as essential business courses that emphasize communication, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. You may examine case studies, work on team projects, and update your computer applications and systems management skills.
What Can You Do With a College Degree in Project Management?
Project management degrees can be applied towards any larger organization where teams are assembled to handle unique, goal specific projects. Positions can be found in almost any industry, but in most cases, industry-specific training and education is required. Average salaries reflect this level of expertise, but will vary by job field and location. A project engineer, for example, will oversee the planning, organization, control, integration, and completion of engineering projects, working from his or her own engineering experience. An environmental research project manager performs the same sort of functions in addressing pollution concerns, and uses scientific research methods along with project management skills. Project managers are also found throughout the information technology field.
Project Management Certification and Licensure
The Project Management Institute offers the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification to professionals who meet education and experience requirements, adhere to a set of professional code of conduct, and pass a knowledge-based exam. Obtaining this designation is a universal way to signify that you have a solid foundation and experience in project management that can be applied to a vast range of industries. Many MBA programs are structured around PMI certification requirements.
The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) is another credential offered by PMI, but is designed for practitioners who are relatively new to the field. As a stepping stone in your career development, it too demonstrates your commitment to project management and can boost your opportunities in the workplace. The process for obtaining this certification is similar to the PMP designation - you must meet education and work experience standards in project management and then pass an online exam. There are 2 types of CAPMs: one for BA holders and another for those professionals without a BA who have more professional hours and experience.