People who have an eye for detail, are flexible and consider planning ahead a necessity will probably make excellent project managers. Qualified professionals who have earned a degree online are in demand in just about every industry. Construction, information technology, aerospace, telecommunications, financial services, real estate, health care and pharmaceuticals all regularly require the expertise of project managers. Graduates can expect excellent salaries and good job stability for many years.
Online Project Management Degrees
Most people who enter this field earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration before earning a master’s degree in project management. As a result, most project management online degree programs are at the graduate level. Nonetheless, there are some schools that offer an online bachelor’s degree in project management. A four year degree in this study area can be enough to get the graduate a great job. Whether the student is looking for a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in project management, it’s important to pick the right online school.
Criteria to Look for In an Online Project Management Degree Program
As with any other online academic institution, the college that offers the online project management degree should be fully accredited. Most worthwhile online college degree programs in project management are accredited by the Project Management Institute. Any online college that has received this accreditation is recognized as an institution that provides a quality educational experience and is well worth the student’s time and money.
Students should also look at the faculty that will be providing instruction. Teachers should be recognized professionals in project management with years of hands on experience. Similarly, prospective students should thoroughly review the program’s suggested curriculum to ensure that the classes offered are in line with their educational and professional goals. It’s also wise to discover how much time the student is expected to devote to their studies each week.
Common Courses for Online Project Management Degrees
Many project management programs begin with generic courses with titles like Organizational Management in which students are introduced to the basic concepts of the management process. They will learn how to create and execute strategies, and ethical issues may also be considered. Further coursework is likely to include business communications, which covers all aspects of communication that are necessary to successful project management like negotiation, conflict resolution and relationship management.
Other courses help the student to develop solid leadership skills that will assist them to build a successful team. They will work on concepts related to empowerment, team problem solving and leading change. One of the most important courses the student will encounter is the one that deals with costs and budgeting. Since these concepts have a direct relation to the bottom line, it is critical for the project management professional to understand how to establish a budget and stick to it or how to respond to the inevitable variances.
Most online project management degree programs delve into procurement, risk management and quality control. In some programs, students choose an area of concentration, such as if they have a particular interest in the construction or information technology industries. These programs will include coursework that specifically relates to project management in this industry, allowing the student to pick up knowledge they can use to help secure a job.
Job Outlook for Project Managers
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, qualified project management professionals tend to weather economic downturns better than other managers. Demand remains high because project managers have the know-how to bring complex projects to life on time and within budgetary constraints.