Project management is a business discipline that focuses on delivering one-time, self-contained projects in support of a company’s goals. While the concept can be difficult to wrap one’s mind around at first, it can be clarified with examples. Project managers might be called upon when a company wishes to establish a call center or office in another country, wants to improve productivity by instituting a plan to recognize and reward top performers or needs to release a new product under a defined budget. All of these project examples are different and the backgrounds and skills of project managers are equally diverse. However, good project managers are highly valued and rigorously sought by major international businesses.
How Much Do Project Managers Get Paid With a Degree?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not recognize project management as an individual profession. However, it cites project managers associated with the information technology industry as having a median salary of more than $100,000 and those associated with construction as having median pay of more than $80,000. The pay a project manager commands will depend to a large extent upon his or her specialized skills and industry knowledge. In a general sense, IT project managers are highly paid and in demand. However, project managers with a background in operations or international business can also be compensated richly.
What Careers Are Available for a Project Manager With a Degree?
To a certain extent, managers in any field will be project managers — but specialized project managers are distinguished by their versatility, ability to lead multiple projects at once and consistently outstanding performance. They must manage both the resources and personnel associated with projects: Budgets, schedules, hiring, milestones and handing the completed project off to senior management are all within their purview. No matter what your industry, you will find two major career paths for project managers. The first is Project Management Office work, which focuses upon improving the speed and efficiency of projects for a company now and in the future. The second is the executive track, where project management skills combine with a general business background to support a leadership career trajectory.
Why is Distance Learning a Good Choice for Project Management?
Project managers will often work with teams distributed around the world. When doing so, they will have to take into account factors such as the location of their team members and the technology available to them so that communication is always effective. In that sense, distance learning is great job preparation for project management. Project managers must also be able to work independently, develop plans based on detailed documentation and follow through on a tight schedule. All of these skills can be effectively taught online along with the collaborative mindset a student will need.
Tuition, Scholarships and Other Issues Related to Distance Learning in Project Management
The tuition associated with your project management degree will depend to a large extent on whether it is considered a “general” project management degree or an IT project management degree. IT project management tends to be slightly more expensive. While some courses of study are available for as little as $5,000 to $8,000 a year, the most prestigious programs can clock in at $25,000 a year or more. Scholarships are available from individual institutions and from many national and international associations of project management, such as the Project Management Institute. Students should ensure their classes will prepare them for project management certifications administered by these bodies.