From construction to hospitality, project managers work in a variety of fields and industries. These skilled leaders develop new departmental strategies, hire talent, and oversee large projects. Positions in this field require a combination of work experience and education, and many project managers earn an MBA.
An MBA Project Management Online teaches the professional skills necessary to lead at a high level. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that all project management and business operations specialists earn a mean wage of $80,220, though some specific positions lead to much higher wages. This page explores the best online MBA in project management programs, including potential job outcomes, salaries, and what to expect from an online school.
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Business professionals looking to advance their careers want to earn degrees from the very best online MBA in project management programs. Focusing on factors like quality, prestige, and accreditation, we’ve ranked the top online MBA in project management degrees.
Understanding MBA Project Management Online Programs
Those new to online education or graduate degrees might not know what to expect from an MBA project management online. Current business professionals looking to learn effective leadership, strategy, and management skills often pursue this degree, though schools sometimes offer several options.
Common Specializations for an MBA Project Management Online
MBA in project management students sometimes have specific career goals in mind and choose a concentration that aligns with their goals. Two popular project management MBA specializations include project leadership and operations management.
Area of Focus
Careers This Concentration Prepares For
Operations and Project Management
On top of project management skills learned, operations and project management also teaches the factors that help businesses operate. Coursework could include topics like supply chain management and service operations. Graduates still find leadership positions within organizations, only with a focus on operations.
Operations strategy consultant
Supply chain manager
Project Leadership and Management
Those who want to become workplace leaders or eventually begin their own company specializing in project leadership and management. This specialization emphasizes different leadership tactics, and graduates should be able to measure the effectiveness of people and workplace culture.
Project quality manager
MPM Vs. MBA in Project Management: Understanding the Differences
Just because a business professional is interested in project management doesn’t mean an MBA is the best option. Depending on each students’ individual goals, a master’s in project management could be a better graduate-level option than an MBA in project management. Below are some factors for each option and how they align with different student goals.
Focuses on general business topics with an emphasis on project management
Great for those looking to advance their career
Leads to a broad array of career outcomes in business
MBAs are highly respected in the business world
Focuses on project management within a specific industry
Great for those looking to change careers
Leads to project management specific positions
The master’s degree is highly respected among project management professionals
Online MBA in Project Management Admission Requirements
Graduate programs, including online MBA in project management programs, want to make sure that candidates meet minimum levels of qualification so they can succeed in the degree. Some common online MBA in project management requirements include:
Work Experience: Most MBA programs are designed to help current business professionals advance their careers. An online MBA in project management may require 1-2 years of relevant work experience.
Undergraduate Degree: All online MBA programs require applicants to first earn an undergraduate degree. While not always required, schools usually prefer applicants with bachelor’s degrees in business.
GMAT/GRE Scores: Many colleges and universities require GMAT and/or GRE scores. The GMAT measures MAB readiness and the GRE measures general graduate degree readiness. Specific requirements vary by institution.
Letters of Recommendation: Graduate schools want to enroll high-caliber students. To learn more about applicants, schools require several letters of recommendation from current/previous employers and professors.
GPA: Even when not required, a strong GPA strengthens applications and increases the chances of earning a scholarship. In some instances, a high GPA could remove GMAT/GRE requirements.
MBA Project Management Online: No GMAT Requirement
Many schools are slowly moving away from standardized testing, and some online MBA in project management programs, such as those offered by the College of William and & Mary or Colorado State University, set no GMAT requirements for all applicants. Here are a few more universities that offer MBA Project Management Online No GMAT Programs:
Curriculum for an Online Master of MBA in Project Management Program
An MBA in project management combines general business principles with courses focused on different project management skills, theories, and topics. While specific course names and materials vary by school, many colleges and universities require courses similar to these.
Leadership: A lower-level course that covers broad business topics, leadership focuses on the application of leadership techniques as a manager within a business. Students learn different leadership skills, including communication and managerial styles, to learn how to best lead within an organization. This course prepares students for their future careers as workplace leaders.
Project Tools and Techniques: A course specific to project management, project tools and techniques introduces the different ways to plan and implement projects to meet overall goals. Students learn about different tools and techniques, then learn how to apply tools and techniques at different stages of the project. This course serves as a foundation for future project management courses.
Project Management: An overview of the entire field, project management looks at different processes, concepts, and practices. This course covers the life cycle of a project, including planning, executing, and closing.
Operations Management: Usually required or offered as an elective course, operations management lets students explore the production and delivery of items. Great for those interested in careers in supply chain management, operations management teaches students to design, operate, and improve supply chains through supply chain management software, decision trees, and lean management principles.
Quantitative Analysis for Decision Making: A math-heavy course required later in the MBA, quantitative analysis and decision making combines statistics and mathematics to determine the probability of various outcomes. Students learn to use quantitative analysis to make better project management decisions, then explain their reasoning to others.
Choosing a Quality (and Accredited) Online MBA in Project Management:
Skills Gained in an Online MBA in Project Management Program
Aside from earning a graduate degree, students enroll in online MBA in project management programs to learn sought-after skills. Students learn these skills through instruction, coursework, and sometimes internships.
Project Management: A skill all on its own, students master project management during their MBA. Because project managers work in a variety of fields, the project management skills learned should apply to any project management positions.
Communication: After finishing their MBA, graduates end up in management roles where they oversee employees and work with other managers. Students learn to communicate with workers at every level of the organization to maintain a smooth business flow.
Leadership: Project managers serve as the head of a project, meaning they must possess excellent leadership skills. Through group projects, course theories, and previous experience, MBA programs help students develop their leadership skills.
Decision Making: Projects rarely go exactly as planned, and project managers must make quick decisions. Through quantitative analysis and individual projects, students learn to make smart, effective decisions on short notice.
Business Ethics: From remaining compliant with regulations to maintaining a healthy company culture, ethics plays a large role in business operations. Project management students learn to practice effectively while remaining ethical.
How to Pay for an MBA in Project Management Degree
By studying online, MBA in project management students could secure a lower tuition rate than on-campus students. However, learners still need a way to cover the rest of their degree costs. Fortunately, MBA students have several ways to help pay for their degrees.
Techniques for Paying for Your Online MBA
Similar to internships, fellowships pay students to work, helping them pay for their education while gaining real-world experience. Fellowships like the Forte MBA Fellowshipalso include other benefits.
Offered by universities, financial aid helps students who demonstrate financial need pay for their degree. Those who cannot continue working while earning their online MBA may qualify for financial aid.
To develop existing talent, employers may cover some, or all, of an MBA student’s educational costs. Eligibility varies by employer and program; for example, the City University of Seattle works with employers while other colleges may not.
Scholarships for Online Master’s in Project Management Students
Aside from the methods mentioned before, online MBA in project management students take advantage of scholarships to help cover some, or all, of their academics costs. Some potential scholarships include:
PMI Academic ScholarshipsWho Can Apply: The PMI Educational Foundation awards various academic scholarships. Award sizes and requirements vary, though students should be pursuing a degree related to project management. Amount: $1,000-$7,500
PMI Professional Development ScholarshipsWho Can Apply: Another array of scholarships offered by the PMI, the professional development scholarships help those planning on becoming project managers pay for their education. Winners are selected based on financial need and background.Amount: Up to full tuition
APTF Public Transportation ScholarshipsWho Can Apply: The American Public Transportation Foundation offers multiple scholarships to students interested in a career in public transportation. Some awards only applicants pursuing graduate-level management degrees. Amount: Varies
Kosciuszko Foundation Tuition ScholarshipsWho Can Apply: With various scholarships available, the Kosciuszko Foundation awards scholarships to students of Polish descent who pursue a graduate degree, including an MBA. Students must be studying full-time. Amount: $1,000-$7,000
Career and Salary Outlook for Online Project Management MBA Graduates
Project managers work in an array of industries, and job titles can vary. Most project managers end up working for a large business or corporation, managing multiple clients projects at a time. Some potential industries of employment include construction, healthcare, marketing, hospitality, and entertainment.
Note that no amount of education guarantees any specific position, salary, or a career at all. While job titles and responsibilities vary, many online MBA in project management graduates end up in positions like these.
A high-paying and high-growth position, medical and health services managers plant and direct various healthcare services. Other tasks include hiring staff, creating work schedules, and setting department goals.
The head of an organization’s sales team, sales managers set sales goals, train employees, and monitor customers to keep sales strategies up to date. Sales managers work in wholesale, retail, finance, and manufacturing.
Construction managers coordinate and supervise construction projects. Most construction managers oversee large projects, hire builders and workers, and make sure the building site remains compliant with regulations.
Leaders at the highest level of the organization, top executives consist of professionals like CEOs, CFOs, and presidents. Project managers could take on a larger leadership role with their new skills from an MBA program.
Resources for Online MBA in Project Management Students
Students interested in project management benefit from joining professional organizations. These professional organizations offer networking opportunities, workshops, industry resources, and job boards, making them great resources for online MBA in project management students and new professionals.
American Business Women’s Association: Founded in the aftermath of WWII, the American Business Women’s Association works to connect women in business to foster personal growth, continued education, and professional recognition.
American Management Association: Great for new management professionals, the American Management Association teaches professionals new skills to navigate the evolving field of management. Member benefits include a free seminar, industry research, and various discounts.
Business Professionals of America: Business Professionals of America has over 45,000 members, many of whom are current students pursuing a business degree. Members can learn new skills and connect with other MBA in project management students.
International Project Management Association: With locations in every major area around the globe, IPMA consists of over 70 smaller organizations. Students can use this resource to learn more about scholarships, locations, and professional development.
Project Management Institute: The leading organization for project managers, the Project Management Institute offers both students and professional memberships. PMI also awards leading industry certifications.
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