Project Management is a thriving profession with many high-demand positions. Employment opportunities are available in almost all sectors of the industry – from health care to construction to Information Technology. Online Master’s in Project Management Degrees offers a wide range of courses to help shape potential leaders in the industry, technology, government, and other fields. Students and working professionals can get the training they need through online Master’s in Project Management programs, no matter what area they choose to work in, including public services, engineering, infrastructure, and more. According to a study conducted by Project Management Institute (PMI), employers will need 87.7 million individuals working in Project Management-oriented roles by the year 2027. Learn about the Project Management degree, the skills attained, and the career paths this advanced degree will lead to.
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The best online Master’s in Project Management Programs are accredited, imparted by well-trained and experienced faculty, and offer great value for money. Needless to say, top colleges should be recognized in the job market, making it easier for graduates to find employment. Since no two schools are the same, students should choose wisely and carefully, after considering what they truly want out of a Program. Here is a list of the best Project Management programs to make that choice easier:
Online Master’s in Project Management programs are rather expensive to opt for. However, with many colleges offering this degree, finding one at a suitable or ‘affordable’ price is not arduous. To make the search easier, OMC has conscientiously put together a list of Colleges, factoring in the quality of teaching, reputation, value, etc. Here is a list of affordable online Masters in Project Management programs:
Understanding Online Masters in Project Management Programs
The chief purpose of an online Master’s in Project Management program is for a student to gain a comprehensive understanding of the concepts, expertise, and practical applications involved in the successful completion of any project. It also develops a student’s writing, analytical, research, and managerial skills. A good and efficient Project Leader or Manager should handle all aspects of a project from start to finish, including aspects such as procurement, tendering, budgeting, marketing, cost analysis and management, time and people management, problem-solving, reporting, and data analysis. In short, graduates of a Project Management degree will need to know and oversee different kinds of projects from conception to completion.
Masters in Project Management Degree Types
Online Master’s in Project Management are by and large available in three forms: MS (Master of Science), MBA (Master of Business Administration), and MA (Master of Arts). Although they are all similar in many ways, some differences set them apart.
MS Project Management
A Master of Science or MS Project Management teaches students how to solve problems and complete projects. This program is more targeted than an MBA. It is, therefore, a preferred choice for students who already have business background (academically) and want to focus more deeply on the specific area of Projects. Additionally, an MS in Project Management is more technical at its core and builds upon skills that go well beyond business administration.
MBA in Project Management
A Master’s in Business Administration or MBA in Project Management emphasizes the business administration side of things, including administrative processes, risk management, managerial marketing, and organizational leadership. The program is structured to help students apply business principles and skills through an analytical decision-making process that focuses on solving real-world problems. Students will prepare themselves for functional management in particular, focusing on recognizing and developing the best approach for completing tasks efficiently while being more productive and maintaining profitability.
A Master’s in Project Management or MPM degree focuses on core functions of project management, such as how to implement and execute a strategy, assess, communicate, budget, and in general, manage a project from concept to completion. The program prepares students to take on complex projects, develop and deploy their problem-solving skills, and help in ethical decision-making. The curriculum of MPM is designed to teach students how to train, lead, manage and direct teams and projects, and is far more specific in its approach than a broader MBA degree.
Specializations in Masters in Project Management Programs
Specializations in addition to an online Master’s in Project Management are almost certain to widen employment opportunities, elicit higher pay, and, of course, drive career growth. Any specialization will add value to the Master’s Degree and is a great way to fulfill personal interests and professional goals. Here are a few popular specializations available from a wide range of options:
Real Estate Development
This specialization provides a broad, realistic overview of the methods and tools used to assess, enforce, and manage road, rail, and air transportation facilities and operations.
12This specialization studies the planning, scheduling, and construction of projects from inception to completion using effective engineering and management methodologies. The course also teaches how to monitor the time, expense, and quality of construction projects.3
12This specialization includes the study of real estate projects concerning site selection, financial feasibility, project finance, and asset management, along with an emphasis on the collaborative existence and performance of project teams.3
12This specialization concentrates on software applications and the management of data. Students learn how to plan, manage, lead and implement a software development or IT project from concept to deployment, using industry-specific tools and methodologies.3
Curriculum and Skills Gained in Online Masters in Project Management Programs
The best online Master’s in Project Management courses lay a foundation on which electives and specializations are built. In certain cases, a Capstone Course is the final learning experience through which one can investigate a practical issue in the chosen field of research. Across degree types, core subjects in an online Master’s in Project Management are similar in a sense but may vary by college and program. Generally, these core subjects include:
Organization Theory and Behavior
Statistics for Managerial Decision Making
Building the 21st Century Organization
Principles of Financing for Organizations
Financial Decision Making for Managers
Asset Management and Strategic Planning
Cost Engineering and Control
Students have a choice of a wide array of Electives, which include:
Managing Technology for Strategic Value
Business Forecasting and Planning
Advanced Methods for Complex Projects
Agile Techniques and Practices in Project Management
Apart from Core Courses and Electives, Master’s in Project Management also extend by Concentrations, such as:
Principles of Project Management
Project Contracts and Procurement
Project Risk and Quality Management
Project Management Dynamics
Upon graduation, students of any Master’s in Project Management program will:
Demonstrate the ability needed to generate project management outputs according to well-established methods for conducting projects within a company.
Create project-based solutions to organization issues and possibilities to accomplish the strategic efficiency goals of a company.
Take care of specific tasks from initiation to closure that meet stakeholder demands and accomplish the objectives of the project.
Efficiently create a task monitoring life process for projects that will include initiation, planning, implementation, tracking and controlling, and completion.
Demonstrate knowledge of advanced tools for cost estimation and control of Projects, timeline development, monitoring and communication protocols, and templates for effective project management and coordination of activities.
Accreditation for Online Masters in Project Management Programs
Know and understand why accredited programs are preferred when applying for an Online Masters in Project Management Degree.
Timeline for graduation from Online Masters in Project Management Programs
Many schools offer part-time online Master’s in Project Management programs to accommodate working professionals, taking up to two years to complete. Full-time programs are best for non-working students because they can finish the course anywhere between 9 and 12 months. For those schools that follow the credits system, 30 to 40 credits are expected to be completed between 18 and 24 months, extendable to a maximum of 36 months.
Online Masters in Project Management Programs Admission Requirements
Similar to most other Master’s Programs, online Master’s in Project Management programs have comparable admission needs. Apart from the completed application form with an application fee, students must submit their Academic Transcripts and references, a Résumé or Statement of Purpose, and perhaps even an Essay or Personal Statement. Applicants must typically have a Bachelor’s Degree and should have maintained a Grade Point Average of 3.0 or higher. Some Colleges may call for a GMAT or GRE score, especially if the candidate’s Grade Point Average is inadequate. Here is a ready reckoner for admission requirements to a Master’s in Project Management Program:
Completed Application Form & Application Fee
Professional of Academic Letters of Recommendation
Bachelor’s degree preferably in a field related to Human Resources or Business Administration.
Note: It is not uncommon for Colleges to demand work experience (in a relevant field of business) of at least three years or more.
Online Masters in Project Management No GMAT/ GRE Programs
Only a handful of Programs require the submission of standardized test scores of GMAT or GRE when applying for an Online Masters in Project Management. Applicants who have a good GPA and substantial and relevant work experience in Business Administration or a related field are typically not required to take these tests or submit these scores. In certain cases where the program demands a GMAT or GRE score, the college tends to have a waiver option, which one must ask for.
A quick search on the internet will easily yield a result of a free online Master’s Degree in Project Management, albeit with certain caveats. These claimed free courses are not entire Master’s Degrees and their certificates tend to be looked upon as participation certificates rather than actual accredited degrees. However, signing up for free online courses is a good way to broaden one’s awareness and insight on specialized topics in Project Management. Here are a few to explore:
edX edX has a fairly substantial collection of courses in Project Management and related specializations and concentrations, including Professional Certificate courses.
Coursera Coursera claims to have at least 2,012 courses under the wider umbrella of Project Management at different learning levels of beginner, intermediate, mixed, and advanced.
Udemy From short videos to complete courses, Udemy has a very good mix of courses in Project Management, many of which are created by industry experts and experienced Project Managers.
Future Learn Although not always free, Future Learn does offer some Courses in Project Management that may require a subscription to the site.
1-Year Online Project Management Programs
While most online Project Management Programs take between 18 and 24 months to complete, some programs require only about nine months to do so, provided, of course, they are taken full-time. A 1 year Project Management degree is excellent for students who wish to complete two or more courses in quick succession.
How to Pay for Online Masters in Project Management Programs
Rising tuition fees are always an obstacle for students. Online Master’s in Project Management programs are especially expensive to enroll in and therefore give the need for students to explore various funding options. Here are some means to alleviate the cost of advanced education:
Generally, Colleges that offer online Master’s in Project Management programs will allow for the tuition fee to be paid in equalized, incremental or deferred installments.
Scholarships and Grants
For students who have a good academic record, Scholarships and Grants are the easiest to apply to and tend to have a high success rate.
Working professionals, especially those who are already handling some business functions in a fairly large company, may have access to sponsorships for advanced education. Employers usually prefer internal advancement in career, more so when there is an upcoming project that may require a new manager for it.
FAFSA is another viable choice for funding an online Masters in Project Management program. Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct PLUS Loans are also two ways of seeking help from the Federal Government.
All these options and more are better explained in the best financial guide on Online Master’s College. Being aware of scholarship scams is always advised while scouting for financial aid.
Scholarships for Online Masters in Project Management Students
The most popular form of college funding is Scholarships. A scholarship available for almost every Master’s Degree and an online Master’s in Project Management is no exception. Scholarships can save students hundreds and thousands of dollars, which is why it is always advisable to locate one that is seemly. The few Scholarships listed below are only from the many available across the country:
Gaylord E. (Gary) Christle ScholarshipGaylord E. (Gary) Christle Scholarship is an academic scholarship of $3,000, sponsored by the former PMI College of Performance Management. Application Deadline: May 1st, annually.
Ana Alvarez-Holmberg ScholarshipProject Management Institute, Minnesota, offers a $2,000 scholarship to eligible students in memory of Ana Alvarez-Holmberg, who was a local leader in Project Management and Corporate Training. Application Deadline: June 30th, annually.
Ranzy Gammal Memorial ScholarshipSponsored by PMI Hampton Roads Chapter, the Ranzy Gammal Memorial Scholarship of up to $1,500 is available for students who meet certain criteria. Application Deadline: May 1st, annually.
Project Management Institute, DallasProject Management Institute, Dallas, lists 3 Scholarships of $2,500 each – Wayne K. Latham Project Management Scholarship, James Rankin Memorial Scholarship, and Dwaraka R. Iyengar PMI Dallas Chapter Area Scholarship. Application Deadlines: Varies.
ARES PRISM Project Management ScholarshipARES PRISM offers scholarships to outstanding college and university students of engineering, project management, construction management, and Project Management certificate students. The annual award is $1,000. Application Deadline: July 1st, annually.
FAQs about PROJECT MANAGEMENT Programs
Q: What is Masters in Project Management?
A: A Master’s in Project Management is an 18- to a 24-month postgraduate degree that equips students with technical and professional project management, leadership, and business planning skills required to handle projects and diverse teams while assisting the company in meeting its strategic objectives.
Q: Why study Master’s in Project Management?
A: A Master’s in Project Management equips a student or working professional with an enviable ‘arsenal’ to choose from numerous career paths. Companies reserve top managerial positions for candidates who have this degree, making it relatively easy to be hired with a good pay packet.
Careers and Salary Outlook for Masters in Project Management Graduates
Compared to graduates of most other Masters’ Programs, students who have completed their online Master’s in Project Management are better placed to find good jobs and carve high-potential careers for themselves. Almost all sectors need Project Managers in some form or the other, who can plan, strategize and guide businesses through major transitions, growth, and upgrades in process and technology. There is a long list of careers one could choose from, but here are a listed few Sectors that show an increasing demand for Project Management Professionals:
Utilities, Oil and Gas
Finance and Insurance
Management & Professional Services
Project Management Professionals commonly carry Job Titles such as – Administrator, Consultant, Director, Program Lead, Program Manager, Project Manager, and Project Scheduler, among others.
Certifications and Licensing for Project Management Graduates
Certifications are a novel and viable way of giving a Project Management Degree a leg up. They convey the specific nature of the candidate’s expertise, skill, and knowledge to the employer, making it potentially easy to land up a niche job within the larger Project Management sector. Licenses to practice Project Management are generally not required, although some sensitive government projects may demand one. Here are a few Certifications of heft and repute:
Project Management Institute Project Management Institute (PMI) is arguably the world’s premier and best certification body. The institute offers certification for almost any specific requirement, and these certificates are recognized the world over.
eCornell eCornell has a compelling Project Management Certificate offered by Cornell University.
Additional Resources for Project Management Professionals
Be it students or working professionals; one cannot ignore the importance of learning from outside the book and expand the scope and scale of one’s knowledge. In particular, students of online Master’s in Project Management should connect with Project Managers – both novices and veterans – and learn how to solve complex problems, face difficult situations, plan better, strategize efficiently, and do much more than what books teach. The few resources below are excellent options to get started:
Association for Project Managers Association for Project Managers is a source of information on the latest industry project management trends, compensation and benefits, and educational opportunities. Its mission is “to promote project management excellence in the design and construction industry through knowledge sharing, education, and quality management”.
International Association of Project Managers International Association of Project Managers (IAPM) is a global association that promotes quality and knowledge in project management. The main goal of the organization is to provide optimal support to project managers in their work.
Project Management Institute Project Management Institute (PMI) is a culmination of free online resources, virtual events, guides, and so much more. Membership to PMI can connect working professions with 600,000 other members and help build skills through a global community.
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