Project management is a broad field that seeks to prepare students to pursue potential career opportunities in a number of industries. These industries may include information technology, business or construction. In all of these positions, he or she sees must be capable of balancing a number of factors as he or she sees oversees the day-to-day operations of one or more projects.
As such, a masters in project management program is designed to prepare students to initiate, plan, execute, monitor, control and close out a project within a specific budget and time frame.
To effectively manage a project in any industry, an individual must be able to see how each element contributes to the success of the whole, and balance competing constituents. Some qualities that may help students succeed in the field might include:
Ideally, a project manager should also demonstrate proficiency in following arenas:
In addition to the general skills needed to succeed in project management, a project manager may also need training in utilizing specific tools, techniques or software programs specific to his or her industry. Many masters in project management degree programs offer just such instruction.
Depending on the undergraduate degree you have obtained, there are different paths to choose from in graduate school. Students who are interested in earning master’s degrees in project management might find a number of different degree options. Some programs seek to provide advanced training in the principles of project management as they apply to any field, while others include project management as a part of an advanced degree that focuses on a specific career field.
In addition to the accreditation conferred by the university, many students seek to obtain accreditation by the Project Management Institute (PMI). This prestigious organization sets global standards for the industry and offers a number of educational opportunities and credentials for professionals in the field. Some universities offer degrees approved by PMI’s Global Accreditation Center (GAC). Others help students to gain PMI professional development units or credentials to bolster their career.
Coursework will vary depending on the institution and program chosen[ii]. However, classes typically cover topics such as:
At the master’s degree level, some programs culminate in a research project that gives participants the opportunity to contribute new knowledge to the field. Students may also have the opportunity to gain additional credentials, such as PMI or LEED certification, as part of their course of study.
Project managers are needed in many industries, and may find potential employment opportunities in industries including:
Within these fields, a project manager may oversee a project in its entirety, or focus on a single phase of the project. Potential job titles for project managers include: