Bachelor's degree programs in project management are often based upon the guidelines set forth by the Project Management Institute (PMI), an industry-recognized credentialing organization. Curriculum approved by the PMI often focuses on areas such as project planning, time management, and human management skills. This coursework is designed to provide aspiring project managers with the training and management abilities necessary to develop, plan, and execute a specific business proposal or project.
Programs in project management may be a concentration of a four-year broader degree, like business science or business administration. A high school education or GED is required to enroll in a bachelor's program. Students interested in this field may pursue further education through a master's degree and graduate certificates.
Project Management Degrees
The courses included in a basic project management degree program are designed to provide students with the specific training and practical education necessary to manage a crew of employees in the execution of a particular project. Classes that provide students with these management skills can include:
- Basic finance and accounting
- Cost estimation and budget planning
- Business principles and communication
- Organizational behavior and systems
- Project management specialization
- Small business management
Popular Career Options
A degree program in project management can prepare individuals for leadership and management positions in several fields, such as banking, construction, and manufacturing. Positions in these fields can include:
- Business project leader
- Cost estimator
- Construction project manager
- Quality assurance specialist
- Wholesale project manager
- Supply chain manager
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that cost estimators were expected to see a 9% growth from 2014-2024, which is faster than average. These professionals earned a median yearly wage of $60,390 in May 2015. Construction management jobs were predicted to grow 5% from 2014-2024, which is as fast as average. These types of managers took in a median annual salary of $87,400 in May 2015. Quality control inspection careers, on the other hand, were projected to not increase at all from 2014-2024.
Continuing Education and Certification Options
Master's degree programs in project management are offered online and on campus by many universities. This specialized degree program offers in-depth study in a variety of management areas, such as budgets, laws, and risk management, for students interested in pursuing high-level leadership roles. There are also project management graduate certificate programs available, many of which offer credits that are transferrable to master's degree programs.
The Project Management Institute offers certification opportunities and credentials to professionals working in the management field (www.pmi.org). Some available designations include Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP), PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP), Project Management Professional (PMP), and Program Management Professional (PgMP). Each designation has different eligibility requirements, but usually requires the completion of a postsecondary degree, an examination, and several hundred hours of management experience.
As there are no associate's degrees in project management, a bachelor's degree in this field is the most common form of education. Graduates can obtain a master's degree and professional certification to increase their career opportunities and potential for higher level management positions.