Online graduate certificate programs in project management are available entirely online at a wide range of universities and colleges. These online programs usually take approximately nine months to finish. Most programs prepare graduates for certification with the Project Management Institute (PMI). To start this fully online program, applicants usually need a bachelor's degree, and they may need to have taken specific undergraduate coursework.
Graduate Certificate in Project Management
Online graduate certificate programs in project management offer students the opportunity to work as project managers or pursue a master's degree in project management. Individuals also have the opportunity to earn professional certification through the Project Management Institute (PMI). To enroll, students are required to have a bachelor's degree and have taken certain prerequisite courses related to management.
Program Information and Requirements
The typical length of an online graduate certificate program in project management is nine months, with students taking 3-6 courses during that time. Part-time students may take longer to complete the program. Students who plan to pursue a master's degree, professional certification or continuing education credits may want to check to see that the program they choose offers what they need.
List of Common Project Management Courses
Online graduate certificate programs in project management often include an introductory course, as well as courses in the elements of managing a project, such as scheduling and managing risk. Students will either take only required courses or choose from a list of electives.
Students learn how to execute a project from inception to completion. They discuss tools and techniques for developing a project plan, schedule and work breakdown structure and learn how to manage resources and risk.
Planning and Control
Students learn how to plan for and overcome the most common disruptions to project schedules. Other possible topics include creating a project baseline and monitoring, evaluating and communicating the progress of a project.
Students build on their knowledge of management principles and apply them to leading project teams. They learn how to assign roles within the team, empower team members to fulfill their responsibilities and ensure everyone works toward a common goal.
Career Information for Graduates
Those who complete an online graduate certificate program in project management can manage projects in such fields as software development, construction, engineering and information technology. PayScale.com reported in October 2016 that the median annual salary for software development project managers was $83,180. As of November 2016, most IT project managers with Project Management Professional (PMP) certification made between $64,392 and $125,523.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Students interested in earning a graduate degree can pursue a Master of Project Management (MPM) or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in project management. Both degree programs are widely available online, and students may be allowed to transfer some or all of their credits from the graduate certificate toward an MPM or MBA.
Professional certification is not required for employment as a project manager, but it can lead to advancement or a higher salary. Among the most common certifications are the PMP and CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management), both of which have education and exam requirements and must be renewed. PMPs must complete 60 professional development units (PDUs) every three years, and CAPMs must retest every five years. PDUs and exam preparation courses are available online.
An online graduate certificate in project management is relevant to multiple industries, as it can help students build the planning, organizational and leadership skills needed to develop and implement large projects. Those who finish may also enhance their resumes by passing a professional certification test in the field.