Entirely online Master of Project Management programs are available, mostly aimed at students with some prior project management experience or equivalent course hours. A few programs include a hybrid option, allowing students to take both online and campus-based classes. On-campus orientations or residencies are required at some schools. Students must have a bachelor's degree for admission to an MPM program, and they might need to take prerequisite courses if they don't have project management experience. Individuals will study cost estimation, project planning, risk analysis and organizational management.
Master of Project Management
In online MPM programs, students learn to coordinate projects from development to implementation, which includes managing schedules, resources and costs. These programs are fairly common, and most are registered with the Project Management Institute (PMI), the official membership organization for project management professionals.
Program Information and Requirements
In most cases, students in MPM programs are working project management professionals who pursue their degrees part-time. Students can earn an online MPM in as little as two years, completing 100% of their coursework online.
Common Project Management Courses
Online MPM programs include introductory project management classes, as well as core coursework in project evaluation and risk management. Additional topics might include organizational theory or group behavior.
Planning and Scheduling
Students learn to develop and implement project plans. Skills include making schedules, setting goals, securing resources, analyzing risk factors and anticipating any bottlenecks or legal issues. Students also learn to develop contingency plans and apply statistical modeling techniques to scheduling.
Cost and Resource Management
In an effort to minimize costs and maximize resources, students learn to put together cost estimates, manage project budgets and control expenses. Other possible topics include choosing and negotiating with vendors, optimizing resources and outsourcing tasks.
This course deals with the human factor in project management and the importance of considering people's strengths, weaknesses and interactions when assembling and leading project teams. Case scenarios and simulations might show students how to lead teams through conflict and fulfill client expectations.
Career Information for Graduates
MPM program graduates can pursue such positions as senior project manager, project analyst and master scheduler in a variety of industries. According to PayScale.com, the median annual salary for information technology project managers was $84,662 as of October 2016. Most project managers in information technology who were certified Project Management Professionals (PMP) made between $64,443 and $125,579 during this time.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Professional project management certification isn't required for employment as a project manager, but it could lead to career advancement and a higher salary. Graduates of online MPM programs can pursue PMP credentials through PMI, provided they have at least three years of work experience and 4,500 hours leading projects. PMPs must renew their certification every three years by completing 60 professional development units, some of which are available online.
Online MPM programs are relevant for professionals in a wide range of industries who want to develop advanced managerial and organizational skills that can be applied to the design and implementation of major projects.