Many schools offer online bachelor's and master's degree programs in project management. Most of the coursework can be completed entirely online, with students logging in to view class lectures and complete assignments as their schedules allow, within a set time frame. They can communicate with instructors and other students through e-mail, video conferencing or message boards. Computer requirements may include speakers, a microphone and specific word processing or diagramming software. Master's degree programs require a bachelor's degree, and undergraduate degrees in project management are preferred.
Bachelor's in Project Management
Students enrolled in online undergraduate project management programs learn to identify and overcome the challenges of project management, ranging from business concerns like budget to personnel issues. In addition to general education classes, students take courses in topics like management ethics, risk assessment and budgeting. The curricula are intensive to business and management classes, and there are typically no special enrollment prerequisites. Online project management bachelor's degree programs can sometimes be completed in two years or less.
Online bachelor's degree programs in project management allow students to complete coursework entirely online. Although requirements differ among schools, students in some programs must visit the campus or an educational outpost for testing purposes. Some online project management bachelor's degree programs may also include a mandatory internship. Online coursework is completed using e-mail, video and audio files, web conferencing or online chat software. Some schools make all courseware available through an online classroom program like Blackboard.
In order to successfully complete an online project management bachelor's degree program, students are typically required to either own or have access to up-to-date computer equipment, high-speed Internet access, working speakers and microphone, a recent web browser and a printer. Some schools require students to have antivirus software installed on their computers, and also require students to purchase specific word processing and diagramming software.
Students embarking upon an online bachelor's degree program in project management can expect to study finance, organization and project management. Specific courses are highlighted below.
Strategic Project Management
An online strategic project management course explores the fundamentals of organizational progress and gaining a competitive edge in business.
Quality Project Management
Students enrolled in a quality project management distance learning course learn the value of customer satisfaction, quality assurance, continuous improvement and cost effectiveness.
This online project management course emphasizes cost estimates, seller selection, contract administration and contract amendments.
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Master's in Project Management
Students seeking an online master's degree program in project management may want to attend a program accredited by the Project Management Institute. The Project Management Institute is a global not-for-profit professional association offering certifications and other project management credentials. Online master's-level project management programs are designed to prepare students to manage projects from inception to completion. Students learn to project costs and scheduling and to negotiate and to evaluate projects from a financial standpoint. Distance learning project management master's degree programs are widely available.
Online graduate degree programs in project management are often completed entirely online without any required campus visits. Programs are typically completed within two years, but fast-track options permit students to earn their degree in even less time. Prior to enrollment, students are required to have a bachelor's degree. It is generally preferred that the bachelor's degree be in project management or a related field.
Distance learning project management graduate courses include studies in accounting, finance, business management, labor relations and statistics.
Supply Chain Management Principle
Students enrolled in an online supply chain management course learn to apply the principles of forecasting, outsourcing, inventory control and customer relations.
Taguchi Design Method
Distance learning Taguchi design method classes introduce students to the statistical design methods developed by the Japanese engineer Genichi Taguchi to improve project quality.
The online consumer behavior course provides students with knowledge of the consumer buying needs, motivations and decisions.
Graduates of these bachelor's programs can work in a variety of industries, like construction or manufacturing, and can work in positions with titles like cost estimator or construction manager. In some cases, a project management degree can be preparation for a career in computer or information systems management. Project management graduates who follow this career path usually need a dual degree or extensive computer experience in addition to project management skills. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) indicates that a cost estimator can expect to earn wages ranging from $34,720-$100,570, according to data from May 2015.
Students graduating from an online master's degree program in project management may find careers as construction managers, cost estimators or management analysts. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates a job growth of 14% for management analysts over the period of 2014-2024. However, competition will be heavy for available positions, and the Bureau suggests job applicants with master's degrees will have a better chance at success.
Management analysts may achieve certification from the Institute of Management Consultants USA, Inc. The Project Management Institute also offers the Certified Associates in Project Management, the Project Management Professionals, the Program Management Professionals, the PMI Risk Management Professional and the PMI Scheduling Professional designations. While not mandatory, any of these certifications or recognition are beneficial to job seekers, according to the BLS. According to a May 2015 BLS report, the average annual wage for management analysts is $91,770.
Students wishing to obtain a degree in project management entirely online can do so at the bachelor's and master's levels. Master's programs prefer that students already hold a bachelor's in project management.