There are no online undergraduate degree programs in project management, but students can earn certificates and master's degrees in this field of study through distance education programs. Alternatively, applicants may choose to pursue a bachelor's degree in business management, which is available fully online. Students can access courses at their convenience and may be able to complete all courses online, although some programs do require a few campus visits.
Some certificate programs require that students have a bachelor's degree. A certificate program can generally be completed in 3 years or fewer, and it usually gives students flexibility in scheduling. Students learn the definition and role of project management as well as getting instruction on organizing resources and planning a project.
Students in a master's degree program must hold a bachelor's degree. These programs can require as little as a year of study. In a master's degree program, students gain advanced knowledge of all aspects of project management. They look at finances, project evaluation and management techniques. Master's degree candidates generally must complete a comprehensive final project in order to graduate.
Completion of the online coursework requires access to a computer with a PDF reader and an audiovisual program. Some courses may require that students purchase the appropriate textbook. Students may also be required to take proctored exams at a specified location.
Project Management Certificate
In project management programs which culminate in certificates or graduate-level degrees, students learn to manage small and large projects, from project definition at the start to evaluation at the end. These certificates and master's degrees are available online, sometimes through a school's business or engineering programs. Many schools allow students to tailor their educational programs through choice of elective courses in addition to required core courses.
Information and Requirements
Whether the program requires as little as four courses or more than 10, students in online project management certificate programs have the flexibility to work and attend school on their own schedule, completing the program in 1-3 years. Certificates in project management may require that a student have a bachelor's degree prior to enrollment. Schools may allow students to take courses entirely online but require that students travel to a specified location for a proctored examination.
A computer with Internet access, PDF reader and an audiovisual program is required for completion of an online degree program. Students may be required to complete an orientation session.
Project managers not only plan for a variety of projects and scenarios, but they are also required to work with people. In a series of 4-10 courses, students explore the project management process, learning to create project plans, obtain materials and manage personnel resources in the most efficient way possible.
Project Procurement Management
Materials are necessary to complete any project, and in courses on procurement, students learn the basics of the procurement process, from documentation to evaluation of proposals. Contracts and fee options are also topics of discussion.
Project Planning and Control
Planning and control are both essential to the successful completion of any project, as is a strong project pan. Individuals develop project plans, monitor and evaluate those plans to stay on track and tackle problems as they arise.
Graduate Degrees in Project Management
A master's degree in project management builds on the skills learned in undergraduate and certificate programs. Completing a project management graduate degree program can take as little as one year, but schools may allow students to take up to seven years.
Information and Requirements
Graduate program applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college. Like individuals in traditional Master of Science programs in project management, students in online master's programs are required to bring everything they learn during their education together in a capstone project or thesis. Students may be required to attend classes on campus, or programs may be entirely online.
A working computer with multimedia programs and PDF readers are usually required for completion of online education programs. Course materials and information may be more easily accessed with a high speed Internet connection, and students will be notified of special software that may be required. Some courses require textbooks as well.
Online master's degree programs in project management include study of financial principles and accounting, project management techniques and project assessment. These courses may have prerequisites within the department offering the programs.
Finance and Accounting
In courses on managerial accounting and cost management, students learn accounting principles that can affect management decisions, and gain understanding of approaches to cost controls and budgeting. Skills taught in the finance and accounting course include reading a balance sheet, estimating costs, selecting vendors and hiring out pieces of projects.
In courses on project evaluation, students learn quantitative and qualitative methods of evaluating the progress and outcome of a project. These courses teach students how to present progress reports to shareholders and management-level professionals.
Individuals with knowledge and training in project management can find employment in industries such as information technology, human resources, construction and finance. Project managers may begin their own consulting firms, or join established companies. Project management is a component of many careers. Payscale.com reported a typical salary range of $48,000-$111,000 (as of November, 2019) for dedicated project managers with a master's degree.
Professional project managers may earn certifications through programs like the Project Management Institute. PMI offers certification as project management professionals for individuals with a 4-year degree, project management education and at least five years of experience.
Students may find advanced degree programs in online and traditional formats in schools of business or engineering.
While online undergraduate programs in project management do not exist, prospective students may instead choose to pursue a bachelor's degree program in the field of business management. Coursework in finance, project planning and evaluation prepare students for careers as project managers. They may find employment in varied industries such as human resources, finance and construction.