Associate's degrees in project management exist but are quite rare. Students may be interested in additional options, such as an associate's in business administration, which covers similar ground, or a certificate program in project management. We will look at the time requirements, technical requirements, and cost to attend these programs.
How to Select an Online Project Management Associate's Degree School
Students considering online project management schools for an associate's degree must make their decision based on several key factors. Because online associate's degrees in project management are rare, students can enroll in associate's degree programs in business administration, which often include some training in project management. Certificate and bachelor's degree programs in project management can also serve as alternative choices. Online programs of this type can be found at various colleges around the country. Students must then weigh the time requirements and format with the professional certification options.
Time Requirements and Format
When choosing a program, students should consider the anticipated time and attendance requirements. Some programs are designed for working adults, offering flexible study, assignment due dates and online testing. Other programs require students to attend scheduled video or audio lectures and appoint specific deadlines for assignment submission. Typically, a 2-year associate's degree or 4-year bachelor's degree program is designed for full-time students, while certificate options usually provide more flexibility and can often be completed in a year or less.
Career and Professional Certification Options
Project managers work in a variety of industries, including business, information technology and construction. Organizations such as the Project Management Institute offer multiple levels of professional certifications that may increase potential career opportunities. Several certifications require a degree and several hours of related experience.
Online Options for Project Management
Project Management Certificate
Project management certificates can be found through many institutions, and often function as a professional or trade certificate. Normally, these certificate programs are composed of a series of classes that provide college credit. Some institutions also offer post-graduate certificate programs in project management for those with undergraduate degrees. Courses focus specifically on project management topics, such as:
- Leadership and team management
- Cost and budget control
- Procurement policy and practices
Associate of Science in Business Administration
Though an online associate's degree in business administration rarely covers project management specifically, it usually includes components that teach students about project management. Graduates can pursue concentrated education in project management through a certificate program. Other courses within the curricula teach the business principles of:
- Managerial accounting
- Macro and microeconomic analysis
Bachelor of Science in Project Management
Online bachelor's degrees specifically in project management are rare, but a few schools do offer this type of degree program. Programs in business administration with a concentration in project management are more common, and the subjects in both programs are often very similar. Coursework typically includes business-related topics such as:
- Strategy and information systems
- Macroeconomic principles
- Managing organizational change
- Human resource management
Schools with Online Programs in Project Management
Broward College offers an online Associate of Science degree in Technology Project Management, which is designed specifically for students who hope to be managers in the field of information technology. Students will be required to take a computer competency test and may be asked to take some entry-level computing courses if they fail to pass the test. The core curriculum is a mix of information systems and business coursework.
Pennsylvania State University offers an online Associate in Science in Business Administration that is designed for individuals just entering the workplace as well as those looking for a career change. PSU has over 100 years of experience in distance learning. Students in the associate's program can apply their credits towards the online Bachelor of Science in Business or another bachelor's degree if they wish to continue their education. To take Penn State's online courses, students should have access to Windows 7 or Mac OS X 10.5 or higher.
Colorado Technical University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Project Management. The program is quite flexible, as classes start about every 6 weeks or so. Individuals who are serving in the military can benefit from discounted tuition rates. CTU also offers a number of 'Fast Track' courses, where students who earn a passing grade on a course's exam can skip taking the course, saving them money on tuition; students still earn credit for any course that they test out of. Fast Track exams are available at no additional charge to current students.
To summarize, while it may be challenging for students to find online associate's degrees in project management specifically, there are a few out there; or, they can enroll in an online project management certificate program or a similar associate's program. Before deciding, they should consider how much time they wish to commit to the program, how much it will cost, and the technical requirements.