Training for project managers is available at several universities through standalone courses, as well as through certificate and degree programs. Undergraduate programs commonly result in a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Project Management or Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with a concentration in project management. Graduate students may earn a Master of Science (MS) in Project Management or Master of Project Management (MPM) degree. Certificate programs are generally offered at the graduate level, while standalone courses are usually available for continuing education purposes.
Concepts that are commonly addressed in project management programs include:
- Project scheduling
- Project assessment and evaluation
- Project scope management
- Communications management
- Conflict resolution
- Decision-making processes
List of Common Courses
Introduction to Project Management Course
Before getting into the specifics of each step in the process of project management, students take an introductory course to get an overview of principles and tools used in this field. This course focuses on key concepts within the field and educates those enrolled on project selection and organization. Topics that are discussed include planning and controlling projects and their scope, quality, cost and risk. Students also learn to develop a realistic project schedule and budget.
Quality Management Course
Project success is measured by the outcome. Project managers must learn to monitor and control the process in order to achieve desired results. The quality management course allows students to gain hands-on experience through the use of diagrams and charts, with a focus on quality assurance, process improvement and client satisfaction.
Risk Management Course
Successful completion of a project depends on many things, including risk management. There is often a relationship between risk and communication, so this course focuses on common communication barriers and breakdowns, techniques for reducing risk and the potential impact of risk on a project. Students learn to identify and assess risk based on a risk management plan in order to gain control over any possible situation.
Cost Management Course
All projects differ in scope and the amount of resources needed for success. For this reason, it is important that the project manager has an understanding of cost and budget for every available option. This course teaches students to evaluate the benefits and expenses of each project and then make informed decisions on which projects are most valuable to take on. Topics include cost estimation, budget management and pricing adjustments.
Leadership and Teams Course
Project managers are essentially team leaders in that they must communicate and coordinate with employees on-site and remotely. When working with a group of any size, basic leadership skills are needed in order to guarantee the success of a project. This course teaches students about team dynamics and culture, so they are able to successfully build an effective team. Emphasis is placed on establishing authority as a leader, developing trust between all members of the team, identifying and meeting team member needs, managing conflict, creating cohesiveness and generating innovative ideas for project success.