With an MBA in project management you will have a wide range of opportunities available to you.
A project manager is the person responsible for the planning, execution and coordination of a project. They are required to think outside of the box and present innovative and realistic solutions to any problems that might prevent the project achieving its objectives on time and on budget. A project management masters will provide you with the skills required for this challenging position. This page gives more details and provides links to schools with suitable programs.
As a project manager it would be up to you to initiate, supervise and ensure the completion of a project. You would be required to have a proficiency in a number of areas, for example in human and administration management.
MBA programs in this field vary according to the institution, but would typically focus on topics that are directly related to the workplace and are built around the competencies in "A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge" (PMBOK® Guide), a globally recognized standard for the project management skills required by professionals in this field.
As a general guide, expect that the program would introduce you to the five phases of the project management life cycle: initiation, planning and design, execution, monitoring and controlling, and closure, together with associated courses such as project procurement, risk management, time analysis, finance, planning and scheduling, communication, organization, and team dynamics.
In a project management program you would also be provided with business skills and knowledge relating to management, human resources, business structure, accounting, operations, budget analysis, and forecasting. A good example of such a program is the MBA Project Management at Capella University. Following your masters degree, you may wish to take a PhD in Project Management at Capella University. Doctoral programs such as this one usually have advanced project management course work, plus business and organizational topcis such as: accounting and financial management, marketing strategy, and organizational theory. As with most doctoral programs, you will be required to attend some short residential workshops during your program.
It is important to understand that the degree program itself won't provide you with all the skills necessary to be a success. You will need to acquire knowledge throughout your career that would ensure you can bring about the best results. The majority of employers would follow specific requirements and guidelines that need to be understood to complete projects.
Many schools offer a project management MBA. Here are a few selected ones (others can be found using the search box in the right hand column):
In many organizations, and certainly as a consultant, you will be required to have project management certification - available from the American Society for the Advancement of Project Management and also the Project Management Institute (PMI). To maintain PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential it is necessary to earn 60 professional development units (PDUs) per three-year cycle. Some schools are Registered Education Providers of PMI so their degrees can provide some of the required PDUs, e.g., a project management program at Capella University.
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Upon graduation you would find a wide range of opportunities made available to you. You would be able to find openings in sectors such as IT, the financial industry, engineering, construction, the automotive industry, and healthcare. The leadership skills learnt in your studies would open many doors. There is the option of working for both private and governmental organizations locally and overseas.
According to Payscales.com, the salary range (including bonuses) for project management directors is 79,000 to $134,000 per annum. Clearly, those graduates with the best training and education are able to get the best jobs. A position in an urban location would offer a higher salary than those openings in rural areas of the country. Whichever way you look at it, a project management career is well worth considering.
Browse the schools below - and remember to request information and compare the admission requirements and course content of several schools before you choose a program.
Wanjira Kinuthia, Georgia State University
Stewart Marshall, The University of the West Indies
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