Projects need to be completed on time and on budget, whether you're working in construction, computer software development, engineering, manufacturing or another field. Strong planning, organizational and leadership skills are the cornerstones of project management.
Bachelor's degrees in project management offer specializations such as business, construction, health services, information security, sustainability or technical communication. Some coursework is shared across the various types of project management programs:
- Business policy, ethics and law
- Financial, cost and managerial accounting
- Human resources management and team building
- Marketing and sales
- Risk management
- Statistical and cost-benefit analysis
- Time and conflict management
General education requirements include classes like English composition, speech and psychology that can help you develop important skills for communicating with colleagues and motivating your team members. College math builds a foundation for a wide range of business functions. Electives encompass topics like ethics and change management, and a final capstone project is common.
Project management career options, outlook and salaries
In this job, you have diverse responsibilities, for example, developing a project plan, determining goals, setting the timeline for completion, quantifying the necessary resources, implementing quality controls and overseeing project operations. In addition to project manager, career options can include management or business analyst, QA specialist or cost estimator; some roles require work experience or further training.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects average to excellent employment growth between 2010 and 2020 for related careers. Projected growth rates are shown along with the median annual wages in 2010:
- Computer and information systems managers and IT project managers: 18 percent growth; $115,780 salary
- Cost estimators: 36 percent growth; $57,860 salary
- Management analysts: 22 percent growth; $78,160 salary
- Operations research analysts: 15 percent growth; $70,960 salary
For advanced education, master's degrees often focus on management in specialized areas such as information technology, construction, supply chain, e-commerce or purchasing. Degrees such as a Master of Business Administration also are available with concentrations in project management. Graduates with a doctoral degree usually conduct research, teach at the university level, seek high level leadership positions or go into consulting.
You may be planning to transition from your current career into project management or add these skills to your existing area of expertise for greater opportunities. Online bachelor's degrees in project management can provide the convenience of continuing to work while you earn your degree.