Online Masters Degree in Contract Management

Contract management, also known as acquisition management or procurement, focuses on the administrative and managerial practices associated with corporate contracts and acquisitions. As a contract manager, you might find yourself working with purchasing departments in the government, including defense contracts. Graduate studies can update your knowledge of the legal and business aspects of this profession, preparing you to navigate the tricky territory of contract negotiations.

Earning master's degrees in contract management

Graduate programs may feature general skills like project management as well as specialized coursework and mentorship. The Master of Science in contract management covers different aspects of the field and requires a final research thesis or project. The MBA, a professional degree, focuses on broad business administration fundamentals with additional contract management electives. Candidates need a solid understanding of management and marketing as well as microeconomic and macroeconomic analysis.

Courses for master's degrees in contract management may include these:

  1. Business contract law
  2. Conflict and negotiation
  3. Cost analysis
  4. Government contract law
  5. Logistics and supply chain management
  6. Managerial accounting
  7. Operations management strategies

Master's degree programs may focus on general contract management or a specific context such as federal acquisition or military. Some programs culminate in a certification exam, such as the National Association of Contract Management's CPCM exam. Courses may also be designed to prepare you for compliance with the Department of Defense's Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act, or DAWAI.

Professional outlook in contract management

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not calculate salary information for contract managers per se. A related occupation is that of purchasing managers, buyers and purchasing agents, who negotiate contracts as part of their other responsibilities. Purchasing jobs are growing more slowly than average, with 7 percent growth projected by the BLS for the 2010-2020 period. The median annual wage of purchasing managers, buyers and purchasing agents was $58,360 in May 2010.

Major employers in this specialized field include the federal government and the military. If you are interested in academia or senior management, you have the option of continuing on to a professional doctorate in contract management.

Both doctoral and master's degrees in contract management are available online. The flexible schedule and virtual classroom access allow working professionals to advance their skills without taking time out from their careers. Take the next step toward a contract management career with graduate training.

Featured Online Contract Management Degree Programs

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