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Choosing an Online Project Management Program

Unlike other degrees and academic programs, project management degrees online focus on emphasizing and instructing students on a curriculum focused on leadership and administration. Project management degrees provide students with the tools and knowledge necessary to cope with the rigors and stresses over supervising a specific project within their business while adequately organizing the quality of work done by employees outside of regular work requirements. As a result, online project management degrees provide a flexible platform by which industry leaders may attain career development skills that takes into account their experience and work schedule.

What is an Online Project Management Degree?

A project management degree prepares the student to take on leadership roles within a business setting as the organizer and supervisor of the projects within the company. As a result, a project manager becomes responsible for a number of general tasks within their enterprise and for each specific project, including:

  • Planning and executing projects
  • Overseeing team management and removing performance obstacles
  • Accounting that all required resources for a project are present
  • Certifying that all delegated tasks are completed and of high quality
  • Creating a feasible budget for the project

These responsibilities alter depending on the project or type of project management role that the individual takes on within their company. Regardless, project management employs the skills he or she learns from a project management degree program to facilitate, complete, and lead a team and project to their company’s desired results.

Online project management degrees have become exceptionally popular in various business sectors for providing students with the hard and soft skills necessary to accomplish any goal. Online project management degree programs vary among schools and result in distinct skills depending on the educational level, work experience, and coursework required by each program. In contrast to other specialties, a student may enroll in an online project management program and, depending on the program, receive a certificate, associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and even a doctorate degree in project management. Therefore, choosing the best program to attain the skills and tools necessary for project management depends on the student’s work experience and previous educational levels.

What are the Requirements of an Online Project Management Degree Program?

Depending on the degree program, the requirements for project management online degrees vary among each accredited school.

For a bachelor’s degree, students typically need a high school diploma or GED before entering into an accredited online program. Once accepted, students reap the possible benefits of an online program by enrolling in programs that generally offer lower overall tuition costs, flexible schedules and terms, all courses offered every semester, accelerated programs, and alternative credit options in order to finish the degree even faster. Moreover, an accredited online bachelor’s degree in project management consist of an average of 120 credit hours and coursework that emphasizes:

  • Collecting and analyzing data
  • Preparing analytical report
  • Managing budgets
  • Making key staff decisions

Completing an online bachelor’s degree typically results in a Bachelor of Science in Project Management.

Similarly, a master’s degree in project management or a business degree (MBA program) with a concentration in project management provide coursework that further develops the student’s ability with hard and soft skills. Typically, the coursework of an online master’s degree focuses on:

  • Risk management
  • Project quality assurance
  • Cost and value management
  • Organizational behavior
  • Decision-making

Online graduate level coursework prepares the student to deal with planning, cost, and strategies to manage large-scale projects. Additionally, online master’s degree coursework allows the student to specialize in a specific type of project management, allowing their coursework to match they type of business or industry that they would like to work. The average tuition cost of these online programs is $22,300.

For a Certification in Project Management, most candidates seek certification in order to start negotiating for a higher salary or as a requirement from their employer. Currently, a Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification serves as the most popular of certifications offered by the Professional Managers Institute (PMI). In order to receive a PMP Certification, students must first have a secondary degree (high school diploma or associate’s degree), 7,500 hours leading and directing projects, and 35 hours of project management education that can be received through an online degree; or a 4 year degree, 4,500 hours leading and directing projects, and 35 hours of project management education. To gain and maintain PMP Certification, students must pass the 200 multiple choice question certification exam, earn 60 professional development units (PDUs) every three years, along with membership fees for the PMI. Overall the cost for certification fluctuates according to the amount of years the student decides to keep their membership plus the $500 exam cost and the $2000 exam prep material.

Ultimately, earning a project management degree allows students to embark on a career in countless fields ranging from manufacturing, oil and gas, to technology. A PM degree allows the student to earn an average of $10,000 more per year and earn a projected $85,000 per year depending on their specialty and position within their job. Earning an online degree allows the student to spearhead their own careers all the while gaining the experience necessary to put their degree into practice.

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