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Online schools for project management

Project management is a broad degree with numerous applications in the workforce. Project managers can be found in numerous industries, with a variety of job titles and responsibilities. Their duties include taking responsibility for scheduling, budgeting, design, personnel supervision, and other directorial or supervisory matters. Here are a few of the jobs that project management graduates may hold in the workforce:

  • Business project manager
  • IT project manager
  • Project analyst
  • Operations manager
  • Industrial production manager
  • Sales manager
  • Compliance manager
  • Business planning analyst
  • Supply chain manager

Interested? Read on for more information about project management degrees, and find out how they can help you turn a knack for organization, coordination and time management into a challenging and rewarding career.

Project management degrees available

What can you do with a project management degree?

Project managers are needed in just about any industry you can think of. Here are five top industries for project management jobs, based on data reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Information technology: IT jobs are on the rise, and IT project managers are needed to help enterprises realize their high-tech ambitions. Salaries are well above the national average, and employment in IT management is projected to grow twice as fast as other management fields between 2012 and 2022.

Marketing and advertising: Properly managed projects can make all the difference for a firm's clients. Creativity can be a big plus in this field, too, so project managers with an arts background are well equipped to thrive.

Postsecondary education: If you fall in love with academia while earning your project management degree, why not focus your professional energies back into the higher education system? Project managers can help coordinate outreach, improve student services, administrate campus facilities and more.

Scientific research and development: Project managers with a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) background might enjoy the mental stimulation of managing research and development projects.

Financial activities: Project managers in the finance sector may find themselves dealing with high-stakes situations, but their reported yearly salaries seem to make for adequate compensation. According to BLS data, average salaries can be well above $100,000.

Project management training can be earned at multiple levels of the higher education system, through various academic departments. Here's some info about project management education available at each degree level:

Associate degrees

These degrees for project managers typically take the form of information technology, business or general management degrees. It's important to study the basics of business administration, finance, management and communications while earning your associate degree. Students looking to manage projects for a construction firm can find degrees in construction project management at this level.

Bachelor's degrees

This is where project management education begins to take on a sharper focus, bringing in more advanced management concepts, such as theories and techniques of organization and scheduling. Most employers require at least a bachelor's degree before a project management candidate can be considered for employment, so if you can, it's advisable to continue your education at least to this level.

Master's degrees

These credentials are often delivered as "Master of Project Management" degrees, though they make take the form of Master of Business Administration degrees or specializations within Master of Science degrees in management. Project management master's degrees can sometimes be earned parallel with graduate degrees in other disciplines, for students looking to distinguish themselves significantly in a certain industry.

Non-degree and postgraduate certificates in project management are also available at certain institutions. The certificate option can be a good one if you're looking to move into management in a highly technical field like engineering or computer science, which can occupy a student's full attention at the bachelor's or master's level.

Distance-learning opportunities

Over the past several years, online business degrees of all kinds have been on the rise. Online project management schools can help you prepare to take the next step in your career without stretching your budget too thin or requiring that you take undue time away from work or family responsibilities.

As with any degree, some colleges and universities offer stronger programs than others. Here are examples of some of the top schools for project management degrees online:

Colorado State University

CSUoffers an online bachelor's degree in project management that allows students to specialize in health care, marketing, IT and a wide range of other disciplines. The school's Global Campus distance education program also includes an equally customizable project management master's degree.

Liberty University

Liberty provides a project management bachelor's degree through the business administration department, with master's degrees available in marketing and business administration. Liberty allows undergraduate students to transfer "life experience credit," which can help you complete your degree even faster.

Boston University

BU's Metropolitan College features a master of science in project management program that focuses on interdisciplinary learning and risk management. The online MBA offered at Boston University ranked among the top 10 online business graduate programs in the nation in 2014, according to U.S. News and World Report.

University of Texas at Dallas

These project management programs can be taken in person or online, and consist of a project management certificate on top of either an MBA or MS in Management. Online business education at UT-Dallas ranked among the top five in U.S. News and World Report's 2014 rankings.

Earning an online project management degree can be a great way to increase your earning potential and advance your career. If it sounds like the right fit for you, check out the Schoolfinder to locate programs near you and see if they fit your needs.

Sources:

Master of Science in Project Management, Boston University,
http://msmonline.bu.edu/online-graduate-programs-in-management/master-of-science-in-project-management-2/

Online Bachelor's Degree in Project Management, Colorado State University Global Campus, http://csuglobal.edu/undergraduate/programs/bachelors-degrees/project-management/courses/

Online Bachelor's Degree in Project Management, Colorado State University, http://csuglobal.edu/undergraduate/programs/bachelors-degrees/project-management/specializations/

Master of Business Administration - Project Management, Liberty University Online, http://www.liberty.edu/online/masters/business-administration/project-management/

Information Technology Project Managers, Occupational Information Network, http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/15-1199.09?redir=15-1099.11

Project Management Graduate Degree Programs, Naveen Jindal School of Management, University of Texas at Dallas,
http://jindal.utdallas.edu/executive-education/executive-degree-programs/project-management/project-management-graduate-degree-programs-on-campus-or-online/

Management Occupations, Occupational Employment and Wages, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, April 1, 2014,
http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes110000.htm

"Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition," Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Jan. 8, 2014,
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/

Best Online Graduate Business Programs, U.S. News and World Report, http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/mba/rankings?int=a2b309

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