What is a Master’s in Project Management?

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Updated August 4, 2020

Project management jobs are becoming quite in-demand these days, and a Master's in Project Management can truly help to advance the career of someone looking to go far in this field. According to the U.S. News and World Report, this advanced degree can open more doors in various industries and lead to increased earnings. Continue reading to learn more about the type of work one can do with a Master's in Project Management and the advantages to acquiring it over an MBA.

Related Resource: 10 Most Affordable Master's in Project Management Online 2018

About Project Management

Project management is a growing field that involves the oversight of projects from start to finish. This type of work is needed in multiple industries. Some of the most common include construction, telecommunications, engineering, manufacturing and information technology. A project manager typically is in charge of a team and oversees such things as scheduling, deadlines, purchasing authorization and budgeting. They usually report directly to a company client. These professionals must be very organized, possess leadership skills and be great communicators. They keep every aspect of a project on track and work to mitigate issues as they arise.

What a Project Management Master's Degree Offers

Because there is so much responsibility in a project management position, most employers seek someone with an advanced degree. This is true even for entry-level jobs. A master's degree provides the diverse coursework that allows students to gain insight into every level the job requires and helps to thoroughly prepare them for the workforce. In addition, many of these programs require a practicum or hands-on experience in order to provide more realistic preparation. There are varying requirements for certification among each state, which is also important to note when entering this profession. Each institution's program will have its own concentration or emphasis, as well. Some schools may offer a Master of Science, while others have a Master of Arts. It's important to talk to department representatives and read program descriptions to develop an understanding of what is being offered.

Benefits of a Master's in Project Management Over an MBA

Some institutions may recommend an MBA, or Master's of Business Administration, in place of an advanced degree in Project Management. It's good to know the difference so that you can make a choice that is right for your particular interests and needs. An MBA appeals to some students because it carries a certain prestige. However, this degree tends to be more generalized and focuses on business subjects, rather than specifically on topics related to managing projects. This could definitely hurt your chances in the job market, especially if you are set on working in project management. It's also good to note that getting into an MBA program can be challenging because it is usually quite competitive and has certain prerequisites such as a Bachelor's level degree in business or finance. A degree in project management is versatile in that it prepares you to work across industries, yet specific enough that it provides the exact skills you need to lead teams in the completion of complex projects.

There's a lot to know and to learn about becoming a project manager. The degree and experience you get matter. A Master's in Project Management from a quality program will set you on the path toward becoming successful and sought-after in the field.

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