5 Benefits of Completing a Master’s in Project Management

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Updated August 4, 2020

5 Reasons To Get a Master's in Project Management

  • More Job Opportunities
  • Find Work in Different Industries
  • Real-Life Experience
  • Study Theory Behind the Practice
  • Learn From Experts

Some project managers only utilize skills they learned from general experience in the field, but many employers believe there are benefits to earning a Master's in Project Management. These programs give graduates a solid understanding of the psychology behind team-building and motivation, interpersonal communication skills, scheduling and planning strategies, methods of resource management, and other business concepts. A master's degree objectively demonstrates mastery in the field and provides other benefits like those listed below.

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

1. More Job Opportunities

In the last few decades, the number of project management positions and degree programs has dramatically increased. As such, the job description has become more defined and often requires more than experience working in the industry. A master's degree shows potential employers that an applicant takes the field seriously and has a firm grasp on the standard practices of project management.

2. Find Work in Different Industries

In the past, people were promoted to project manager after becoming experts in a particular industry. Today, though, this position requires a very specific skill set that has little to do with the project's subject matter or industry. As long as the manager hires a team of technical experts, his or her job is to oversee and direct the work, rather than actually build the product. Since a master's program teaches the processes and techniques necessary to lead in any sector, professionals can make easy transitions between industries.

3. Real-Life Experience

During the last semesters of graduate school, most project management students are required to complete some practical experience. This could be an internship or practicum at a local company with an experienced project manager as a mentor. An internship generally takes the place of classwork and is similar to a full-time job, whereas a practicum combines academic research with part-time experience in an actual job setting. On a resume, both of these activities show future employers that an applicant has had some hands-on experience.

4. Study Theory Behind the Practice

While direct observation and training is important, another advantage of earning a Master's in Project Management is that students also learn the theories behind specific practices. This allows them to understand why things are done a particular way which means they can also, then, recognize when a different approach is necessary. This is especially the case with new technology options. Professionals need to analyze a situation, formulate a plan, and choose which tools will work best. This takes a deeper understanding of the principles of project management which cannot be gained from experience alone.

5. Learn From Experts

In graduate schools, many of the instructors currently work or have worked in the field, so they can provide actual examples that illustrate the course concepts. Along with the experts teaching the class, many students in graduate programs are returning to school as adults and have held jobs either as a project manager or a similar position, so they can offer another perspective in discussions.

Higher education is useful for project managers looking to work in any industry for the above reasons. One final reason, as noted by U.S. News and World Report, is that most programs cover all the material on the PMP certification test which is another important credential for project managers around the world. Overall, finishing a Master's in Project Management gives graduates an advantage, both in the hiring process and when working in the field.

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