5 Essential Classes for a Master's in Project Management

  • Interpersonal and Group Behavior
  • Project Scope Management
  • Planning and Resource Management
  • Risk Management in Projects and Programs
  • Project Quality Management

Nearly every industry has opportunities for project managers, and the principal courses in a Master's in Project Management program prepare graduates for everything from planning and scheduling to budgeting and monitoring techniques. According to Forbes, today, situations change quickly, especially in the business world, and companies need employees in these positions to help maintain forward momentum on specific projects. Other managers can then handle big-picture decisions without worrying about the fate of more specialized projects. Some classes that give students the skills they need to succeed in this field include the following.

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

1. Interpersonal and Group Behavior

Project management professionals form teams that include full-time members from different departments as well as experts that consult on a very specific part of the process. This class teaches students the communication skills necessary to keep everyone up-to-date about the project's status, resolve conflicts, and provide the necessary motivation to meet deadlines. Students also study some of the psychological aspects of group dynamics including diversity issues, managing different interpersonal communication styles, and finding a balance between managing and allowing independence.

2. Project Scope Management

This is one of the most consequential classes for a Master's in Project Management. Scope management is an essential part of a project's planning process, and without a firm understanding of the concepts in this class, the final product might be entirely unusable. Students learn how to ask precise questions about the goals of a project and then analyze the problem and suggested solution to ensure that the end result satisfies all the requirements without any unnecessary secondary effects.

3. Planning and Resource Management

When given an assignment to start planning, project managers are given guidelines as to the resources allocated for the project. While money is significant, it is not the only resource involved. Others include time, available technological equipment, and people power. In this course, students gain experience in accurately predicting the necessary budget and the duration of individual tasks, which indicates the number of people needed on the team. Students also learn how to write a detailed plan along with a projected completion date for each step.

4. Risk Management in Projects and Programs

This part of a Master's in Project Management teaches students how to identify and minimize risks in order to prevent accidents, liability, and inadvertent consequences of the plan. Every decision has inherent risk, and it is a project manager's job to ensure that the benefits outweigh the risks. Otherwise, if risks are too high, the plan needs revision early. Students learn to identify their own biases so that they can make objective evaluations.

5. Project Quality Management

The skills students learn in this class are relevant throughout an entire project. Quality management involves periodic evaluation of a product or process to ensure that everything is progressing according to plan and meets the standards set forth by the initial request. In the planning phase, project managers schedule periodic quality evaluations as well as the procedures for this testing.

A variety of fields including manufacturing, banking, healthcare, technology, and transportation hire project managers, either in-house or as contractors. Getting a graduate degree opens the doors to these opportunities. The required courses in a Master's in Project Management program are designed for students to gain both theoretical education and practical experience.