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Are you considering an advanced degree? You might be wondering about the career opportunities for project management graduates. Pursuing a graduate degree in project management could help you fine-tune the technical and soft skills required to succeed in this dynamic field.

What is Project Management?

Defined as the strategic management of an organization’s project, event, or task, project management requires a skilled professional to successfully oversee allocating resources and staff to accommodate the project’s timeline and budget. Project management is important in many fields, including engineering, health care, construction, and information technology.

Overview of Project Management

Project management is a multi-step process that typically includes:

  • Planning out a project or event.
  • Initiating the first steps to begin the project.
  • Executing all phases required to move the project forward.
  • Monitoring the progress of the project.
  • Closing out the project, preferably on time and within the confines of the budget.

Skills Required for Successful Project Management

To manage a project effectively and efficiently, professionals must develop a specific and focused skill set. Some of the most critical skills required for successful project management include organization, risk management, time management, adaptability, problem-solving, motivation, and conflict management.

Why Get a Degree in Project Management?

Earning a degree in project management allows you to explore and develop the essential skills required for successful project management. With a focused curriculum, you will have the opportunity to delve into the project management strategies and methodologies that could be applied in many fields.

Diverse Career Paths in Project Management

Project management is a flexible and versatile field of study, and there are many types of project manager jobs available.

These are a few of the career opportunities available in the field of project management:

The Role of an Operations Manager

Operations managers are high-level professionals responsible for overseeing the daily operations of an individual organization. Operations managers must be able to formulate organizational policies and allocate resources accordingly.

The Importance of a Purchasing Manager

Purchasing managers are professionals who develop and oversee the buying strategies for an organization. Purchasing managers are often responsible for handling more complex procurement tasks.

How Essential Is an Emergency Management Director?

Emergency management directors play a critical role in the health and safety of an organization. Emergency management directors are responsible for developing plans that could instantly be enacted in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. In the event of an emergency, they oversee operations and implementation of the emergency plan.

The Need for a Product Development Manager

Product development managers are responsible for creating products that align with the needs of an organization’s target market segment. Product development managers play an integral role in the short- and long-term success of a company.

The Role of a Nonprofit Manager

Nonprofit managers oversee the operations at nonprofit corporations, ensuring that the organization continues to accomplish its designated mission.

A Computer and Information Systems Manager

A computer and information systems manager is an IT professional who works to identify the technology goals of an organization and develop strategies to achieve those goals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they are sometimes referred to as IT project managers.

Career as a Financial Manager

Financial managers are specialized project managers who oversee establishing short- and long-term financial goals for an organization. They also direct investment strategies according to those goals.

Opportunities in Food Service Management

A professional who specializes in food service management may work as a project coordinator for a restaurant, hospital, or school that offers food and nutrition services. They are typically responsible for coordinating the logistics that allow the facility to serve a varied and delicious menu to its clientele.

Prospects as a Marketing Manager

Marketing managers are professionals who work to plan promotional programs for an organization or brand to increase visibility, improve sales, and boost revenue. The skills learned during a project management program could serve a marketing manager well.

Degrees, Credentials, and Their Impact on Your Project Management Career

Students interested in exploring career opportunities for project management graduates will want to learn more about the types of degrees available. You may find that you could earn an undergraduate or graduate degree in project management, both of which will help you hone the skills required for this field.

The Value of an Associate Degree in Project Management

An associate degree in project management is an undergraduate degree that typically takes two years to complete. Within an associate degree program, you will likely learn the introductory skills required for entry-level positions.

Career Options With a Bachelor’s Degree in Project Management

A bachelor’s degree in project management is usually a four-year degree program that focuses on basic project management skills, such as budgeting, time management, technical writing, research, and reporting. These skills may help graduates pursue entry-level positions in project management.

Opportunities With a Master’s Degree in Project Management

master’s degree in project management is an ideal graduate degree for students with a solid understanding of the basic principles of project management. Within this graduate degree program, you will take an in-depth look at the field of project management and begin to develop the advanced technical and soft skills required by higher-level project management positions. You might be wondering if a master’s in project management is worth it, so consider these potential benefits:

  • Work in a Variety of Industries: Many types of industries and businesses rely on project management processes to make improvements where needed, expand their client base, boost profits, and achieve other goals. If you’re planning to become a project manager, think about the kinds of interests you have and where and how you want to put your hard-earned skills to use.
  • Improve Your Current Skills: During this advanced program, you’ll have a chance to work on improving the skills you’ve already learned in your previous education. Whether you want to further develop your skills in communication, risk management, critical thinking, quality management, or cost management, a master’s degree program provides you with many opportunities to do so.
  • Apply Your Learnings to Real Life Experience: If you’ve already started working as a project manager after earning a bachelor’s degree, you’ll get to enjoy one of the biggest benefits of earning a master’s degree. Being employed while working toward your degree provides you with a chance to gain real-life experience and academic knowledge. You can take what you’re learning in your master’s degree program and put it to use at your job. Likewise, you can use real-life experiences at work to better understand what you’re learning.

Industry-Recognized Credentials for Project Management Careers

In the dynamic field of project management, obtaining industry-recognized credentials are paramount for professionals seeking to demonstrate their expertise and advance their careers. Here, we delve into some of the most prominent certifications that can elevate your project management journey:

Project Management Professional (PMP)

The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), stands as a pinnacle of achievement in project management. It validates proficiency in project management processes, tools, and techniques, showcasing a professional’s dedication to excellence.

Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

Ideal for aspiring project managers or those new to the field, the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification, also provided by PMI, establishes a foundational understanding of project management concepts and terminology. It serves as a stepping stone towards higher certifications.

Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

For those embracing Agile methodologies, the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) certification, offered by the Scrum Alliance, validates expertise in Scrum principles and facilitation skills. It empowers individuals to lead Agile teams with confidence and efficiency.

PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)

The PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) certification, provided by PMI, signifies proficiency in Agile principles and practices. Covering a spectrum of Agile methodologies including Scrum, Kanban, and Lean, it caters to professionals navigating dynamic project landscapes.

Certified Project Manager (CPM)

Administered by the International Association of Project Managers (IAPM), the Certified Project Manager (CPM) certification adheres to a standardized project management framework. It evaluates competencies in leadership, innovation, and project management best practices.

Certified Project Management Practitioner (CPMP)

Recognizing excellence and innovation in project management, the Certified Project Management Practitioner (CPMP) certification from the American Academy of Project Management (AAPM) emphasizes leadership and strategic project execution.

Advancing Your Career in Project Management

By prioritizing skill development, you will have the opportunity to continue advancing your career in project management. You could improve your skill set by pursuing professional certifications and continuing education opportunities.

The Importance of Certifications in Project Management

Project management certifications could allow you to specialize within your career and focus on a particular field. According to LinkedIn, project managers could consider several valuable professional certifications, such as Project Management Professional, Certified Associate in Project Management, or Certified ScrumMaster.

Next Steps to Take in Your Career

Knowing the next steps that you want to take in your career can help you focus on the right professional development opportunities. By identifying the field you want to focus on or the position you want, you can create a strategic plan that may include continuing education opportunities.

Switching Your Career to Project Management

Given that skilled project managers are required in many different fields, it is entirely possible to switch up your career path to focus on project management. By pursuing a master’s degree in project management, you could build upon your existing educational foundation and develop the skills required for this field.

The Role of a Project Manager in Different Industries

Although specific tasks may vary according to industry, project management professionals are generally responsible for overseeing large-scale projects and initiatives. This requires them to have a well-developed set of interpersonal skills, as well as the technical skills needed to effectively design, implement, and monitor any type of project. Financial assessment, resource allocation, and quality management are all vital skills that aspiring project managers must focus on developing.

Are You Ready to Embark on a Career in Project Management?

With a wide range of project manager jobs available, it might be time to consider expanding your knowledge and improving your skill set. At Post University, we offer a Master of Science in Project Management as well as a Graduate Certificate in Project Management, both of which allow you to develop the advanced, essential skills required to oversee a project. From exploring strategic budgeting techniques to enhancing time management skills, these project management programs allow you to focus on the necessary skills for this field.

Thank you for reading! The views and information provided in this post do not reflect Post University programs and/or outcomes directly. If you are interested in learning more about our programs, you could find a complete list of our programs on our website or reach out directly!

Please note jobs and/or career outcomes highlighted in this blog do not reflect jobs or career outcomes expected from any Post program. To learn more about Post’s programs and their outcomes, please fill out a form to speak with an admissions advisor.