A Master's degree is not always a requirement for a long career. There are still many career fields in which individuals can climb the ladder in their profession on the strength of a lesser degree and years of work experience. However, there are other career fields where executives are looking for individuals who possess the advanced education that comes with a graduate degree to go along with years of on the job experience. The field of project management is an example of a career field in which individuals are served by earning a Master’s degree. But what steps can individuals take to earn a Master’s Degree in Project Management?
Where to Earn a Master’s
Earning a degree in the United States used to mean one thing, years spent taking courses at a traditional college or university. Now students have the option of earning degrees on-campus, part-time, and even 100% online. Master’s degrees in project management are no different. There are programs offered at business schools on-campus and there are programs that are offered online. Choosing which path is best is left up to the individual. Students just completing a Bachelor’s program who wish to continue immediately into a Master’s program may do so through an on-campus program. Those who are returning to school after working in the career field for a few years tend to choose online programs for two reasons. First, they can’t afford to leave their job and still pay for a Master’s program. Second, online programs offer the flexibility to complete coursework on the evenings and weekends.
MBA vs. Specialized Degree
Project management degrees are available through different venues depending upon the institution offering the degree. Some institutions offer a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in project management. These programs offer students a broad base of management training, as well as focused project management knowledge.
On the other hand, if students have already received a good deal of training and education in general management, it may better suit them to pursue one of the more specialized project management Master’s programs available. Examples of other degrees include the Master of Arts in Project Management, Master of Science in Project Management, and Master of Science in Leadership – Project Management.
Coursework to Expect
No two academic programs are alike in the coursework they offer. Even similar degree programs, like the various project management programs, can differ depending upon the institution offering the degree. Those enrolling in a project management Master’s program should be prepared to take courses beyond the field of management including mathematics, statistics, written and oral communication (http://www.bls.gov/).
When it comes time to decide upon a specific school and degree program it is important for students to make their decision based upon what is important for them. It is important not to overlook factors such as relevance of the program, cost, and convenience when deciding between programs.