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Project Management MBA

Project management degrees are great options for business majors who want to have a great deal of responsibility in working on projects for their employers. Some common areas that people specialize in regarding project management include risk management, quality, cost, human resources, scope, and others. Project managers are often responsible for bringing projects in on time and on budget, therefore there is a great deal of responsibility in handling the resources available, as well as dealing with the dynamics of a divergent group of people working on a project. These people are managers as well as leaders.

University Degree Offerings

  • Norwich University Master of Business Administration in Project Management

    Norwich University’s Online Master of Business Administration in Project Management provides to its students a working knowledge of key business concepts with the understanding of how to apply these theories and methodologies to real world business situations. The focus of the program is on critical thinking and creative analysis of business objectives that lead to innovative solutions.

Project Management MBA

A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for most project management jobs, with an MBA often preferred by employers because of the rigorous academics required to earn an MBA, as well as the leadership and economic instruction generally expected to be part of an MBA program. It is estimated that there will be more than 1.2 million new project management jobs each year over the next decade. More baby-boomers with these jobs will be retiring, and the point of hiring project managers is to save time and money on jobs, so employers are hiring more project managers for economic reasons and evidence suggests that having an MBA makes project management candidates more employable.

Why a Project Management MBA Online

Because there is more evidence that hiring project managers pays off for companies, there is more demand for project managers. Statistics have shown that projects more likely to fail without a project manager, and there are often cost overruns related to project without project managers. As companies realize that hiring someone to oversee projects is more cost effective in the long run of project, there is becoming a greater demand for project managers

In 2009, 90 percent of business executives stated that having a project manager was critical in ensuring that projects were completed in a timely and efficient manner, however, in the same report, only 37 percent of those executives were satisfied with the job their own project managers were doing. Part of the concern was with those with MBA’s in project management. The Project Management Institute found that part of the issue was that MBA programs haven’t had enough of a focus on implementation and execution of the skills needed for project management. More time was spent learning about theory and general economics, and not enough time was spent learning how to manage projects in the specific field they would be working in

With the concerns of graduation students who can be of greater use to employers, more and more universities are requiring students to take part in project management courses in which students learn more about leadership, team management, the ability to think strategically, and general project management skills. Students working on MBA’s in project management are generally strong in the technical business areas, as well as finance, accounting, and quantitative analysis, but the need more skills in on site work to learn how to effectively solve problems on a job site. Many schools are also adding a project management component to their other business courses because of both employer demand, as well as student demand as students begin to understand that practical experience in on site decision making makes them more marketable

Project Management MBA Courses & Areas of Study

Although there can be some variation in the courses students might take to earn an MBA in project management, there are several that are consistent no matter where the student studies.

  • Introductory Course: This course gives students a better example of the kinds of knowledge and leadership necessary to be able to be a project manager. Some of these general topics include planning projects, controlling projects and keeping them within the designed scope, keeping cost under control, and controlling and mitigating risk. Many introductory courses also help students learn how to develop project schedules and project budges.
  • Project procurement: This course of study involves helping students understand what they need in order to move forward with a project. This is generally less about procuring supplies as it is to ensure that the student understands how to make a plan to actually procure necessary supplies, how to select the appropriate contracts, how to negotiate fees, and how to evaluate those who provided services when the project is completed.

Quality Management: The overall quality of a project is not only at least half of how a project manager is evaluated, it is also often one-half of the most important aspect of how an entire project is evaluated (cost is the other half). A course in quality management gives the student a chance to actually work with diagrams and charts to ensure they understand the process of a job so they can assure quality and improve the process of the job when necessary, and ultimately to make certain their boss is happy with the outcome.

Risk Management: Part of the job of a project manager is to manage risk as it occurs during a project. Since it has been proven that there is a correlation between risk and communication, the project manager has to learn how to avoid communication barriers and keep communication from breaking down to reduce the potential for communication to break down and add risk to a project. Students learn how to monitor and avoid those issues so they can keep on top of potential problems.

Budgeting and Managing Costs: Courses in this vein focus on estimating costs for different sizes of projects, managing budgets, and being able to make adjustments during projects.

Leadership: Leadership courses teach the basic skills needed to work with different sizes of teams, both on-site and off-site. The students learn how to work with different dynamics including how to develop their authority as a leader and how to develop trust. The better the leadership skills students have, the more likely a project will be successful

Project Management MBA Career Opportunities

The career outlook for project managers is expected to be high for the next several years. Depending on the area of emphasis, the need for certain kinds of project managers is expected to continue growing and paying good wages for several years. CNN published a study that indicated that IT project managers are the number five growth occupation in America as more and more companies try to add more technology as a way to earn money, as well as a way to save money.

Online Project Management MBA Degrees

There are many accredited project management MBA programs online. These programs are good for people who need to balance current jobs and/or family with working on a degree. The key to finding a good program is to ensure that it is accredited, and it is beneficial if it is connected to the Project Management Institute.

Project Management MBA Education & Admissions Requirements

The general requirements to enroll in a project management MBA program are that a student has a bachelor’s degree in project management. Some MBA programs also prefer that students have some experience of working in the field, and students usually need to take a GRE or GMAT test before being admitted to an project management MBA program.

Project Management MBA Accreditation

Accreditation typically refers to the process by which the processes and procedures of a specific college, university, or program are deemed acceptable and appropriate by governing agencies. While attending an institute that has been accredited is important in any career field, it is especially essential for individuals who are considering enrollment in Project Management MBA programs. In some cases, employers will not hire individuals who have not graduated from a college or university that has been accredited within its country of origin. Individuals who are considering pursuing Project Management MBA programs must, therefore, make sure the program has been accredited before enrolling. Consultation with a program advisor or university administrator can be an effective way of ensuring accreditation status in Project Management MBA programs.

Top Ranked Project Management MBA Degrees

According the U.S. News and World Report, Stanford was ranked the number one MBA program in project management in the United States, and the same report named University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia number two, both because students are well grounded in theory, and they are expected to spend time in the field before completing their degrees.

Project Management Professional Organizations

The Project Management Institute is the leading project management organization. PMI offers certification that requires members to be up-to-date in continuing education, and PMI offers continuing education credits for members.