30 Best Accelerated Project Management Degree Online Programs [2020 Ultimate Guide]
We’ve ranked the 30 best accelerated project management degree online programs. Compare top schools and learn more about earning this degree.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there will be at least 807,300 new jobs in project management available by 2026. This is a result of new organizations being started and existing ones expanding. Somebody needs to be in charge and make sure projects are completed. That could be you.
Types of Accelerated Project Management Degree Programs
Not all project manager jobs will require you to have a project management degree. But most will want you to have experience in project management AND a degree.
These degrees can help you gain both:
- Bachelor’s in Business Administration – Project Management
- Bachelor’s in Project Management
These degrees can give you the education you need to be able to set goals, create schedules, establish budgets, and delegate tasks to and monitor your team members.
Accelerated Project Management Degree Programs Overview
A project management degree gives you the skills that will prepare you to lead your team well and ensure that each project finishes successfully. A project management degree can teach you to:
- Put together a task force
- Obtain materials
- Make a proposal
- Manage your time well
- Minimize safety risks
- Be a strong communicator
- Work well with others
- Set and work within a budget
- Solve unexpected problems
You can learn that essential list of skills through classes like:
- Business Finance
- Business Information Technology
- Foundations of Project Management
- International Business and Project Management
- Leading Global Projects
- Business Law
- Supply Chain Management
- Management of Service Operations
- Organizational Fundamentals
You can see how valuable these topics are when it comes to managing business projects!
Careers with an Accelerated Project Management Degree
The type of career you pursue with a degree in project management is up to you. There are project manager jobs available in:
- Business Administration
- Health Care
- Information Technology
- Software Development
- Supply Chain Management
Every industry needs project managers. Each industry will also have different salary ranges. A multi-billion dollar company WILL pay you more than a small, not-for-profit. That’s generally the case with any of the best business programs.
Here are the average salaries for project managers in a variety of fields.
|Information Systems Manager||$135,800|
|Sales Project Manager||$117,960|
|Public Relations Manager||$107,320|
|Industrial Production Manager||$97,140|
|Health Services Manager||$96,540|
|Administrative Services Manager||$90,050|
|Social Services Project Managers||$64,680|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Most of these high-end project management jobs will require you to not only have your bachelor’s degree but to have relevant work experience. That means it is even more important to get started now. The longer you wait to start, the longer it will take you to gain the experience you need to be promoted to a project manager.
The Benefits of Accelerated Online Project Management Programs
A project management degree can be completed 100% online. No going to class. No moving on or closer to a particular campus. And you can start when you want to. Instead of having to wait another full year for September to roll around, you can make good use of the time and motivation you have now. That’s the convenience of taking classes online.
Here’s the acceleration part: A traditional class will take you 16 weeks to complete, but an accelerated class allows you to finish the entire class in 6-8 weeks. You get the same education and knowledge but faster.
To make the best use of this strategy, you would take another class right after the first one and end up with 2 classes completed in the typical time 1 class would take.
3 Ways to Accelerate Your Project Management Degree Even More
Besides taking accelerated classes, you can fast-track your degree even more with these three strategies.
1. Test Out of College Classes
One of the best known and reputable ways to test out of college classes is to register with the College Level Examination Program. Through this program, you can sign up online to take the exam for many of your elective or core classes.
One exam costs you $85 and typically consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. You have 90 minutes to complete the exam and can walk out with 3 credits.
The only qualifier is that you must get at least 50% on the exam, but you can get a study guide that gives you the information you need to know beforehand. You can earn up to 30 credits with this easy and fast method.
2. Get College Credit for Your Life and Work Experience
If you already have work experience you need to jump on to this idea. Typically, universities have a Credit for Prior Learning program set up. You can earn a full semester of credits (that’s 15 credits) by submitting a portfolio.
Consult with your advisor and choose the classes for which you have already met the course objectives. Compile documents that show your training and references and that you have mastered the learning outcomes, and you get credit for those classes.
3. Take the Max Course Load Year-Round
You can almost double the number of credits you earn in a year by maxing out the number of classes you enroll in. A usual semester will earn you 15 credits, but you can take 18 credits each fall and spring semester as well as 18 credits over the summer months. That is 54 credits in 12 months versus 30 credits in 12 months.
If you have also tested out of 30 credits using the College Level Examination Program and 15 credits with Credit for Prior Learning, you can have all 120 credits within 18 months.
Bonus: Transferring Your Existing College Credits
You can usually transfer any existing credits you have from a previous time in college. The 3 criteria to consider are:
- The college credit was earned from an accredited school
- Your final grade was a C or higher
- There is a spot for that class in your new degree
Your project management degree will most likely have space that you fill in with electives. A previous class can easily be used to fit one of those elective spots and save you from completing another class.
How to Lower Tuition Costs
Online classes are usually less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. Still, the best way to chop your tuition prices is to take fewer classes. You do this by earning as many credits by exam and credits for prior learning as you can.
The next step is to apply for financial aid. When you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you’ll see how much money you qualify for in grants and loans. You can then augment this by investigating what may be available to you in:
- State funds
- Private organization scholarships
- University scholarships
- Employer assistance programs
If you spend the time investigating all of your options for financial aid, you will most likely end up paying much less than the sticker price for your degree.
Project Management Degree Accreditation
The tips above are all about ways to save you time and money. But the one thing you never want to do is to get your degree from a non-accredited institute. That will waste your time and money. You can’t get a job with a sub-par degree.
Look at whether your school has been accredited by one of these regional boards:
- Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
- New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
- WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
Any one of those names listed as accrediting your school means that your degree is legitimate.
Questions Related to Earning a Project Management Degree Online
Here are some short answers to help solidify your knowledge of how getting a project management degree online works.
Is There a Degree for Project Management?
Yes, there is a degree for project management. You can earn a Bachelor’s of Business Administration with a concentration in Project Management or a dedicated Bachelor’s of Project Management.
What Degree is Best for Project Manager?
Both a Bachelor’s of Business Administration with a concentration in Project Management and a dedicated Bachelor’s of Project Managment should get your foot in the door. The first option will provide you with a wider view of the different business functions, and the second will zero in on Project Management tasks specifically.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Project Management?
A bachelor’s degree in general usually takes 4 years, but you can fast-track that by testing out of classes, earning credit for prior learning, and taking accelerated classes at the max course load. If you do, you could finish in 18 months or 2 years.
What Colleges Offer Project Management Degrees?
As an in-demand business degree, many universities offer degrees in project management. See our list below for some schools that offer project management degrees online.
List of Schools Offering Accelerated Project Management Degree Online Programs
To be included on our list, a college or university needs to be properly accredited and offer an online project management degree at an accelerated pace.
- Amberton University
- American Intercontinental University
- Baker College
- Bellevue University
- Benedictine University
- Brandman University
- Capella University
- Charleston Southern University
- City University of Seattle
- Colorado State University
- Colorado Technical University
- Columbia Basin College
- Columbia Southern University
- Davenport University
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- Herzing University
- Liberty University
- Marist College
- Minnesota State University – Moorhead
- Northwest Florida State College
- Post University
- Regis University
- Leo University
- Saint Louis University
- Southern New Hampshire University
- Trident University
- University of the Incarnate Word
- University of Phoenix
- University of Wisconsin – Stout
- Wentworth Institute of Technology
Your First Project: Earn Your Degree!
Start on a career path that is projected to grow by 8% over the next 8 years with the possibility of a six-figure income. And instead of 4 years, it could only take 18 months. Start by applying to universities and investigating your possibilities for financial aid.