What Can I Do with a Degree in Project Management?

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If you've ever wondered, "What can I do with a degree in Project Management?" find out what you can do after graduation.

If you’ve ever wondered, “What can I do with a degree in Project Management?” find out what you can do after graduation.

What Can I Do with a Degree in Project Management

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Project Management degrees open up a whole host of incredible opportunities that can translate to almost every field: from the creative arts to the more technical side of things.

What Is a Project Management Degree?

Project Manager giving instructions to her staff

At its core, a traditional or online Project Management degree is essentially a degree that helps you learn how to coordinate and facilitate different types of business processes to move things along from Point A to Point B.

Project Managers are generally tasked with either assisting or overseeing the day-to-day operations of a project or series of projects and usually have to create milestones and goals to make sure that everything is moving along smoothly.

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Many people opt to get their Bachelor’s degree in Project Management. This type of schooling can usually be completed in four years and give you an excellent basis for your future career.

If you prefer to specialize a little bit more, you may tailor your education to include management or business administration. These types of degrees are often extremely useful if you are planning on working in fields that have a robust corporate structure, or are technology-based.

What Is the Best Degree for Project Management?

Best Degree for Project Management

What makes the best Project Management degree is fairly subjective, but there are a few things that you should look out for. Find a credible school that offers at least a four-year program. This is the minimum basis that most companies look for when it comes to hiring Project Managers.

Additionally, if you are looking to specialize in a specific field, make sure that you take classes that coordinate with that specialty. This should give you a leg up on the competition after graduating.

There are many colleges that offer additional certifications or mentorship programs, so you should attempt to take advantage of all that your college has to offer. Generally speaking, the best colleges are often the ones that give many networking opportunities.

Is a Project Management Degree Hard?

student studying his lessons in lecture hall

Excellent Project Managers typically have analytical minds and excellent problem-solving skills. They should be able to think outside of the box and handle criticism well.

The best Project Managers are both flexible and meticulous, and they can pay close attention to detail while still fielding all sorts of changing plans. Some students will find the business practices of Project Management to be stressful. It is tough to balance all of the tasks, and project managers need to be organized and focused to do their job.

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If you are going into Project Management on a business or management level, you will need to understand how to diplomatically work with people to get everything done in a timely fashion while still maintaining a good office environment.

Project Management is a balancing act, but being diplomatic, organized, and extremely motivated can help you do it.

What Does a Project Manager Do?

project manager checking the work of his colleague

Project Managers are responsible for seeing a project, task, or team activity through from beginning to end. The complexity of the project and the number of team members might vary.

Still, the skillset is typically about the same whether you are operating at an administrative level or working in higher management.

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Project Managers are tasked with planning out a project, including goals and milestones, and then making sure that those milestones are achieved. They are also responsible for determining the success of a project, and for making minor adjustments if the project calls for them.

Project Managers must have excellent people skills and be able to motivate others without making them feel diminished or bullied. They also must be able to identify obstacles early and deal with any kind of problems as they come up. Project Managers ultimately make sure everything runs smoothly and efficiently.

Project Management Jobs Outlook

Project Management Jobs Outlook

Most Project Managers should have a very bright future. This job field is growing fast, and with many new sectors needing additional managers and staff, there are excellent opportunities for those who want to join the career path.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, management jobs are projected to grow 5% for the next ten years. That’s an average of 505,000 new jobs!

If you are looking for a rewarding career path that has a high potential to give you massive returns on your investment and lucrative job opportunities, Project Management might just be right up your alley.

Project Management Career Opportunities

marketing team having a meeting in conference room

There is a lot of money to be had in Project Management. Those with excellent skills, contacts, and the ability to motivate people may make upwards of $70,000 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics). To excel in Project Management, you will want to have a Bachelor’s degree to start off with, and then continue on with additional schooling or more credentials.

This field is a place where networking is critical, and the people who make the most money are skilled communicators and networkers.

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There is a lot of room for growth, so even if you start off in a lower-level position, you should be able to rise up quickly if you prove yourself to be an effective leader with excellent organizational skills.

Expert Project Managers are often put in charge of entire departments, or allowed to work on massive projects that impact entire companies. They are really the backbone of many organizations.

What Jobs Can You Get with a Project Management Degree After Graduation?

Project Manager Salary

Even those who start off in entry-level Project Management positions can usually make some very good money right off the bat. They are typically able to get their feet wet in Project Management and rise up through the ranks.

It’s important to remember that all Project Management positions rotate around the same fundamental idea: moving the ball from point a to point b. Higher-level Project Managers just do it on a more sophisticated and higher-stakes scale.

Whether you receive your degree through a traditional degree program or an accelerated project management degree program, you might find yourself working as an assistant at the beginning of your career. Assistants are generally administrative positions where you will be contributing as support staff and making sure that everything is working well for the executive team.

You might also find yourself in the job of a Project Coordinator, who acts as an assistant to the Project Manager. This can help you learn the ropes for when you start to manage your own projects.

Project Manager Salary

Project Manager Salary

As you can imagine, Project Management jobs vary in salary. Those starting off make on average between $50,000 and $60,000 per year. If you are working in a higher-level position, you might be able to make six figures or more!

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Salaries also depend on what kind of specialty you work in. Those who work in more technical fields might be paid a little extra. This is especially true if the technical field is very specialized or cutting-edge.

In addition, achieving a higher level degree like an online doctorate in project management will most likely increase the average annual salary.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some careers in the project management field include:

Careers Annual Median Salary
Software Development Project Manager $152,480
Fundraising Manager $118,430
Administrative Services and Facilities Manager $98,890
Construction Manager $97,180
Project Coordinator $77,420
Market Research Analyst $65,810
Executive Administrative Assistant $63,110
Fundraiser $59,610
Advertising Sales Agent $54,940
Meeting, Convention, and Event Planner $51,560

Project Managers who work in the non-profit arena or creative arts might find themselves paid a little bit less. It just depends on what level you are at, and what kind of company you work for.

Further Your Education with a Master’s Program

students walking in university campus

Those who want to break into the higher levels of Project Management may want to consider getting an MBA in Project Management. This degree can help set you apart from the crowd not only in terms of schooling but also because it specializes directly in business.

You will learn the fundamentals of business, as well as how to be an expert Project Manager. The twin set of skills is a great way to get your foot in the door and get a higher salary right off the bat.

Grow Your Career with a Project Management Certification

project manager receiving a certificate

In addition to getting your degree, you’ll also want to consider different kinds of credentials and certifications that will allow you to set yourself apart from other candidates and shine in your Project Management role.

There are several different types, but PMI credentials are very helpful for those who want to oversee large projects with multiple team members. The PMI credential is really the cream of the crop, and you must have at least a Bachelor’s degree in Project Management and 6,000 hours of experience in the field.

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PMP and CAPM are two additional kinds of credentials, and both of them are very sought after when it comes to securing a job as a Project Manager. Both of these credentials require you to sit for an exam and prove that you know the detailed ins and out of Project Management.

Project Management Degree Accreditation

Project Management Degree Accreditation

If you are serious about maximizing your degree in Project Management, you will want to make sure that the school you choose is accredited. Accreditation is a way for colleges to prove that they are credible and that their curriculum is on standard for what the industry requires.

Accreditation happens in a number of different ways and can come from associations that are high up in the profession, or other academic institutions. For example, when a respected body of Project Management professionals vouches for a college, it is a type of accreditation.

Accreditation can make it easier to transfer credits as well. Regional and national accreditation are important, and business schools have their own type of accreditation where they are reviewed by their peers and monitored for best practices.

By making sure that your college is accredited, you are ensuring that you are getting the best education possible.

Financial Aid for a Bachelor’s in Project Management

Financial Aid for a Bachelor's in Project Management

You could be eligible for different kinds of financial assistance that will ease the burden of paying for your Project Management degree.

Those who are in lower-income brackets might qualify for emergency funding grants, and those who show exceptional promise in the field may be eligible for different kinds of education-based grants. Unlike loans, you do not need to pay grants back.

You may also take out student loans. Many people opt to take out federal and state-level student loans for classes, books, and living expenses while they are in school. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t take out more loans than you can realistically pay back.

Is Project Management a Good Career?

project manager meeting with her team to discuss a project

Yes, Project Management is a good career for many professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting 5% job growth in management occupations over the next 10 years. Common careers in this field include event planner, fundraiser, market research analyst, project coordinator, and construction manager.

There is a clear path to growth in Project Management, and those who show a lot of promise can likely make a high income doing what they love.

Since there are countless places where you can apply your Project Management degree, it makes perfect sense to get some schooling in Project Management. If you are meticulous, goal-oriented, and good with people, you should be able to shine in the field and really make a positive difference in your workplace!

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Joy Cromwelle
WRITTEN BY
Joy Cromwelle
Joy is pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy & Foreign Policy and holds a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management, as well as a Bachelor's in Business Administration. Joy's focus is helping non-traditional students find accelerated degree options and credit for prior learning opportunities.