Recently we explained what project managers do, and here we’ll explain how to become a project manager.
We’ll go over whether or not you need a degree, what type of degree would best meet your specific career goals and objectives, what you can do with a bachelor’s versus a master’s degree, and why you should consider getting your degree online.
If you enjoy logistics and planning, working with others, directing teams of people, and managing the scope, time, costs, and resources required to complete large products, then project management may be the perfect field for you.
After you’ve learned about how to become a project manager, if it’s a field that interests you, then we encourage you to fill out our information request form to receive details about our 100% online programs in project management. If you’re ready to get started, submit your application today.
Is Project Management a Good Career?
Yes, project management is a great career, especially in the modern economy where demand for project managers has not only risen, but is expected to remain strong thanks to several important factors:
- A continually shorter life cycle for products and/or services.
- Advancements in technology and an explosion of knowledge.
- Widespread adoption of the triple bottom line philosophy (planet, people, prosperity).
- Rampant increases in the rates of mergers, acquisitions, and corporate downsizing.
- An increased customer focus across virtually all sectors of the economy.
- The tendency for even small projects to represent bigger organizational problems.
What Do Project Managers Actually Do?
Modern project managers don’t just manage employee schedules or direct the application of organizational resources; they actively build strategies to overcome challenging, complex obstacles.
Project managers tend to require expertise in two distinct roles: the first being related to managing individual projects, and the second serving larger organizational concerns.
- Marshalling resources required to successfully complete the project on time, and without going over budget.
- Linking directly to the customer interface.
- Providing direction, coordination, and integration to all team members involved in the project, at every level.
- Being fully responsible for the performance and success of the project.
- Coordinating assets to ensure the right individuals are involved at the right time and on the right issues so that ideal decisions can be made.
- Overseeing organizational project selection.
- Monitoring resources and skills across the entire organization.
- Encouraging the use of best practices throughout the organization.
- Balancing projects in order to manage and control against organizational risk.
- Improving communications across all stakeholders.
- Creating a total organization perspective that goes beyond silo thinking.
Do I Need a Degree to Become a Professional Project Manager?
It’s possible to get a job as a project manager without getting a degree in the field, but this has become far more rare in recent years, as project manager duties have grown increasingly technical, specific, and critical to organizational success.
If you want to become a professional project manager, you’ll almost certainly need to study project management best practices in an academic setting, and you’ll also want to develop your project management skills, abilities, and knowledge to ensure you’re prepared to complete typical project manager responsibilities.
Getting a degree in the field may be the best way to ensure that you’re capable of bringing value to an organization from day one; it’s also a reliable way to increase your marketability for project management positions, where good roles are likely to require at least some form of formal education.
When it comes to choosing an academic program, you have several excellent options available from CSU Global, including certificate and degree programs, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Which Project Management Degree or Certificate Should I Get?
You should select and enroll in the project management degree or certificate program that best meets your professional needs and career goals, and which suits your current skills, experience, and knowledge of project management best practices.
CSU Global offers several GAC-accredited, well-respected programs to students looking to study project management at either the graduate or undergraduate level, with options including:
- Undergraduate Certificate in Project Management
- Bachelor’s Degree in Project Management
- Graduate Certificate in Project Management
- Master’s Degree in Project Management
If you’re brand new to project management, and are just looking to get your foot in the door in the industry, or if you only have a little experience in the field without formal education in best practices, then you may want to opt for the undergraduate certificate and/or the bachelor’s degree.
If you’re already a professional project manager, and you’re looking to advance your career by enhancing your related skills, knowledge, experience and abilities, or you’re simply looking to pursue senior-level roles, then the graduate certificate and/or master’s degree may be a better fit.
What Can I Do With a Bachelor’s Degree in Project Management?
Completing a B.S. Degree in Project Management could serve as a stepping stone for developing a long-term career in the field, allowing you access to excellent project management roles, like:
- Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Manager / 2021 Median Pay: $133,380
- Project Management Specialists / 2021 Median Pay: $94,500
- Business Operations Specialists / 2021 Median Pay: $79,240
- Construction Manager / 2021 Median Pay: $98,890
- Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerk / 2021 Median Pay: $52,220
By earning a bachelor’s in project management, you’ll be able to prove to hiring managers that you’re fully prepared to assume the typical responsibilities required of project managers, including:
- Analyzing records to monitor and control all elements of a project.
- Helping make crucial staffing decisions, ensuring each project has the resources it needs to succeed.
- Developing detailed project plans and managing complex project budgets.
- Making resource management decisions, ensuring projects are completed both on time and on budget.
As a professional project manager, you should expect to be required to deliver successful results by managing temporary, non-repetitive activities, which makes the work exciting, but also challenging.
If you’re interested in leading teams through complex projects, you enjoy logistical challenges, and you’re driven to serve as a leader, then you should certainly consider getting your Bachelor’s degree in project management.
What Can I Do With a Master’s Degree in Project Management?
Getting your M.S. Degree in Project Management is an excellent way to prepare yourself for more senior or leadership-oriented project management positions and responsibilities.
Master’s program alumni graduate prepared to complete all the same tasks outlined above in the section on what you can do with a bachelor’s degree in the field, but master’s graduates are typically better prepared to handle more senior-level work, including managing teams of project managers, as well as managing more sensitive, more difficult, and more complicated projects.
The master’s degree will improve your marketability for the same sorts of job titles outlined in the bachelor’s degree section above, but it may also give you a further leg up for senior-level or leadership-oriented roles in the field.
If your goal is to develop a long-term career as a project management professional, working in leadership roles and managing larger, more complicated projects, or as an organizational leader, then the master’s program may be a better fit for helping you realize those objectives
Is Getting a Degree in Project Management Really Worth It?
Yes, getting your degree in project management really is worth it. It may take hard work and dedication to complete a bachelor’s or master’s program, but this is one of the most reliable ways to launch a career in the industry.
Can I Get My Degree in Project Management Online?
Yes, you can get a PMI aligned, GAC-accredited, well-respected and fully accredited project management bachelor’s or master’s degree online from CSU Global.
Our accelerated degree programs offer more flexibility and freedom than a traditional in-person program, as they were specifically designed to help you juggle education, work, and family responsibilities.
Choosing to get your project management degree online from CSU Global offers several advantages, including that you won’t need to appear at any set times or locations, you’ll have access to monthly class starts, and you’ll be able to take accelerated, eight-week courses.
What Makes CSU Global the Best School for Studying Project Management?
CSU Global’s Project Management Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Programs are both GAC-accredited, PMI-aligned, and regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Alumni from both programs report excellent rates of working in their field a year after completing their degrees—98% of Bachelor’s graduates, and 99% of Master’s graduates. Both programs have also recently won several prestigious awards, including:
- A #1 ranking for Top 25 Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Project Management by Top Management Degrees.
- A #7 ranking for Top 10 Online Masters in Project Management from Online Course Report.
Furthermore, CSU Global itself has also received several important rankings, including:
- A #10 ranking for Best Online Colleges for ROI from OnlineU.
- A #1 ranking for Best Online Colleges & Schools in Colorado from Best Accredited Colleges.
- A #1 ranking for Best Online Colleges in Colorado from Best Colleges.
To get additional details about our fully-accredited, 100% online Project Management Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree programs, please give us a call at 800-462-7845, or fill out our Information Request Form.
Ready to get started today? Apply now!