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Graduate Degrees in Project Management: Available College Programs and Courses Online

written by: Daniel Brecht•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 10/19/2011

Are you interested in earning a graduate degree in Project Management (PM)? If so, this article can provide the necessary education and knowledge needed to be in a project management position as well as know what it takes to achieve specific education and certification as well as professional goals.

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    The Benefits of a Higher Education in PM

    This degree is normally sought by professionals that already possess skills and knowledge needed to understand a particular project and just need to acquire the management skills necessary to oversee them.

    The degree is also intended to give prospective project managers the HR, time management, and financial skills needed to run large-scale projects with ease and competency.

    Earning the degree online offers the flexibility of going to school while not interrupting work hours. It's suitable for professionals that are already juggling work and personal life.

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    List of Online Schools

    Some schools who offer the online masters degree in project management are...

    1) Keller Graduate School of Management

    - Regionally accredited by the North Central Association (NCA)

    - MBA with Project Management Concentration

    - The program (consisting of 42 credit-hrs, 14 courses) is flexible enough to allow students to tailor it to their professional needs.

    - GMAT and GRE not necessary for students with at least a 2.7 GPA and a B in college algebra and English composition.

    - Special prices and conditions for members of the military

    - Present tuition rates for online courses are $2,255 each (which is the total cost of a 3 credit-hr course).

    2) Western Carolina University

    - Regionally accredited by SACS

    - Master of Project Management

    - GMAT is required, but waived for students that already have a master's degree.

    - New students can begin the program in January or August.

    - Tuition varies from $185.69 for in state tuition to $655.54 for out-of-state tuition.

    - Military tuition is $250. Note: This is for any student using Department of Defense or Veterans Administration education benefits.

    3) Drexel University

    - Regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSACS)

    - Master of Science in Project Management

    - No GRE or GMAT required

    - 45-credit program

    - Tuition for 2011-12 is $ 1,000 per credit.

    - Individual courses (CEUs) needed to pass the Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification are available too. Cost: $99 per course. Location: Online.

    - Tuition reduction is available to some through the partnership network.

    - New students can start in September and March.

    4) Colorado Technical University Online

    - Regionally accredited by NCA

    - Master of Science in Management - Concentration in Project Management

    - Student can earn certificates while studying for the masters.

    - No GRE or GMAT required

    - 44-credit program

    - Tuition is $635 per credit hr (as per the 2011 tuition rates). Total cost of program: $27,940.

    5) Penn State Online

    - Regionally accredited by MSACS

    - Master of Project Management

    - Tuition: if taking less than 12 credits per semester is $900; if taking more than 12 credits per semester is $10,800 flat rate. Note: Tuition rates are $912 for the 2011–12 academic year. The tuition rate excludes the Info Technology Fee, which is added to the student's semester bill.

    - 30-credit program

    - Students can earn a 12-credit certificate as they study for the masters.

    - Participation to 2-day residential event required

    Other Schools

    Due to costs, admission requirements, and degree plan, it is also important to list other schools who also offer Project Management Degree Programs online. These other schools can be found at the following website:

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    Job Outlook

    Project Managers are employees who...

    • Oversee and direct large projects
    • Coordinate and ensure completion of projects
    • Are in charge of all aspects of projects
    • Manage resources, people, and time

    Simply said, project managers are key employees whose primary job is to oversee project completeness. To succeed and be more competitive in the PM job market, people require more knowledge and experience that is gained only by meeting education requirements.

    According to the Project Management Institute (PMI) project managers are in high demand. The growth of the number of project-oriented employees is estimated to be about 8.2 million between 2006 and 2016. "Opportunities for landing senior program manager jobs can be enhanced by pursuing an MBA with a specialization in Project Management." [1]

    For those PMs in search of continuing their education or becoming certified in their profession, it will likely lead to a career advancement. Here are two among several PM certifications available: There is PMI’s Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), which is an entry-level certification for project practitioners, and there is PMI's Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

    Salary for project managers varies depending on the industry, but their salary can be well over $80,000 a year; for example:

    • Project Managers in the United States can earn anywhere from $57,000-$75,000 a year.
    • IT Project Managers in the United States can earn anywhere from $76,000-$95,000 a year.
    • Senior Construction Project Managers in the United States can earn anywhere from $97,000-$120,000 a year.

    Note: "The PMI ( publishes a full salary report that bridges industries as well as 19 countries and includes a breakdown of several demographic variables." [2]