Online Degrees and Training Programs in Contract Management

Contract managers keep track of the minute details of purchasing or sales contracts, ensuring that all parties meet their obligations in a timely, economical and ethical manner. Read on for online degree, certification and career information. Schools offering Procurement degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Types of Degrees Are Available in Online Contract Management Programs?

You can obtain an online contract management degree at various levels, including associate's, bachelor's and master's. Undergraduate business administration and master's level certificates in contract management are also available. Some schools offer the program as a specialization within a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) or Master of Science program. In addition, you will find that some schools offer a federal government-oriented contract management program, teaching the skills necessary to navigate the federal bureaucracy to negotiate and manage federal government contracts.

Degree LevelsAssociate's, bachelor's, graduate certificate, and master's
Common CoursesProject management, business mathematics, cost analysis, contract law
CertificationExams given through the National Contract Management Association
Career FieldsPrivate sector, hospitals, government agencies
Median Salary (2018)$96,180 (Administrative Services Managers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)10% growth (Administrative Services Managers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Kind of Courses Will I Take?

According to the National Contract Management Association (NCMA), the typical contract manager must be proficient in technical contract management concepts and overall business theory. They must also develop and maintain excellent interpersonal and communications skills. Therefore, you'll find that most online contract management curricula offer coursework in these three general areas.

You'll take general contract management courses, such as contract implementation, contract standards, contract law, purchasing and cost analysis. General business and management coursework may include classes in accounting, business mathematics, project management and information systems management. Finally, you'll find that coursework in communications, writing, persuasion or rhetoric may be required or helpful to take as electives.

If you're working towards a Bachelor of Science in contract management or a BBA with a contract management specialization, you'll have to complete general education requirements in liberal arts and sciences. And, if you're interesting in obtaining a Master of Science or an MBA with a contract management specialty, it will be helpful to have had some undergraduate business and communications coursework.

Do I Have to Be Certified?

Certainly, a national certification in contract management will help to improve your credentials. You can become a certified contract manager after passing a national standardized examination offered by the NCMA. The NCMA offers certification exams in three different contract management areas: Certified Federal Contracts Manager, Certified Commercial Contracts Manager and Certified Professional Contracts Manager. Certification in these areas requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree from a traditional or online university and between one and five years of work experience in the contract management field.

What Kind of Jobs Might I Be Qualified For?

As an entry-level contract manager, you might work in a private corporation or hospital in the purchasing or acquisitions department. On the other hand, if your education and training focused on the federal government contract process, you might find yourself in a position with a local, state or federal government agency.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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