What Are the Education Requirements for Becoming a Project Manager?

If you're interested in planning complex projects and leading teams, you might consider a career in project management. To become a project manager, you can choose to earn a bachelor's or master's degree or a professional certificate. Read on for more details about the education requirements needed to pursue a career in project management. Schools offering Business Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How to Become a Project Manager

While there is no set educational path to becoming a project manager, the most common route consists of earning a degree or certificate in project management, as well as professional certification. Project management careers require that you are able to coordinate and delegate a series of tasks and assignments in order to achieve a goal. According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), you should have excellent communication, leadership and time management skills if you want to have a successful career (www.pmi.org).

Important Facts About Project Management Education

Prerequisites High school diploma or GED is needed for bachelor's programs; bachelor's degree is expected for graduate programs
Common Courses Advanced cost management, total quality management, business systems analysis, contracts and procurement, human resources and communication in projects
Online Availability Fully available for graduate certificates, bachelor's and master's degrees
Possible Careers Associate project manager, assistant project manager, new product development manager, project engineer, construction project manager, site manager

Bachelor's Degree in Project Management

One way to prepare for a career as a project manager is to complete a bachelor's degree program in project management or organizational management. You can also earn a bachelor's degree in another discipline, such as engineering, marketing, finance or information technology, and then apply that academic background to graduate-level study in business management or project management.

Graduate Certificate in Project Management

You can find certificates in project management offered by many schools, including some with online study options. Project management certificates are typically advanced programs intended for those who already have a bachelor's degree, extensive work experience or both. Topics covered may include leadership, risk management, scheduling and budgeting. Depending on the school and program, some of the credits earned in a certificate program may be applied toward a graduate-level program in project management.

Master's Degree in Project Management

In a project management graduate degree program, you'll study advanced topics in project control, administration, cost planning and strategy. Project management may also be available as a concentration within a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. As part of your program, you may need to complete an internship or other research project that showcases your ability to apply theoretical concepts to real-world situations.

Project Management Certification

Once you've gained some project management experience, you may be eligible to sit for the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification exam, which is offered by PMI. If you have a bachelor's degree, you can sit for the 200 multiple-choice- question test after accumulating 4,500 hours of work experience in project management; however, if you have only a high school diploma or associate's degree, you'll need 7,500 hours of relevant work experience. After passing the exam you are required to complete continuing education classes every three years to maintain certification.

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:

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