As IT projects continue to grow in size and complexity, project managers are becoming an increasingly valuable resource. Having the skills to perform efficiently and effectively as a project manger open the door to many opportunities. Pursuing a Master’s in Project Management online degree is a great stepping-stone toward future success in the field.
Role of Project Managers
The role of the project manager is often overlooked as people gravitate towards more technical positions, despite how crucial it is to any organization hoping to deploy and manage successful IT projects. As the complexity and scale of these projects grows on an almost daily basis, more and more forethought and oversight need to be put in to their creation, definition, execution and tracking. Now more than ever there are opportunities for people with the right project management knowledge and skills to lead these projects. Whether you consider yourself part of the IT field, part of the administrative field with an interest in IT, or both, a degree in project management can be a stepping stone to new career opportunities for you.
Information Technology Is a Rapidly Expanding Field
One of the reasons pursuing project management can be beneficial to you is that information technology is a rapidly expanding industry today. While some other industries are being downsized after hitting their respective peaks, many IT professionals are finding it increasingly easy to find work, as more positions are created based on need. The simple fact is that more and more computers and networks help to run our world. New jobs open up every day as companies add new technologies in increasing numbers to their portfolio. Along with these new technologies, project managers and IT professionals are needed to oversee their implementation. Often, a current IT employee can find new opportunities in the IT field with a project management degree. It can be the difference between being passed over for a promotion to management, or being the one selected to receive it. Having the skills to manage projects can ensure that you can advance in your current job, or are able to find a new one because of the number of opportunities available.
IT Benefits from Management
Because of the rapid expansion and ever-changing specifications inherent in new technology, working on the implementation side of the information technology field is a full time job. Oftentimes IT professionals simply don't have time to perform managerial tasks as well as the technical portions of their jobs. IT projects that are not well-managed can quickly grow out of scope or budget, fall behind on deadlines and become expensive to companies. By having the skills to manage project factors and people, project managers bring the valuable and much needed service of direction to the table. The project manager is there to keep track of the administrative side so the team as a whole can focus on the best possible solution to whatever problem they are confronted with.
Grounded in Organizational Skill
From another perspective, a Master's in Project Management can also open many other organizational doors. Not only will you be able to skillfully manage teams and projects, which are the cornerstones of any management position, you will also gain an understanding and appreciation of information technology currently in use by leading companies. Often the project manager is the critical liaison between upper level management and the teams who are tasked with completing projects. As such, they have experience in both the IT and administrative areas. It is this duality of knowledge that can put you in the position of being uniquely qualified to make important decisions that can have a company-wide effect. This highly desirable characteristic can be just the type of distinguishing characteristic of your resume needed to get that promotion or job that may feel out of reach at the moment.
Project Management Positions
There are many opportunities for individuals with project management expertise in today's job market. Current project management careers that are up and coming involve being project manager for fast-paced software development teams, new advanced network deployments, teams that deploy new desktop computers and for software and hardware implementations needed in specialized industries like healthcare and manufacturing. This is only a small subsection of positions currently available, and new opportunities become available everyday in a widely varying range of industries and companies. Prior project management experience can also open the door for most other management type positions.
Salaries of a project manager can vary over a wide range. Where on this spectrum a project manager falls largely depends on how much education they have, how much experience they have, the specific industry the position is in and the geographic location of the position itself. Having a degree in project management is a huge indicator that you are a serious career-driven professional to a potential employer and will most definitely carry you forward to success.
Project Management Degree
While gaining experience on the job is possible, it can take many years to develop the skills necessary to be an effective and efficient project manager. Often, that kind of time investment just isn't practical for the professional looking to advance their career at a rapid pace. The process can be sped up drastically by pursuing education in the form of a degree program.
As with most areas of expertise, there are different types of degree programs in the market to fulfill the employment need. As an alternative to classroom-based programs, getting an M.S.P.M. online degree can be a worthwhile step.
Benefits of an online degree program include:
- Flexible study hours
- Time and money saved on transportation
- Online collaboration with classmates
For professionals currently working in the field, this type of program can provide the necessary flexibility to fit around a busy schedule. Online coursework can usually be completed in off hours rather than having to attend classes at pre-scheduled times during what may normally be work hours. Oftentimes, online classes can also be more affordable - not just in tuition, but also in costs saved by not having to commute to a campus.