Masters in Project Management

Masters in Project Management

Best Universities in the world for MS in Project Management

A project is a temporary task which has a defined goal. And within the world of a project, it is sustained by having its own plan, structure, timeline, budget, and success metric.

And a project manager is the overseer of a project whose task combines the beginning, progress, and conclusion of said project, seeing it through to the desired outcome.

Project Management is different from Business Management, as we understand it, by virtue of its definitive nature.

Business Management is management of business as usual or ongoing business processes.

Project Management is the management of temporary ventures where a task is created and the PM (Project Manager) is expected to deliver the results within constraints of time and resources.

What does a Project Manager do?

A project is defined under a set of constraints and expectations.

  • Time – determines how long you will have to complete the project.
  • Cost – determines how much money you will have to expense on the project. Scope – determines what are the deliverables and expectations in terms of innovation or changes.
  • Result – determines what is the metric of a successful completion.

Each of these constraints are dependent on the other and determines the complexity of the project.

Though each project warrants an individual approach, the usual methodology requires PMs to plan, initiate, allocate resources, identify stakeholders, integrate cross-disciplinary teams, execute tasks, supervise, mitigate risks, and finally qualify the product, or service, for a satisfactory outcome.

Job Prospects and Salary in Project Management

According to USA’s, PMs can make anywhere between $70,000 to over $120,000 in annual wages, depending on the industry that spans social advocacy groups, federal departments, education centers, manufacturing, management companies, technological industries, finance, to even organizations dealing with artists and performers.

How to become a Project Manager?

There are more than a few ways to become a PM in the business world. You can already be part of a business management team in a corporation and be entrusted to carry out a PM mission.

Although intimidating for the lack of prior training, a seasoned manager can draw upon her previous managerial experience to plan, initiate, allocate, and monitor, to produce quality product or service in a project.

However, if you are looking to get a formal education in the field of Project Management, there are programs that cater to those very specific needs.

These include either certifications like the PMP Project Management Certification from PMI, Google’s Google Project Management Certification, IIM Indore Certificate Program in Project Management (CPPM), and more. Sources claim that a reputed certification can increase your credibility and salary (>20%) and provide a solid ground to grow in your career as a PM.

You can also take the traditional route of getting a Specialized Master’s degree to satisfy your training in project management and launch your career from the get go.

A Master’s program, usually of the order of a year long duration is designed to provide the skills and expectations of a project manager.

They are given a comprehensive understanding of the core competencies in managing complex projects, managing risk and innovation, apply design thinking, and applying advanced project management practices (according to the University of Sussex MS PM curriculum). A lot of these programs prepare you to sit for the PMP exam (NYU).

Best universities for Masters (MS) in Project Management

Here are some of the best MS programs in project management in USA, UK, Europe and Australia, to help you launch your career as a project manager.

University Program Name Test Requirements Duration
Georgetown University (USA) Master’s in Project Management TOEFL/IELTS. No GMAT/GRE 2 – 5 years full time or part time
New York University (USA) MS in Project Management (STEM) TOEFL/ English Fluency Test. No GMAT 36 credit program. Online and onsite options
Boston University (USA) MS in Project Management No test needed 12 to 20 months. Online and off campus
Northwestern University (USA) MS in Project Management GRE and TOEFL 9 – 18 months full time. 18 – 24 months part time
ESCP Business School Specialised Master in International Project English Proficiency 1 year
University of Sussex (UK) MSc Project Management IELTS 1 year full time. 2 years part time
University of Bradford (UK) MSc Project Planning and Management IELTS 15 – 18 months
University of Technology Sydney (Australia) MS Project Management English Proficiency 1.5 years full time. 3 years part time
Curtin University (Australia) MS Project Management IELTS 1.5 years
University of Texas Dallas (USA) Project Management Graduate Program – MS in Leadership and Organization Development English Proficiency Core courses plus 24 credit hours

Most programs don’t require any prerequisite business degree. Although work experience can play a big role in getting some groundwork for PM training.

MBA vs MS in Project Management

You may ask why would you get a Master’s in PM instead of the more popular and versatile MBA. Well, it depends on how you perceive your career in the future. An MBA is designed to create a well rounded leader in business with skills encompassing all aspects of business operations.

An MS in PM is designed to develop practical skills and theoretical knowledge needed to plan execute and evaluate, plus everything else in relation to, a project. And though there are common interests and courses in the two degrees, the motivation and training aspects are quite distinct.

A bird’s eye view of the qualities of each degree can help you figure out your place in either program. However, the final call is really only subject to your career goals. It is important to understand that MBA is not the only degree with a career track that can lead to rapid progression and higher management positions. MS in PM can also lead to executive positions.

So, your dream of a corner office shouldn’t have any bearing on your choice of degree.
What should play a role is the outcome, as in what kind of industry do you see yourself employed in.
What kind of role do you want to pursue?
Are you looking to be involved at the organizational level, identifying strategies for development, or are you looking to create a plan to execute that strategy through a project in the context of the current business assets and resources?

MBAs tend to look at business development from above, a less specialized lens, looking at the relationship between the various departments in the context of everyday business.

PMs take a much closer look, also with the intention of cross-disciplinary team work, but in the context of driving a project to success with a much more specialized look into its subject matter.

MBAs, with their specializations – finance, marketing, etc. – can have their own niche of jobs specific to say investment banking, finance, etc. Whereas trained PMs can be an invaluable asset to any industry using projects to grow and expand in any business environment.

What skills should a Project Manager have?

Project Managers are responsible in planning and executing tasks whose scope can define the progress of an organization in these fast evolving times, both in business and technology.

Hence, depending on the area, the PM needs to have a sound understanding of the subject and be able to identify the key experts and stakeholders who can lead the project to fruition.

Successful PMs should be confident, good communicators, problem solvers, assertive yet approachable, great coordinators working with different departments in unison, have people skills, be flexible and realistic about the demands of the project, can understand and assess risks, and above all be excellent leaders to be able to bring a project to life.
If you see yourself wanting to combine the above traits and the complimentary formal training to be that indispensable leader in a company to take it to the next level, you should definitely consider a Master’s in Project Management. What better way to become instrumental in development than being the one actually driving it?

And for any further professional help, drop us a line at info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com and we will assist you any way we can.

Good luck!
Before you click away, here are a few additional links you may find interesting.

Also read;
Guide to Masters (MS) Degrees
Sources: 1, 2, 3