Do you have a take-charge personality? Can you handle a wide variety of complex tasks? Are you good at seeing the big picture? Can you get the job done right, even on a tight deadline? If so, a career as a project manager may be right for you.
In today’s workforce, teamwork is more important than ever. But team projects have a tendency to run over-schedule and over-budget. According to a 1998 Standish Group survey, 56 percent of projects failed to meet their deadlines, and cost overruns averaged 189 percent.
As companies focus more and more on the bottom line, efficiency has become of the utmost importance. Cost overruns and missed deadlines are no longer tolerated. That’s one of the reasons why project managers are in such high demand. Project managers are team leaders who have the management skills necessary to coordinate complex projects. They are responsible for bringing the project in on time and within budget. Project managers may work in a variety of fields, including computer and information systems management, engineering, and financial management. They typically earn salaries in the high five figures, depending on the industry, according to Vault.com.
Project managers help develop the scope of the project and then monitor the progress at every step. They generally work with diverse groups of people at every level within the organization, so diplomacy and strong communication skills are a must. Project managers must also motivate team members and keep them focused on the task at hand. Finally, project managers analyze information and are responsible for decision-making.
Often, project managers start out as members of a project team and advance by demonstrating leadership skills. They may ultimately become consultants or partners in project management companies.
Most project management positions require at least a Bachelor’s degree and some business experience. That’s why American InterContinental University Online (AIU) has developed a specialized course program for those interested in this lucrative, rewarding field. And for project managers looking to further advance their careers, AIU Online also offers an MBA in project management.
AIU Online’s programs allow students to make a career change or climb the corporate ladder without giving up the security of their existing position. Distance learning is also perfect for students who do not live near a traditional campus or who have family obligations that prevent them from attending regularly-scheduled classes. AIU Online offers a number of resources to its online students, including a “Cybrary,” or virtual library, that’s accessible around the clock. Students have lots of interaction with their peers and instructors through message boards, online chats and email. AIU Online also has programs in place to assist students with career planning. And at AIU Online, students can complete their studies quickly. A student who already has an Associate degree can earn a Bachelor’s degree in project management in as little as 13 months. An MBA in project management can be earned in just 10 months.
AIU Online has designed its project management courses to be readily applicable in the real world. For instance, the framework developed by the Project Management Institute is the accepted industry standard, so AIU Online uses that framework in its classes. Also, AIU Online’s instructors have years of experience in the field of project management, so they can share their practical knowledge with students.
Students earning a BBA in project management can expect to take courses in project management, managing project risks and opportunities, and project cost and time management. In the MBA program, students take courses that focus on the integration, scope, time and communication aspects of project management, as well as in cost, quality, risk and procurement.
AIU Online students gain hands-on experience through individual and team projects. They must develop a project scope, budget and timeline, and they must also identify areas of risk and create a risk management plan. The team projects allow students to build their leadership skills.
With a degree in project management from AIU Online, students are prepared to start a new career or advance an existing one. Project managers can seek careers in a number of fields, including general management, human resources management, advertising and marketing, logistics, computer and information sciences, and financial management. Put that take-charge personality to work, and take charge of your career with AIU Online.
About The Author
Alexa K. Apallas
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