Project management is the process of applying a systematic approach to achieve a specific goal. It involves creating a project plan by discussing the project goals, brainstorming how tasks and goals can be achieved, estimating the amount of resources required, and reaching consensus on the budget and time required for project completion. The project management process also extends to the actual implementation phase, where project managers ensure that performance is according to plan and on schedule.
Project management education as a discipline is rapidly gaining recognition around the world, especially in countries like India and China. According to experts, since India and China are pragmatic nations, they recognize the importance of project management in their development process. Those interested in taking a project management course have five broad options to choose from:
1. Project Management Certificate – A project management certificate program is offered by the High Technology Institute, Austin Community College (ACC), Austin, Texas, USA, which focuses solely on the IT field. The aim of this program is to prepare students for the Project Management Professional (PMP®) exam. The course can be completed in 119 contact hours together with at least one year of IT project experience recommended by ACC. This course is available both online and onsite.
2. Bachelor’s Degree with a Project Management Minor – For those seeking a bachelor’s degree with a project management minor from the University of Maryland, the A. James Clark School of Engineering’s Center for Excellence in Project Management program in project management prepares students to work on live projects. This program is particularly aimed at students of engineering and architecture and requires a minimum of 60 total hours and a grade point average of 3 points. In addition, students completing this program must complete five other engineering courses. Introduction to engineering project management, legal aspects of engineering practice, project costing and business administration, introduction to project planning and communication for project managers. According to the Higher Education Authority, while a student pursuing this program will graduate with a minor in project management, this allows them to become part of a project management team and specifically see them through their first job.
3. Masters in Project Management – The Masters program in Project Management at Universidad de Valladolid Spain is designed for working students. Classes for this course take place on the weekends. The curriculum of the course includes topics such as time and cost management, management skills, as well as stakeholders, context and risks in project management. According to the head of the course, this course is best suited for two groups of people; On the one hand, Junior Project Managers can take advantage of this program to strengthen their knowledge base, and on the other hand, Senior Professionals who have been in the field for up to seven years and wish to take on a leadership role without losing the basic technical skills in this field.
4. International Executive Master of Business Administration in Project Management – The International Executive Master of Business Administration in Project Management program at Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is open to 10,000 students around the world. Tuition for this course is offered online and onsite depending on your needs. In addition, since a partnership with the University of California, Irvine (UCI), the online MBA program also offers an international perspective on best practices in project management.
5. Doctoral program – Those wishing to pursue a doctoral program in project management can enroll at SKEMA Business School in the doctoral program in Strategy, Program and Project Management, which has a duration of 36 months. This program also attracts a number of working professionals who are allowed to complete their thesis within 8-12 semesters. Classes take place off-campus in France and the language of instruction is English. The program offers an integrated approach and involves exposure to research, programs and industry, which benefits the students’ knowledge base.
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