For many people the role of project manager almost falls on their lap when management or circumstances push them into the role without much chance for thought beforehand. If you speak to any experienced manager, they will more than likely tell you that their job role developed over time and PM courses came after. For an aspiring few, plans to become project managers come much earlier and they decide to embark on a management masters degree.
Which qualifications do you need to have to apply for a project masters?
Those who wish to apply for a management masters will need at least a full bachelors degree (from an accredited university). They will also usually need to have had quite a few years worth of relevant work experience under their belt before they apply. This isn’t always the case, but the majority of masters cater to those who have had at least some relevant experience in a management setting.
What can you expect to learn?
All the different programs vary greatly, but most will aim to provide an overall skill set of knowledge, strategy and ability enabling candidates to have everything they need to manage effectively.
Most programmes will discuss methodologies in depth, exploring various PM techniques that will be applied to complex projects.
The curriculum will place a huge emphasis on problem solving, leading and making important decisions. Students will take part in active participation, group exercises, research, and analyzing case studies.
All formats of learning will involve the application of complex and critical thinking applied to both fictional and real scenarios.
You can also expect to get a good base of education in business organization, which is invaluable as it enables you to apply your knowledge to the majority of businesses and industries on a base level.
The overall programme will support a career not only within management, but also in various other areas of business such as; high level business administration, business analysis and business consultancy.
Is it right for everyone?
For some, gaining a project management masters is a better foundation for success than simply enrolling on a basic project management course. For others, they feel spending time gaining a masters is unnecessary when you can fully equip yourself with a wide range of skills enrolling on project management training courses whilst learning continually in real life scenarios.
It isn’t for everyone but it’s certainly becoming more common, as the field of project management becomes increasingly competitive. So rather than applying for a position with one or two PM courses under your belt, you can boast a complete masters.
Will all employers appreciate a candidate having a masters degree?
Although it might get your foot in the door with some organizations, others will not rate education over experience. So you may present your masters but the candidate next to you with no masters presents real life experience within the industry they are applying to work in, and therefore have an advantage over you. However, combine real experience with the skills gained on project management courses and you can really reap the benefits of project management training to land that perfect job.