Project management is one of the fastest growing and most sought after occupations in the global economy. The Project Management Institute projects that, by the next decade, 700,000 more project manager positions will be available in the United States. Project managers are team leaders that are responsible for the development and implementation of a project. Project managers work on budgeting, scheduling, hiring, and communicating with stakeholders.
WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE BACHELOR’S IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS?
Liberty University, located in Lynchburg, Virginia, offers a project management online degree that covers core subject areas like accounting, marketing, project management, and human resources. The 120-credit, fully-online program requires students to complete at least 30 credits through Liberty, but the rest can be transferred in from another accredited institution. Liberty also accepts military transfer credits. Distance learners pay in-state tuition, regardless of location. In accordance with the university’s religious affiliation, all students must complete 12 credit hours of Christian life & thought courses. Graduates of the BS in business administration – project management degree are prepared for work as project managers, project schedulers, and marketing managers. Applicants should submit proof of high school graduation and unofficial college transcripts. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA and earn at least a C in all upper-level classes.
Malone University, a private, Christian liberal arts college in Ohio, offers an online project management degree. The 36-credit program is offered as an accelerated degree completion program in organizational management with a dual major in project management. Applicants must have 40–88 credits of undergraduate coursework from a regionally-accredited institution, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0, five years of work experience, and proof of writing proficiency. Students must earn at least 134 credits to graduate. The project management curriculum includes courses in fundamentals of project management, scope and time management, cost and risk management, and project quality management. A two-part independent research project is required, which explores a problem relevant to the student’s occupation. Graduates work in a variety of fields, including aerospace, information technology, construction, and engineering.
The BS in business studies in operations & project management from Southern New Hampshire University is offered entirely online. SNHU is a private, nonprofit university that offers six, eight-week terms of asynchronous courses each year. Students can apply up to 90 transfer credits to the 120-credit bachelor’s program. This degree is unique among online project management degree programs because it combines operations and project management rather than making students focus on one. Required courses include supply chain management, six sigma quality management, and management science through spreadsheets. Students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency, and military service members and their spouses receive tuition discounts. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
The project management bachelor’s degree online at University of the Incarnate Word in Alamo Heights and San Antonio, Texas, is available completely online. The school offers six, eight-week terms each year. The private, Catholic university provides free textbooks to all undergraduate students. Graduates earn a bachelor of science in business administration with a project management concentration. The 120-credit, four-year program requires students to complete 45 hours of community service to graduate. Major courses include project management methodologies, management theory and practice, and total quality and lean management. Graduates qualify for positions like project manager, sales manager, financial manager, and medical and health service manager. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide offers an online project management degree. The program’s faculty members hold project management professional certification and use this knowledge when designing courses. The 120-credit BS in project management includes required courses in global project management, management of the multicultural workplace, and project management in aviation operations. The fully online degree does not have any in-person requirements, and students have the opportunity to pursue project management professional certification through ERAU’s Project Management Institute. The school’s unique BSPM-MSPM 4+1 program allows learners to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in project management in just five years. Students pay the same tuition rate regardless of where they live, and military enrollees receive a substantial discount.
The project management online degree at Charleston Southern University in South Carolina requires students to earn at least 125 credits to graduate. The program is offered through the College of Adult and Professional Studies. Major courses include project risk assessment, cost management, business communications, and statistics for managers. The bachelor of science in project management degree requires students to complete 36 of the last 46 major credits at the CSU campus in North Charleston to satisfy residency rules. Graduates are prepared to sit for the project management professional certification exam and work in numerous fields as project managers, including information technology, urban planning, government, and marketing. Online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of their residency status.
Online learners can pursue a degree in project management at Minnesota State University Moorhead. The bachelor of science in project management is available completely online, with no in-person requirements. Major courses include process leadership, quality management, and cost analysis. A project management capstone is required. Transfer students who hold an associate degree only need to complete 45 credits of core classes and MSUM’s liberal arts core to graduate. The Professional Management Department offers a variety of scholarships and other financial aid opportunities to project management students. Tuition is charged per semester, and out-of-state online students pay a higher rate than residents. Minor and certificate programs are available, this includes global supply chain management, customer relationship management, lean-quality management, and professional selling.
Davenport, a private, nonprofit university with campuses throughout Michigan, offers a project management online degree. The bachelor of science in technology project management program prepares graduates for careers in industries like healthcare, information technology, and supply chain management. The program emphasizes hands-on learning, and students can specialize in one of six different areas, including accounting information systems, information security, computer information systems, and networking. Davenport’s Student Association of Project Management club provides members with opportunities to make professional connections and collaborate with other current and future project managers. The 120-credit degree includes required courses like project quality management and project scheduling with Agile. Students are required to complete a related internship. Full-time students usually graduate in four years.
City University of Seattle’s bachelor of science in project management program is available completely online. Courses include project risk and change management, leadership and teams, and project resource and procurement management. A five-credit capstone is required and leads to the creation of an e-portfolio. The project management degree online program offers an information technology emphasis or a student-proposed emphasis. The student designed emphasis allows them to focus on a specific area of interest. The 180-credit program includes a business-focused curriculum and encourages teamwork. City University holds project management institute certification, which allows students to apply part of their coursework as professional development credit for project management professional certification. Graduates find employment as project leads, project coordinators, program managers, and business analysts.
Bellevue University, a private, nonprofit institution located in Bellevue, Nebraska, offers a degree in project management that is available entirely online in a cohort format. The bachelor of science in project management is one of the few accredited by the Project Management Institute Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Program. All project management courses count as continuing education credit towards project management institute certification. Students must earn at least 127 credits, including 40 within the major. Courses include advanced project management, project leadership, and foundations for professional success. All Bellevue students must also take three courses in the Kirkpatrick Signature Series, which focus on American traditions and values. Online students pay the same rate as on-campus learners.
How to Choose an Online Bachelor’s in Project Management Program
Project management online degree bachelor’s programs are growing to meet the demand in the field. Before deciding on a school, consider how the specializations offered match your interests, how many credits you will need to complete the project management degree online, and how the program assists online students. It’s also important to know how the program is taught; part-time, asynchronous programs will offer the most flexibility for working professionals.
WHAT WILL I LEARN IN THIS PROGRAM?
The best online project management degree programs provide students with the skills they need to develop, supervise, and complete each step of a specialized project for businesses and organizations of every size and type. This includes constructing a building, introducing a marketing campaign, and installing a new information technology system. The curriculum should emphasize general skills like communication, leadership, and team building. Specialized training should include budgeting, purchasing, contract negotiation, risk analysis, personnel management, and resource allocation.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO COMPLETE THIS PROGRAM?
Students without any college credit take about four years to complete the program. A project management online degree bachelor’s program that’s offered in an accelerated time frame can be completed quicker. When researching schools, find out if classes are offered synchronously or asynchronously. Synchronous programs requires students to log on at specific times to complete coursework and participate in lectures. An asynchronous program gives students continuous access to their coursework to complete when it’s convenient for them and usually requires less time to complete.
HOW DOES THIS PROGRAM SUPPORT ONLINE STUDENTS?
As you compare online project management degree options, consider which student services are available to distance learners and if they are comparable to those offered to traditional students. You should check if online learners have digital access to library materials and textbooks, academic counseling, career advising, enrollment and financial aid assistance, and technological and platform training.
Careers for Project Management Graduates
Many rewarding careers are available to graduates with a bachelor’s degree in project management. Project managers are in demand in construction, information technology, the healthcare and engineering industries, nonprofits, government agencies, and educational institutions. Below is a list of popular project management careers and what they entail. The Bureau of Labor Statistics cites the average annual wage for project managers at $96,000, with salaries moving into the six-figure range as graduates accumulate years of experience.
Project Manager, Engineering
The project manager in engineering directs an organization’s team of engineers as they develop and complete specialized projects. The project manager is expected to oversee all the aspects of project development, maintain best industry practices and safety regulations, determine costs, maintain budgets and financial reports, and ensure that the work is completed by the deadline and fulfills the client’s requirements.
Median Salary: $88,668
Project Manager, Information Technology (IT)
A project manager in information technology develops and administers the information technology plans, determines technological needs, and supervises the technical team in the design and implementation of IT plans and testing efforts. This job requires experience and leadership in communicating tasks, managing resource allocation, establishing deadlines, and maintaining security and quality assurance standards.
Median Salary: $87,787
Project Manager, Construction
The construction project manager is in charge of building, renovation, and maintenance projects. Responsibilities include budgeting, managing contracts, quality control, purchasing materials, hiring, and scheduling. Good interpersonal and administrative leadership skills are important qualities, because the project manager must coordinate with clients and supervise the work of all employees and subcontractors.
Median Salary: $71,762
Project Manager, Operations
The project manager in operations is employed in many industries. Responsibilities include project development and supervision through stages of completion. A project manager communicates with clients, vendors, and personnel; solicits and applies feedback; develops and delivers reports on the progress of projects; maintain budgets; and meets deadlines.
Median Salary: $70,491
Project Manager, Marketing
The marketing project manager is the administrator responsible for the promotion of an organization’s brand, image, or product line. Duties include the development and implementation of promotional strategies, the creation of marketing campaigns and advertising messages, the supervision of project assignments and work allocation, and the enforcement of project deadlines.
Median Salary: $58,526
Job Outlook and Salary
Project management degree online students should consider their projected job outlook, future career opportunities, and salary expectations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 6% job growth in project management between 2014 and 2024. This projection includes positions with project management responsibilities in their job descriptions. Salaries for project managers are shaped by the same factors influencing earnings for other managers, including industry of employment, education level, years of experience, and geographic location. Managers in urban settings earn more than those in rural areas; entry-level workers earn less than experienced professionals; and graduates with advanced degrees and certificates will receive higher salaries.
SALARY GROWTH BY EXPERIENCE
The key factors shaping project manager salaries are education, training, and experience. Salaries vary widely by industry and specialization. Acquiring advanced training and certification will boost your earnings, but what matters most in setting salary ranges for project managers is years of experience in the field. The table below represents the median wages at certain points in a project manager’s career.
To determine the best online bachelor’s in project management programs, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the best online bachelor’s in project management programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.