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Female coach showing project management studies over glass wall

Why choose a master’s in project management?

What is project management?

The Association for Project Management (APM) define project management as ‘the application of processes, methods, skills, knowledge and experience to achieve specific project objectives according to the project acceptance criteria.’

Project planning is based on final deliverables, and is separate to business-as-usual activities. A project will have a finite end, and any project management will have to adapt to constraints and limitations posed by available budget and projected timelines. Any project design should align discrete work ‘packages’ with core objectives, which may be expressed in terms of benefits, outcomes, output, or strategic aims.

What is the role of a project manager?

Project managers work in all manner of global industries, including healthcare, finance, engineering, information technology, international business, marketing, and manufacturing. While the exact nature of project management roles will vary according to the nature of the specific project and the work context, there are general core responsibilities.

As a project manager, you’ll plan and co-ordinate complex projects across the lifecycle – from initial inception, through to delivery. You’ll manage budgets, allocate resources, co-ordinate project teams, liaise with stakeholders, set deadlines and track progress, ensure that any potential challenges are navigated, and oversee the project until it successfully achieves the desired outcome.

What are the benefits of studying project management?

At its core, project management supports organisations and projects to run more effectively and efficiently. Studying project management enables individuals to gain critical skill sets, methodologies and experience ahead of managing challenging, high-stakes projects in real-world business environments. While it isn’t essential – with many employers offering on-the-job training – it can be  a way to command higher salaries and increase competitive advantage.

 Alongside this, there are a whole host of other advantages to pursuing a project management degree. Here are a handful of examples:

  • Highly transferable skills – from problem-solving and financial management to teamwork and leadership skills, the competencies project management provides are valuable across a wide variety of industries.
  • Specialist knowledge. Alongside transferable skills, you can also expect to acquire specialist project management expertise, knowledge and understanding – such as the various methodologies, popular project management tools, frameworks, and specific techniques typically used by project managers.
  • Greater likelihood of project success – business leaders look for versatile individuals who have the specialist skills, knowledge and expertise to manage projects effectively and ensure the best chances of success. In this way, they’re more likely to ensure that all deliverables and objectives are met, and that investments – of time, money and effort – deliver meaningful returns.
  • Meet professional standards – a project management qualification supports you to implement professional, international standards adhered to by project managers worldwide. Even if you already work as a project manager, a degree could refresh your skills, adjust poor habits that have developed over time, and give you insights into the latest developments in the industry. Plus, the standard body of knowledge provided by most courses facilitates communication and collaboration with other professionals.
  • Global acknowledgement – depending on your chosen postgraduate project management course or training route, your studies could lead to professional accreditations – such as PMP certification (Project Management Professional) or PRINCE2 – which are globally acknowledged as proof of your project management expertise.

Are you still wondering whether pursuing a project management course is worth it? Let’s explore the potential career prospects and paths.

What are the career prospects in project management?

Make yourself more eligible for future job opportunities by joining a sector facing rapid growth: through to 2027, the project management-related labour force in seven key industries is expected to grow by 33%, equating to 22 million new jobs.

Not only are the job prospects positive but, with your transferable skills, you can easily start in one industry before moving to another – and either specialise in your role or area of interest, or keep it more general.

Potential project management careers and related roles – some of which require further evidence of experience, training or membership of professional bodies – include:

  •   General management
  •   Project consultancy
  •   Business change manager
  •   Project co-ordinator
  •   Project officer
  •   Programme managers – where you’ll manage a team of project managers
  •   Head of department
  •   Project management office (PMO) manager.

There are good salary expectations linked to project management career paths. Prospects state that experienced project managers can earn between £40,000 and £80,000, with freelance project managers – who negotiate a daily rate – earning an average of £300 to £500 per day. According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), median salaries for PMP holders in Europe are 14% higher than those without certification – and 16% higher globally.

Should I apply for a master’s degree in project management?

How do you choose the right MSc Project Management degree for your needs?

Whether you’re new to project management, or want to develop your skill set to enhance your current practice, researching the variety of courses available to you – to ensure it matches your requirements and career ambitions – is important.

Consider the following when deciding whether a specific master’s in project management is right for you:

  •   Do you want a degree that includes accreditation?
  •   Which project management skills, or module topics, will be covered?
  •   Would you prefer to study full-time or part-time?
  •   Do you meet the entry requirements?
  •   Does the project management course offer internships, work experience, or other practical, on-the-job training?
  •   Is the university, business school, or training provider well regarded for project management?
  •   What are the main forms of assessment – for example, projects or coursework?

Gain sought-after project management skills and help businesses to achieve their objectives

Ready to land a project management job?

Develop core skills in business and leadership – with an applied focus on project management – with the University of Lincoln’s online MSc Management with Project Management programme.

Set yourself up for professional success, on a highly flexible, 100%-online master’s degree with real-life application that fits around your existing commitments. You’ll explore the disciplines of management and project management, learning how to navigate challenges and use innovation, creativity and expertise to keep organisations and complex projects on track. Your studies will encompass managing global project teams, risk management, supply chain management, delivering projects, programmes and portfolios, as well as leadership, sustainable operations, marketing, finance, and more.