11 Things to Do with a Project Management Degree

By Henry R. Steele - August 9, 2018
Reading Time: 5 minutes

The job outlook for getting a project management degree is bright. A recent global survey by the Project Management Institute determined that 90% of organizations surveyed said that they value strong project management in their employees. By 2020, it is expected the need for project management professionals will be increased by 12%, which will bring about up to six million new jobs around the world.

If you have been thinking about earning a project management degree, below are 10 of the great things you can do with it:

#1 Become a CEO

Earning a project management degree is no guarantee of becoming a top executive, but many business experts believe that project management education and experience is a key background for CEOs and other top managers in companies.

The CEO may also be known as the executive director, managing director or president. This executive provides the overall direction for the company, manages company operations and ensures all company goals are met.

CEOs and project managers face some of the same challenges, such as working with investors, clients, project teams and budget constraints. CEOs and project managers work with all of the stakeholders in the company. If you do become the CEO, you can earn a salary of $200,000 or more. MBA degree programs are also an option.

#2 Become a Consulting Project Management Professional

A consulting project management professional works as a project manager for a consulting company and can work with many different teams and industries over their career. A consulting PM might work with a team of environmental engineers this month and sales managers next month. The goal of being a consulting project manager is to meet the many goals of the company that they are working for – whether it is to speed the merger and acquisition of a company or to increase efficiency to boost profits.

This is a great career track as you can earn a median salary of $129,000 per year. Some of the most desirable consulting firms are McKinsey and Company, The Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Company.

#3 Earn a Great Salary

Project managers with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the field earn a good salary. It is estimated that the national median wage for entry level project managers is a healthy $89,200, and for veteran project managers, the salary is $96,400. For an IT project manager, a salary of $100,000 is possible. Meanwhile, an engineering project manager can make $107,400.

Payscale.com also reports the salary range for program project managers is between $57,500 and $120,400.

#4 Work in Blockchain and Cryptocurrency

If you work long in finance and business, you have heard about blockchain technology. Blockchain technology is a digital ledger that cannot be corrupted that lists economic transactions that can be programmed to record financial transactions and almost anything of value. As a project management professional, you can learn about blockchain and how to manage projects with this new technology.

Many financial and business experts say that blockchain technology is a highly effective project management platform because of its technical superiority but that is not all. It is redundant, resilient and secure in a way that trying to tamper with it will be very expensive and time consuming. Blockchain is also a good project management platform because it allows for better operational workflow. Implementing a project based upon blockchain and cryptocurrencies will create more business value. It will save time, reduce cost and reduce risk.

As a project manager which is typically in engineering, you can use blockchain to provide a good solution to many problem and knowledge domains. For instance, when you set up a private blockchain network, you will be the expert in communicating with all workers to define scope, requirements, budgets, deadlines and deliverables that the blockchain will identify, validate and verify.

#5 Become a Project Management Professional (PMP)

After you have earned your project management degree and have some work experience, you may decide to earn your PMP or Project Management Professional designation. The PMP is recognized around the world as the most prestigious credential for project managers, with more than 750,000 certified PMPs around the globe.

You will see PMPs leading projects in most countries, and unlike other similar certifications that are for certain geographic areas or industries, the PMP is a global designation. With a PMP, you can work in almost any industry and in any location in the world.

Having your PMP can provide you with a big advantage when you are looking for work, and you can earn a higher salary. According to respondents to a recent survey performed by the PMI organization, those with a PMP get a 20% higher salary on average.

Employers also benefit from managers having their PMP. Another survey found in 2015 when ⅓ of project managers have their PMP, organizations finish more of their project on time and on budget.

With your PMP, you will show that you understand and speak the project management global language. You also will be better connected to a diverse community of organizations, professionals and experts around the world.

#6 Work in Any Industry

PMI tells us that project management is one of the most in demand skill sets in the world and is more important today than ever before. Small, medium and large sized businesses are in regular need of highly educated and skilled project managers.

Some of the industries in which you can work with a project management degree are:

  • Construction
  • Management
  • Utilities
  • Information services
  • Business services
  • Finance and insurance
  • Oil and gas
  • Blockchain

It also is expected that changing regulations and increasing competition in healthcare will result in more job opportunities for project managers for healthcare organizations.

Another industry that is seeing increased demand for project management professionals is entertainment – especially concert touring and film. The entertainment industry has ample tight deadlines and tight budgets, so more project managers are needed to reduce risks and control costs.

#7 Thrive With Continual Change

If you like a lot of change and diversity in your managerial work, you could love working in project management with this degree. You will work on many different projects in your career. Everything, including where you work, how you get things done, who you work with and when things will get done, are constantly changing. After all, it is continual change that is the nature of keeping a project on track.

#8 Deal With Many Deadlines At Once

One of the things you have to master as a project manager is to prioritize and meet several deadlines at once. To meet the company’s business goals, project deadlines need to be reevaluated regularly and sometimes changed. This will require you to learn how to balance financial and human resources and also can affect the quality of the services or product being delivered.

#9 Learn How to Deal With Conflict

A regular challenge of being a project manager is dealing with difficult employees. This can mean having to handle regular internal and external conflict. While no one really likes to deal with this, it is a very important part of being a good project manager and can result in promotions for you in your career. Being able to work with all employees on a project to resolve conflicts is a great skill to have.

#10 Hone Your Organizational Skills

It is essential to have excellent organizational skills as a project manager. To handle projects that have constant change, multiple deadlines, stress and uncertainty, you will need to stay organized at all times to keep the project on track.

#11 Learn How to Negotiate

When it comes to project management, negotiation is always needed. You will need to learn how to create a workable agreement between all stakeholders that works within the constraints of the project. A successful project is actually a carefully choreographed group of negotiations from start to finish. The best project managers learn how to negotiate due dates, resources, budgets, scope of project, communication needs and even what ‘success’ is. See also 11 Amazing Ways to Negotiate a Better Salary.

References

  • Top 5 Highest Paying PMP Jobs. (2017). Retrieved from https://blog.capterra.com/top-5-highest-paying-pmp-jobs/
  • Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Project Manager? (2015). Retrieved from https://www.cio.com/article/2896325/project-manager/do-you-have-what-it-takes-to-be-a-project-manager.html
  • Project Management. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.pmi.org/certifications/types/project-management-pmp
  • Top 5 Reasons to Become a Project Manager. (2015). Retrieved from https://onlineprograms.smumn.edu/mspm/masters-in-project-management/resources/top-five-reasons
  • What Is Blockchain Technology? (2017). Retrieved from https://blockgeeks.com/guides/what-is-blockchain-technology/
Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.Follow on Twitter.com

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