Why Earn an MBA in Project Management?

If you are a strategic thinker with excellent organizational and leadership skills, you may be putting those skills to use already. Capable project managers are in high demand across industries, many of which are experiencing a shortage of qualified candidates.

The aptitudes required for attaining a mid-level or higher project management role include the ability to plan, strict attention to detail, good foresight, and efficiency under pressure. The competencies needed to qualify for a leadership or supervisory project management position can now be acquired in a specialized MBA program.

Accelerated Path to Success

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s accelerated online MBA program with a Project Management Specialization teaches in as few as 12 months the high-demand methodologies and standards for project management, as well as core business and leadership skills. The program applies the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) framework and equips graduates with the best practices necessary to integrate theoretical concepts with applied models.

Essential subjects covered in the curriculum include project risk, procurement, quality management and change management. This specialized MBA also prepares graduates to pass the Project Management Professional certification, a credential that can lead to greater earnings and career advancement potential.

Salary and Career Prospects

The median salary for a Project Manager III (a few years of experience) with an MBA ranges from $113,014 to $120,643 (December 2019), according to Salary.com. Project managers find employment in public corporations, firms and nonprofits, with the formalized discipline heavily applied in IT, industrial production, construction, transport and infrastructure, finance and law, and healthcare. Specific job titles include project manager, senior project manager, program manager, project portfolio manager, director of project management, and project management consultant.

What Is Project Management?

The Association for Project Management defines the discipline as “the application of processes, methods, skills, knowledge and experience to achieve specific project objectives according to the project acceptance criteria within agreed parameters.” Project management is distinguished from routine operations in that a project has a finite time span, is defined in terms of scope and resources, and produces an expected final deliverable. It must ensure efficient use of resources and satisfy the needs of various stakeholders.

Time, cost and quality are essential components that must be understood in every project. Other core elements include the reason for initiation of a project, the case to justify the investment, access to funding and a complete management plan.

Projects that typically utilize high-level project management skills include those that:

  • Are complex in terms of work and departments involved
  • Require management of change and risks
  • Produce something new or changed, whether tangible or intangible

A project entails a specific set of operations that fall under initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. It usually involves a team representing various organizational functions. The team and project are aligned toward a singular objective that may include outputs, outcomes and benefits. Essentially, project management is the science of successful project execution, which is why it has evolved into a strategic organizational competence that no business can compete without in today’s globalized economy.

The discipline of project management is ever evolving, driven by innovative leaders who apply existing fundamentals while making new discoveries and improving best practices for industries, organizations and projects. An investment in a specialized project management MBA may be the catalyst to a long and successful career.

Learn more about SIUE’s online MBA program with a Project Management Specialization.


PMI: What Is Project Management?

APM: What Is Project Management?

Learn.org: MBA in Project Management: Salary and Career Facts

Study.com: Salary of an MBA Graduate in Project Management

Workamajig: Project Management Statistics: 45 Stats You Can’t Ignore

Salary.com: Project Manager III

ProjectManagementDegrees.net: What Jobs Can I Get with an MBA in Project Management?

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