What is Project Management?

The question, “What is project management?” is frequently asked as this field is becoming more popular every year. Project management is the process or use of skills, tools, knowledge and various techniques to complete a project from beginning to end. Not surprising is the fact that project management is actually used in almost every part of our lives. Below is an overview of project management as a career option.

What is Project Management?

To have project management, there must first be a project that is temporary and unique. It’s temporary in that it has a beginning and an end. It’s unique in that it’s one specific project different from every other project. A company may have several different projects, and each one is different and unique from the previous one.

Project management is the process of creating, planning, scheduling, managing and completing a project from beginning to end. Project management consists of five steps.

  • Initiation
  • Planning
  • Executing
  • Monitoring
  • Completion

Where you have project management, you will almost have a project manager in charge of the project. Project managers create and manage projects by putting together a team and delegating tasks to each team member.

Degrees in Project Management

Project management as a training is offered at several degree levels.

Certificate programs introduce project management and don’t usually lead to jobs as project managers. Their focus on developing decision-making and leadership skills make them beneficial to candidates pursuing business degrees.

Associate degree programs provide a more in-depth study of project management. In addition to teaching leadership, associate degree programs also teach students how businesses operate both financially and functionally. These two-year programs can lead to entry-level positions or act as a stepping-stone towards a bachelor’s degree.

Bachelor degree programs, the most common for project managers, teach students about business concepts and what project management entails. Students are put on teams to work on case studies and solve problems. The four-year bachelor’s degree program leads to many careers in project management.

Master’s degree programs, which are usually offered online, are for project managers who want to improve their skills and obtain managerial positions and become more competitive in the job market. The students usually focus on a specific area of project management.

There are also several seminars, courses, training programs and certifications offered through the Project Management Institute (PMI).

Careers in Project Management

Project management is a field that offers many career opportunities to individuals who have suffiicient education and relevant work experience. Here is a list of just a few of the many jobs available to project management professionals.

  • Project Manager
  • IT Project Manager
  • Computer and Information Systems Manager
  • Construction Manager
  • Project Management Associate
  • Management Analysts
  • Logisticians
  • Sales Managers

Potential Wage & Job Growth in Project Management

Wages for project managers range from $70,000 to more than $140,000 as of a May 2018 report by Salary.com. Several things factor into the wage potential for project managers, but the biggest factor is work experience. The more experience the individual has in this field, the better the job opportunities and wages. Education, employer and location also affect the project manager’s earning potential. U.S. News & World Report states that the PMI estimates about 214,000 new project management jobs will open each year in the U.S. through 2027.

Related Resource: Top 10 Online Non-profit Management Degree Programs

With such a positive growth predicted for project management workers, it definitely sounds like a great career worth pursuing, especially for the individual who enjoys leading a team and making things happen. The different amount of education and training available for aspiring project manager makes it even easier to start a career in project management.