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Online Doctorate Degree in Project Management

Online Project Management Degree: An Overview
According to the Project Management Institute, 87.7 million individuals will be needed to fill project-management-related positions around the world by 2027. A project management degree online prepares graduates to manage the entire project process, which includes time management and quality control.

According to PayScale, an online salary database, workers with a Ph.D. who are also certified project management professionals earn a median annual salary of $119,713.

An online project management doctorate program offers flexibility for students who are also working professionals. Web-based programs typically follow the same rigorous curricula as brick-and-mortar options, leading to similar advancement opportunities for graduates. The online format is also ideal for students who must tackle additional commitments – such as child or family care – on top of their work and class schedules.
How long does it take to earn a doctorate in project management online?
Online Ph.D. programs in project management require around 60 credits and take full-time students two to three years to complete.

How much does an online doctorate in project management cost?
The cost of an online project management degree depends on several factors. State residency is an important consideration, since many colleges and universities charge higher tuition for out-of-state students. However, some schools charge flat tuition for online students regardless of state residency. Technology fees are another key factor; these fees often apply to online students but not their brick-and-mortar counterparts.

Per-credit costs for an online project management doctorate degree typically range from $595 to $980. Students should expect to pay between $36,000 and $59,000 in total tuition.

Online doctorate in project management admissions requirements
Students who apply to earn a doctorate in project management online should hold a master’s degree from an accredited institution, and some schools require the degree to be in a relevant field. Programs sometimes request that students submit a resume or statement of purpose along with official transcripts.

Choosing an accredited online project management degree program
Accreditation status is one of the most important considerations for prospective students. Colleges and universities in the U.S. receive accreditation from agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education; the accreditation process involves an extensive review of a school’s educational programs and student services.

A school’s accreditation impacts course credit transferability, as well as student eligibility for federal financial aid, so students should ensure the school offering the program has earned national or regional accreditation

Online Coursework

Coursework for an online project management doctorate degree is designed to build competence in strategic management while cultivating doctoral-level research and writing skills.

Many curricula include courses in management or leadership theory, which examines leadership styles and strategies. Coursework in qualitative research methods further develops these skills by exploring common methodologies used in data collection, interpretation and presentation.

Project management degree specializations
Project management doctoral students may be able to pursue a concentration. Those who select a concentration in program and portfolio management learn to take a project-based approach to portfolio management and analysis. Coursework emphasizes project management methodologies and teaches the skills needed to develop high-performance portfolios that meet financial goals.

Learners specializing in risk and quality management analyze case studies through the lens of project management. By synthesizing research into final recommendations in each instance, students strengthen their ability to avoid risk and quality issues.

Research project
Most online Ph.D. programs in project management culminate in a research-based project, such as a dissertation. This experience typically consists of several courses or phases, including a formal introduction to the research practices and resources commonly used throughout dissertation development. Students select a topic or problem to address and synthesize the knowledge, methodologies and analytical skills acquired through the project management online program in a final written project.

Professional Associations in Project Management
Students earning an online project management degree can benefit from joining a professional association. These organizations provide members with resources and opportunities, including seminars and additional training through online project management courses and certifications.

Project Management Institute: PMI offers an internationally recognized certification program. Members have an extensive list of professional development resources at their disposal, including online courses and a job board.
International Project Management Association: This association is a federation consisting of more than 60 member countries. In addition to hosting events, IPMA offers a series of training courses and certification opportunities.
American Management Association: Student members have access to association webinars, webcasts and publications. AMA hosts more than 160 online training seminars in 24 areas of business management. The association’s project management courses cover basic and advanced concepts.

Job Outlook and Salaries for Graduates
PMI projects job growth of 33 percent for roles related to project management from 2017 to 2027 in 11 countries it studied, including the U.S. PMI also found that those in project management-oriented positions at select U.S. firms earned 82 percent more than professionals who weren’t project-oriented.

What can you do with a doctorate in project management?
Graduates of online Ph.D. programs in project management are employed in many different industries, including information technology, finance and education. Some project managers are self-employed or take on contract work. Depending on their academic and employment background, they may specialize in one particular area of project management, such as engineering or pharmaceutical development.

Project manager, architecture: These professionals oversee design projects and ensure that the materials and methods implemented uphold safety standards and regulations. A bachelor’s degree in architecture or a related field is necessary; candidates with work experience and architecture certifications are often preferred.
Project manager, engineering: These project managers typically have a degree in engineering and at least seven years of experience in addition to an advanced degree. In directing engineering teams, they are responsible for ensuring that projects adhere to safety standards, maintain schedules and stay on budget.
Project manager, marketing: Marketing project managers oversee the creation, development and implementation of advertising campaigns. They frequently work according to strict deadlines, and most have an academic background in business management or similar field.
Project manager, pharmaceuticals: These professionals assemble teams of scientists and technicians who help identify pharmaceutical products worth developing and do clinical trials and other testing necessary before bringing a medicine to market. The project managers also collaborate with manufacturing and marketing sectors. They should have an academic background that includes a relevant field such as biochemistry.
Project manager, software development: Software development project managers are responsible for facilitating the development of new software programs. They often lead teams of programmers and must know multiple programming languages. They generally hold a bachelor’s degree in an information technology-related area. Many have additional project management work experience.

Licensure and certification
Project management professional certification is associated with higher earnings. Data from PayScale demonstrates that individuals with a PMP certificate earn around $20,000 more annually than those without a project management certificate. Professionals seeking specialized credentials can choose from PMI’s seven area-specific programs in fields such as portfolio management and scheduling or pursue advanced certifications offered through IPMA.

How much are salaries for project management graduates?

Median salaries

Job title Salary
Project manager, marketing

Project manager, architecture

Project manager, software development

Project manager, engineering

Project manager, pharmaceuticals

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