Career Series: What Does a Project Manager Do?

When scrolling through the extensive list of degrees and certificates available today, you may stumble across project management programs and wonder what this subject entails. Project management is an exciting, yet ambiguous field of study. While it seems like the title is quite transparent and easily explained, a project manager plays a complex role within an organization.

Project managers are involved in many fields. Individuals who pursue this degree are able to explore careers in manufacturing, information services, higher education, engineering, real estate development, and many other fields. According to the Project Management Institute’s Job Growth and Talent Gap for 2017-2027, “On an annualized basis, employers will need to fill nearly 2.2 million new project-oriented roles each year through 2027.”

Regardless of the industry, a project manager is responsible for establishing the overall cohesiveness of a project. They set goals, manage the budget, and oversee all operations through project completion. While many others are involved in completing the project, the project manager orchestrates all aspects, every step of the way.

Job Description and Responsibilities

Project managers help create the focus and set the goals for time-limited, specific initiatives within the organization. They may work with the sponsoring body leadership to create and plan the new idea. Once the idea is established, the project manager determines exactly what will be needed to complete the project and, most importantly, assembles a team of individuals who have the skillsets necessary to get it done. While the project manager must possess solid planning and organization skills, they must also have strong communication skills.

Project managers lead the team for the duration of the project. The project manager will hold meetings to keep the team on task and facilitate communication among team members and throughout the company.

Job Outlook

When you earn your project management degree, you will be equipped with a skillset for an array of positions, including:

  • Project manager
  • Project management analyst
  • Quality management project coordinator
  • Master scheduler
  • Computer and information systems manager
  • Industrial production manager
  • Sales manager
  • Business planning analyst
  • Administrative services manager

Opportunity is abundant in this line of work. The need for project managers is constantly growing and is projected to grow rapidly through 2027. If you are interested in international business or international relations, this career field may be a great choice for you. Because we live in a global community where business is swiftly transpiring across the world, project managers are needed to manage and fortify these relationships.

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Earning Your Project Management Degree Through Penn State World Campus

Penn State World Campus is a Project Management Institute (PMI)® Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.) and offers a Master of Project Management and a Graduate Certificate in Project Management, both entirely online. These programs are AACSB accredited and are headed by an internationally renowned scholar in the field.

The graduate certificate is made up of the first four classes in the master’s program, which allows you to add a Penn State credential to your resume before completing the full master’s program. You can then choose if you want to continue on with the master’s curriculum. Here you will have the opportunity to tailor your coursework to your professional goals by choosing six (6) credits in electives from topic areas such as enterprise architecture, enterprise resource planning (ERP) with SAP software, supply chain management, or independent study, focusing on a present project management issue in your organization.

“Earning a Master of Project Management degree from Penn State provided me with a vast amount of knowledge about project management that I have applied to my work,” says Amy Warner, Manager, Factory Tours/Employee Stores at Harley-Davidson Motor Company and 2014 World Campus graduate. “For me the most useful courses were focused on strategy and project leadership. I have been asked to lead several projects based on the skills I developed through this program.”

Why Choose Penn State World Campus

Penn State World Campus has proud alumni all over the globe working in the project management field. Rich Sinks, Rolls-Royce Learning and Development Award recipient and MPM graduate said, “The project management courses cover everything from contracts, to people and culture, to strategy and resources management. They are all very distinct, and each one covers a different area that you will run into in corporate America. I’m learning new tools and new ideas that can be pulled from each course and applied to the real world. I’m studying courses that are all wrapped in a project management framework, which is what I do every day.” Project management is an ever-expanding career path with an array of duties and responsibilities. The Penn State World Campus project management programs prepare you for all possible situations.

Photo by ITI TRAINING INSTITUTE on flickr