Project Management Degree vs. PMP Certification

Project management

Project management is a rapidly growing and quickly evolving industry. A recent study from The Project Management Institute (PMI) found that the project management profession will outperform total US job growth over the next decade, creating millions of new positions. As careers in project management become more competitive, it’s important to set yourself up for long-term success with the right educational background, on-the-job experience, and relevant certifications.

What is Project Management?

Project managers play a critical role in ensuring that businesses stay profitable by keeping projects on time and on budget. A “project” is essentially a business endeavor that has a start and a finish, and is designed to bring about a specific outcome. This endeavor could be the launch of a new website, the construction of a new elementary school, or a business opening their first store in a new country. While the projects themselves may be different, a project manager relies on a key set of skills and considerations to keep the projects on track. Successful project managers are extremely organized, capable of staying cool under pressure, communicating clearly with a variety of people in stressful situations, and providing motivation when the going gets tough. Additionally, project managers are able to see both the big picture as well as the smallest of details, keeping an eye on both and ensuring each are well-tended throughout the duration of the project.

Project Management Degree vs. Project Management Certification

Project Management Degree

If you’re new to the project management field, a BA in Project Management will provide the necessary foundation from which to build a career. In an undergraduate program in project management, you can expect to learn critical skills related to leadership, team development, risk analysis, project cost management, schedule and task organization, effective communication, and quality control. PM certifications typically require a set number of hours spent in the field leading projects, so a great way to accelerate your success is to choose an online project management degree program when beginning your career. That way, you can try to work in an entry-level project management position while earning practical hours toward an eventual certification.

PMP Certification

The Project Management Professional (PMP) is an internationally recognized professional designation offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). To apply, you’ll need either a secondary or four-year college degree, plus a varying number of education and work hours. The PMP certification validates your subject-matter expertise, and is often preferred by employers compared to other certifications. By planning to achieve a project management degree and practical hours early in your career, you can see how applying for the PMP certification later on may become an easier task.

Ashford’s Online Project Management Degree

The Associate Dean in the Forbes School of Business & Technology, Dr. Ray Powers, has more than forty years corporate experience in business and technology, allowing him to impart much of his practical knowledge into the degree curriculum. Classes related to the project management degree are also often taught by professors who are also project managers. Getting access to the real, working backgrounds and perspectives of expert instructors helps students learn about project management as it exists in the field today, not simply from a textbook. 

Interested in a career in project management? The Ashford online degree in project management is a great way to get started in this exciting field.



Written by Ashford University staff

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