Many of the products and services we utilize on a daily basis are the result of a carefully coordinated team of professionals. From the development of software applications to oil pipelines, a manager is needed to oversee the process, direct team members, and ensure compliance with budgets and deadlines. These responsibilities are typically fulfilled by project managers: professionals who see a project through from concept to completion.
Project managers are involved with all aspects of a given project. Their role is not only to supervise, but to plan, assess, and manage the feasibility, scope, and timeline of a project.
Unlike typical managers, project managers do not consistently supervise the same group of employees, but rather oversee the work of team members as it pertains to a specific project.
As global organizations grow in complexity, team and project-based methods have become an increasingly vital component of the workplace. Although the business services and manufacturing industries have traditionally supported the majority of project management positions, the demand for project management practitioners is expanding across industry: 70% of the organizations surveyed in a 2011 Project Management Institute (PMI) study, reported hiring individuals engaged in project or program management.
According to a 2008 Anderson Economic Group report, commissioned by the PMI, over 700,000 additional positions in the project management field were expected to be added to the US job market by 2020. More recent PMI reports have indicated that these numbers could be even larger, with up to 1.2 million project management oriented positions becoming available annually. The healthcare industry, which has not previously demonstrated a demand for project managers, is expected to be an area of particular growth over the next 5 years.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not currently list project management as an independent occupation, but rather categorizes those working in the field as unclassified managers, or incorporates them into the industry in which they are employed (i.e. construction management). While this presents some difficulty in determining the breadth of those employed in project management, it does send a clear message about the universal applicability of the related skills, and the diverse career paths available.
The School of Professional Studies (SPS) will soon be adding a Project Management concentration to the Bachelor of Professional Studies program: in an effort to provide students with the fundamentals needed to fulfill a project management role. Expected to launch in Fall 2016*, the coursework will be taught by practitioners who hold extensive industry experience, and will allow students the opportunity to develop hands-on skills - in areas such as communication, risk assessment, and financial management - and apply real-world problem-solving techniques. Upon completion of the program, students will haved earned a respected credential, and will hold the analytical framework, strategic planning skills, and project managerial insight necessary to serve as effective project managers within a variety of industries. This concentration may also serve as a stepping stone to further certification, or graduate study in the project management field.
The Project Management concentration will be available to College of Charleston students enrolled in the Bachelor of Professional Studies program. Prospective students are encouraged to visit the SPS' degree completion website.
For additional information about the Bachelor of Professional Studies Program, or the Project Management concentration, please contact the SPS.
*Pending approval by the Commission of Higher Education.