In the mid-20th century, project management began to evolve from an informal process conducted by organizations using proprietary methods to a profession that can be mastered through higher education.
Today, leading corporations seek project managers with specialized MBA degrees for specific training that can be applied in nearly any industry.
What Is Project Management?
The Association for Project Management calls the discipline "the application of processes, methods, skills, knowledge and experience to achieve specific project objectives according to the project acceptance criteria within agreed parameters. Project management has final deliverables that are constrained to a finite timescale and budget."
The Project Management Institute elaborates that a project is a temporary endeavor with a beginning and end, defined in terms of scope and resources. It entails a specific set of operations and usually involves a team representing various organizational functions. The team and project are aligned toward a singular objective, which may include outputs, outcomes and benefits.
Project management is a strategic organizational competence that no organization can operate without. Its processes fall into five stages: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, and controlling and closing.
Is the Online MBA Right for You?
As a working professional and project manager (or aspiring PM), your time is limited and split between professional and personal obligations.
Leaving your current position to earn an MBA on campus would likely set you back in your career and in your family's finances. The decision also would present three undesirable scenarios:
- Choose from the limited universities that are commutable from your home.
- Uproot to move near a university with the program you seek (the nearest university likely does not yet offer a specialized project management MBA).
- Pay more.
Online allows the flexibility of choosing a program that truly fits your needs. Your options expand significantly with online MBA programs.
In addition to lost income, the on-campus degree will cost more than an online degree, given the physical overhead of maintaining buildings being factored into your tuition. There's also the lost time traveling to and from campus. Want more reasons for choosing online?
Specialize: You have decided to focus on project management, so your degree should give you the training you need to hit the ground running. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette MBA with a concentration in Project Management Program Online trains students with a valuable skill set for business looking to become more efficient. Students gain a foundation in planning, scheduling, controlling, resource allocation and performance measurement. They learn the concepts and techniques being practiced by leading employers in budgeting, cost estimating and cost control, and they graduate ready to hit the ground running.
Learn and retain more: Whereas an undergraduate liberal arts education is about developing mental competencies and broadening exposure to different ways of applying your mind, a professional graduate degree is about developing specific work-related capabilities. So the more you learn and the more you retain, the better prepared you are for success. IBM has found that online learners absorb five times more material using multimedia content than do in-person learners using traditional methods. As an online student, you can pace yourself, accessing lectures and materials at convenient times, ensuring that you retain the information. This has been proven by the Research Institute of America, which found that online courses improve retention 25-60%.
Reduce distractions: Campus environments provide a social atmosphere that might not appeal to a working professional. Conversely, online learning, which intersperses study sessions with assessments, has been shown by Harvard University to reduce distraction by 50%, increase note-taking and improve content retention.
The case for earning your MBA in project management online is clear. Online students at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette benefit from mastering project management skills, earning a specialized degree while working, graduating in as few as 15 months and doing so cost effectively.
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