3 Career Options to Pursue With A MBA in Project Management

career in project management

According to Project Management Institute, there will be 8.8 million project management jobs available in the United States by 2027.  If you’re interested in earning a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) with a specialization in Project Management, then you’ve chosen a growing industry filled with endless opportunities.  This growth of project management jobs is mostly due to:
  • the expansion of project-orientated sectors, and
  • the increase in seasoned professionals retiring (attrition) 
The Project Management Institute reports, “In the United States, in manufacturing, attrition will cause nearly all open positions—97 percent—while in management and professional services just over half the openings—52 percent—will occur for the same reason.” Industries that utilize project management include: information technology, the government, financial services, manufacturing, telecommunications, education, construction, and more.  This article introduces you to 3 in-demand career options you will be able to pursue when you earn an online MBA in Project Management from Concordia University Chicago.

1. Project Manager

Simply put the project manager is the person who leads, organizes, and plans a project. Project managers define goals, create timelines and budgets, manage risks, and communicate with the organization until the project is complete.    No two projects are ever the same for project managers. So if you’re looking for a career that often provides change, then a project manager may be for you.   Project managers can be sometimes classified into 3 groups: Project Manager I, Project Manager II, and Project Manager III. The primary difference between these positions is the number and size of projects you can manage and the amount of experience you have in project management.  As a project manager with a MBA degree you’ll have the opportunity to progress to senior program manager or to C-suite executives roles if this is your goal.  

2. Project Management Consultant

A project management consultant differs from a project manager, because the consultant has no role in creating the project plan or executing it. The role of the consultant is to offer expert advice and support to organizations.     Project management consultants may work independently or for a consulting firm. This role allows you to work with new teams and organizations on a regular basis.  Some common benefits of being an independent consultant are:
  • You can choose projects based on interest and pay
  • You possess more flexibility and control over your time
  • You set your own rates
  • You can choose to work within a variety of industries  
However, in order to be a successful project management consultant you must have extensive experience and expertise in order to show credibility. 

3. Project Portfolio Manager

Project portfolio managers help organizations identify the most worthwhile projects, manage multiple projects, and improve project and portfolio performance. They help companies and executives reach their goals in terms of projects and allocating resources. Here is an example of a project portfolio manager job description for a finance company:  “The Project Portfolio Manager will be part of the Project Management Office (PMO) team and responsible for assisting PMO staff with effective project planning, scheduling, management and tracking of all projects and programs to ensure overall service delivery to schedule, scope, and budget.”  Project portfolio managers often report to the executives of the organization.

How to Prepare for a Career in Project Management 

According to the Project Management Institute’s recent salary survey, 82% of the 32,000 survey respondents hold the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.  Moreover, those who responded having a PMP certification reported an average of a 22% higher median salary compared to those without a certification.   Concordia University Chicago’s robust online MBA with a Project Management Specialization program equips students with project management skills in preparation to take the PMP professional certification exam.  If you’re interested in pursuing a career in project management, then visit Concordia University Chicago’s MBA in Project Management overview page.

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