Students pursuing online project management PhD degrees should already be strong business leadersan online project management PhD will help develop existing skills even further. They should be focused and able to accomplish their goals without a lot of direct supervision, and should be able to develop and communicate their goals in writing.
Almost all accredited online project management doctorates require that students first have a master’s degree in some related area. This could be a business-related master’s, or it could be a technology related degree, for those who prefer to emphasize the technology aspect of their online doctorate degrees in project management. Some masters’ degrees that qualify include:
- Business Administration
- Project Management
- Human Resources
- Information Technology
- Sports Management
- International Business
A person pursuing a top online doctorate in project management often has background in corporate management, human resources, or information technology; they generally have experience in project management, and are hoping to pursue greater leadership opportunities, or to teach others how best to manage people.
Online doctoral programs in project management will take dedicated students from 3 to 5 years to complete, depending on the specialization and the requirements of the institution. Online doctoral programs in project management require students to defend a dissertation, which will entail significant writing and research. The most successful students will be self-directing and disciplined, able to balance scholarship, work, and personal life. Some online PhD programs in project management require the student to attend gatherings at a campus site from time to time in the course of their studies.
Online doctorate programs in project management require advanced classes in both management theory and strategic leadership, which will prepare students to take on new leadership roles when their project management PhD online is complete. Classes might include:
- Managing and Organizing People: Managing and organizing people is at the heart of project management, discussing different theories of managerial organization, as well as best practices and discarded theories.
- Marketing Strategy and Practice: This course explores different marketing strategies, with application to real-life situations.
- Management Theory Creation: This course studies the creation of new management theories, and offers techniques for researching and testing new theories.
- Advances in Project Planning: This course explores the latest advances in project management, contrasting them with older theories.
- Strategic Leadership and Human Resource Management: Students will learn the practice of strategic leadership in corporations and institutions.
Specializations and Concentrations
Some good online PhD degrees in project management take into account different types of project management by offering specializations and concentrations. While students can certainly learn about project management in general, they can also focus on a particular area of interest, more germane to their career or the needs of their employers. Specializations and concentrations can include:
- Project Management (Information Technology)
- General Business
- Supply Chain Management
Graduates with online PhD project management degrees will be equipped to take on a number of top-level careers, such as:
- Construction Project Manager: Online project management graduates learn the skills to make construction projects run smoothly and profitably. Construction project managers earn between $60,650 and $107,140 annually.
- Purchasing Manager: Purchasing managers make sure their companies have everything they need to operate. Advanced degrees are essential for obtaining higher level positions. Depending on the company a purchasing manager works for, he or she can earn between $67,370 and $115,830 a year. This job is expected to grow at the same rate as the economy in general.
- Construction Project Manager: Graduates who work as construction managers are responsible for overseeing construction projects from beginning to end. They earn between $60,650 and $107,140 annually. Job prospects in this field are excellent and expected to increase.
- IT Project Manager: Information technology project managers have training in both information systems and business management. They can expect to earn between $88,240 and $141,890 a year. Job growth is expected to be faster than the average in this field.
- Business/IT Professor: Online doctoral degrees in project management qualify the graduates to teach in either business or IT, depending on the concentration of the degree. Professors earning average $70,439 a year. This field is expected to grow, but will be very competitive.
Institutions and corporations need good, knowledgeable leaders and those with an online project management PhD will fit the bill. Whether you want to teach the ins and outs of management theory, climb the corporate ladder in human resources, create and manage IT projects, or simply learn more about the field, an online doctorate in project management will open doors and give graduates a wealth of opportunities.