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Best Master's in Project Management Online Programs

By Jordan Beliles | Updated 8/11/2022
2020 Best Online Master's in Project Management Badge

With low tuition rates and high average alumni salaries, the following 21 schools offer the best online master's programs in project management. At #1, New York University charges $35,802 per year for their Master of Science in Project Management. Alumni reported a mid-career salary of $153,400. Johns Hopkins University offers distance learners an MS in Technical Management - Project Management for $55,530 per year.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about OnlineU.

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RankSchool Annual Tuition Mid-Career Salary
# 1 #1 New York University $35,802 $153,400
# 2 #2 Johns Hopkins University $55,530 $154,900
# 3 #3 Purdue University - Main Campus $13,175 $129,800
# 4 #4 The George Washington University $31,770 $127,800
# 5 #5 University of Southern California $23,136 $122,700
# 6 #6 Florida Tech - Online $12,821 $114,800
# 8 #8 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Worldwide $12,402 $104,100
# 9 #9 Stevens Institute of Technology $55,020 $119,500
# 10 #10 University of Denver $22,816 $105,800
# 11 #11 Western Carolina University $15,209 $101,800
# 12 #12 University of Kansas $9,945 $97,600
# 13 #13 City University of Seattle $15,985 $99,700
# 14 #14 University of Maryland Global Campus $11,862 $98,000
# 15 #15 Troy University $7,410 $94,200
# 16 #16 Webster University $14,040 $96,700
# 17 #17 Northeastern University $16,698 $88,300
# 18 #18 Liberty University $18,080 $83,600
# 19 #19 Southern Wesleyan University $10,170 $78,200
# 20 #20 Southern New Hampshire University Online $11,286 $76,700
# 21 #21 Bellevue University $10,530 $74,700
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo

2020 Online Colleges Offering Project Management Degrees - Ranking Details

#1 New York University

  • Annual Tuition: $35,802
  • Median Salary: $153,400
  • Locations: New York (NY)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

The Master of Science in Project Management at New York University is designed to give students the theoretical knowledge and practical skills to become leaders in their industry. Students complete courses in principles of project management, leading global organizations, and organizational ethics. The 36-credit hour online project management degree program curriculum can be tailored to best suit a student's career interests and goals with concentration electives. Graduates of the program have gone on to careers in project management with Crowne Plaza, Equinox, and New York City Health and Hospitals.

#2 Johns Hopkins University

  • Annual Tuition: $55,530
  • Median Salary: $154,900
  • Locations: Baltimore (MD)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Johns Hopkins University offers three online graduate degrees with concentrations in project management, including the Master of Science in Engineering in Systems Engineering, the Master of Science in Systems Engineering, and the Master of Science in Technical Management. The project management concentration instructs students in the fundamentals of team leadership, project planning, risk management, process design and development, and quality control and improvement specific to each master's degree under which it is housed. Students who graduate with a master's degree and concentration in project management are prepared to lead teams and manage productivity and quality in the field of their choice.

#3 Purdue University - Main Campus

  • Annual Tuition: $13,175
  • Median Salary: $129,800
  • Locations: West Lafayette (IN)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The Master of Science in IT Project Management offered at Purdue University-Main Campus provides students with advanced education in the fundamentals of business and management in the information technology industry. Students complete 34 credit hours of coursework in IT economics, IT project management, risk management, and interpersonal and group skills for leaders. Graduates of the online IT project management degree program are qualified to take the Project Management Professional Certification exam and prepared for careers in project management, software team management, and lead systems engineering.

#4 The George Washington University

  • Annual Tuition: $31,770
  • Median Salary: $127,800
  • Locations: Washington D.C.
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

The Master of Science in Project Management program at The George Washington University provides students the opportunity to advance their careers into management positions in a diverse range of industries. The 36-credit hour curriculum includes coursework in the introduction to project management, planning and scheduling, risk management, executive decision making, and organization, management, and leadership. Graduates of the online project management degree program are qualified to work in the private, government, and nonprofit sectors. The university also provides students and graduates networking opportunities through professional relationships with a number of institutions, including the U.S. State Department, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank.

#5 University of Southern California

  • Annual Tuition: $23,136
  • Median Salary: $122,700
  • Locations: Los Angeles (CA)
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

The University of Southern California offers a Master of Science in Project Management that prepares students to advance their careers in the discipline in a number of industries. The 24-unit curriculum includes coursework in the principles of project management, quality and process improvement, risk management, cost estimation and forecasting, and agile project management methodologies. Graduates of the online project management degree program have the skills and knowledge required for a career in project management in business, healthcare, and technology.

#6 Florida Tech - Online

  • Annual Tuition: $12,821
  • Median Salary: $114,800
  • Locations: Melbourne (FL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Florida Tech, through its virtual education center, offers an online Master of Science in Project Management with two concentrations: Information Systems and Operations Research. The Information Systems concentration blends with the Project Management core to provide present or future project managers with a comprehensive education in databases and computer systems. Those in fields related to business, science, math, and engineering would benefit from this program. Likewise, the Operations Research concentration teaches project managers how to do effective, thorough research in order to improve business operations in a 21st-century environment. A total of 33 credits is required to complete the degree, and those who have earned an undergraduate business degree or have taken some business courses may be able to waive 12 credits of prerequisite coursework. The degree is available completely online, and courses are offered in 16-week semesters and an 11-week summer semester. Learning is asynchronous, and coursework is delivered via the Canvas online learning management system. Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0. Transcripts and a resume are required. Online learners have access to tutoring, technical assistance, and academic support.

#8 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Worldwide

  • Annual Tuition: $12,402
  • Median Salary: $104,100
  • Locations: Daytona Beach (FL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Three online degrees in the project management discipline are offered at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide: a Master of Science in Engineering Management with a concentration in Project Management, a Master of Science in Management with a concentration in Project Management, and a Master of Science in Project Management. The degrees range from 30-36 credits. Online degree programs at ERAU feature nine- to 12-week sessions, and ten start dates are available throughout the year. Students can stagger courses and accelerate courses if they wish. Online learning includes both synchronous and asynchronous learning; students participate in web video conferencing and use material delivered via the Canvas online learning management system. Distance learners should plan to spend eight to 10 hours per week on coursework. Advisors provide degree-planning assistance, and 24/7 technical support, library resources, and career support are available to online students. First-time and transfer students should have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum overall GPA of 2.5; those who already have a master’s degree are required to have a cumulative GPA of 3.0. Official transcripts from previous university coursework must be submitted.

#9 Stevens Institute of Technology

  • Annual Tuition: $55,020
  • Median Salary: $119,500
  • Locations: Hoboken (NJ)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Designed for technical professionals who would like to move forward in their careers and be able to direct people, budgets, and projects, the Master of Science in Enterprise Project Management at Stevens Institute of Technology helps students to think critically and analytically in order to assess and strategize in complex and challenging business settings and environments. Three concentrations are available: General Management, Software Engineering, and Construction Management. The six-course core curriculum covers areas such as fundamentals of project management, leader development, and leading across projects. The concentrations are each comprised of four three-credit courses. A total of 30 credits is required to complete the degree, and full-time students can finish the program in a year. Applicants must submit all transcripts from previous college/university coursework, two letters of recommendation, and a resume, and full-time students must submit GMAT/GRE scores. Online courses at SIT are taught by the same faculty as their on-campus counterparts. The university’s WebCampus system incorporates the Canvas online learning management system, Zoom, and the Kaltura video library system. Distance learners have access to technical support, academic support, advising, the university bookstore, and more.

#10 University of Denver

  • Annual Tuition: $22,816
  • Median Salary: $105,800
  • Locations: Denver (CO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The University of Denver offers an online Master of Science in Information and Communications Technology and an online Master of Science in Organizational Leadership; both programs have a concentration in Project Management. These 12-course, 48-credit degrees can be completed in as little as 18 months. Courses in the concentration cover areas such as project contracts and procurement, project risk, and quality management. Term lengths are ten weeks. Coursework is available 100-percent online, but students can also choose a hybrid format (online and face-to-face classes) or the university’s HyFlex format, where students can attend on-campus classes or log on at specific class times. Online classes are asynchronous, so students can learn at a time and place that is convenient for them. Courses begin four times per year. The Canvas online learning system is used to deliver coursework, which supports email, chats, discussions, grades, lecture videos, assignments, and more. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum overall GPA of 2.5 or a minimum GPA of 2.5 in the last 60 hours of coursework. No GRE or GMAT is required, but applicants must submit transcripts, a resume, a personal statement, and two recommendations. Students have access to academic support, career assistance, technical support, and more.

#11 Western Carolina University

  • Annual Tuition: $15,209
  • Median Salary: $101,800
  • Locations: Cullowhee (NC)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The online Master of Project Management at Western Carolina University is designed for mid-level managers or professionals who wish to advance their careers to senior leadership and project management positions. The curriculum takes students through the entire process of project management, covering subjects such as project selection and initiation, project planning and implementation, and project closeout. The program consists of six different six-credit courses, for a total of 36 credits. The degree can be completed in two years, and students can begin in August or January. A minimum GPA of 3.0 in each class is required in order to graduate. Those who have at least two years’ work experience in project management can apply for the program. They must have a bachelor’s degree and should submit a resume, goal statement, and recommendation from a current or past employer. The Blackboard online learning management system is used to deliver coursework, and the university’s website contains comprehensive orientation material for prospective distance learners. Online students can download software such as Microsoft Office Suite, Audacity, Gimp, and Linux for free. Academic support, technical assistance, advising, and tutoring services are available to distance learners at WCU.

#12 University of Kansas

  • Annual Tuition: $9,945
  • Median Salary: $97,600
  • Locations: Lawrence (KS)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The University of Kansas offers an online Master of Science in Project Management that teaches students essential theory and skills for working with and directing teams in multiple settings and environments. They learn to develop leadership and communication skills that facilitate effective and efficient strategies and implementation of portfolios, projects, and programs. Coursework in the 33-credit program covers areas such as project management fundamentals, financial management, writing and speaking for those in decision-making positions, and a project management capstone. Students can tailor the degree to their specific interests with topics like consulting, government projects, risk management, cost estimation, team development, and management of international projects. The degree is available fully online, and coursework is delivered via the Blackboard online learning management system. Asynchronous learning allows busy professionals to study at a time and place that is convenient for them. In some cases, in-person classes are recorded and made available via livestream. Applicants to the program must have a bachelor’s degree and, along with the application, should submit official transcripts, GRE scores, and a resume. Distance learners at the University of Kansas have access to academic support, technical assistance, the university bookstore, writing assistance, veteran services, and more.

#13 City University of Seattle

  • Annual Tuition: $15,985
  • Median Salary: $99,700
  • Locations: Seattle (WA)
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

Students enrolled in the Master of Science in Project Management at the City University of Seattle work closely with experts in the field to hone their skills so they can work as top project managers in their choice of business or industry. The program emphasizes the development of leadership qualities and project-based learning that helps students work efficiently across all aspects of project management, including planning and strategizing, scheduling, budgeting, teamwork, and implementation. Coursework delves into portfolios, domestic and global management, and advanced tools and methods, and the curriculum includes two action learning projects. A total of 45 credits is required to complete the degree. It is available fully online, and students can start in the fall, winter, or spring semester. CUS uses the Blackboard online learning management system to deliver coursework to distance learners. The system supports email, video, discussion boards, receiving and submitting assignments, tests, journals, blogs, and more. Students can receive technical assistance 24/7, and they have access to library services, the university bookstore, and more. Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree. Students with prior graduate coursework may transfer up to 25 percent of the required credits, but all transferred credits must reflect a minimum GPA of 3.0.

#14 University of Maryland Global Campus

  • Annual Tuition: $11,862
  • Median Salary: $98,000
  • Locations: Adelphi (MD)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

The University of Maryland Global Campus offers two master’s degrees with a concentration in Project Management: a Master of Science in Information Technology and a Master of Science in Management. Students of this concentration learn to plan, implement, track, and close projects; manage schedules and conflicts; perform critical analyses; direct and mentor employees; work in a culturally diverse environment; and evaluate individuals, groups, and organizations. Coursework covers areas such as risk management, communication, and project procurement. The MS in Management includes a capstone. Both programs require 36 credits to complete. All courses are available online, and some can be taken in a hybrid format. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA for the duration of the program, and they have up to five years to finish the degree. Graduates can pursue certification as a PMI Certified Associate in Project Management and/or PMI Project Management Professional. Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree or complete a bachelor’s degree by the last day of the first term of the MS program. Official transcripts from undergraduate work must be submitted. Distance learners at UMGC have access to academic advising, tutorial assistance, technical support, veteran resources, the university bookstore, career services, and library resources.

#15 Troy University

  • Annual Tuition: $7,410
  • Median Salary: $94,200
  • Locations: Troy (AL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The Master of Science at Troy University is available as an online program and at three of the school’s campus locations. The degree is offered with a concentration in Project Management. The 10-course program is designed to teach students organizational skills in a global business context. They learn theories and management principles as well as study models that train them to assume leadership roles in nonprofit organizations, private enterprises, and government agencies. The concentration augments the program core by emphasizing methods and tools that are especially needed in project management. A total of 30 credits is needed to complete the degree, with nine in the concentration. Full-time students can finish the program in one year (five terms), and part-time students in two years (ten terms). Coursework is organized into nine-week terms. Applicants to graduate degrees at TU should submit final or unofficial transcripts and test scores and a letter of recommendation. A bachelor’s degree is required, but it does not have to be in business. Support services at Troy University include academic support and counseling, study skills instruction, career planning, financial assistance, technical support, and more.

#16 Webster University

  • Annual Tuition: $14,040
  • Median Salary: $96,700
  • Locations: St. Louis (MO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Designed for busy professionals, the Master of Arts in Management and Leadership at Webster University is available entirely online, and the flexible program allows students to complete the degree in as little as 18 months. Students can tailor the degree to their particular interests and career plans by choosing one of four concentrations, including Project Management. A total of 36 credits is needed to complete the degree, with nine in the concentration. The main curriculum covers areas such as finance, leadership, and organization development. After completing the degree with the Project Management concentration, students may qualify for a graduate certificate in project management. Coursework is delivered using the Canvas online learning management system, and learning is generally asynchronous. Applicants to this degree must have a bachelor’s degree in business or a business-related subject, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50. Official transcripts must be submitted. Those whose undergraduate degree does not meet the requirements can take additional courses at the university to qualify for admission. Many support services are available to distance learners at Webster University, including academic advising, career planning and development, financial aid, IT support, library resources, an online learning center, and an online success coach.

#17 Northeastern University

  • Annual Tuition: $16,698
  • Median Salary: $88,300
  • Locations: Burlington (MA)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

More than 20 online master’s degrees in the management and project management disciplines are offered at Northeastern University. This includes a Master of Science in Project Management that is available with ten different concentrations, including Agile Project Management, Clinical Trial Design, Construction Management, Organizational Communication, and Program and Portfolio Management. The STEM-designated degree is available fully online. Both full- and part-time study options are available, and the degree can be completed in 18-36 months. Students can start the program in the fall, winter, spring, or summer term. Applicants must submit a statement of purpose, resume, two letters of recommendation, undergraduate transcripts, and proof of English-language proficiency. Online learning at Northeastern University is asynchronous, and distance learners receive coursework via the Canvas online learning management system. Distance learners have access to tutoring services, writing assistance, counseling services, and technical support. Northeastern University offers other online degrees related to project management, including an MS in Program and Project Portfolio Management with five different concentrations. The Project Management concentration can be taken with the MS in Corporate and Organizational Communication, MS in Human Resources Management, MS in Leadership, and MS in Nonprofit Management. All of these degrees are available as online programs.

#18 Liberty University

  • Annual Tuition: $18,080
  • Median Salary: $83,600
  • Locations: Lynchburg (VA)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Several master’s degrees in the project management discipline are offered online at Liberty University. The MS in Project Management develops students’ skills in communication, scheduling, planning, resolving conflicts, motivating team members, negotiating, and leadership. The 12-course degree requires 36 credits; most students complete the program in about 18 months. Additionally, an MBA in Project Management is available as a fully online degree. This program requires 45 credits and can be completed in about two years. There are no set log-in times, so busy professionals can study at a time convenient for them. Applicants to the MBA must submit official transcripts with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0; those with a lower GPA may be admitted on caution. Additionally, 15 hours of upper-level business courses are required for admittance. LU also offers both an MS in Healthcare Administration (48 credits) and an MS in Marketing (36 credits) with a concentration in Project Management. All of these programs are available entirely online, and coursework is done in an eight-week format. Online learning at LU is generally asynchronous through the Blackboard online learning management system. Students have access to academic support, tutoring, library services, writing assistance, career counseling, and live webinars.

#19 Southern Wesleyan University

  • Annual Tuition: $10,170
  • Median Salary: $78,200
  • Locations: Central (SC)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Southern Wesleyan University offers a fully online Master of Science in Management and Leadership with four different concentrations, including Project and Quality Management. The program is designed to hone students’ skillset in the areas of planning, organization, information management, and decision-making — all the skills needed to be an effective leader and project manager. The concentration focuses on managing not just projects, but people and teams as well, taking into account the human factor in each project. Courses at Southern Wesleyan University are taught with a Christian worldview and are centered around Christian values. The 36-credit program can be completed in 24 months. Study is self-paced, and there are flexible deadlines for assignments. Courses are done in 15-week terms, which are broken into two seven-week subterms with one week in between. Distance learners should plan to spend 13-16 hours per week on coursework. Class material is delivered via the Canvas online learning management system. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and submit official transcripts along with employment information. Student services at SWU include career services, library resources, 24/7 tech support, and a dedicated, personal success coach.

#20 Southern New Hampshire University Online

  • Annual Tuition: $11,286
  • Median Salary: $76,700
  • Locations: Manchester (NH)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Southern New Hampshire University Online offers two online master’s degrees in the project management discipline: an MBA in Project Management and an MS in Project Management and Operations. In the MBA, students learn how to use the latest technology as well as develop their skills in planning, implementing, scheduling, monitoring, and adapting as leaders in various business environments. Coursework includes topics such as accounting and financial analysis, marketing and strategy, and ethics and corporate culture. The MS in Project Management and Operations provides a broad education in areas such as operations management, supply chain management, quality control, logistics, and management theory and application. Both programs require a total of 36 credits and, with two courses taken in each 10-week term, can be completed in as little as 15 months. Learning is asynchronous and completely online. Distance learning at SNHU includes assignments, individual and group projects, presentations, and more. Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree and submit all transcripts. No GMAT or GRE scores are required, and those interested should contact an admissions counselor at the university for details about the specific degree. Students have access to academic advising, career counseling, online clubs and organizations, technical assistance, and more.

#21 Bellevue University

  • Annual Tuition: $10,530
  • Median Salary: $74,700
  • Locations: Bellevue (NE)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Bellevue University offers several online master’s degrees in project management or that have a concentration in project management. The Master of Project Management teaches students how to work through all the stages of a project, from conception and planning to budgeting, scheduling, and allocation of resources. Graduates can pursue careers as consultants, analysts, and business developers. The degree requires 36 credits to complete. Four additional graduate degrees are available with a concentration in Project Management: an MA in Business and Professional Communication, MS in Management, MS in Management of Information Systems, and MS in Strategic Finance. The concentration deals with subjects such as IT project management, project risks, communication, leadership, and working in global and virtual settings. All are 36-credit programs and can be completed online. Most online degrees at BU have multiple start dates throughout the year. Applicants to master’s degree programs at Bellevue University must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree with a minimum GPA of 2.5 in the most recent 60 credits of undergraduate work or 3.0 in graduate work. Depending on the program, letters of recommendation and/or an essay may also be required. Distance learners have access to writing assistance, peer tutoring, library resources and support, and technical assistance.

Overview of a Master's in Project Management

Project managers have a broad set of responsibilities within a professional organization. They develop project scopes, organize finances, monitor deadlines, and lead teams to the finish line — all while solving complex problems along the way. Given the importance of the role, and the wide-ranging duties they're tasked with, earning a master's in project management can be a valuable asset for your future career goals.

Over the course of one to two years, a project management master's teaches you the leadership, communication, analytical, and organizational skills needed to oversee important projects. Today, many project managers work remotely while overseeing virtual teams. Therefore, most master's in project management online also teach you Agile, which is a proven approach to managing projects and software development.

To gain entry into one such program, you'll need a bachelor's degree in project management, or a related field such as business, finance, or software development. You'll also be asked to meet certain GPA and entrance exam requirements, which depends on the school you're applying to.

Can You Get a Master's in Project Management Online?

Yes, a masters degree in project management can be taken 100% online. As stated above, a lot of project management roles today don't take place in an office. In fact, HubStaff Tasks' 2021 Project Management Report notes that over 40% of professionals in the field said they are permanently working in a remote environment. While remote work does come with its challenges, this bodes well for those interested in taking an online master's in project management.

During an online program, you'll be primed with skills to manage teams from afar, including communication tactics and how to tackle hurdles, such as time zone differences and keeping team members accountable for their tasks.

Before settling on an online school, it's important to consider a college's accreditation. This means the college or university has been vetted by the U.S. Department of Education, or an approved regional accreditation organization. For individual programs, you may look to see if they're accredited by the Project Management Institute (PMI). Each and every one of OnlineU's programs comes from an accredited institution, making your degree search much easier to navigate.

It's also important to note that online degrees are respected. The stigma surrounding remote learning has long since dissipated, especially because of the pandemic, which forced many traditional universities to host more online programs. Today, online degrees won't even mention that you took online courses, even if they were your primary source of learning.

Common Courses for a Project Management Master's

The curriculum for a master's in project management revolves around the specific skills you'll need to be a team leader and organizational guru. You'll learn ways to manage and mitigate risk, analyze financial reports, communicate with stakeholders, and develop complex schedules with numerous moving parts. There will also be courses covering the fundamentals of common project management software programs, such as Scrum and Agile.

Toward the end of each program, faculty will likely require you to put your skills to the test with a capstone project. This usually entails real-world project oversight in a team environment, with the purpose of developing a portfolio for your future employers.

Let's take a closer look at some common courses found in an online project management master's degree:

Project Risk Management

Risks are inherent with every project, regardless of scale. In a risk management course you'll learn about methodologies for risk analysis as well as the skills and tools required to mitigate the inevitable challenges, threats, and issues that come with complex projects.

Agile Projects

At its most basic level, Agile is a set of processes and techniques that focuses on teams producing working software for customers. Agile plays such an important role in the degree's curriculum that there are specific Agile project management courses, where you'll learn the associated methodologies, including its overarching philosophies.

Project Leadership

Courses in project leadership or project governance teach the skills needed to actively lead groups of people through effective strategies and adaptable communications. You'll learn to identify and negotiate expectations all the while facilitating teamwork.

Project Scope and Scheduling

This course will teach you how to properly plan for an upcoming project, including understanding its scope and the best ways to allocate resources, organize documents, utilize scheduling tools, and predict budgets.

Quality Management

You'll need to know how to maintain project quality along with efficiency. This course explores the qualitative methods used to ensure the best possible project outcome through identifying standards, monitoring control, and analyzing dependencies.

What Can I Do With a Master's in Project Management?

An online masters degree in project management can open the door to a variety of career opportunities across sectors. Graduates will gain a wide range of expertise in people management, communication, risk analysis, scheduling, and financial oversight. These skills are increasingly valuable in business, allowing professionals to join a company even without an expert-level knowledge of their specific product. You may be asking yourself, "How much do project managers make?"

Let's take a closer look at some jobs you can obtain with a master's in project management, along with the salaries they offer:

Project Management Specialists

Annual Median Salary: $94,500
Job Growth Rate: 5%-10%

Project management specialists oversee an entire project's scope, including budgeting, scheduling, procurement, and customer service. Specialists may also be considered senior project managers and take on additional duties, such as training and onboarding new hires and acting as the main point of contact for clients. For senior-level roles, some employers may require a master's degree and several years of work experience.

Information Technology Project Managers

Annual Median Salary: $95,270
Job Growth Rate: 5%-10%

When you search for project manager roles, many will fall within the field of IT. Information technology project managers generally work within software and website development while still adhering to traditional PM duties, such as scheduling, risk analysis, budgeting, milestone tracking, and problem-solving. Employers will likely require prerequisite skills in software development. Those in this role command slightly less than six figures per year, with a slightly above average job growth projection into the next decade.

Management Analysts

Annual Median Salary: $93,000
Job Growth Rate: 14%

Management analysts use their knowledge of project management techniques to organize and improve the efficiency of organizations. They're hired to maximize growth as well as increase productivity and performance. They are likely to see a much higher job growth than the typical role.

Training and Development Managers

Annual Median Salary: $120,130
Job Growth Rate: 11%

The role of a training and development manager is similar to an analyst but elicits a much higher average salary. They're tasked with developing programs designed to improve an organization's workflow and efficiency. They focus on training initiatives and solutions that optimize productivity and educate on policies and procedures.

Can You Get Rich as a Project Manager?

The average salary for project managers varies depending on the job title you're able to secure. Most roles hover in the $90,000 to $120,000 range. This income falls in line with management salaries across the board. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), management occupations have a median salary of $123,370. Since the living wage requirement is $68,808, the average project manager's salary is likely in a much higher wage bracket than what's needed to meet basic necessities. However, it should be noted that living wages vary dramatically by location.

Certification and Licensure

Project manager roles typically do not require a license to legally operate in any state. However, some employers may look favorably on applicants with a project management certification.

The Project Management Institute administers one of the most well-regarded certificates in the industry known as the Project Management Professional (PMP) certificate. The exam costs $555 for non-members and tests your knowledge in three different methodologies.

There are a variety of other certificates that you can earn in niche areas of project management — including Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Master Project Manager (MPM), and CompTIA Project+.

Financial Aid and Scholarships for Online Students

Along with financial aid and student loans, scholarships are a great way for students to lessen the upfront amount they have to spend for their college education. Scholarships, in particular, are plentiful for students in a master project management online program:

The Project Management institute has several scholarships available, including the Global Accreditation Center (GAC) scholarship, which is available for students at the graduate level. Each year, $2,000 is awarded to two recipients. To apply, you must prove enrollment in an accredited-GAC program. Master's students have to be studying at least part-time with one semester already completed at the time they apply.

PMI's Kenneth O. Hartley & James “Jim” Gallagher Fellows Scholarship is another $2,000 award, this one is exclusively for graduate students in a project management or project management-related program. Other scholarships from PMI include the Dr Harold Kerzner Scholarships and the PMI Ned Engman Founders Scholarship.

Is a Master's in Project Management Worth It?

Earning a masters degree in project management online requires a set of skills that other degree programs may not put as much emphasis on. This includes your ability to communicate effectively to large teams of people, leading them through tough projects on tight deadlines. If you're not comfortable in a leadership role, this graduate program may not be worth it for you. To others, a project management degree may seem very appealing thanks to their higher-than-average salaries.

Let's take a look at the potential benefits and possible drawbacks of taking on a master's in project management:

Potential Benefits

Project management salaries are much higher than the average U.S. salary. Project management specialists, for example, earn a median salary of $94,500 per year, while the average salary for all occupations is just $58,260.

A project management master's degree can allow you to work in a wide variety of industries. Most program's take a comprehensive approach in terms of understanding how to manage people, utilizing practical business tactics, and learning valuable software.

Many project manager-related roles are growing at a fast rate. All occupations combined are expected to grow by 7.7% into 2030. However, according to PMI's Project Management and Talent Gap report, project management roles are expected to grow by 33% into 2027.

Potential Drawbacks

A master's degree is an expensive endeavor. Even if you take your courses online, which can be slightly less expensive than on-campus, you can still expect to spend over $66,000 in total.

Many project manager roles require experience on top of a degree. This means that some employers value practical skills — which can only be achieved from work experience and certificates — over theoretical and academic achievements.

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is more widely recognized than a Master's in Project Management. Employers know what comes with an MBA; however, they may be less knowledgeable about the credentials that come with a project management master's program.

Bottom Line

Master's programs can be difficult to achieve while adding tens of thousands of dollars to your overall education costs. Some employers may look at an MBA or PMP certificate as more valuable than a master's in project management, especially if you have no practical work experience in the field. But, if you're a dedicated student with the ability to take on internships while you study, you can expect to land a role earning far more than the average U.S. salary. Even more encouraging is the wide range of skills you learn in a project management master's program, which are amplified by the act of learning in a remote, online environment.

Still undecided? Explore similar online graduate programs in organizational leadership or management.

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