Associate Degree in Project Management

An Associate Degree in Project Management can give you quick access to the job market with a wide variety of entry-level careers. While it may not lead directly to an advanced position, it allows you to work your way up the corporate ladder and land high paying jobs in the future. In addition to that, an Associate Degree in Project Management can be a stepping stone for a bachelor’s program in business management, project management or business administration. If you are interested in learning more about what you can do with an Associate Degree in Project Management, the following guide will be helpful for you. It provides a detailed look into the opportunities available with an Associate Degree in Project Management along with essential information about the degree.

Opportunities with an Associate Degree in Project Management

Project management occupations are likely to be high in demand, regardless of the business category. The success of any business eventually comes down to the quality of its project management and execution. A good project manager is capable of using a company’s resources in the most cohesively and optimally executed plans, helping the organization attain high profit margins.

Management occupations are expected to see substantial growth in the coming years. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in management occupations is projected to grow by 5% in the years from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average growth rate for all occupations. This growth is likely to result in an addition of 505,000 new jobs. This growth is probably the result of a continuous establishment of new businesses and expansion of currently operating organizations. With more businesses and expansions, the need for project managers is expected to go up.

How long does it take to earn an Associate Degree in Project Management?

A typical Associate Degree in Project Management would take two years to complete, with four semesters. The credit hour requirement for this degree ranges between 60 to 65 hours and may vary as per individual institute’s requirements. Some colleges may also require the completion of an internship or some other hands-on experience.

Please note that some institutes may offer this program with a fast-track option, allowing students to finish the degree in less than two years. Online and part-time degree options also exist for students looking to get an Associate Degree in Project Management. These may also have a different timeline than a standard two-year long degree.

How much does an Associate Degree in Project Management cost?

The cost of an Associate Degree in Project Management would depend on multiple factors. On average, an associate degree in a public institute costs $3,770 annually. However, it must be noted that additional costs such as room and board, allowances for books and educational materials, transport and other personal expenses should be factored in to calculate the overall cost. According to data from College Board, the average estimated budget for full-time undergraduate students in a public two-year institute can be around $18,550. The annual cost of an associate degree in a private institute would be a lot more than this. In addition to that, students enrolled in online or part-time programs may have slightly different fee structures.

Should I get an Associate Degree in Project Management?

If you have strong management and communication skills, an Associate Degree in Project Management might be a step in the right direction for you. This degree gives you an overview of a variety of aspects in business, allowing you to keep your career options open for the future. Students in this program develop skills such as creative problem solving, resource management, budgeting and overseeing of complex projects in a business. With these skills, they can eventually move into multiple career directions and business categories.

An Associate Degree in Project Management can also help students form a solid foundation of the basic concepts of management, which would come in handy in further education programs or entry-level project management positions. In addition to that, the job outlook for this field is highly positive, with many new jobs expected to be added in the coming years. Therefore, if you are thinking about investing your time and efforts in an Associate Degree in Project Management, now would be the right time to do so.

What can I expect from an Associate Degree in Project Management?

An Associate Degree in Project Management will take 2 years to complete with an average of 60-65 credits. Students enrolling in this program can expect to study courses which would include concepts on basic finance and accounting, cost estimation and budgeting, organizational behaviors, project management specializations, small business management and business communications. Some programs may also require the completion of an internship or another category of practical work.

How to choose an Associate Degree in Project Management?

When planning to enroll in an Associate Degree in Project Management, students ought to look at several factors. The most important factor to consider would be the total cost of the program and the learning outcomes expected from it. Students are advised to look at the program curriculum and coursework in detail and analyze comprehensively if it meets their long-term goals or not.

Other factors students should take into account include the faculty credentials, notable alumni, career placement options and campus facilities. Student loans, grants and financial aid options are also very important considerations when looking for a suitable Associate Degree in Project Management program. Please note that students enrolled in programs that are not accredited by a credible organization might not be eligible for federal financial aid or grants.

Accreditation for Associate Degree in Project Management programs

Accreditation is one of the most important concerns to take into consideration when deciding on which program to choose. Project management programs are typically accredited by the Global Accreditation Center (GAC) Project Management Institute, which is the world’s leading specialized accrediting organization for project management and related degrees. Degrees accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs and the Project Management Institute (PMI) are also suitable.

Admission Requirements for an Associate Degree in Project Management

In order to enroll in an Associate Degree in Project Management program, students will have to meet a series of admission requirements. Please note that the admission requirements would vary from university to university, therefore, students are advised to check with the admission boards of the schools they are interested in. Common admission requirements for an Associate Degree in Project Management might be a high school diploma or a GED. Applicants who want to strengthen their application and reduce the potential need of additional classes later on should take up courses in mathematics, computer science and general sciences at the high school level.

What can I do with an Associate Degree in Project Management?

An Associate Degree in Project Management can lead to numerous popular career paths. Students who have completed this two year long program can find careers as the following professionals:

  • Human Resource Assistant:  These professionals deal with a wide range of personnel management functions in an organization and represent the company in all kinds of employee concerns.
  • Project Assistants: These assistants are responsible for providing support to project managers in the entire process related to a project. They oversee important parts of the project and maintain strong communication channels to ensure smooth running of the business.
  • Supply Chain Analysts: These professionals maintain the right flow of supplies and materials related to the business. They coordinate with employees across the company to ensure a seamless distribution system.
  • Budget Analysts: These professionals are responsible for maintaining the budget plans of an organization along with taking care of any changes and revisions.
  • Project Coordinator: These professionals deal with various aspects of a project, including new products, marketing goals and strategies and sales targets. They also organize events and conferences in their day to day operations.

How much money can I make with an Associate Degree in Project Management?

The amount of money you make with an Associate Degree in Project Management depends on the career path you choose. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Project Management Specialists and Business Operations Specialists made an annual median wage of $77,420 in May 2020. On a general note, management occupations made an annual median wage of $109,760 in May 2020, which was the highest wage for all major occupational groups. Please note, however, the occupations used in these calculations mostly require a 4-year long bachelor’s degree in project management or a related science.

Pros and Cons of an Associate Degree in Project Management

The most important benefit of getting an Associate Degree in Project Management is the timeline it offers. Students can get this degree and enter the workforce in merely 2 years. It provides a solid foundation of the concepts needed in entry-level project management occupations.

On the other hand, the biggest drawback of getting an Associate Degree in Project Management is that most employers now ask for a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree at least for advanced project management positions. Therefore, students getting this degree might eventually have to invest in a Bachelor’s Degree in Project Management.