Do you want to earn an Associate Degree in Project Management? You’ve come to the right place. We have all the information you could ask for about project management associate degree programs right here, including a list of the best Associate Degrees in Project Management.
Project management is one of the fastest-growing careers in the world. Earning a degree in this field is your ticket to some of the highest-paying jobs in the United States. This article explores some of the best project management associate degrees, the schools offering them, career in project management outcomes, and anticipated salaries.
What Is Project Management?
Project management is a career that uses advanced knowledge, resources, skills, and techniques to achieve a set of goals within a specified period. This involves leading a project team and covers a wide range of industries, from the development of new software to offering relief services in the event of a natural disaster to the construction of a new building.
It considers risks, time, resources, quality control, and communication while applying certain methodologies to ensure specific goals and deliverables are met. The role requires interpersonal skills, as these managers often lead teams of other professionals.
Where Can I Get an Associate Degree in Project Management?
The best colleges where you can get an Associate Degree in Project Management include Clackamas Community College, Portland Community College, and Saint Paul College. These colleges all offer in-person programs, where you can complete your project management degree program in a traditional classroom environment rather than online. There are many other schools that offer a project management concentration for other degree types.
What Schools Offer the Best Project Management Associate Degrees?
- Clackamas Community College
- Fayetteville Technical Community College
- Portland Community College
- Saint Paul College
- Wayne Community College
What Are the Admission Requirements for an Associate Degree in Project Management?
The admission requirements for an Associate Degree in Project Management typically include a high school education, meeting a minimum GPA, and providing standardized test scores. Even if you are pursuing an Associate in Project Management for a tech career, the requirements don’t include learning programming languages.
To meet the admissions requirements for an Associate Degree in Project Management, you may also need to take a few preliminary courses in English, math, science, or even business. With that said, specific colleges will have different entry requirements for their project management associate degrees.
Project Management Associate Degree Admission Requirements
- High school diploma, GED certificate, or equivalent
- 2.0+ GPA
- ACT/SAT scores
- Preliminary courses
How to Get an Associate Degree in Project Management
You can get a project management associate degree by preparing for the program before it begins. Going into college for a project management associate degree, you should have some basic knowledge of project management, like organizational skills and how complex projects are run. These can be learned in high school courses meant to prepare students for business degrees.
How Many Credits Do You Need for an Associate Degree in Project Management?
You need around 60 credits for an Associate in Project Management. Some project management programs require upwards of 80 to 90 credits, but that is uncommon. During your project management education, you can expect to study for four to five semesters, or right around two years.
Project Management Degree Requirements
- 20 general education credit hours
- 40 core education credit hours
- Financial Accounting lower-level course
- Business Negotiation Skills upper-level course
- 3+ project management elective courses
Best Project Management Associate Degree Programs and Schools: Overview
|Chippewa Valley Technical College||Associate Degree in Business Management||The Higher Learning Commission|
|Clackamas Community College||Associate of Applied Science in Project Management||Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities|
|Fayetteville Technical Community College||Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration: Operations Management||The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges|
|Georgia Military College||Associate of Applied Science in Operations Management||The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges|
|Northeast Wisconsin Technical College||Associate Degree in Manufacturing Operations Management||The Higher Learning Commission|
|Portland Community College||Associate of Applied Science in Construction Management||The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities|
|Saint Paul College||Associate of Applied Science in Project Management||The Higher Learning Commission|
|Shawnee State University||Associate of Applied Business in Business Management Technology||The Higher Learning Commission|
|Wake Technical Community College||Associate of Applied Science in Project Management||The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges|
|Wayne Community College||Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration/Operations Management||The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges|
Best Schools for Project Management: Top Project Management Associate Degree Programs
The best schools for a project management associate degree are listed below. These are the top project management associate degree programs that will teach you the project management skills necessary for you to meet your career goals.
Various universities and community colleges offer formal education in project management and other services to enhance the learning experience. There are more four-year degree programs and project management concentration options available than associate degrees, but the following are the top 10 Associate Degrees in Project Management.
What Is a Project Management Associate Degree?
An Associate Degree in Project Management is a two-year, undergraduate degree program designed to equip college students with the technical knowledge to effectively plan, initiate, organize, and implement projects to ensure specific goals are being met.
Most project management programs are associate of applied science or associate of applied business programs. These provide transferable skills in finance, management, leadership, negotiation, and decision-making.
Upon completion, you can pursue a project management career or advance your education by enrolling in a Bachelor’s Degree Program in Project Management, Business Administration, or a related field.
You should also consider earning certifications from the Project Management Institute to increase your chances of securing lucrative project management positions and career advancement opportunities.
How Important Is an Associate Degree in Project Management?
An Associate Degree in Project Management is important because it helps you gain a bit of project management experience through hands-on courses, and it prepares you for higher education.
While you certainly can pursue a four-year project management degree without earning a project management associate degree, you’ll find it easier and less time-consuming if you earn the associate degree first.
The main reasons why a project management associate degree is important are:
- Gives you project management experience
- Prepares you for higher education
- Qualifies you for various project management positions
What Types of Associate Degree Can You Get in Project Management?
You can get the following types of Associate Degrees for Project Management:
- Associate degree
- Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree
- Associate of Applied Business (AAB) degree
The project management associate degree types are very similar. None are necessarily better than the others, but you’ll want to pursue the one best tailored toward your career goals. An associate degree prepares you for a four-year degree program, an AAS degree prepares you with hands-on experience, and an AAB gives you more of a business-oriented education.
Is It Better to Get an Associate of Applied Science or Associate of Applied Business in Project Management?
It is better to get an Associate of Applied Science in Project Management if you want more hands-on learning experiences. However, it is better to get an associate of applied business if you are wanting to become a more business-oriented project management professional.
Both of these degree types are better than no project management degree, and both will help you equally in finding employment. The primary difference is simply that an AAS degree gives you a more scientific, studious, and hands-on education while an AAB focuses on teaching you business models, theories, and ethics.
What Is the Difference Between a Project Management Associate Degree and a Project Management Certificate?
The main difference between a project management associate degree and a project management certificate is the time it takes to earn one. Where an associate degree takes around two years to complete, a project management certificate usually takes only a few months.
Earning either an associate degree or a certificate in project management will help you advance your project management career. A degree is better than a certificate if you are pursuing higher education or higher-level jobs because of the hours of project management education you gain. However, a certificate is better than a degree if your goal is to just get into the project management industry as quickly as possible.
How Much Does It Cost to Get an Associate Degree in Project Management?
An Associate Degree in Project Management costs an average of $3,621 in tuition per year, according to the Nation Center for Education Statistics. However, when considering accommodation fees, books, supplies, and other expenses, an Associate in Project Management costs an average of about $11,391 per year.
When comparing the average cost of an Associate Degree in Project Management to that of a Bachelor’s in Project Management, there is over a $3,000 difference. You can expect to pay at least that much more in a four-year degree program.
Project Management Associate Degree Financing Options: How to Pay for Your Project Management Degree
You can pay for an Associate Degree in Project Management through scholarships, federal grants, and private or public loans. Most schools offer financial aid for an Associate in Project Management. It is important to triple-check your school’s options of how to pay for your associate degree, as options vary between schools.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Project Management Associate Degree?
It takes two years to get an Associate Degree in Project Management from most institutions. An Associate in Project Management length can vary by school, but typically it does not exceed five semesters, which is about two and a half years. Even that is uncommon.
Two years is not long for a college degree, and in this time you will gain valuable project management experience. You will also learn important skills and all of the theoretical and critical knowledge needed to begin your project management career.
How Hard Is It to Get an Associate Degree in Project Management?
An Associate Degree in Project Management is relatively hard to get. A project management associate degree is so hard because it is a program not commonly offered at an associate level. However, the course material you study is not too complex, making it a bit easier once you are enrolled somewhere.
Why Should You Get a Project Management Associate Degree?
The benefits of getting an Associate Degree in Project Management are:
- Properly prepares you for the project management job market at an entry level
- Provides you with a bit of project management experience
- Gives you a solid foundation for a higher-level undergraduate degree or a graduate degree
The benefits of an Associate in Project Management are important to both your future education and career. The courses you will take provide hours of project management and project leadership experience. These make it easier to get a job and also fulfill prerequisites for many upper-level courses you will take in a higher-level degree program.
What Courses Do You Need to Take in an Associate Degree Program in Project Management?
You need to take a mixture of general education and core education project management associate degree courses. These will likely be planned out for you with the help of an academic advisor. Below, you can see an Associate in Project Management course list with five of the most common courses required for a project management associate degree.
Introduction to Project Management
In any Associate in Project Management program, you will take Introduction to Project Management, a foundational, knowledge-filled course. This course provides the foundation for project management learning. It will introduce you to all of the various skills of project managers, like organization, project management methodology, and critical planning.
Introduction to Business
Another course for a project management associate degree you may take is Introduction to Business. This course is also required for business degrees, as it provides key business knowledge. It is a useful course for anyone pursuing a career in the project management or business sector.
Principles of Management
Principles of Management is a project management course required for an associate degree. This course will teach you everything you need to know about supply chain management and agile project management. It also provides valuable portfolio management experience.
Another project management associate degree course you will take is Procurement Management. This course gets into the nitty-gritty of project management, covering topics like resource allocation, supply chain management, and inventory control.
Project Management Leadership
Project Management Leadership is one of the classes required for a project management major for an associate degree. Taking this course may provide you with some project management leadership experience via hands-on exercises, as well as teach you key leadership skills.
Continuing Education Paths for Project Management Associate Degree Graduates
The best path to take with a project management associate degree is straight to a graduate degree. Once you gain some understanding of the industry, you will see that most high-level jobs seek out candidates with an advanced degree, and typically pay them more. From there, the project management world is your oyster: you will be able to pursue almost any career path you want.
Related Project Management Degrees
What to Look For in the Best Project Management Associate Degree Programs
The best project management associate degree programs have a good curriculum and accreditation. You can expect experienced faculty and real-world education from a project management associate degree. Below, we dive into how to choose the right project management associate program for you.
Perhaps one of the most important things to consider when choosing a program is the cost. You will want to determine if the school’s tuition is affordable, even if you are offered a tuition discount or financial aid package. There are many financial aid options, but most will not cover all of your tuition, so you need to ensure you can afford whatever is leftover.
Learning from a project management or business faculty member with professional experience is incredibly useful. Not all colleges employ professionals with experience, and while it isn’t an absolute necessity, you may want to search for a college that does. They have inside info and can better teach what it is like to work in this industry.
All of the colleges we listed earlier have some form of accreditation. Accreditation is essentially the gold standard for education, and when a college is accredited, it means that the school meets educational expectations set forth by the accrediting agency. This is important to ensure you receive a quality level of education.
Checking the curriculum of your potential degree program can help you determine if you will be learning what you want to learn. Some programs are geared more toward business project management, while others will be geared toward nonprofit or tech project management. Ensuring the content matches your intended career path is crucial.
Earning an online project management degree is perfect for some and awful for others. It is important to see what format your desired program is available in and if you can efficiently study in that format. If you need a flexible schedule and can self-teach, online programs will work for you. If not, stick to an in-person one.
What Is the Most Affordable Project Management Associate Degree?
The most affordable Associate Degrees in Project Management are:
- Wake Technical Community College’s AAS in Project Management
- Fayetteville Technical Community College’s AAS in Business Administration: Operation Management
- Wayne Community College’s AAS in Business Administration/Operations Management
- Chippewa Valley Technical College’s Associate Degree in Business Management
- Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s Associate Degree in Manufacturing Operations Management
Finding an affordable project management associate degree program can be tricky, but luckily, all of the ones on our list are relatively low-cost. Choosing from these high-quality programs will allow you to earn an affordable associate degree in project management.
Salary and Job Outlook for Project Management Associate Degree Graduates
Project management associate degree jobs can pay very well. It is a bit more difficult to get into the project management field with just an associate degree, but for an Associate Degree in Project Management, the salary is usually worth it.
How Hard Is It to Get a Job With a Project Management Associate Degree?
It is hard to get a job with a project management associate degree because:
- Most project management jobs are higher-level
- An associate degree is often seen as the same as a certificate
- Most companies hire based on both education and experience
Getting a job after earning an Associate Degree in Project Management isn’t impossible, but due to the reasons above, it can be tricky. You will find the most luck with entry-level assistant positions and paid internships, but getting other jobs is still possible.
What’s the Average Project Management Degree Salary?
The average annual wage for project management associate degree jobs is $65,206 – $69,636 per year. However, other factors such as the number of years of experience and location could influence your Associate Degree in Project Management salary.
What Types of Jobs Can You Get With a Project Management Associate Degree?
The jobs you can get with a project management associate degree usually pay well. Considering most of these jobs are entry-level, like a project scheduler or entry-level project manager, getting a salary of around $50,000 is a pretty good deal.
Project Management Degree Jobs
- Project scheduler
- Entry-level project manager
- Operations consultant
- Cost estimator
- Management analyst
Potential Careers With a Project Management Degree
How Much Money Can You Make With an Associate Degree in Project Management?
The average amount of money that project management majors make varies depending on the job, but ultimately it averages at around $65,000 per year. If your goal is to earn more money than this, you will likely need to pursue a higher-level degree. With a Master’s in Project Management, for example, the average base salary jumps to $85,000 per year.
Highest-Paying Project Management Associate Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview
|Project Management Associate Degree Jobs||Average Salary|
|Entry-Level Project Manager||$58,247|
|Assistant Project Manager||$58,230|
Best Jobs for Project Management Associate Degree Grads
The best jobs for project management associate degree grads are high-paying, but sometimes difficult to get. The following list contains the best jobs for holders of an Associate Degree in Project Management. These project management roles are great for recent associate degree grads.
*Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data on Administrative Services and Facilities Managers
**Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data on Sales Managers
Best Jobs According to Your Major
Is an Associate Degree in Project Management Worth It?
Yes, an Associate Degree in Project Management is worth it if you want to work in management positions, need experience in project management, and want to be able to switch jobs between different fields. An Associate Degree in Project Management is worth it if you are considering furthering your education in the field as well.
You should consider an Associate Degree in Project Management if you want to pursue a career involving business, tech, and management. You should also consider a higher-level degree and project management certifications. Besides, you can gain job experience after completing this program and return to earn a bachelor’s degree using transferable credits.
Additional Reading About Project Management
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Project Management Associate Degree FAQ
With an Associate Degree in Project Management, you can become a project leader, cost estimator, project coordinator, consultant, administrative assistant, or construction manager. You will only be eligible for entry-level jobs in most of these positions. As you gain experience in project management, you can progress quickly in your career.
Yes, you can become a project manager without a degree, however, you should have experience in project management. Project management certifications and degrees are great because they expedite the process, but many aspects of project management are learned through experience. You can earn project management certifications online. Various colleges offer project management certifications too.
To become a project manager, you should get a degree in business administration with a focus on project management. However, there are different sectors in project management such as construction, information technology, and logistics. There are degree programs designed to equip students with project management skills in these areas.
You can complete an Associate Degree in Project Management in two years. It is possible to complete an associate degree in as little as 18 months. However, these programs may also run for up to two and a half years.
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