A high-end project manager can work on improving the efficiency of a manufacturing plant, redesigning a company’s computer systems, or overseeing the construction of anything from a building to a large public project like a bridge or hydroelectric dam. Companies and governments have a difficult time getting large one-time projects like this done on time and within set budgets, because they almost always involved organizing the work of many different types of specialists – some from within the company and others brought in as outside contractors. The project manager is, effectively, a highly skilled general contractor who keeps all the pieces of a project moving forward. MBAs are hired for this type of work because the financial stakes on a large project can be extremely high.
An MBA in project management is designed to give you expertise in taking a company’s project objective and drawing up a strategy for getting it done. Job responsibilities in this specialty can include mapping out a very complex series of specific deliverables on a project with dates attached to them, delegating responsibilities, and then taking responsibility for communicating to your company’s senior management on how the project is progressing. It can be a sometimes stressful job, but also one that is not repetitious and requires you to exercise creativity in solving problems. Leadership and conflict mediation skills are highly valued in this career path.
Design, Procurement and Management
Advanced subjects typically studied in an MBA project management degree program typically include budgeting, analysis of project profitability, managing risk, cost & schedule monitoring, procurement and quality control. Managerial accounting and economics are also important, largely because project managers have to create detailed reports on the financial benefits of each new project.
A good project manager can be an extremely important person to a company that’s struggling to modernize a particular department, or even the entire enterprise. It’s also a specialty that can be “portable,” allowing you to work in many different industries during your career.
It can also be lucrative. A project manager with a master’s degree in business can earn anywhere in a range from $50,000. per year to over $150,000. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics), depending on which industry you are in. Pharmaceutical manufacturing, chemicals and construction are pay some of the highest salaries for this job position.
Sample job listings calling for candidates with an MBA specialized in health care management:
- “Associate Director, Project Management” for a large digital marketing and advertising agency. Job involves working with clients to see that they are supplying all needed materials for custom projects, managing their expectations and keeping all projects moving ahead on schedule and on budget. Skills needed include and ability to communicate well verbally and in writing, advanced knowledge of Microsoft Project and various web technologies, budgeting skills and the ability to keep multiple projects organized.
- “Real Estate Project Director” for a large property managment company. Involves oversight of budgets, cost forecasts, and organizing the efforts of creative, marketing and engineering departments. This is a senior position that includes responsibility for seeing that very large construction projects adhere to environmental impact guidelines and are delivered on time. An engineering background is helpful.
- “Director of Project Management” for a hospital. A position that is part of the strategy and busines development section of the company, and which involves improving efficiency of a very wide rance of processes involving patient care, diagnostics, nursing, staffing, facilities maintenance and more. Project manager designs new systems and then oversees their construction and implimentation.
- “R&D Project Manager” for a biotech company. Organizes and helps manage clinical trials of new medicines with teams of researchers, and ensure that government standards are met on studies that will be submitted for regulatory approval. Requires a knowledge of risk/benefit analysis.