Project Management Training: Certification vs. Degree


If you’ve worked your way into a leadership position, you know that the training you’ve had so far may not have prepared you to handle the unique challenges that come with being a leader or manager. Overseeing projects and managing employees are specialized skill sets just like any other, and to assume we’ll just “figure it out” when we get there, can potentially be detrimental to your team’s progress!

With that said… there are ways to improve your leadership skills that can reap huge rewards without extensive time and money investments. One such way is expanding your knowledge in project management. But how can you know what level of training you might need? The options are vast, from certification to full degrees, so knowing which will benefit you most based on your unique circumstance and career trajectory is invaluable. Let’s look at the different options for project management training and discover what’s best for you!

Undergraduate Certificate in Project Management

An undergraduate certificate in project management requires the shortest time investment. In this five-course program, you’ll learn how to organize, lead and schedule diverse projects across a variety of industries. Coursework will cover strategic planning, cost management, leadership and partnership, and much more. These courses will also prepare you to take your CAPM exam. All of your courses count toward a bachelor’s degree at CityU.

This option is best for individuals who have little to no training in project management, and who might be interested in pursuing a full degree, but whose professional role and career path requires a more fundamental and less in-depth mastery of project management skills. To apply, all you need is a high school diploma.

Graduate Certificate in Project Management

Our Graduate Certificate in Project Management provides a comprehensive, more in-depth overview of project management skills so you can apply them to your undergraduate and professional experience. You’ll work independently and within real and virtual teams and learn how to organize and lead projects that occur throughout many areas of business. Unlike the undergraduate certificate, you must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree to apply for this certificate, and it’s designed more for those prospective students whose roles require a heavier emphasis on project management, and who foresee only an increased responsibility in that realm moving forward. And for those who are interested in preparing for their PMP, these core courses provide the foundation.

Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Project Management

If you are passionate about project management and envision a future for yourself as the leader of projects in your chosen industry, a Bachelor or Master of Science degree in project management might be right up your alley. This degree prepares students to become leaders in today’s project-based business world. You’ll learn what it takes to plan and execute a broad range of business projects utilizing strong business knowledge along with leadership and team development skills.

Your undergraduate project management degree will equip you to become a project lead, project coordinator, program manager or business analyst in virtually any industry. Your master’s degree will prepare you for developing program goals, creating solutions to problems, manage larger programs and portfolios, leading your teams, and applying your knowledge to a multitude of project or program situations. These programs are a bigger time investment than a certificate, and as such, are best for those who foresee a career that revolves primarily around project management.

Whether you need to brush up on the basics, go more in depth, or just want to solely focus on building your career in project management, CityU of Seattle has in person and online options – as well as flexible course schedules – to fit both your needs and your timeline!

Published May 23, 2016



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