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What is Project Management?

Florida stands out in the American economy for a number of reasons. The most notable feature of their economy is the fact that Florida is the world's largest tourist destination. After all, most of the northern United States flocks there to warm up in the winter and its east coast position makes it easier to access from Europe than California or Hawaii. There is a lot more to Florida's economy than beaches, theme parks, and swampland adventures, however.

Its top industrial sector is real estate. This may be due, in part, to tourist rentals but this sector also benefits most from the aging population who buy retirement condos and villas upon ending their northeasterly careers. Florida's real estate brings in over $170 billion per year, earning it the #4 position in the nation's real estate industry. In fact, most of Florida's top industries take either the 4th or 5th position nationally.

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Online Project Management Education in Florida

Online Associate Degree in Project Management (AS)

A great way to get started as a project manager in Florida is with an associate project management degree. In two years, a Florida community college can impart the fundamentals of the career and much more. Many students pursue this degree to land an entry-level position and get their career started. This way they can gain experience on the job while their peers are still completing their bachelor’s degrees. They may even be able to use their employer's tuition reimbursement program to complete their bachelor’s degree for low or no cost.

In any case, Florida's community college students gain an advantage on account of the fact that community college credit hours are far cheaper than those at four-year institutions. They also enjoy smaller class sizes and instructors whose credentials rival any of their peers in a university system. After graduation, many earn industry certificates that boost their careers without needing to return to college.

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Online Bachelor's Degree in Project Management (BS)

A bachelor’s project management degree is still the gold standard for most entry-level positions. Hiring executives prefer to see resumes with four-year degrees because those candidates have had time to dive deeper into their project management studies. Bachelor’s project management degree students also have the opportunity to gain valuable experience by way of an internship. These opportunities allow students the ability to learn more about their field, establish industry contacts, and form a more solid idea of their future trajectory.

A bachelor’s degree also provides a solid foundation for later learning and professional growth. Many industry associations and certification programs require a bachelor’s degree. These non-academic credentials can be crucial to long-term success in the project management field. Furthermore, a bachelor’s degree is a necessary requirement for anyone who seeks a master’s project management degree or an MBA. In fact, undergraduate students should be considering an MBA or other master’s project management degree as soon as their third year in college.

Online Master's Degree in Project Management (MS)

To ensure the best success in the profession, project managers should set their sights on graduate school. A master’s project management degree or an MBA with a project management concentration is often the key to a C-suite position. While either option is sure to result in higher salaries and promotions, an MBA may be the preferred route.

An MBA is preferred by those who desire a C-suite position because it covers more ground than only project management. That is, the first year of an MBA is spent studying general business concepts. Thus, a project manager can gain exposure to fields such as human resources, finance, and marketing, to name a few. The second year is then spent immersed in project management. In the meantime, MBA students enjoy networking with likeminded business leaders who may become co-workers or contacts later on.

Online PhD Degree in Project Management (PhD)

A doctorate in project management is not highly sought by hiring managers but it can have great value to the holder. In fact, it may one day become a requirement for hiring in the project management field. That's because the workforce is increasingly fille with MBAs and other master’s degrees. A project manager who earns a PhD may thus be able to set themselves apart in the field.

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However, the primary use of a doctorate in project management is in academia. While a project manager who holds a master’s degree can teach at the undergraduate level, a PhD opens far more doors in a college or university. A doctorate enables the holder to land a full-time, tenure track position that offers a long and fruitful career. Academics are also able to augment their university work with consulting jobs where they might manage a project for their client, or perhaps offer additional training for a firm's project managers.

Become a Project Manager in Florida

Florida is a growing state that supports one of the nation's top economies. Students who are eager to be a part of this growth look to the world of business for a career path. While there are many options, project management is one that is exciting and an emerging job sector. Students thus are curious to know how to become a project management professional in Florida.

The good and bad news for students is that there is no single, cut-and-dried way to start a career in project management. That's because there are no mandated licenses or other credentials that the state or anyone else absolutely insists upon. However, most employers do have certain standards for their project management professionals. One of the primary things they look for is education, though experience matters a lot, too.

For a student, they can start by reviewing which industries and environments they wish to work in. For instance, those who see high tech and IT as the future for them should start learning as much about that field as they can. They may find that they would like to work in IT, but they can also pursue project management later, if they want. In fact, this may be preferred as they'll gain experience in the field before moving into a project management position.

Those who have hands-on experience completing projects should consider an MBA with a concentration in project management. Others might consider a dual-MBA that combines a master’s degree in information technology with an MBA that concentrates on project management. This path opens many opportunities for professionals to take their careers straight to the C-suites.

Younger students who may not be in college yet can begin to prepare for a career in project management by taking on as many administrative and leadership roles as possible. This can mean leading a student club's bake sale project or being elected to the student body government. Then they should choose the best college degree program for them.

Students should look for the strongest project management degree program they can find. Whether they choose to start their college careers in community colleges or universities, they should seek fully accredited business schools. While regional accreditation will suffice, they are urged to seek a department with program specific accreditation from either AACSB, ACBSP, or IACBE. From there, landing an entry-level position or admission to a top graduate degree program should be a breeze. Graduates can look for a boost to their resumes and project management expertise through certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI). The Project Management Institute's available certifications are some of the best respected credentials in the field, offering the skills needed to succeed in agile project management and continuing certification requirements.

Careers for Project Management Graduates

  • General and Operations Managers
    This position is often awarded to those with experience in their industry. However, many firms, especially in manufacturing, may hire those with college degrees in business or management. Firms also seek out management candidates who have experience in leadership. Thus, those who have achieved rank in the military may look for management positions in industries that suit them.
  • Project Management Specialists
    These business professionals are experts at delegating duties to a team of qualified experts in a given field. They are required to understand the scope of each project and must have top-notch communication skills that may entail conveying complex, technical information to client contacts who may not be as tech savvy. This position can also involve finding new projects for their firm; this is especially true for those in consulting.
  • Marketing Manager
    After several successful years in marketing, many seek a management position. Most marketing managers come from either the creative or analytical side of marketing, but management candidates need to have a firm understanding of the creative side. Most marketing management positions are awarded to candidates with an MBA, professionals who have a broader, more comprehensive view of business.
  • Sales Business Manager
    Sales personnel who have achieved success in their field often move up into management. This position is more focused on leadership and mentoring sales agents than hustling for sales but can be just as rewarding. Most sales professionals stay within their given industry when they land a new job. However, the fundamentals involved in sales translate across industries, so sales managers may be able to diversify their careers if they wish.
  • Fundraising Manager
    The non-profit world generates much of its revenues and operating capital from fundraising efforts. While this may involve more traditional sales tactics such as cold-calling donors or conducting mass mailings, there can be more involved. Many fundraising managers are experts at organizing and executing fundraising events such as gala balls, golf tournaments, or benefit concerts.
  • Computer and Information Systems Manager
    This position is usually awarded to information technology experts who have demonstrated expertise in the field and leadership abilities. While IT management positions are often awarded based on experience, candidates who also have an MBA may go even farther. Those with an MBA that concentrates on IT may one day land a position in the C-suites of their firm.

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  • Software Developers
    This position requires deep knowledge of one or more programming languages. Developers tend to focus on an area of specialty such as financial software, security, or game development. To land a position as a software developer, hiring managers often look more for raw skills than a college degree. A candidate with a degree in computer science will still need to prove their coding expertise with a certificate that attests to specific skill sets.
  • Public Relations Manager
    Every PR firm needs managers who have the experience and savvy to succeed. PR managers are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree and at least three years of experience in the field.

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