If you’re deciding how to use your graduate education to advance your project management career, consider these options.

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Project managers take a strategic approach to optimizing business results, which requires them to successfully manage a variety of initiatives in a cross-functional environment. By applying traditional management tools and technical project management practices, someone with advanced project management skills can make important contributions to an organization.

Credentials for a project manager usually come in the form of an MS in Project Management, a Graduate Certificate in Advanced Project Management, or a Graduate Certificate in Applied Project Management. The demand has remained steady for talented individuals who have completed this level of education, even in an uncertain economy. We’ve identified five of the best business sectors for project management professionals.*

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  1. Technology
    Our increasingly digital world has created a high demand for IT project managers who have technical knowledge and have earned a project management degree—either through an online degree program or in a traditional setting.
  2. Healthcare
    Due in large part to the aging baby boomer population, healthcare is projected to see the largest growth of any job sector in the U.S. Project management career options will be particularly strong for healthcare IT analysts, which will likely account for 30% of the future job opportunities in this sector.
  3. Global Infrastructure
    The global marketplace has greatly expanded economic opportunity, and in response, governments are prioritizing infrastructure projects and investments. Professionals with strong language and cross-cultural capabilities who also hold an MS in Project Management, a Graduate Certificate in Advanced Project Management, or a Graduate Certificate in Applied Project Management could be particularly valuable to future employers.
  4. Energy
    Countries around the world continue to invest in sources of renewable power. In fact, solar power projects are expected to see substantial growth in coming years, creating opportunity for anyone with advanced project management skills.
  5. Finance
    While globalization has improved opportunities in some areas, financial volatility has made this particular job sector a challenge. But for project managers who understand risk management, enterprise resource planning, financial reporting, or regulatory compliance, the opportunities are expanding as governments, businesses, and other organizations work to maximize their bottom line.

Salaries for Project Managers

According to the Project Management Institute (PMI®), the median annual salary for a project manager in 2013 was $88,399. However, for those seeking careers with a project management degree, it’s good to know that 10 countries were specifically recognized for their higher median salaries:

1. Australia $134,658
2. Switzerland $133,605
3. United States $108,000
4. Netherlands $103,274
5. Germany $101,983
6. Canada $ 95,140
7. New Zealand $ 93,513
8. Belgium $ 92,817
9. Sweden $ 90,690
10. United Kingdom $ 90,666

Choosing Between Project Management Degree Programs

If you’re interested in earning a project management degree online, Walden University offers graduate-level programs that can help advance your career. Explore the MS in Project Management program, which is accredited by the Global Accreditation Center (GAC) of the Project Management Institute (PMI)®, or our Graduate Certificate in Advanced Project Management and Graduate Certificate in Applied Project Management programs. Earn your degree or certificate in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life. *S. Gale, Global Jobs Report: 5 Sectors to Watch, The Project Management Institute PM Network, January 2013, on the Internet at www.pmi.org/~/media/PDF/Publications/PMN0113%20Jobs%20Report.ashx.

†The Project Management Institute, Countries with Top Salaries for Project Practitioners, on the Internet at www.pmi.org/learning/professional-development/career-central/10-countries-with-highest-salaries-for-project-managers.aspx.

Walden University’s MS in Project Management program is accredited by the Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs (GAC). PMI GAC accreditation is the gold standard for excellence in project management education, affirming that Walden’s curriculum meets rigorous quality standards established by the GAC.

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

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