To boost competitiveness, corporations in practically every industry around the globe – from health care and manufacturing to information services and business services – are becoming more project based and team oriented.

This means that the demand for project managers – business professionals with the skills and knowledge to lead complex projects for mid to large-size companies – continues to increase.

According to the Project Management Institute (PMI),® the world's leading professional association for project management practitioners, more than 15.7 million new project management roles are projected to be created by the year 2020 globally. Approximately 700,000 of those new positions will be in the United States.

To meet this demand and prepare students for successful careers in this rapidly expanding and high-paying field, Saint Leo University is now offering a bachelor's project management degree online and an online MBA degree with a project management concentration.

The online programs are available to students enrolled in Saint Leo University's Donald R. Tapia School of Business beginning with the Fall I 2014 term, which starts Aug. 25.

Job creation in project management increasing

"Worldwide, companies are being faced with doing more with less, and project managers are skilled at completing endeavors to create a service, product or information within budget, on-time, and within scope," says Dr. B. Tim Lowder, chair of Saint Leo's Department of Management & Business Administration. "Therefore, industry demands for expert project managers who know how to use teams and project-based methods to get work done continues to boom."

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the job-growth rate for project management roles will grow at a faster rate than the national average for all occupations, exceeding 19 percent According to the Hanover Report, the highest growth rate of 30 percent will be in the health care industry.

"These are lucrative positions with a national average salary of $92,000," says Lowder.

Programs build on project management experience

Saint Leo's experience in preparing students for careers in project management began in 2010 when the School of Business developed the bachelor's in business administration specialization at the university's Newport News Education Center. The program is available at three centers in Georgia (Gwinnett, Marietta and Morrow) and two in Virginia (Langley and Newport News).

"We want to leverage this experience on-ground to meet the needs of a wider audience of students, many of whom are working professionals with schedules that limit or prevent them from attending class in person," says Dr. Craig Winstead, assistant professor of project management. "The on-ground and online bachelor's programs are virtually the same and have been updated to reflect recent advancement in project management."

Preparation for PMI® certification

The bachelor's degree in business with a project management specialization provides students with a solid foundation of project management fundamentals such as understanding contracts, procurement, decision-making, supply chain management, conflict resolution and human performance in a team environment. At the graduate level, MBA students move into more practical and technological specialization, including the use of Microsoft Project software.

As a designated PMI Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.),® Saint Leo meets or exceeds the organization's rigorous standards for quality and effectiveness. All project management courses at the MBA level closely follow PMI Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)® standards – the pre-eminent global standards for project management – preparing students for PMI certification upon graduation.

"PMI was extremely impressed with the quality of our online courses," says Lowder. "Our online Introduction to Project Management course, for example, was the first course the PMI quality review team leader had ever given a perfect 100 percent score."

"Students can rest assured that their education will count toward the education requirement for all PMI certifications including the Project Management Professional (PMP)® and the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® certifications," says Winstead.

According to PMI's Project Management Talent Gap Report, PMP® credential holders in the United States earn an average of 16 percent more than their non-credentialed peers.


Saint Leo University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctoral degrees. Degree-granting institutions also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Saint Leo University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (

For more information on Saint Leo's online undergraduate business degree programs, call (888) 875-8265. To find out more about the university's online MBA programs, call (800) 707-8846.

Are you interested in any of Saint Leo University's online degree programs? Let us know if you'd like to know more about project management.

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