OVERLAND PARK — Rising demand for project management expertise in science, information technology, manufacturing, business, construction and engineering has prompted the University of Kansas to add two master’s degrees programs for working adults.
KU’s School of Engineering will offer a Master of Engineering in Project Management and a Master of Science in Project Management to its evening classes at the KU Edwards Campus beginning this fall, according to Mary Ryan, interim vice chancellor.
“Executives at leading Kansas City area companies told us that the ability to shepherd innovative ideas to market will be a highly valued skill in the years ahead,” Ryan said. “These degrees will prepare engineers and professionals from a variety of disciplines with management knowledge and performance competencies to lead a wide variety of projects.”
Nancy Petersen, president of the 1,300-member Kansas City Mid-America Chapter of the Project Management Institute, said the new degrees include several courses not available in the Kansas City area.
“KCPMI is so excited to see that KU has developed a comprehensive degree program to encourage the growth of well-trained project managers for the Kansas City metropolitan area,” Petersen said. “I want to recognize KU Edwards Campus for making these project management degree programs available.”
Project management is a hot career path:
- The Project Management Institute grew from about 43,000 members in 1999 to about 600,000 members in 185 countries as of 2012.
- A study by Anderson Economic Group says an average of 1.2 million project-management positions will need to be filled nationwide each year through 2018.
- CNN Money.com has projected 10-year job growth of 16 percent and graded project management a B for job security, future growth and personal satisfaction.
Ryan said the curricula will be led by faculty from KU's engineering management graduate program, which has provided some project management courses for 30 years. The School of Engineering will add two new faculty members with educational achievement, licensure or certification and managerial and leadership experience in project management, and it expects to add a third project management faculty member within two years.
The new degrees are supported by the Johnson County Education Research Triangle sales tax, a one-eighth cent sales levy approved by voters in 2008. Generating more than $15 million annually for higher education, the tax supports the Business, Engineering, Science and Technology (BEST) Building on the KU Edwards Campus as well as the International Animal Health and Food Safety Institute at Kansas State University’s Innovation Campus in Olathe and KU's Clinical Research Center in Fairway.
The core Master of Science in Project Management will utilize a cross-disciplinary curriculum, while all electives of the Master of Engineering in Project Management are specific for engineers.
In addition to evening classes, distance-learning options will be available for enrolled students who travel on business. Residents in 11 western Missouri counties are eligible for the Metro KC Tuition Rate, which is the same in-state tuition charged to Kansas students. More information about the new project management degrees is available at http://edwardscampus.ku.edu/prospective/graduate/projmgmt.shtml.
The KU Edwards Campus at 127th Street and Quivira Road in Overland Park brings high-quality academic programs, research and public-service benefits of the University of Kansas to the greater Kansas City community in order to serve the work force, economic and community development needs of region.