Dr. Matt Valle, faculty director for the Project Management major

As the faculty director for the Project Management major, I wanted to make you aware of some additional resources to help you plan your program of study, select appropriate classes to meet your career goals, access the Love School of Business’s career advising and assistance services, and get involved with other project management students at Elon University and beyond.

I am available at any time to assist Project Management majors with questions about the major, coursework, careers, and connections. I am also available to assist those considering a major in Project Management – I welcome your questions and interest. I think we have one of the most compelling and useful majors in the LSB.

Well-trained project management graduates are capable of executing projects in any field, in any industry, and in any location. The best advocates, however, are our graduates, and they are ready and willing to connect with you at any time to discuss the career field and assist you in career exploration.

Planning your courses

We recommend that all Project Management majors use a Planning Worksheet and our Model Program. The “Model Program” worksheet provides an example of major/elective course selections in the BSBA in Project Management. Use the “Planning Worksheet” to build your 4-year program of study – take the worksheet with you during advising sessions and update it as you progress throughout your four years.

Please pay attention to the appropriate sequence for the required and any selected elective courses for the major. MGT 4100 is a prerequisite for most of the follow-on courses, and you can take MGT 4100 as late as the second-to-last semester of your final year. However, you can also take MGT 4100 during your third (junior) year. Ideally, you should take MGT 4300 in your final semester, as that is the capstone course in the program.

We will revise the elective course offerings from time to time. It might be possible to create a focus area (Supply Chain or Analytics) by selecting certain elective courses. Of course, we would like you to also consider the elective courses created specifically for PM majors (e.g., Agile Project Management). Bottom line: advance planning of your required and elective courses will keep you on track for graduation and add value to your college experience. Advanced planning will also help your advisor direct you to those courses and career planning resources that will help you prepare for your post-graduation life.

Career Planning

There are many career paths available for graduates of the BSBA in Project Management. The fundamental value of PM training and education is that it provides prospective PM’s with the tools and capabilities necessary to add value from your first day of employment. As such, our PM graduates have found employment with public and private organizations, big and small companies, and organizations in many industries and fields. I strongly encourage you to use LinkedIn as a way to connect with some of our recent graduates. All are willing to assist you in understanding how they found their first position, who they talked to, the resources that they accessed, etc. Use the PM Major Hall of Fame link listed in the margin to the left to see the listing for graduates (by class). Use the search bar in LinkedIn to find those individuals and connect with them (feel free to tell them that I sent you).

Additionally, the staff of the Porter Center are always available to assist you in career planning and search.  They can help with resume creation, job search, and LinkedIn profiles. As you consider your first position after graduation, the following are some points to consider in some of the general PM career paths:

  • Construction: If you have an interest in building and construction, the construction industry offers graduates interesting and varied career paths. Some of our graduates have taken on PM support roles in large construction and engineering organizations (e.g., project analyst, contract administrator, cost analyst) and some have been assigned to operational (core PM) roles in small to medium sized organizations (e.g., assistant project manager, project engineer). All of these roles usually lead to positions of increased responsibility and compensation as the employee progresses. Construction companies understand PMI nomenclature and PMI certifications – your CAPM certification will most likely differentiate you among your college peers competing for the same positions.
  • Information Technology: IT is a big consumer of project management and project managers. The demand for IT project managers is high and does not appear to be decreasing. IT project managers are also big proponents of agile approaches to project work (Hint: take the Agile Project Management class and obtain your Scrum Master certification if you are interested in working in IT project management). The salaries associated with IT PM roles are typically higher than the salaries offered to most general management and marketing graduates. The context of IT PM is fast-paced and value-driven (but is hardly ever boring).
  • Healthcare: Healthcare organizations are in great need of project managers to help them address the constantly changing nature of technology and processes in the healthcare environment. Large consulting organizations typically have healthcare practice areas where project managers act as consultants for large systems changes in hospitals and hospital systems (e.g., ERP systems development). PM’s in this area can expect to take on varied engagements of different lengths and subject matter.  For this reason, PM’s for healthcare organizations are in demand worldwide.
  • Government: State and federal government agencies are proponents of the PMI framework and value PMI certifications. Opportunities for advanced training and education are typical benefits associated with government employment. While salaries tend to be lower than those in the private sector, government agencies offer a large and varied range of contexts for PM as a career.
  • Other: You would be amazed to see the many and varied areas and industries where some of our recent graduates are working as PM’s. Look over the job titles and duties of our recent graduates and you will see everything from PM’s who are working in marine sales and service, cell tower construction, engineering, insurance, to consulting, education, and the military, just to name a few. The PM role is in great demand in many industries – the terms may be different across industries and jobs (e.g., assistant project manager, project engineer, project and sales manager, project coordinator), but the skills employed by PM’s help organizations get important things done. The bottom line with regard to your education as a project management major at Elon University is that you are “work-ready” the day you graduate. Employers value this action-oriented perspective.

Get involved

The Project Management Club is a student-led organization intended to offer PM majors and students interested in PM the opportunity to connect with other students for social and professional networking, career planning and job search, and co-curricular educational opportunities. If you are interested in being a member of the Project Management Club, please contact me (mvalle@elon.edu) with your request and I will forward it to the Club leadership team.

If you are interested in leadership positions within the Project Management Club, please inform me and I will discuss the options with you personally.