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The Student Insider

Project management: a profession of the future


Written by
Sophie Harrop

When searching for a futureproof career, it’s hard to do better than project management. Project managers are needed in just about every sector you can think of – and will only become more vital as industries continue to grow and develop.

A group of people working at a laptop.

“Most economic and social development goes through project management, and because of this constant change, the demand for project managers is getting stronger and stronger,” explains leading academic Dr Andreas Hadjixenophontos. 

"Project management is crucial in all sorts of walks of life – for example, let's say you work for the NHS – it's all about projects and new investments. You might work for a construction company – again, it's all about project management. You might be working for a manufacturing company, and you need to build a new production line. I don't see any industry which does not need project managers."

Dr Hadjixenophontos is Programme Director of the University of London’s MSc Project Management, taught in partnership with member institution Royal Holloway. The fully online MSc equips students with an advanced skillset that is relevant to the many industries and organisations seeking professional project managers. 

In addition to the main programme, students have the option to specialise in one of two areas: software development or sustainability. This route allows you to focus your knowledge of the subject’s core principles while specialising in an area of interest to you – and of particular relevance to today’s world. 

The software development specialism provides an in-depth understanding of the software development process, while the sustainability specialism equips students with a practical understanding of the environmental, social and economic aspects of projects. 

But those who choose not to specialise will also benefit from a real-world, practical approach to the subject, exploring how project management applies to an array of fields, explains Dr Hadjixenophontos. 

What is unique about this programme is the emphasis on practical application, and the variety of different industries to which we apply the theoretical approach. Our students have the chance to see how practitioners actually practise project management in real life.  

"There’s a module on international technology strategy, in which students see how companies like Amazon and Tesla formulate their strategies in relation to technology. There are modules which focus on the film and media sector, on megaprojects, and on information systems, to name just a few."

Part of project management’s appeal is its variety: it touches on many areas of business, and therefore requires a broad base of skills and experience. "We teach students communication skills, how to work in groups, and the importance of ethics and corporate governance – in fact, we have a separate module dedicated to this," explains Dr Hadjixenophontos. 

The programme also offers a grounding in areas which you may not have studied before, but which are crucial to a well-rounded project management skillset. "We have a module on accounting and finance – many of our students have never done accounting before this. It’s not going to make them into accountants, but they learn how to read financial statements, costing and other similar statements, which are all absolutely necessary to the work of a project manager."

The programme’s practice-based approach is thanks to academic staff who have experience in the career themselves. "This programme has mainly been designed, and is run, by practitioners. So, we know that our students will get the real thing, and will finish the programme as confident project managers," says Dr Hadjixenophontos. 

What's more, the programme’s flexible online format allows you to work towards a University of London degree from anywhere in the world, fitting your studies around your work and other commitments.

"Most of our distance learning students are already at work and are trying to progress in their career."

Our experience has shown that the content of our programme gives students around the world excellent tools and qualifications that will enable them to achieve their career goals.

"I honestly believe that this is the one of the professions of the future, and we are giving students what they need to be the project managers of tomorrow."

Invest in your future with the University of London’s MSc Project Management