To meet the rising demand for project management expertise in everything from manufacturing to information technology, the University of Kansas plans to add two master’s degree programs at the Edwards Campus this fall.
The university’s School of Engineering will offer a Master of Engineering in Project Management, and a Master of Science in Project Management. Both programs will be added to the evening classes at the Edwards Campus at 127th Street and Quivira Road in Overland Park.
The degree programs are geared to working adults.
“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,” said Mary Ryan, the university’s interim vice chancellor. “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.”
According to one research estimate, an average of 1.2 million project-management positions will need to be filled nationwide each year through 2018.
Nancy Petersen, president of the Kansas City Mid-America Chapter of the Project Management Institute, said the new degrees will include several classes not currently available in the Kansas City area.
Ryan said the classes will be led by faculty from the university’s engineering management graduate program, which has offered some project management courses for 30 years. The School of Engineering will add two new faculty members for the master’s programs, and plans call for adding a third project managment faculty member within two years, according to a statement from the university.
In addition to the evening classes, distance-learning options will be available for enrolled students who travel on business.
The degree programs are receiving support from tjhe Johnson County Education Research Triangle sales tax, a one-eighth cent sales tax approved by voters in 2008. The tax generates more than $15 million annually for higher education, and supports, among other things, the Busienss, Engineering, Science and Technology building on the Edwards Campus.