Project managers are not limited to supervising just one aspect of an operation or personnel-related issue.

Instead, project management professionals are tasked with overseeing all aspects of a project, from start to finish, ensuring that it is done well, on time, and within the designated budget.

Project management is a growing field—from positions in business to opportunities specific to the IT industry. According to PMI’s Project Management Talent Gap Report, from 2010 to 2020, the field is expected to grow $6.6 trillion, with the global economy seeing 15.7 million new project management roles.

Here is a look at a career path with three levels—entry level, mid-level, and executive level—for those interested in business-specific project management.

1. Entry Level: Project Coordinator

A project coordinator is responsible for organizing projects of varying size and difficulty. They assist in coordinating the various stages of project activities and are responsible for communicating the current status, opportunities, and potential risks of the project to their managers, executives, and any other stakeholders.

Daily responsibilities may include:

  • Ensuring that relevant management information is captured and analyzed.
  • Assigning tasks and monitoring the schedule.
  • Tracking, analyzing, and communicating project risks and opportunities.
  • Developing operating procedures and determining if the project will fit within the designated budget.
  • Developing training and briefing materials for staff and keeping close communication with key project members and decision makers.

Degree: Bachelor’s in Project Management

Relevant Capella University coursework:

  • Developing Business Thinking
  • Fundamentals of Management
  • Fundamentals of Organizational Communication

2. Mid-Level: Project Director

A project director leads a team of project managers or coordinators and any other staff involved in completing a project. They typically must arrange the schedule and work to complete the project within budget. A project director has the authority to make important decisions, adjust budgets, and determine resources or processes. They often receive reports from the project managers or coordinators and directly report to senior management.

Daily responsibilities may include:

  • Taking full lead of the project within the limits of the designated budget and operating policies.
  • Managing and directing assigned project resources, making decisions regarding the project direction, and understanding an agile project management approach to guiding the project processes.
  • Establishing the project resource assignments and ensuring that the project is properly managed and staffed.
  • Checking project progress toward achieving business objectives.
  • Successfully managing relationships with all clients and stakeholders.

Degree: Master of Business Administration in Project Management

Relevant Capella coursework:

  • Project Planning, Management, and Financial Control
  • Assessing and Mitigating Risk
  • Data Analysis for Business Decisions

3. Senior Level: Vice President of Project Management

A vice president of project management has overall strategic and operational responsibility for all areas and departments involved in project management within the business. This position is typically on the senior management team that drives the enterprise-wide strategy. They establish, implement, and develop practices for project management throughout the organization, and help define policies and processes in order to complete projects on time and within budget.

Daily responsibilities may include:

  • Determining frequency and content of status reports from project managers, analyzing results, and troubleshooting project risks.
  • Effectively managing project teams’ time and allocating resources to ensure deliverables are completed.
  • Directing and managing development of all projects within the project portfolio from start to finish.
  • Developing best practices, techniques, and tools for project planning, execution, management, and key performance metrics.
  • Reviewing budget proposals and recommending subsequent budget changes when necessary.
  • An interdisciplinary perspective that allows them to work in many diverse fields.

Degree: Doctor of Business Administration in Project Management

Relevant Capella coursework:

  • Advanced Concepts of Project Management Methodologies
  • Projects as Complex Adaptive Systems
  • Strategic Thinking and Innovation


Capella offers business-focused bachelor’s, MBA, DBA, and PhD programs in Project Management.

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