What do Enron, WorldCom, and the Big Dig have in common? All of their problems can be traced back to one missing component: good project management.
“Not a day goes by without poor project management being in the headlines,” says Vijay Kanabar, a Metropolitan College associate professor of computer science and the coordinator of MET’s project management program. “[It] cuts across all industries and is a growing field of great importance.”
This year, MET became one of seven colleges and universities to receive accreditation from the Project Management Institute (PMI), a nonprofit organization that helps companies and universities develop professional practices. Three of the college’s master of science programs — administrative studies, computer information systems, and project management — were recognized for the project management components of their curricula, among which are specialized courses for industries such as information technology, tourism management, and e-commerce.
Other accredited U.S. institutions include the University of Maryland and the University of Texas at Dallas.
“I am proud that Boston University is one of the first universities to receive this accreditation,” says Jay Halfond, dean of Metropolitan College and Extended Education. “We see project management emerging as an important component of a specialized degree, which may be an alternative for those considering an MBA.”
The work for MET’s management programs — in which students can obtain a certificate or a graduate degree — involves several core courses that give students a grounding in business practices, such as financial analysis and managerial accounting. Other requirements vary, depending on the area of study — a student in the administrative studies program with a multinational commerce concentration would take Going International: Importing and Exporting Operations, whereas a student pursuing a computer information systems degree might take Introduction to E-Commerce and Web design.
While Kanabar says that the accreditation from PMI recognizes BU’s efforts to stay ahead in the professional education field, Judith Marley, MET’s assistant dean for student and corporate outreach, says that as well it will offer new educational and networking resources for BU students — PMI has more than 200,000 members in 125 countries. “Companies can work with MET to design customized, on-site project management programs for their employees that meet their short- and long-term needs,” she says.