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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Contract Management

Majors Overview June 3, 2015

Get information about a master’s degree program in contract management and its education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Programs in Contract Management

Students enrolled in master’s degree programs in contract management learn about advanced concepts of procurement, contract acquisition, and negotiation. They also receive education about federal and state regulations relevant to contracting processes. While schools often target these programs at students mainly interested in federal government contracting, the programs may also cover other types of contract management. In some instances, students enrolled in this type of program may already be in current occupations with companies that contract with government agencies. Research in the field is emphasized by studies, and the focus of coursework is on theories through a combination of hands-on training exercises and classroom lectures. Program graduates become eligible to seek professional certifications in the field.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree. Though prior work experience is not mandatory for admission, preference is given to applicants with such work experience. Students would also benefit from having completed prior coursework in finance, statistics, and mathematics.

Coursework

Coursework combines hands-on practice and theory-based lectures; hands-on exercise may include team-based exercises, case study analyses, and research. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Contract negotiation
•Finance management
•Government contracting law
•Principles of acquisition
•Contract pricing

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek entry-level careers or leadership positions in possible roles such as:

•Contract administrator
•Procurement manager
•Government contract specialist
•Purchasing manager

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of four percent has been predicted for purchasing managers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $60,550.

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates may seek voluntary professional certification offered by certifying organizations like the National Contract Management Association (NCMA). The NCMA offers three certifications, the Certified Commercial Contracts Managers (CCCM), Certified Federal Contracts Manager (CFCM), and Certified Professional Contracts Manager (CPCM). To be eligible to apply, interested individuals must have at least a bachelor’s degree, augmented by advanced education, such as a master’s degree, and professional work experience.

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In 2017, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
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