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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Government Contracting

Majors Overview June 3, 2015

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

Master’s Programs in Government Contracting

Schools offer master’s degree programs in government contracting in various formats, most commonly as a Master of Science (M.S.) in Acquisition and Contract Management. They also offer a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) concentrating on government contracting. Incoming students to these programs are trained to assume leadership positions within the government procurement field.

These programs are devised to give enrolled students a comprehensive grasp of every aspect of the federal acquisition process, such as government contract methodologies and components, federal government cost and pricing policies, budgeting processes of the government, and the federal acquisition process’ history, emphasizing recent changes. A thesis is a requirement in some programs. Students enrolled in most master’s degree programs in this field can complete them within two years.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Government Contract Management or other accredited undergraduate degree, regardless of the academic field. Applicants at some schools are expected to have basic knowledge of business practice and accounting. Applicants are also required to submit undergraduate transcripts, letters of recommendation, an admissions essay, and graduate test scores.

Coursework

A subject-focused program coursework is devoid of elective requirements and may include a graduate thesis project that could be in the form of a working internship, original research project, or government policy analysis. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Public administration foundations
•Organizational behavior
•Negotiation components
•Cost principles
•Public administration ethics

Career Choices

Program graduates may choose from an array of job opportunities in private and public sectors. They may choose from possible job titles such as:

•Cost analysis officer
•Financial management consultant
•Industrial property manager
•Budget analyst

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a slower-than-average job growth rate of four percent has been predicted for purchasing managers, including procurement managers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, purchasing managers employed with the federal government brought in an average annual wage of $124,270 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

A master’s degree in acquisition and contract management is normally a terminal degree. Some enrolled students may want to continue their education by earning a doctoral degree in related fields. They may earn a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Organizational Behavior or a Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.), which could lead to a career in academia or research.

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