Masters Degree in Procurement and Contract Management

Read on to learn about master's degree programs in procurement and contract management. Find out the curricula and admission requirements for these programs, as well as career options and certification information for graduates.

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Essential Information

Designed for working professionals already in the contract administration field, master's programs provide a foundation for understanding the strategies and operations of federal procurement practices, and students gain a complete understanding of the contract life cycle and its stages. These graduate programs typically cover commercial, international, and government contracts. Master's degree programs in procurement and contract management typically require two years to complete and prepare students for advanced positions in contract administration.

Education Prerequisites

Applicants should have a bachelor's degree in a business-related area. Depending on work experience and undergraduate courses taken, business classes such as statistics and finance may be required. Beneficial traits include being detail oriented, communicative, and an analytic thinker.

Program Coursework

Students increase their knowledge of legal and ethical issues, financial analysis, contract negotiation, and risk management through curriculums that focus on real world problem solving and decision making through team exercises, hands-on applications, and lectures. Courses cover the areas of contract management, including federal procurement, legal issues, and the new areas of international contracting and outsourcing. Students gain mastery of the procurement process and regulatory requirements through courses, such as:

  • Government contracting
  • Organizational theory
  • Financial decision-making
  • Economic analysis
  • Contract law
  • Purchasing and logistics
  • Business ethics
  • Corporate finance
  • Contract negotiating
  • Supply chain management

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Career opportunities for all kinds of administrative services managers, including contract administrators, are expected to grow by as much as 15% between 2010 and 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Applicants for high-level management positions can anticipate competition; however, a master's degree may enhance opportunities for advancement. In May 2012, the median annual salary among administrative services managers, such as contract administrators, was $81,080, per the BLS; those working as part of management teams for businesses and enterprises earned an average of $100,480 annually.

Continuing Education Information

Certification can be earned through such organizations as the National Contract Management Association. Individuals with an undergraduate degree and a certain amount of continuing professional education hours qualify for three types of certification, including federal, commercial, and professional contracts. Once students meet the requirements, they're eligible to take the applicable exams.

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