Assessing Students Perceptions of Project Management Before and After Completion of a Project Management Course

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Issues in Information Systems




Project management (PM) is increasingly important in both corporate and academic venues. Its importance has been recognized for several decades, but has recently received more attention because effective project managers are in high demand and short supply. University computing and engineering programs are being pressured by employers to better prepare students for project management positions and this has often resulted in student exposure to project management concepts in one or more courses. More graduate and undergraduate courses in project management are also being offered at colleges and universities because Information Systems (IS) curricula models specify exposure to project management. The present investigation focuses on how exposure to a project management course affects student perceptions of the overall importance of project management and the subject areas that project management subsumes. Student perceptions were assessed by surveying undergraduate students at a regional institution in the southeast U.S. at the beginning and end of a Project Management course. The results suggest that students exit the project management courses thinking that the subject matter is important and will contribute to career success. The results also suggest that the project management course has an especially strong impact on the perceptions of female students and that the course and that it significantly increases the perceived importance of multiple ”hard” and “soft” course-related topics.