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Learn international project management with online courses

International project management requires a unique set of skills that can help teams effectively collaborate and communicate to achieve results on a global scale. Learn about international project management with online courses delivered through edX.

What is international project management?

International project management, also called global project management, is the process of planning, organizing, and managing resources to successfully complete a project that spans borders. This type of project management requires consideration of the political, legal, cultural, and social differences between countries, as well as the logistical complexities of working with teams in different time zones. When done right, international project management leverages diversity to maximize synergy, minimize risks, and ultimately drive business outcomes.  

International project management is born out of globalization, which converges cultural and economic frameworks to foster interconnectedness and interdependence between people around the world. Globalization has also encouraged the adoption of more standardized processes across countries, as well as the sharing of project management best practices. This includes the use of project management software and other emerging technologies, which help to optimize efficiency among virtual teams.Footnote 1

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International project management course curriculum

From exploring the life cycle of a project to developing project charters and contingency plans, there are many moving parts in international project management. An international project management course can cover the fundamentals of project management and global business while weaving in the unique challenges of cross-border collaboration. For example, a lesson may cover the five phases of project management: initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, closing.Footnote 2

Additionally, learners can examine the intricacies of culture and language, develop an understanding of legal frameworks, and explore feedback loops used in project management. Focusing on agility and strategic communication, learners think through ways to establish mutually-beneficial relationships with stakeholders. International project management online courses may include real-world projects, allowing learners to practice their new skills.

Learning international project management can happen in a number of ways. One pathway is a bachelor's degree program in a related field like business administration, business communication, or product management. At the master’s level, individuals may specialize in project management, data science, global business, or other related disciplines. And for those whose work or interest is in digital innovation, a project management boot camp with a focus on tech may be most appropriate.

See what learning options are available to you through edX.

Explore international project management jobs

Because international project management is used in a variety of industries, there are several careers to consider. People with a background in international project management or global business may end up working for international development agencies, manufacturing services, retail companies, tech startups, legal firms, and more.Footnote 3 For example, an international development project manager is central to the delivery of multi-stakeholder development initiatives around the world. 

Though goals differ by project, an international project manager’s responsibilities can include:Footnote 4

  • Defining the scope of a project

  • Delegating responsibilities to team members

  • Troubleshooting unexpected problems that may arise as a result of cultural or regulatory differences

  • Identifying and procuring project management software 

  • Maintaining relationships with clients

  • Overseeing quality assurance

How to become an international project manager online

Project managers come from a variety of backgrounds ranging from commerce to technical, so each person’s learning experience looks different. Some people opt for online courses. Within that realm, areas of study include business and technology. Depending on your education and professional goals, you may pursue an online bachelor’s in business or enroll in a series of self-directed boot camp courses to supplement your advanced degree. Whichever path you chose, be mindful of the innovations and trends transforming the practice.

Your expertise as a project or program management specialist can help companies build success through significant cultural differences. Learn international project management with online courses delivered through edX.

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