Contract management is considered as an integral part of all industries in both private and federal sector. As businesses are constantly expanding their operations and productivity, the level of interaction with suppliers, stakeholders, and middlemen has increased. In order to function properly and profitably, organizations look for suitable suppliers for goods and services. Such business-supplier relationships operate on the basis of legal contracts. This has led to the demand for skilled individuals who can design contracts that protect an organization’s interest and mitigate risks.
The importance of contract management is being realized in all industries and has become a recognized field of work. Now individuals can work as a contract manager for a firm, and administer all kinds of contracts between external and internal stakeholders.
Schools across the nation are offering specialized degree programs in contract management. These programs are designed to prepare students for job positions in this field. Students can chose from a wide variety of degrees ranging from associate to masters level. There are also a number of short courses and diploma programs available.
Associates Degree in Contract Management
An associate level degree is the most basic level of post-secondary education. This degree can be pursued after completion of a high school diploma. In some states, associate degrees are equivalent to the first two years of a bachelor degree. Associates degree in contract management is designed to help students develop a solid foundation of knowledge in this field, and prepare for entry level jobs. Earning an associate of contract management degree prepares students for a variety of jobs. Students can either enroll in a campus based program or an online associate degree in contract management.
An associate degree will emphasize fundamental skill development and will cover a broad range of basic theories. Students will be required to study many different introductory courses and advanced subjects relevant to contract management. In the program, student will cover various subjects such as the following:
Cost and Price Analysis
Basics of E-Business
Principles of Federal Acquisition and Contract Management
Apart from the above mentioned areas, here are some advanced subjects typically included in an associate of contract management:
Purchasing Materials and Management
This course will enable students to examine and explore the various aspects of purchasing and management. Students will learn about the ethical and legal implications and will cover main topics such as the following: function, pricing policies, supplier selection, budgets, and governmental purchasing practices.
Contract Administration and Management
This course will cover the general policies and procedures used for contract administration. Students will learn how to manage procurement activities and will cover in-detail the following areas: quality assurance, cost controls, documentation, and contract terminations.
Procurement and Contract Law
In this course, students will examine the various regulatory aspects of contracts. Some of the topics include contract formation, standards of conduct, government liability, judicial methods of procurement, and contract disputes.
Contract Purchasing and Negotiation Techniques
This course will highlight the theories of negotiating contracts. Students will learn about the techniques and tactics used for negotiating contracts. Much emphasis is laid upon federal government contracting.
This is a general course included in the program. Students will learn how to conduct research and evaluate resources. Students will also learn how to logically organize and establish an argument, and manage proper documentation.
This is a general course that provides students with an overview of management principles. Students will learn how to apply managerial principles in workplace settings.
Students with high school diplomas or GED can enroll in associate of contract management degree program. Other criteria of admission may vary from institute to institute. A few of the general requirements have been listed below:
Fulfill the CGPA requirement of the school
Fill out and submit an application form
Letter of recommendation
The duration of an associate degree is two years at most schools. However, some schools offer a shorter route that may range from 8-12 months. This is known as an accelerated associate degree. On the other hand, students who do not have time to attend full-time college classes can opt for part-time associate degrees that may take more than two years to complete.
Online Associate of Contract Management Degree Programs
Students who wish to earn this degree in a flexible way can enroll in an online associate of contract management. There are several accredited online schools and colleges that offer online degrees enabling students to study from their home without having to go anywhere. Online learning is more flexible, accessible, and affordable.
With an associate of contract management degree, students can start off with an entry-level position in the contract management field. There are many jobs opportunities in the government as well as the private corporate sector. Some contract managers may have to travel as part of their job, while others work from the convenience of their offices. The job duties of a contract manager are:
Create and revise contracts
Administer contracts and execute contracts
Align contractual terms with an organizational objectives
The income level of a contract manager will vary from pace to place and can be determined by factors such as state and employer organization.
With experience on the job, individuals can enhance their career opportunities by opting for further education at bachelor and masters level. There are a number of credentialing organizations that offer certifications in contract management and administration. The scope of contract management is vast, and is an integral part of many organizations. This reflects the high demand for such professionals.