An acquisitions and contract management degree can lead to a very lucrative career. Businesses are always dealing with contracts as a way of protecting themselves during acquisitions and other types of transactions. Earning an online contract management degree provides students with the skills they need to work in an environment where contracts and other legal agreements are frequently used. Working with contracts takes great attention to detail as well as a solid understanding of what must be included in a contract for it to be legal and binding. A candidate for this type of position must also be very organized.
With a degree in contract management, you would be in charge of the creation and signing of contracts. It will also be up to you to properly store and review contracts when needed. This type of degree will help you advance your career if you are already employed in a position where you work as a signing agent or other legal professional. Taking the courses online gives you an opportunity to continue working while you are attending school. The ability to attend school and work simultaneously will provide many new opportunities that you can explore before you graduate with your degree.
Methodology: Ranking the Best Contract Management Degrees
For the Great Business Schools ranking of the best contract management bachelor’s degrees, editors sought out accredited bachelor’s programs, both online and on-campus, specializing in contract management, procurement, and acquisitions. Programs are ranked by cost, reputation, and salary potential.
1. American Military University
American Military University’s Boston School of Business offers a BA in Contract Management and Acquisition that is available 100% online. AMU’s contract management degrees require degree candidates to complete 120 semester credits, of which 90 semester credits may be transferred, if eligible. AMU offers a rolling admission schedule with start dates available each month. Classes for this bachelor’s degree in contract management include research, analysis and writing, acquisition business management, and mission support contracting, plus a senior management seminar, to name a few.
American Military University was established in 1991 and operates as a for-profit school providing online degrees exclusively. American Military University has a student enrollment of approximately 46,350 students. American Military University is not affiliated with the government and is a private institution of higher education.
Highlight More than half of the students at American Military University report they were active military members when enrolling.
Degree BA in Contract Management
2. University of Alabama in Huntsville
The University of Alabama in Huntsville’s offers a BSBA in Acquisition Management that is considered among Alabama’s best contract management degrees. UA Huntsville’s degree in contract management program requires students to complete 120 semester credits, with a maximum of 60 credits applied from an associate degree program. Contract Management and Acquisition majors must complete classes in organizational behavior, introduction to contract management, and government contract, law, to name a few.
The Huntsville campus at UA was founded in 1959 as a higher education research institution. The Huntsville campus of the University of Alabama is one of the three member schools that make up the state’s university system.
Highlight The University of Alabama in Huntsville offers approximately 90 undergraduate and graduate degree programs and is ranked among the best public colleges in the Southern United States.
Degree BSBA in Acquisition Management
3. St. Ambrose University
St. Ambrose University offers a Bachelor of Applied Management Studies that is available online and through an accelerated format. St. Ambrose University’s degree in contract management program can be completed in as few as two years but will depend on the credits transferred to the program at application. Students graduating from St. Ambrose University’s contract management degrees and programs must complete coursework in microeconomics, statistics for business & economics, and strategic management and policy, to name a few. This program prepares graduates for rewarding careers as administrative service managers, cost estimators, and medical/health service managers, among others.
St. Ambrose University was established as a seminary in 1882 and is affiliated with the Davenport Diocese. SAU’s campus in Davenport is home to approximately 3,550 students. Students enjoy an advantageous student to faculty at St. Ambrose University of only 12 to 1.
Highlight The ACBSP accredits the business program offered by St. Ambrose University.
Degree Bachelor of Applied Management Studies
Format: Online Accelerated
4. Athens State University
Athens State University offers one of Alabama’s best campus-based contract management degrees with its BS in Acquisition and Contract Management. Athens State University’s degree in contract management program requires students to complete coursework that covers the theories and applications in core business areas, like marketing, economics, management information systems, production, finance, and strategic management, among others. Additionally, heavy emphasis is placed on the demonstration of knowledge and appreciation for ethical standards within the global business.
Athens State University was founded in 1822 as an -women’s academy but became a coeducation school about 100 years later. Approximately 3,350 students attend classes offered by Athens State University’s three academic divisions that include business, education, and arts & sciences.
Highlight The school’s historic district is named to the NRHP – the Nation Register of Historic Places in the mid 1980s.
Degree BS in Acquisition and Contract Management
5. Grantham University
Grantham University offers a Bachelor of Business Administration in Procurement and Contract Management that is recognized among the best contract management degrees available in the online education marketplace. The degree in contract management program has received accreditation from the IACBE. Students graduating from GU’s contract management baccalaureate degree program enter the workforce as management analysts, sales administrators, and cost estimators, to name a few. The curriculum for this contract management degree aligns with APICS certification criteria.
Grantham University was established in 1951 but now operates as an all-online, for-profit higher learning institution. More than 9,150 students attend classes offered by Grantham University’s four academic colleges/schools. The school is accredited by DEAC since the early 1960s.
Highlight Grantham University began initially as a radio license school on the west coast in Los Angeles.
Degree BBA in Procurement and Contract Management
6. Norwich University
Norwich University offers a BSBA in Procurement and Contract Management that is among Vermont’s best contract management degrees. In addition, the degree in contract management program provided by Norwich University is offered in an accelerated course format with an average completion time of 1.5 years. This contract management baccalaureate degree program requires the completion of 120 semester credits, all online. Classes include statistics, economics, accounting, finance, public procurement, and contracting, to name a few.
Norwich University was established in 1819 to serve a diversified student population. The school’s student enrollment is approximately 3,250 students. Norwich University’s alumni reads like a who’s-who list of the military elite.
Highlight Norwich University holds the distinction of being the oldest of all senior military academies across the nation.
Degree BSBA in Procurement and Contract Management
7. University of the Potomac
The University of the Potomac offers a BS in Government Contract Management that is among the best campus-based contract management degrees available in the marketplace. Students enrolled in UP’s degree in contract management program take classes in contract administration, contract modifications/options, government contract law, cost/price analysis, purchase & material management, and principles of federal acquisition, to name a few. Degree candidates enter the workforce as logisticians, cost estimators, and purchasing managers/buyers, among others. This government contract management degree is available only on the school’s three campuses.
The University of the Potomac was established to serve the working learners in 1991. This private, for-profit higher learning institution offers working students that are qualified an opportunity to complete a degree in under two years.
Highlight The University of Potomac provides associate, baccalaureate, and graduate degrees.
Degree BS in Government Contract Management
8. University of the District of Columbia
The University of the District of Columbia offers a Bachelor of Business Administration degree (BBA) in Procurement and Public Contracting that is accredited by ACBSP. Among the best contract management degrees available, the University of the District of Columbia requires degree candidates to complete 123 credit units. The coursework for this degree in contract management program includes business statistics, business systems analysis and design, and production and operations management, to name a few.
The University of the District of Columbia (District Columbia) was established under the Morrill Land Grant Act in 1851 as a normal school. Additionally, this public higher learning institution is a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and a recognized HBCU school.
Highlight The school serves approximately 4,150 students online and the school’s multiple campuses in the nation’s capital.
Degree BBA in Procurement and Public Contracting
9. Strayer University
Strayer University offers a Bachelor of Business Administration in Acquisition and Contract Management that among the best available contract management degrees available entirely online. Students enrolled in Strayer University’s degree in contract management program are required to complete 40 classes in eleven-week course formats. Degree candidates complete classes that include contract & purchasing negotiation techniques, federal acquisition and contract management, communication at work, procurement, and contract law, to name a few.
Strayer University was established in 1892 as a business school. Currently, Strayer University operates more than 70 academic facilities (in more than two dozen states) throughout the country, and online that serve approximately 51,950 students.
Highlight Strayer University specializes in the education of business, criminal justice, health service, information tech, public administration, and information technology.
Degree BBA in Acquisition
10. Trident University International
Trident University International offers a BSBA in Procurement and Contract Management that is among the state of California’s best contract management degrees available in the marketplace. Degree candidates enrolled in Trident University International’s degree in contract management program complete coursework in the fundamental of purchasing and purchase management, business law, and government contracting principles, among others.
Trident University International (Trident) was founded in 1998 as an online institution of education. The school serves more than 6,750 online students exclusively. The Military times ranks Trident University International among the top 20 colleges for military members and veterans.
Highlight Approximately 75% of Trident University International’s students are active military or veterans.
Degree BSBA in Procurement and Contract Management
What Is Contract Management?
Contracts are necessary agreements between businesses that accomplish several goals. They protect both companies from being unfairly treated, ensuring that both parties get the results they are looking for. Contract management involves the creation of a contract once a deal has been agreed upon when it comes to the acquisition or sale of a business or property. Contract management is the responsibility of managers who were hired to oversee the creation, use, storage, and review of legal documents that state the specific terms of an agreement that was made between two parties.
Contract management involves securing the contracts either through a digital archive or cloud storage. Documents are highly confidential and steps must be taken to prevent them from being accessed by outside parties. It is up to the contract manager to ensure the safety of these documents and to make sure that they are easily accessible if the need ever arises that they must be reviewed. Contract management is a highly specialized position that requires attention to detail and excellent organization skills. It is important that whoever works in this type of management role also has a working knowledge of the binding nature of legal contracts.
What Does a Contract Manager Do?
Contract managers have several duties. When an acquisition is made or a property is sold, it is up to the contract manager to create the legal documents that will be used to seal the deal. The contract manager must gather all of the relevant information and put all of the details of the agreement in writing. Once the contracts have been created, both parties must decide on a time and place to meet to sign the paperwork. The contract manager will have to arrange for a signing agent to be available to oversee the exchange.
A contract manager is responsible for setting up appointments between the two parties as well as making sure that every document is accurate and in perfect order. The contract manager must also know how to properly store the documents in whatever format is chosen. The documents can be stored as a digital file or in the cloud, depending on the preference of the two parties involved. It will also be the contract manager’s job to retrieve the documents as they are needed if a review is ever necessary.
How Much Does a Contract Manager Make?
Contract managers have a variety of responsibilities and normally take on additional roles in the workplace. Being hired on as a contract manager in an entry-level position can earn you approximately $40,000 or more, depending on your education and experience. As you gain more experience, your wages will continue to increase. Taking on more responsibilities in the workplace will give you extra skills and allow you to work in different areas. If you are already employed, taking on the responsibilities of a contract manager will give you an opportunity to advance in different areas and increase the amount of pay you could receive.
There are degrees and certification programs that will provide you with additional skills you will need to move up to a management position within your career field. Becoming a certified contract manager enables you to accept new challenges and responsibilities. The more responsibility you have, the more pay you will receive. Going back to school will provide you with more skills and up-to-date information on how to be more proficient at what you do. It will also increase your chances of being considered for upper management positions. The more prepared you are to take on new roles, the more likely you are to be considered for advancement.