There's more to being a project manager than simply being great at managing team deadlines. PMP certifications are the second-highest in-demand certifications in our list of the 10 highest-paying IT certifications of 2019. Anyone interested in entering this highly sought-after field needs to consider obtaining a Project Management Professionals (PMP) certification. Not only does it ensure you'll know everything you need to know to succeed in this career, it's something most employers keenly look for in a job candidate. Offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), a PMP certification means the holder has been fully educated in techniques covering team task management, personnel management, and even budget tracking.
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While the PMI offers training designed for folks seeking to obtain its certification, that training may or may not be the best way for you, as an individual, to learn these skills. Fortunately, there are many online learning resources these days that offer project management instruction. Sourcing the most effective online courses for you to learn the science of project management your way only makes sense. With that in mind, here's a guide to some great online PMP courses from a variety of sources.
Is the Project Management Professional Certification Right For You?
The Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification isn't the only certification offered by the PMI. In all, the PMI offers eight project management certifications, most specializing in different disciplines. Aside from the baseline PMP certification, those disciplines include program management, portfolio management, business analysis, agile development methodology, risk management, and scheduling. One additional certification is the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification, which is more of an entry-level certification that demonstrates a fundamental understanding of project management terminology and principles. For folks seeking to get their feet wet quickly in project management, the CAPM is a good place to start.
If you have your heart set on the full PMP certification, then things are more in-depth than with the CAPM. Candidates are tested in five specific areas: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. Before individuals become certified, however, they'll need to have completed at least 35 hours of related training before they can take the exam. If they have a Bachelor's degree, then they will also need 4,500 hours of project management experience (those without a degree will need 7,500 hours).
Generally, getting PMP certification takes years but it's worth it. As of August 2019, PMPs currently earn an average of $135,798 per year according to Global Knowledge's 2019 IT Skills and Salary Report. This is the second-highest paying certification just behind the Google Certified Cloud Architect, which requires significantly more technical acumen.
Getting Started With PMP Training
"If you are just starting out in project management, then look for an introductory course. [For anyone] without project management experience, going straight into a project management certification course will be too tricky," said Elizabeth Harrin, Professional Project Manager, author of project management books, and founder of the GirlsGuidetoPM.com online community.
"Look for something with lots of positive reviews and plenty of past successes," Harrin suggested. "If you are just starting out in project management, then look for an introductory course. If you have the experience, consider a PMP online course. But think about how you learn: do you want something with access to a live instructor or do you have the discipline to self-study?"
Wide Range of Online PMP Courses
There is a wide range of course options available online. Here is a list of them, in no particular order:
"Cornelius Fichtner's PM PrepCast is recommended, BrainBOK is excellent, and BrainSensei is an innovative and interesting course," Harrin said. "OnlinePMCourses has a range of soft skills courses at a reasonable price, and I teach stakeholder management through my Masterclass [program]."
There are also various PMP online course options available through popular e-learning portals. Udemy provides a selection of project management courses, the most popular being the PMP Exam Prep Seminar= PMBOK Guide 6, which gives participants all of the resources they need to pass the Project Management Institute (PMI) Certification exam. This course features 24.5 hours of on-demand video, two articles, 18 downloadable resources, assignments, and two practice tests. Various reviewers laud this course for being detailed and helping many participants pass their PMP certifications on their first try.
The Agile Crash Course: Agile Project Management, Agile Delivery Course is aimed at helping participants become Agile certified at the completion of the course. Agile is a development methodology used in software development and project management; it focuses on collaboration between teams and members. This crash course features one and a half hours of on-demand video, articles, and has 30 downloadable resources. Finally, the Beginning Project Management: Project Management Level One (Growing a Successful Career as a Project Manager) Course is a good place to start for anyone evaluating a future in project management.
Coursera is an online learning platform boasting more than 3,500 courses, many of which are affiliated with colleges and universities. Coursera has a range of accredited and non-accredited IT-focused courses available. Coursera features an IT Project Management Course, which is a component of its larger "Business Technology Management Specialization" course. Coursera describes the course as applying to "IT projects, including software projects. Using the framework of a project's life cycle, the course covers various aspects pertaining to (i) project initiation, (ii) project planning and scheduling, (iii) project monitoring and control, and (iv) project termination."
Similarly, LinkedIn Learning has various PMP courses including Project Management Foundations , Cert Prep: Project Management Professional (PMP), and Cert Prep: PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP), among many others.
The wide range and selection of online PMP courses offer a variety of ways not just to pass certification exams but also to gain a holistic understanding of the various skills needed to be an effective and successful PMP. "There is still strong demand for PMP and Agile courses, but also courses that focus on leadership, culture, and team skills," Harrin said. "The current trend in project management is in creating well-rounded individuals who can lead with business acumen; technical skills are not enough.
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