online course for pmp certification

Looking to further your career and join the Project Management Professional (PMP) club? You’re not alone. Hundreds of thousands are looking to be part of the largest PM community in the world. Thousands have been successful, but many have failed. The main reason most fail due to poor preparation. Project management certifications have never been more important than they are now. If you invest in a training course, you can save considerably both time and money. But which training course is right for you?

With over a million certification holders worldwide, the PMP is widely recognized and has been linked to multiple benefits for project managers. Here’s what you need to know to get started.

Project manager takes a moment to review his work

What is the PMP certification?

The Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification is a globally recognized project management certification that tests a candidate’s ability to manage the people, processes, and business priorities of a professional project. There are over one million PMP certification holders worldwide, according to the Project Management Institute (PMI) which administers the certification. It is applicable to project managers in virtually any industry, including health, construction, information technology (IT), and business.

In order to get the certification, you’ll have to meet the experience requirements and pass a certification exam. 

Here’s some key information about the certification:

PMP certification requirements:

In order to take the exam, you’ll need to validate your education and project management experience. These are as follows:

  • 35 hours of project management training, which means coursework that specifically addressed learning objectives in project management. This can be substituted with a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® certification. 
  • 36 months of experience leading projects if you have a four-year degree, or 60 months of experience leading projects if you have a high-school diploma or associate’s degree. 

PMP exam cost:

As of 2021, the exam fee was $555 for non-PMI members and $405 for PMI members. A PMI membership was $129 a year, with a one-time $10 application fee, making the exam slightly cheaper with a membership.

Training for the PMP exam:

Studying for the exam will take some planning and determination; exam guides typically recommend at least a few months to prepare for it. There are several courses, books, and other resources available to help you study. Read more below about preparing for the exam.

Renewing your PMP certification:

The PMP certification is valid for three years but can be renewed or maintained by earning 60 professional development units—defined as hours spent on accepted professional development activities—in that time frame.

Keep in mind

The PMP exam was updated beginning January 2, 2021. The new exam now comprises 180 questions instead of 200, two 10-minute breaks instead of one, three “domains”—phases of project management—instead of five, among other changes. Make sure your study materials reflect the change.

How to get your PMP certification

Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting your PMP certification.

1. Meet the PMP certification requirements. 

Before you can take the PMP exam, you’ll have to make sure you’re eligible. You’ll need either:

  • 35 hours of project management course training, and at least 36 months of project management experience if you have a four-year degree, OR
  • 35 hours of project management course training with 60 months of experience if you have an associate degree or high school diploma

You’ll want to keep track of your projects and training, recording information like your specific role, responsibilities, and length of projects or training so that you have it at hand when you apply. The training requirement can be waived if you have a CAPM certification.

The PMP certification is valid for three years. You’ll need to spend 60 hours during that time frame on professional development activities to maintain it. Otherwise you can sign up to take the exam again.

How do I complete my 35 hours of project management training?

If you’re looking for specific courses that’ll get your 35 hours of training in, consider the Google Project Management: Professional Certificate. No previous related experience is required.

2. Apply.

Make an account with PMI and get started on an application for the PMP exam. This will entail sharing basic personal information like your educational background, as well as details on the projects you’ve worked on. 

Once you’re approved, you’ll pay the exam fee and schedule a test.

3. Prepare.

This is when you train for the exam, either through coursework or on your own. Several exam prep providers recommend spending 60 to 120 hours studying. This can take several months depending on how frequently you study.

4. Take the PMP exam.

The exam can be taken at a testing site near you or online. The exam takes a little under four hours to complete.

5. Maintain your certification.

The PMP certification is valid for three years. You’ll need to spend 60 hours during that time frame on professional development activities to maintain it. Otherwise you can sign up to take the exam again.

Is the PMP worth it?

Ultimately, whether a PMP certification will be worth it to you professionally and financially depends on your unique circumstances. Here are a few benefits you might see with a PMP under your belt to help you navigate your decision.

Industry recognition: The PMP certification can show employers or clients that you know the ins and outs of project management, and have the experience and training required of a professional.

Learning new skills: You are also likely to learn a significant amount about project management as you prepare for the exam. Taking hours out of your life to master project management fundamentals like conflict resolution and budgeting can bolster the skills to make you a better project manager.

Higher salaries: The PMI found that US respondents to a recent survey reported a median salary of $123,000 if they had the certification, and $93,000 if they didn’t [1]. Median salaries also tended to increase the longer one was PMP certified. Global Knowledge reported that the PMP certification ranked seventh among IT certifications that were linked to the highest salaries in the IT sector [2].

Job prospects: According to a report compiled by PMI and the Anderson Economic Group, employers will need 87.7 million individuals working in project management roles by 2027. The biggest growth is expected in the health care sector, though large gains are also projected in the construction, information services, and finance and insurance sectors [3].

I’m new to project management—should I get the PMP certification?

The PMP certification is designed to build on and solidify the training an experienced project manager already has. If you’re just starting out as a project manager, you may want to gain more experience or look into another certification—like the CAPM—before getting a PMP. The Google Project Management: Professional Certificate is also designed for those just starting out, and will earn you a professional credential.

What’s on the PMP exam?

Here’s an overview of what’s on the PMP certification test, which was updated on January 2, 2021.

  • 180 questions total
  • 230 minutes (3 hours 50 minutes) to complete
  • Two 10-minute breaks
  • A combination of multiple-choice, multiple responses, matching, hotspot, and limited fill-in-the-blank questions

The questions fall into three domains:

People: 42 percent of exam

Composing a little less than half of the exam, the people section includes questions on leading and building teams, managing conflict, supporting virtual teams, mentoring, and other related topics.

Process: 50 percent of exam

The process section tests your knowledge on the methodology of seeing a project through to completion. You might be asked about managing budgets and other resources, scheduling, handling changes in the project, and determining the best methodologies for the project.

Business: 8 percent of exam

The business environment portion of the exam deals broadly with the more business-minded aspects you’ll have to tackle as a project manager, like compliance, delivering value, and supporting organizational change.

Roughly half of the content represents predictive project management approaches, while the other half represents Agile or hybrid approaches.

Training for the PMP exam: Courses and other resources

There are several routes you can take to prepare for the PMP exam. A survey by PM Exam Lessons Learned found that successful exam takers dedicated two to six months for practice. The PMI reports that the average successful PMP candidate spends at least 35 hours preparing for the exam [4].

Online courses: There are many exam prep courses to help you get your certification. The PMI and other private institutions offer prep courses, as do many community colleges across the country, online or otherwise. The Project Management Professional Certificate from the University of California, Irvine on Coursera will prepare you for the PMP exam and fulfill the educational requirement of 35 hours of instruction. The Google Project Management: Professional Certificate will also fulfill the educational requirement.

Consider the costs

Courses can cost several hundred or even a few thousand dollars to complete. But they can be a worthwhile investment if you’re looking for a structured way to make sure you’re fully prepared for the test. If you think earning the PMP certification is beneficial to your employer as well, it can be worth approaching your manager to see if they’re willing to cover exam or exam prep costs.

If you’re just getting your feet wet with project management, an introduction to project management course offered on Coursera can give you an idea of what it’s like to manage projects.

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide): This guide provides a full foundation to the various elements of project management. Though not an exam prep course by itself, the guide is fundamental to understanding project management as it relates to the certification. 

Test prep books: There are several exam preparation books that will familiarize you with the questions and format of the test. It’s a good idea to take a few practice exams before you take the real one.

Other project management certifications

If the PMP doesn’t seem like the right fit for you, there are several other project management certifications you can consider, from the PMI or otherwise. Here are a few.

  • Agile certifications: Agile is an approach to project management that focuses on adaptability and speed through smaller-scale and streamlined delivery. It is an approach that has gained popularity in recent years. Popular Agile certifications include the AgilePM from APGM International and the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) certification from Scaled Agile. Learn the ropes of Agile Development on Coursera.

Read more: 6 Popular Agile Certifications

  • Scrum certifications: Scrum is a project management framework that emphasizes adaptability and iteration, and is an Agile process. Becoming a scrum master means you’ll be helping projects fit the scrum approach to meet success. Popular scrum certifications include the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) from Scrum Alliance and the Professional Scrum Master (PSM) from

Read more: 7 In-Demand Scrum Master Certifications

  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM): If you’re looking for certifications to help you build up your career, the CAPM (also offered by PMI) is suited for entry-level project managers. The CAPM doesn’t require project experience, making it a good certification for project managers who are just getting started.

Getting started

The PMP certification has the potential to grow your career as a project management professional. If you’re ready to get started, explore project management courses on Coursera.

Do you already have skills that can transfer to a career in project management? Listen as this project manager from Google describes some experiences in day-to-day life that involve project management skills:video-placeholderPlay VideoLearn about a variety of project management skills in this video.


Foundations of Project ManagementGoogle4.9 (22,949 ratings) | 440K Students Enrolled

Course 1 of 6 in the Google Project Management: Professional CertificateEnroll for Free

Still new to the field? The Google Project Management: Professional Certificate can help you learn the fundamentals.


Online project management courses can be a great way to level up your skills without committing to a long-term training program or degree. Some courses offer certificates of completion that may make your resume more appealing to employers. Since online courses vary widely in terms of length, price, and quality, we’ve come up with the 10 best online project management courses to get you started.

Our Ranking Criteria

If you’re considering an online project management course, it’s important to choose one that aligns with your learning style and your career path. To create our list, we’ve relied on basic ranking criteria that can be applied to any online course and advanced criteria that apply specifically to project management courses.

Basic Ranking Criteria

Before taking an online course, it’s important to know what you’re paying for and what you’re committing to. Some courses are formal certification programs, while others are beginner-level tutorials. We’ve used the following criteria to create our list.

Time to complete. We focused on courses that can be completed in six months or less, with the shortest course requiring only five hours of study.

Prerequisites required. None of these courses require advanced prerequisites, although their difficulty level varies. We’ve made note of who each course is best suited for.

Flexible schedule. Most of the courses on our list have flexible schedules, so you won’t have to make time in your day for live classroom sessions. You can also take the PMP (Project Management Professional) exam online but will need to schedule it separately.

Certificate of completion. We’ve focused on courses that provide a formal certification, but you may have to select this option and pay for it upfront. None of the courses include a PMI (Project Management Institute) certification but many of them will prepare you for the exam.

Advanced Ranking Criteria

In addition to the above criteria, we relied on some factors specific to project management courses. Here are the advanced ranking criteria we used to put together our list.

  • The syllabus focuses on a specific area of project management or offers a broad overview that’s suitable for beginners.
  • The course follows a university-level syllabus or is taught by instructors with professional experience in the field.
  • The course includes hands-on exercises or a capstone project to help learners absorb the material and practice new skills.
  • The course has positive ratings from students (at least 4 stars).
  • The course was produced or updated within the past 5 years to ensure that the material is up-to-date and meets industry standards.
  • The course can help students prepare for an exam or a job interview.
  • The course is based on the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).
  • The course provides contact hours that count toward PMI certification.
  • The course includes transcripts and/or subtitles for easier study.

The 10 Best Online Project Management Courses


Project Management Principles and Practices Specialization

Project Management Principles and Practices Specialization by UC Irvine on Coursera

Intelligent Award: Top Pick

The Project Management Principles and Practices Specialization is the top course on our list because it’s offered by a trusted university, the University of California, Irvine,   and provides a comprehensive overview of project management. It’s a precursor to the Applied Project Management Certificate but can be taken as a standalone course. You’ll cover topics like budgeting, scheduling, and managing projects, and complete a capstone project to put your new skills into practice. You can take this course at your own pace, with an anticipated workload of one hour per week for five months. It costs $49 per month to enroll and is included with a Coursera Plus membership.

  • Price: $49 per month
  • Time to complete: 5 months
  • Prerequisites required: No
  • Flexible schedule: Yes
  • Includes verified certificate of participation: Yes

Who should take this course? This course is for professionals who want to learn practical project management skills, whether or not they have any prior PM experience.

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Taught by UCI professorsNo university credit
Hands-on capstone projectLimited PDF resources
Subtitles in multiple languages

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Google Project Management Professional Certificate

Google Project Management Professional Certificate on Coursera

Intelligent Award: Best Professional Outcomes

This course is offered by Google and provides a Google Career Certificate, making it a good choice for job seekers looking to boost their professional credentials. You can access it for free, but you’ll have to pay $39 per month if you want to receive a certificate of completion. It’s also available as part of a Coursera Plus membership, which includes over 3,000 courses in all. Key topics include Agile project management, project documentation, and stakeholder management. You’ll get access to over 140 hours of material, as well as hands-on projects and assessments. The full course takes six months to complete, at a pace of 10 hours per week.

  • Price: $39 per month
  • Time to complete: 6 months
  • Prerequisites required: No
  • Flexible schedule: Yes
  • Includes verified certificate of participation: Yes

Who should take this course? This course is aimed at professionals who want to build up their resumes or start a new career by becoming “job-ready” in less than six months.

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Professional certificateSix month commitment
Seven day free trial

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Project Management Certificate Program

Project Management Certificate Program by eCornell

Intelligent Award: Most Advanced

This course is provided by eCornell, the online branch of Cornell University. It’s one of the most advanced courses on our list, providing 50 education hours that count toward your project management certificate. You’ll learn a wide range of concepts, such as Agile methodologies and earned value management (EVM). Prior experience with project management isn’t required, but it is recommended. You’ll also need to have the Solver add-on for Microsoft Excel. This course takes around 3 months to complete and costs $3,900. Unlike the other courses on this list, you’ll also get access to an online study group where you can review the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) with other learners.

  • Price: $3,900
  • Time to complete: 3 months
  • Prerequisites required: No
  • Flexible schedule: Yes
  • Includes verified certificate of participation: Yes

Who should take this course? This course is ideal for learners who want to be part of a small class with an instructor-led study group, and who don’t mind the university-level price tag.

What we likeWhat we don’t like
50 education hoursHigh tuition cost
Instructor-led study groupLimited enrollment dates
University-level curriculum

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Diploma In Project Management

Diploma in Project Management by Alison

Intelligent Award: Most Affordable

Alison is a very popular online learning platform — they have 20 million learners, 3.5 million graduates, and 3,000 courses. This particular course clocks in at a reasonable 6 to 10 hours, while covering a wide range of topics, such as the history of project management, the software development life cycle (SDLC), and more. You’ll also have access to several case studies concerning project management tools like PERT diagrams and GANTT charts. The course is the only entirely free option on our list but you’ll have to pay extra if you want to receive a certificate or remove advertisements from the platform. Alison has a handy smartphone app, making it easy to study on the go. Keep in mind Alison’s courses may be less up-to-date than other courses on our list because they rely on third-party content.

  • Price: Free
  • Time to complete: 6 to 10 hours
  • Prerequisites required: No
  • Flexible schedule: Yes
  • Includes verified certificate of participation: Yes

Who should take this course? This course is great for learners who want a free introduction to project management, and don’t mind advertisements or repurposed content.

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Entirely free to enrollCertificate costs extra
Mobile app availableAd-based learning platform

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Online PMP Certification Exam Prep

Online PMP Certification Exam Prep by BrainSensei

Intelligent Award: Most Interactive

This course is designed to prepare you for the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam, so is a good choice for those pursuing a PMP credential. BrainSensei offers a 100 percent pass guarantee, so you can get a refund if you don’t pass the exam after three attempts. This course covers a wide range of project management methods, including waterfall and Agile methods, and includes practice exams, story-based exercises, and more. Other resources include follow-up emails, a Facebook discussion group, and a customer support team that will get back to you in less than an hour. The course takes around 35 hours to complete and counts toward your 35 PMI contact hours.

  • Price: $499.99
  • Time to complete: 6 months
  • Prerequisites required: No
  • Flexible schedule: Yes

Who should take this course? This course is for anyone planning to take the PMP exam and needs PMI contact hours but especially those who learn best from interactive, story-based exercises.

What we likeWhat we don’t like
100 percent pass guaranteeSome pages load slowly
Facebook support groupOnly 6 months of access
Provides 35 contact hours

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University of Adelaide on edX

Introduction to Project Management

Introduction to Project Management by the University of Adelaide on edX

Intelligent Award: Most Academic

This course is delivered by the University of Adelaide and provides a comprehensive overview of project management with a university-level syllabus. As with most online edX courses, you can enroll for free, although you’ll need to pay $199 if you want to receive a verified certificate upon completion. The course takes six weeks to complete, based on a workload of two to three hours per week. You’ll get access to English-language videos and transcripts taught by five different professors, so you’ll get a mix of different perspectives and teaching styles. Topics covered include budgeting, scheduling, and managing a project, as well as communication and leadership skills.

  • Price: Free (Add a verified certificate for $199)
  • Time to complete: 6 weeks (2 to 3 hours per week)
  • Prerequisites required: No
  • Flexible schedule: Yes
  • Includes verified certificate of participation: Yes

Who should take this course? This course is best for those who want to take a university-level course taught by multiple professors, with an optional certificate upon completion.

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Backed by a major universityNo university credit
Taught by multiple professors

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Master of Project Academy

PMP® Project Management Professional Certification Training

PMP® Project Management Professional Certification Training by Master of Project Academy

Intelligent Award: Best for Exam Prep

The Master of Project Academy is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and claims to have supported professionals who work at major companies like Apple and Microsoft. It’s similar to BrainSensei in that it’s designed specifically to prepare you for the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam, but this one takes a slightly more professional approach, with more video lectures and fewer interactive exercises. You’ll get access to 750 practice questions, downloadable study tools, and a moderated forum. The course takes 35 hours to complete and costs $87 per month. When you’re done, you’ll get a verified certificate and can apply 35 contact hours to your PMP training.

  • Price: $87 per month
  • Time to complete: 35 hours
  • Prerequisites required: No
  • Flexible schedule: Yes
  • Includes verified certificate of participation: Yes

Who should take this course? This course is focused entirely on PMP exam prep and is great for those who want plenty of study tools and practice questions.

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Moderated forumNo pass guarantee
750 practice questionsNo financial aid
35 contact hours

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Master of Project Academy

Master of Project Academy Bundled Course

Master of Project Academy Bundled Course by Master of Project Academy

Intelligent Award: Most Comprehensive

This course is the most comprehensive on our list because it includes all 6 of the project management courses provided by Master of Project Academy. This includes Microsoft Project, Scrum, and Agile content, as well as the PMP exam training. You’ll get over 70 hours of content overall, which you can move through at your own pace. This includes over 2,400 practice questions for the PMP exam and nine sample exams. You’ll also get over 35 contact hours you can apply to your certification. Pricing starts at $117 per month, so the sooner you get through the material, the less it will cost you. Annual and lifetime subscriptions are also available.

  • Price: $117 per month
  • Time to complete: 35 hours
  • Prerequisites required: No
  • Flexible schedule: Yes
  • Includes verified certificate of participation: Yes

Who should take this course? This course is aimed at project managers, team leaders, project engineers, software developers, and any other professional looking for PM training.

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Practice questions and sample examsThe pricing structure incentivizes speed
Provides 35 plus contact hours

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Colorado State University

Online Project Management

Online Project Management Certificate by Colorado State University

Intelligent Award: Most Interdisciplinary

While most of the courses on our list are aimed at digital project management, this one is designed to prepare project managers for any career path, including jobs in finance, government, architecture, manufacturing, real estate, and more. It’s offered by Colorado State University, with the same faculty and syllabus as its in-person program, but is fully remote and can be completed in 16 weeks. You’ll finish the class with a portfolio piece and a certificate of completion, as well as 48 contact hours that can be put toward your PMI certificate. The PMP exam isn’t included in the price, but you’ll be well-prepared to sit for it. The main downside of this course is its high tuition price, at $3,395.

  • Price: $3,395
  • Time to complete: 4 months
  • Prerequisites required: No
  • Flexible schedule: Yes

Who should take this course? This course is for project managers who want university-level training, with more focus on traditional industries rather than digital project management.

What we likeWhat we don’t like
University-backed courseHigh tuition price
48 PMI contact hoursLess flexible schedule

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Project Management Professional (PMP) Course

Project Management Professional (PMP) Course by Cybrary

Intelligent Award: Shortest Course

This project management course can be completed in just over five hours, making it the shortest course on our list. It’s hosted on the Cybrary learning platform and is part of their “Become a Cyber Security Engineer” career path. It’s the only choice on our list that solely focuses on project management in a cybersecurity context. You’ll move through 11 different modules covering topics such as scope, cost, and quality, as well as the procurement process and stakeholder management. This course costs $49 per month and provides a certificate of completion. You’ll need to take the PMP exam separately to receive a PMP certificate.

  • Price: $49 per month
  • Time to complete: 5 hours 14 minutes
  • Prerequisites required: No
  • Flexible schedule: Yes
  • Includes verified certificate of participation: Yes

Who should take this course? Cybrary’s courses are focused on cybersecurity, so this course is best suited for those with a background in or interest in a cybersecurity career path.

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Cybersecurity focusDoesn’t provide PMP contact hours
Includes PMP exam prep

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Online Course Comparison Chart

Coursera — Project Management Principles and Practices Specialization — Top Pick$49 per month✓ No prerequisites required✓ Flexible schedule✓ Verified certificate
Coursera — Google Project Management Professional Certificate — Best Professional Outcomes$39 per month✓ No prerequisites required✓ Flexible schedule✓ Verified certificate
eCornell— Project Management Certificate Program — Most Advanced$3,900✓ No prerequisites required✓ Flexible schedule✓ Verified certificate
Alison — Diploma In Project Management — Most AffordableFree✓ No prerequisites required✓ Flexible scheduleX Verified certificate
BrainSensei — Online PMP Certification Exam Prep — Most Interactive$499.99✓ No prerequisites required✓ Flexible scheduleX Verified certificate
University of Adelaide on edX — Introduction to Project Management — Most AcademicFree (Add a verified certificate for $199)✓ No prerequisites required✓ Flexible schedule✓ Verified certificate
Master of Project Academy — PMP® Project Management Professional Certification Training — Best for Career Advancement$87 per month✓ No prerequisites required✓ Flexible schedule✓ Verified certificate
Master of Project Academy — Master of Project Academy Bundled Course — Most Comprehensive$117 per month✓ No prerequisites required✓ Flexible schedule✓ Verified certificate
Colorado State University — Online Project Management Certificate — Most Interdisciplinary$3,395✓ No prerequisites required✓ Flexible schedule✓ Verified certificate
Cybrary — Project Management Professional (PMP) Course — Shortest Course$49 per month✓ No prerequisites required✓ Flexible schedule✓ Verified certificate

Tips for succeeding in an Online Project Management Course

1. Consider the cost

How much do online project management classes cost?

Online project management courses are available at a range of price points, depending on which platform they’re on and if you pay for a certificate of completion. Several of the options on our list cost $39 to $117 per month, while the most expensive costs a flat fee of $3,900. You can also attend some for free without getting a certificate.

Will my employer pay for me to take the course?

Many employers offer reimbursements for professional development or employee education, especially if it’s for a position you’ll be taking on within your company. Ask your boss or your HR department to find out if that’s an option.

2. Get your tech squared away

Before starting your course, make sure you have all of the equipment needed. While you won’t need any special gear for a project management course, a reliable Internet connection and a computer that can stream video are key. Consider using a browser extension (like Video Speed Controller on Chrome) so you can speed up or slow down video lectures depending on your preferences.

3. Use the right study resources

Your course may have a syllabus or learning materials but it’s never a bad idea to put together a reading list of your own. Consider reading Strategic Project Management Made Simple: Practical Tools for Leaders and Teams or Project Management: Absolute Beginner’s Guide to learn more about the job and its requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions About Project Management Courses

What jobs can you get after completing a project management course?

Project managers can be found in a wide range of fields and may serve as IT project managers, healthcare project managers, and more. The Project Management Institute (PMI) reports that the median salary for PMs in the U.S. is $116,000 but this can vary widely depending on your industry. A project management certification alone won’t be enough to land you a job, but if you already have a relevant degree, it can boost your job prospects and your salary considerably.

Are there free online project management courses?

Yes, there are online project management courses you can attend for free, but if you want to get a formal certification, you’ll likely have to pay for one.

How long is the average online project management course?

We’ve found project management courses last anywhere from five hours to six months. The exact length of the course will depend on what’s covered and what certification you intend to achieve. Some certification programs may include multiple modules.

What qualifications do you need to be a project manager?

Several different credentials can help you get a job as a project manager, including Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified ScrumMaster (CSM). However, you’ll still need to demonstrate experience in a relevant role, and may need to have additional training and certifications in your industry.

Do you need an MBA to be a project manager?

You don’t need an MBA to become a project manager, but if you want to work your way to the executive level, then an MBA will be more valuable than a PMP. Of course, an MBA is more expensive and requires greater time commitment, so depending on your career goals, a PMP may be sufficient.

Is the PMP (Project Management Professional) exam hard?

Yes, the exam includes 180 multiple choice questions and has to be completed in less than four hours. The material is based on the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and covers five key areas of project management. You’ll need to get around 70 percent of the questions correct, but the exact score you need depends on the questions you get, and no two exams are exactly alike. The questions cover theory and practical topics, and some include graphs and calculations. Some online project management courses are specifically focused on exam prep.


21 Top Online Project Management Courses (Free & Paid)

There are no boundaries to learning. Trends are always changing and it is important for project managers to keep up with current best practices. From project management books to productivity apps, and online project management courses, there is an abundance of resources to help maximize efficiency at work.

In the past, learning has been restricted to classrooms and professors. But today’s new wave of technology, including online course platforms and virtual learning websites, make it easy to take classes from anywhere. Our online learning opportunities are endless, but given you clicked on this article, you are probably looking for ways to learn about project management online. To make it easy to get started, we have rounded up the top free and paid online project management courses from the best sites. So read ahead and get started today!

P.S. Have you tried Hive? Test our powerful project management tool for free today.

1. Simplilearn: PMP Certification Training Course

SimpliLearn Project Management Courses

What we like about Simplilearn: We love the use of real-life examples where concepts can easily be applied. Jeff Allen is an experienced project management expert, and you will certainly learn project management from the best. Unlike most courses, this training course is intended to be an intensive preparation for your PMP certification. This is one of the best project management courses available.

Cost: Opt for the self-paced learning and get access to high-quality, self-paced content at $349 (30% off).

Author’s Note: Check out the reviews! It is all coming from LinkedIn accounts – Simplilearn is confident about their online project management courses.

How to sign up: Simplilearn website

2. BrainSensei: Online PMP Certification Exam Prep

What we like about BrainSensei: This is a cut above the rest! Learning is never dull with BrainSensei, as they utilize humor and stories in their lessons. It is extremely engaging while being comprehensive at the same time. With each modules having multiple-assessment, you can be well-prepared for the exams.

Author’s Note: Check out the free trial before committing.

Cost: $499.99 for 6 months

How to sign up: BrainSensei website

3. GoSkills: PMP Certification Training

Project Management Courses

What we like about GoSkills: Love the interface + free trial model. I absolutely love the free trial model where users are able to try out the courses before deciding to pay. If you finish the course within 7 days, then it’s a steal for you! However don’t stop at just project management for business professional.. GoSkills has amazing courses for project managers such as PMP certification, Scrum for project managers and more! This is why it is one of our top project management courses available.

Author’s Note: Go for Lite purchase if you do not prefer the subscription model.

Cost: Free trial for 7 days, $199 per year after that

How to sign up: GoSkills website

4. Prince2: 6th Edition Foundation Classroom

What we like about Prince2 Course: This course is through the official Prince2 governing body, and lets you take full advantage of their official training materials and methodologies. In this class, you’ll be taught: key concepts relating to Prince2, understanding of the basic Prince2 principles, basic understanding of Prince2 themes, knowledge about Prince2 processes.

Author’s Note: To attend this course, there is required pre-course work that must be completed.

Cost: 12-month access to the program starting at $760

How to sign up: Request a quote on the Prince2 Website

5. Pace University: Practical Project Management Certificate

What we like about the Pace course: In this online course, you’ll learn about the tenets of effective project management, learn project management tools and methodologies, learn how to identify and manage project scope, and garner a basic understanding of project management tools and definitions. This is a great basic project management course that can be applied to everyday life and roles, and another one of the best project management courses available.

Authors Note: This is a pricey course, but is packed in to only 2 weeks.

Cost: $695 for 2-week course

How to sign up: Register on the Pace University website

6. Cybrary: Project Management Professional (PMP) Course

Cybrary Project Management Courses

What we like about Cybrary course: It is really short and precise. The PMP Course takes 5.5 hours to complete, broken into 10 different modules. This is one of our favorite online project management courses as it will teach you the basics of project management and prepare you to complete the PMP certification exam. You will also learn the most important principles of project management, “Time, Cost and Quality.”

Author’s Note: Once you are done with the course, you can continue with the next course “Practical Project Management”. Common mistakes, trends and future of project management in enterprise are discussed in the course.

Cost: Free to create a basic Cybrary personal account

How to sign up: Cybrary website

7. InSite by Velociteach: The Complete PMP Exam Prep Bundle

What we like about the InSite programVelociteach was founded by PMP Author, Andy Crowe, with a niche focus on PMP Exam Prep training. They offer self-study resources including the number 1 textbook for PMP exam preparation, instructor-led PMP bootcamps, and an online, self-paced option through InSite. InSite, a mobile learning platform, offers 4 PMP Exam prep courses online providing 47 hours of audio & video training, formula sheets, exercises and 1100 practice questions in a simulated exam environment aligned to the current test. Save 20% when you purchase the online bundle with the added flexibility of choosing 1-month, 3-month or 6-month subscriptions.

Cost: The Complete PMP Exam Prep Bundle Starts at $389 but you can also purchase each course separately.

How to sign up: Velociteach website

8. Sybex: PMP Exam Review Platinum Course

What we like about Sybex course: This PMP exam review course is built on a 30 minute “bite sized” framework that ensures you will never be overwhelmed or overworked with one of the sessions. The sessions for the project management course also involve mini assessments and virtual flashcards, which are great for the working professional who wants to optimize productivity.

Author’s Note: Sybex also has a great online test bank, which helps it stand apart from other project management courses.

Cost: $495

How to sign up: Sybex website

9. Alison: Diploma in Project Management

What we like about Alison’s program: This online course includes case studies to help you learn about Project Management in the real world. After the end of every module, there are also practice questions to test your understanding, which is really useful in learning.

Author’s Note: While the diploma is not aimed to prep you for PMP Certification, it is still worth taking with the quality and quality of materials involved.

Cost: Free

How to sign up: Alison website

10. Coursera: Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management

Coursera Project Management Courses

What we like about Coursera’s course: This course is powered by the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Unlike many of the other online project management courses, you have to submit your work after every week and it is graded.

Moreover, you will also be assigned readings that are current to the trends of Project Management. The course is broken down into 4 phases. Introduction -> Developing a Project -> Risk Management -> Project Execution. This is one of the best project management courses available.

Author’s Note: Coursera is a registered Project Management Institute (PMI) Education Provider. Keep in mind that the course duration is 4 weeks long, with 4-hours of effort needed per week, which can be really taxing.

Cost: Free

How to sign up: Enroll on the Coursera website. Note: these courses have pre-determined start dates

11. edX: Introduction to Project Management

What we like about edX course: This course is powered by the University of Adelaide. It goes through the basic understanding of what a project is, and all the factors that could affect the outcome of a project. With a step-by-step approach, it goes through the core of what is of project management.

Author’s Note: It is a 6 weeks long course, with 3-hours effort per week. Instead of watching the video, you can download the transcripts and study while you are on your commute.

Cost: Free

How to sign up: Enroll on the edX website. Note: these courses have pre-determined start dates

12. University Of Washington: Introduction to Project Management

What we like about W Canvas course: This course is powered by the University of Washington. It is is a short module, with 4 lessons to get you the basic of project management. Throughout this course, the main focus is on understanding the role of top-level project management. The course has you focusing on project overview and learning to breakdown work structure (WBS).

Author’s Note: The small activities after every lesson is really fun. Do not miss it.

Cost: Free

How to sign up: Visit the University of Washington Canvas website

13. Cornell University: Project Management Certificate Program

Cornell Project Management Courses

What we like about Cornell University course: This project management course is instructor-led with a class size of less than 35. This means that you will be getting very dedicated and personalized teaching from the instructor. This program aims to allow participants to gain greater insights on project management through the teaching of proven strategies and hands-on tools. 

Author’s Note: eCornell places a huge emphasis on proven strategies and practical solutions for project management.

Cost: This is a pricer option at $830/month for enrollment. But keep in mind, this is very hands on

How to sign up: Enroll on Cornell’s website

14. GreyCampus: PMP Certification Training

What we like about the GreyCampus courseThis PMP certification training course is certified through the Project Management Institute, which is great. Throughout this project management course you’ll learn about the role of a project manager, project integration management, and so much more. It also comes with 6 months unlimited access to live bootcamps, which is why it’s on our list of best project management courses.

Cost: This course costs $900.

How to sign up: Enroll on GreyCampus’ website

15. Berkeley Extension PMP Training Curriculum

What we like about the Berkeley curriculum: Aside from the fact that this university is a Hive customer, we love that you can complete this curriculum totally online. The longest program on our list of best project management courses, it will take 1-2 years to complete depending on course load over time.

Cost: This curriculum costs roughly $6,900

How to sign upBerkeley’s Extension website

16. General Assembly: Project Management Bootcamp

General Assembly Best Project Management Courses

What we like about the GA curriculum: We love General Assembly as an option for project management courses. This bootcamp is a full-day program, that you can participate in on many different days, and it covers everything from agile to risk management. We’d recommend using this in conjunction with other project management courses

Cost: This course costs $250

How to sign upGA’s website

17. BrainBok Exam Prep Simiplified

What we like about the GA curriculum: This is a complete self-study kit that is based on the PMBOK 6th edition. It’s one of our top project management courses because this prep course is also bundled with a study guide and an exam simulator which has over 1,000 questions. Additionally, they have interactive flashcards and an ITTO explorer.

Cost: You can join BrainBok for $149.99 for 90 day access.

How to sign upBrainBok’s website.

18. Kellogg Project Management Course

Best Project Management Courses

What we like about the Kellogg program: This is a project management certification program that requires 15-20 hours of work per week, and stretches for 6 months. This project management course will teach you how to harness best practices, frameworks, and PM soft skills. The Kellogg course is one of our top project management courses if you want a comprehensive, long-term class.

Cost: $5,500

How to sign upKellogg’s website

19. Master of Project Academy

Best Project Management Courses

What we like about the MPA program: This is a great combination of several different project management courses that will help you reach your full potential as a PM. In this program, you’ll get access to six courses, over 400 lectures, and over 70 hours of content. The courses are self-paced, so you can really get the most out of it in your own time.

Cost: $677 for annual subscription

How to sign up: Master of Project Academy website

20. Shaw Academy: Professional Diploma in Project Management

shaw academy

What we like about Shaw Academy: The 16-week course dives right into the practical skills you need to be an effective project manager. It’s filled with real-world examples to help you apply your skills as you go, and will give you hands-on experience with a number of project management tools. Once you complete the course you’ll have the skills to plan, initiate, and successfully execute any kind of project, and you’ll be ready to take on new challenges at work. 

Cost: $69.99 annual subscription; first four weeks free

Author’s Note: Your subscription gets you access to all of Shaw Academy’s courses, so the more you learn the better value you get. 

How to sign up: Visit the Shaw Academy website and sign up for their online project management course here.

21. Grow With Google on Coursera

What we like about Grow with Google: This course is a great option if you’re familiar with many Google suite products. You’ll learn about traditional PM and agile methods, and the course is available via Coursera. You’ll also learn about Scrum, building Scrum artifacts, and learn how to create effective project documentation.

Cost: Enroll for free

How to sign up: Follow this link

There you go — 21 of the top online project management courses, including both free and paid PMP certification programs. Don’t get too comfortable though, because certifications are not the final milestone of project management. You can continue to refine your skills on a daily basis by investing in a project management software like Hive. What would you improve first?

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