How to Find Awesome Project Management Training

project management training

Unsplash, Benjamin Child

“Help! I’ve just been assigned a project and don’t know where to start! Is there some training I can take that’s affordable?”

Was this you at some point in your project management career? I think we’ve all been there at one time or another. Is there project management training out there that is affordable?

Yes. Here are resources available for project managers to learn more about their profession.


Coursera hosts online courses in hundreds of different subjects, including project management.Completion certificates are available for some courses. The courses aren’t free, but the cost is very reasonable – $69 per class.

Coursera offers a specialization in Project Management. Take three basic courses, finish a capstone project and receive a certificate of completion. The courses are set up as 4-week sessions with the capstone scheduled after the finishing the basic courses. The courses are provided by the University of California, Irvine.

I haven’t taken any of these courses, but the reviews from current and past students are generally good.

I didn’t find Coursera in the list of Registered Education Providers (REP) at PMI. However, the University of California at Irvine is an REP. If you’re interested in using the course as part of your education requirement for your PMP, double-check with PMI before you start to make sure they will accept the credit.


ALISON is a global, online learning community. There are over 750 free courses available, ranging from topics such as Building an Online Business, Customer Service Skills, and Spanish Language Training.

They offer a diploma in Project Management. The course is self-paced and is six to ten hours of instruction. It covers the basics of project management and includes case studies and an assessment. When you complete the course, you can download a completion certificate. If you need something more official-looking, you can contact ALISON and they will send you a certificate.

I haven’t taken this course. It looks like a good overview of the concepts. The reviews are positive.

I did not find Alison or their courses on PMI as an REP. If you want to take credit for these courses, check with PMI to make sure the coursework is accepted for credit.

Project Management Institute (PMI)

The Project Management Institute offers both online and in-classroom opportunities. The Essentials of Project Management online course offered by PMI offers 23 PDUs and counts toward your education credit as you apply for your Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) or Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. The course costs $400 for non-PMI members and $350 for members.

PMI also has a list of registered providers that offer training. There is a cost to these classes and some providers only teach a course with a minimum number of students. It’s worth a look.

In addition, many PMI chapters offer their own training programs, lunch-and-learn sessions, and training during chapter meetings. In many cases, the price for these sessions are very reasonable, and some chapters have scholarships to help with the cost.  If you’re serious about becoming a project manager, spend some time checking out PMI.

In-house training

If you’ve just been thrust into the world of project management, don’t assume your company has no training to help you. It’s worth the question to ask what training the company already provides or has available. Perhaps they do offer classes, but you’ve never been on the list for notification. Sometimes companies have large online learning libraries available that sit largely forgotten until someone asks.

Check with your manager on the training budget. My experience is that folks assume there isn’t any budget and so they don’t bother to ask.


You might be surprised. And if there isn’t any budget, you’re no worse off.


There are new books coming out monthly on the art and science of project management. PMI offers a bookstore on their website with hundreds of titles. Any decent bookstore has titles on project management. My bookshelf includes titles from James P. Lewis and Elizabeth Harrin.

Go to the library and check out “Project Management for Dummies” by Stanley Portnoy. You probably won’t be able to pass the PMP after reading it, but you will have a good understanding of the concepts and principles of project management.

Reddit Threads

I’ve found some very interesting and informative threads on Reddit. The project management forum often has great advice from around the world on how to handle some of the typical problems that arise.

Reddit seems to be a popular place for newbies to ask questions. Even if you aren’t working toward a certificate or course completion, you can find some great advice on Reddit.

Get started

There is plenty of training out there to help folks new to project management. The problem is where to start!

My advice: start where you learn best.

  • If reading is how you learn, get a few books and maybe take an online course.
  • If you need to hear the material, find a classroom with an instructor and other students.
  • If you need to do it to learn it, make sure you have exercises to do and maybe someone online for questions that come up.

Where have you found great, affordable training resources for project management? Tell us in the comments.

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