What to Look for in a PMP Certification Training Course

PMP Certification PMP Exam Prep PMP Exam 10 min read

Would you love to go back to school, learn a new marketable skill, or earn a certification in your field?

If we told you that you could earn 20 percent more in your annual salary by acquiring a certification, would you?

Even if you aren’t the “scholarly” type, there are plenty of professional development training courses available today that can help accelerate your career, or even “stack” your existing qualifications.

According to a 2018 study by LinkedIn, the biggest challenge for many of today’s employees is making time for learning. In fact, the majority of full-time employees cannot take time away from their jobs to focus on learning new skills.

The good news is that project management is one career field that is not only in high demand and highly rewarding, but also has a wealth of training courses available, including the PMP certification training course.

What is Project Management?

If you are just exploring project management as a career, and you aren’t exactly sure if it is the best career choice for you, allow us to tell you a little bit about it…

Project management is a huge discipline. It involves managing and overseeing highly complex, technical projects—such as building skyscrapers—as well as coordinating small, creative team projects—such as website design builds, and everything in between.

Project Management Responsibilities

Being a project manager means you have many tools and techniques in your toolbox for managing projects, such as Gantt charts, make-buy as well as earned value analysis, timelines, and more—all of which are designed to help you manage projects effectively, smoothly, and successfully.

As a professional project manager, you will be at the forefront of planning and executing projects. This means it will be up to you to coordinate who will be working on what and when. You will also be responsible for making sure tasks and deliverables are completed on time and within budget and scope.

As project management becomes even more crucial to today's business operations, goals, and OKRs, more and more companies and organizations turn to project managers to help them thrive and respond to changes and opportunities.

Without dedicated and specialized project managers, the responsibility of managing client projects, the day-to-day tasks, and even keeping up with new trends falls on business owners.

A Project Manager’s Toolbox

As we mentioned above, experienced project managers have a wealth of tools in their toolboxes to help them manage projects successfully. By taking a project management training course, you will learn which tools and techniques are appropriate to use for different types of projects.

However, one primary tool that you will use for any type of project is a task management system. Your task management system is how you track all the intricate and complex details of a project, prioritize them, assign resources, and keep track of due dates and deadlines.

Some project managers don’t believe that it matters which task management system you use, as long as you have one; others believe that the task management system should be aligned with the team’s working style.

Regardless of your own project management belief system, there are plenty of easy task management tools available today that you can adopt—some of which your team may be already familiar with.

Some of these tools include:

- Asana

- Trello

- Basecamp

- Teamwork

- Todoist

- Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheet

The goal here is to find the right task management system that works for you and your team and train them to use it consistently. You may need to develop a process to help your team adjust to using a new tool if they haven’t before.

All in all, if being a project manager sounds like a lot of responsibility and pressure, you’re right. We never said being a project manager would be easy. However, it is a highly rewarding and lucrative career—one that promises opportunities, advancement, and rewards.

And if you invest in professional project management development courses and training, or if you earn your official PMP certification, then you will definitely be on the path to success.

Why Project Management Qualifications Are Important

So, what do you need to do to become a professional project manager? What can you do to further accelerate your current project management career?

You don’t have to have a specialized degree, such as an MBA or a Bachelor of Science or Business to become a project manager or earn your PMP certification. You can learn the project management principles and techniques simply by taking a project management training course or even a PMP certification training course.

But, if you don’t need any background education to become a project manager, then why are project management qualifications so important?

The demand for experienced project managers today is higher than ever. Therefore, project managers who invest in professional development to advance their professional careers gain a huge competitive edge. Professional qualifications, including the PMP certification and credential, are valuable in any organization and sector.

A professional PMP certification is not only a globally-recognized credential, it also tells companies, organizations, and clients that you have the knowledge, experience, and skill set to successfully manage projects and people.

What is a Good Project Management Training Course?

Again, because project management is in high demand today, there is a multitude of professional project management training courses and PMP certification training courses available. However, there is a difference between the different types of courses, which we will get into below. Therefore, it’s important to consider your career goals before you invest in a project management training course.

Project Management Training vs. PMP Certification Training: What is the Difference

For example, if you just want to learn or expand your knowledge of basic project management principles, techniques, and methodologies, then you will likely see value from taking a project management training course that focuses on and covers these areas.

On the other hand, if you want to earn your official PMP certification, then you will want to invest in a training course or PMP exam prep course that prepares you for the exam. Note: Not EVERY project management training course will cover the material on the PMP exam!

Therefore, take some time to think about your career goals, do your homework, and find the right project management training course that is aligned with those goals.

So, what does a good project management training course look like?

Robust Online Platform

Most training courses and even PMP exam prep courses are offered online today. Convenient? You bet, however, be sure that the course is offered via a robust online learning platform. You don’t want to take away from your learning experience because you are distracted or are trying to figure out how to use a clunky online platform.

Learning Style

Most project management training courses and PMP exam prep courses are offered online and in classroom settings. Choose the format that will work best for you and your particular learning style.

Course Structure and Format

Gone are the days when continuing education or professional development courses were offered and structured in one way. Today’s courses are available in all shapes and sizes, subjects, interactivity, assignment types and material, and instructor and peer engagement.

Many courses also involve different levels of commitment; some courses are self-paced whereas others require ongoing participation and interaction.

Interactive Material

Similar to any course you took in high school or college, the instructor has his or her own teaching style. This style is then integrated into how the course is formatted and structured.

For courses offered online, many instructors try to include a level of interactive content in order to engage students, such as recorded lectures, online questions and quizzes, and relevant videos.

If you are trying to find a solid PMP exam prep course, you will want a course that will provide you with sample PMP exam questions so you can get adjust to the format of the exam, and be prepared for and understand the types of questions that will be on the exam.

A Certification

Finally, even if you aren’t ready to take the PMP exam just yet, or you just want to learn the basics of project management, be sure to invest in a project management training course that provides you with some type of certification upon completion.

No, it may not be an official PMP certification, but even a course completion certificate related to project management is an excellent credential to add to your resume.

What You Should Know About the PMP Exam

If that is all you want to get out of it, then great. However, if you are considering taking the exam to earn your official PMP certification, then it is highly recommended that you take a PMP exam preparation course, and plan to study and prepare up to six months in advance.

In the process of earning your official PMP certification, you will learn about the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK), the various principles and methodologies, techniques on how to manage projects efficiently from start to finish, and even apply those to real-life projects and situations.

Upon receiving your official PMP credential, you must maintain a certain number of PDUs every three years to maintain the validity of your certification. If you choose to participate in a PMP exam prep course with Project Vanguards, then you gain access to free PDUs for life to help you easily and conveniently keep your PMP credential current and in good standing.

Project Vanguards: Your Go-To Resource for PMP Certification Exam Prep

One of the best project management training courses and PMP exam prep courses available is with Project Vanguards. Project Vanguards offers a wide range of professional training and resources to help individuals learn new skills as well as thoroughly prepare for the PMP exam. In fact, Project Vanguards also guarantees a 100 percent first-time pass rate.

Here is a snapshot of what is covered in the PMP exam prep course offered by Project Vanguards:

- Foundational Concepts and Definitions
- Integration Management
- Scope Management
- Time Management
- Cost Management
- Quality Management
- Human Resource Management
- Communications Management
- Risk Management
- Procurement Management
- Stakeholder Management
- How to Fill out the PMP Exam Application
- How to Pass the PMP Exam
- Practice PMP Exam Questions

Here are the resources you will receive:

  • Andy Crowe's PMP Exam Prep Kit
  • How To Pass the PMP Exam On Your First Try Textbook
  • Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), Sixth Edition
  • CDs to reinforce PMP knowledge areas and processes
  • Over 2,000 specific knowledge-area PMP exam practice questions
  • 4 mock 200-question PMP practice exams to monitor your progress
  • Videos and recorded classroom discussions
  • Terminology flash cards
  • Printed and bound PMP exam quick reference guide
  • 24/7 access to live instructor support

Despite popular belief, you do not have to be an experienced or a full-time project manager to take any project management training course or the PMP exam. The PMP exam prep course is designed to teach individuals and professionals from all backgrounds, careers, and walks of life on how to become a professional project manager, earn their official PMP certification—and even on the first try.

So, if you are feeling anxious or nervous about taking the PMP exam, or you aren’t so great at taking tests, period, then Project Vanguards’ PMP exam prep courses just might be what you need to succeed as a project manager.

Why Project Management Training is Always Worth the Investment

Project management skills are incredibly important in business today. And although these skills can certainly be learned while on the job, it is easier to develop them during project management training.

Furthermore, experienced project management professionals who undergo professional training or even earn their official PMP certification gain more credibility, and are generally in a better position to take on new projects—even without any real industry experience—and earn a higher salary.

Finally, earning your PMP credential and taking the PMP exam requires a commitment, dedication, and a small investment. However, the rewards can be endless. And although the PMP certification is globally recognized and is relevant in any business or industry sector, it is important to research various project management training courses to determine the best fit for you.

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