Best Online Project Management Certificate Programs
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Organizations everywhere seek managers who can lead teams and projects effectively. By earning project management certificates online, graduates can oversee large projects from start to finish and deliver successful results.
Earning a project management certificate or project management certification online can provide aspiring and experienced professionals the skills and credentials for sought-after management positions. This guide explores these credentials in more detail and ranks the best online project management certificate programs.
Project management training provides highly applicable leadership and communication skills or specialized training in agile, Scrum, and predictive management approaches. Students learn how managers plan, analyze, and adapt projects while considering risks and stakeholders' needs.
Both credentials demonstrate to employers that candidates understand effective project management and can help minimize failures to maximize organizational returns. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 5% growth in employment for management positions from 2019-2029, which is above the average employment growth rate for all occupations.
The Best Online Project Management Certificate Programs
Online Project Management Certificate Programs Ranking Guidelines
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Featured Online Project Management Certificate Programs
What Is an Online Project Management Certificate Program?
Project management certificate online programs can vary considerably in scope and structure, but most feature 5-10 classes and run for 3-12 months. The training develops fundamental project management abilities for entry-level professionals or individuals looking to expand their skills and qualifications. Some certificates help more experienced professionals prepare to pursue project management certifications online.
The best online project management certificate programs provide students with practical skills, such as project scoping and planning, resource management, budgeting, and making accurate projections. Some colleges and universities allow learners to pursue certificates within degrees or earn transfer credits for a degree. According to Education Data, the average college course costs $396 per credit hour.
What to Expect From a Project Management Certificate Online
Students pursuing project management certificates online will encounter each school's unique curriculum, but the following list highlights some of the more common classes. These courses cover the project management foundations that most leaders possess. Course titles and descriptions may vary.
Project Management Certificate Courses
- Assessing project risk
- Project leadership
- Planning and scheduling
- Project communications
- Cost and procurement
What Is an Online Project Management Certification?
A project management certification online helps industries and employers standardize specific skills and training. These credentials demonstrate to employers that the credentialled applicant possesses the leadership, technical, and business skills to lead projects according to industry standards.
Some popular certifications include certified associate in project management, certified Scrum master, and project management professional (PMP) through the Project Management Institute (PMI). Earning a project management certification online can provide individuals with better leadership opportunities in industries like information technology and engineering.
Certification-holders can also earn higher salaries. According to a PMI survey, 70% of professionals with the PMP credential received a wage increase within 12 months.
How to Get an Online Project Management Certification
While every project management certification online maintains specific requirements and prerequisites, all PMI certifications feature an examination that candidates must pass to earn the credential.
To qualify for the exam, professionals usually need a combination of education and experience, such as a bachelor's degree and a combined three years of specific project management experience.
Many certifications also require project management training, which can come from earning degrees or project management certificates online. The PMP exam allows for up to 230 minutes to complete 180 questions. The average candidate takes 35 hours to prepare for this exam. Most certifications last three years and require continuing education credits for renewal.
Online Project Management Certification Costs
Project management certification costs depend on the credential and organization. Certification examinations typically cost $400-$600. Certification organization members may benefit from discounted prices.
Many organizations offer certification preparation courses. Aspiring certification-holders may find free certification preparation programs, but most apply a fee.
Should I Get a Project Management Certificate Online or Project Management Certification Online?
Unlike earning a project management certificate online through a college or university, industry organizations confer project management certifications online. Certificates provide training similar to condensed degrees, while certifications recognize professionals who have met specific industry standards.
While certificate programs offer plenty of benefits, they may not appeal to all professionals equally. The following information outlines some of the pros and cons of certificates and certifications.
Project Management Certificate
Project Management Certification
What Can You Do With a Project Management Certificate or Certification?
Certificates and certifications qualify professionals for better positions, more leadership opportunities, and new industries. According to a PMI survey, PMP certification-holders see their salaries increase by an average of 23% after certification. The information below includes the median annual salary for project managers, along with the highest-paying states for professionals in this field.
2020 Mean Annual Salary
After earning a project management certificate or project management certification online, graduates can enter many promising careers. Below, readers can find examples of some of the professional options available to graduates, along with their associated median annual salaries and projected growth figures.
The example careers may require different levels of experience and education, so candidates should research their local industries for more specific eligibility information.
|Career||2020 Median Annual Salary||2019-2029 Projected Job Growth|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||$151,150||10%|
|Architectural and Engineering Managers||$149,530||3%|
|Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers||$141,490||6%|
|Public Relations and Fundraising Managers||$118,430||9%|
|Industrial Production Managers||$108,790||1%|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||$104,280||32%|
|Administrative Services and Facilities Managers||$98,890||6%|
Project Management Organizations
Professional project management organizations provide great benefits for members in all stages of their careers. New graduates can access job boards and mentorship resources, while experienced professionals can explore career development and networking options. These organizations may provide memberships based on geography or specializations.
Some organizations provide access to project management certifications online. Below are some of the most significant project management organizations.
Common Questions About Project Management Certificate Programs
Certified project managers need to pass an examination with a credential-providing organization like PMI. A project management certification typically requires both education and experience to qualify for the exam.
The PMP certification requires a minimum of three years of project management experience. A candidate with only a high school diploma or an associate degree needs five years of experience.
Most project management certifications online cost $400-$600, though candidates with specific organization memberships may receive discounts.
The PMP examination costs $405 for PMI members and $555 for non-members. The cost to retake the test is $275 for members and $375 for non-members.
The best online project management certificate programs can lead to entry-level roles for new graduates or help experienced professionals advance their careers. Additionally, the training can make leaders more effective and more useful to their organizations.
Doug Wintemute is a Toronto-based freelance writer with professional writing interests in higher learning and entertainment. He completed his BA and MA in English at York University, graduating summa cum laude and earning academic merit, research, and writing awards at both levels. Since 2014, he has contributed content and editorial work for award-winning digital trade publications, global SEO copywriting projects, and hugely popular online brands. He can be contacted through LinkedIn.
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