Introductory project management courses
If you’re not sure about committing to getting project management certification, you can get a basic project management credential that will help you land a project management job and successfully deliver your first projects. It can also be a useful foundation for a more advanced and specialized certification later on.
For instance, early on in my career, I decided to work towards the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. As the PMP requires 36 months of project management experience, I started with a university project management course that fulfilled the education requirements for the PMP (and acted as a useful addition to my CV until I got the certification).
Project Management for Beginners (Project Management Institute)
Run by the Project Management Institute, this free intro course helps those new to the project world understand project management language, what the role of a project manager is, and the basics of working in a project environment.
Offered by: Project Management Institute
Time commitment: 4 hours
Introduction to Project Management (edX)
This course takes you through the processes for planning, scoping, scheduling, costing, and managing a project. It also covers the communication and people management skills needed for successful project delivery.
Cost: Free; $199 for a certificate
Offered by: The University of Adelaide
Time commitment: 2-3 hours per week for 6 weeks
Certification: A verified certificate is available (Note: This is not the same as having an official Project Management Institute PMP certificate, which requires passing an exam).
Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management (Coursera)
This course covers project management tools, techniques, and processes for project planning, risk management, and project execution. The last week includes a discussion of alternative project execution methods such as Agile and Scrum.
Cost: Free; $59 to access assignments and receive a certificate
Offered by: The University of Virginia
Time commitment: 9 hours over 4 weeks
Certification: A paid certificate is available (Note: This is not the same as having an official Project Management Institute PMP certificate, which requires passing an exam).
Project Management Foundations (LinkedIn Learning)
While it doesn’t offer any official PMP certification, this step-by-step introduction to project management is useful for someone who needs to learn project management processes and tools fast. It shows what to do at every stage of the project lifecycle, and explains the difference between traditional and Agile project management techniques. Exercises at the end of each section help you practice what you’ve learned.
Cost: 1-month free trial, then $39.99 per month to continue learning
Offered by: LinkedIn Learning
Time commitment: 3 hours 20 minutes, plus time to complete exercises
Certification: None, though you can add the completed course to your LinkedIn profile
Practical Project Management certificate (FutureLearn)
This FutureLearn course covers the project lifecycle from beginning to end, using real-world examples to teach practical project management skills. You will learn about developing project plans, tools, and techniques needed at each stage of a project, and how to apply these in the workplace.
Offered by: The University of Glasgow
Time commitment: 10 hours per week for 10 weeks
Certification: Online micro-credential providing 10 academic credits at postgraduate level from the University of Glasgow.
Project Management Basics (Project Management Institute)
Focused on preparing for the Project Management Institute’s Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) exam, this course has practice tests and exams. It covers project management vocabulary and standards, and how project management processes work together.
Cost: $400, plus $225 if you wish to take the exam
Offered by: Project Management Institute
Time commitment: 23 hours
Certification: This is a preparation course for the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) exam. Taking the exam requires a separate application and fee.