I searched for hours for an affordable training program to earn my 35 contact hours when I was planning to apply for the PMP exam. No one was there to guide me.
I did not know there were other modes of training, so I joined a classroom training program and still regret it.
The training center was far away from where I lived. I traveled for two nights and stayed in a hotel for three days to attend. It was not a good experience and it cost me a lot of money and time.
Later, I came to know that a few online training program providers were available at a lower price. The 35 contact hours can be completed from home and no physical attendance is required. I wish that I had been aware and could have saved myself from these hassles.
I receive emails from PMP aspirants searching for an affordable training program to earn their 35 contact hours.
Since I have gone through this process, I understand how difficult it can be.
I’m writing this blog post to clarify your doubts, and I hope after reading it, you won’t have any worries.
My first suggestion is to look for a PMI approved Registered Education Provider (REP), because they offer you many benefits:
- Their course content is reviewed by the PMI.
- During an audit, you don’t have to show the PMI the course content, as they have reviewed it.
- PMI approved providers are reliable and trustworthy.
Therefore, get your training from any PMI approved provider.
Types of PMP Training Programs
As per the delivery of training, you can divide training programs into four categories:
- Online Training Programs
- Classroom Training Programs
- Live Virtual Training Programs
- Hybrid Training Programs
Online PMP Training Programs
These are easy to join; you only need to have a PC with an internet connection. After payment, you will get immediate access to the program. Once you complete your training, you can download your certificate.
I suggest you join an online PMP training program to earn your contact hours because it offers you many benefits, such as:
Online training programs are the cheapest. The price varies between 100 USD to 300 USD.
Other training programs, such as hybrid, virtual, and classroom training programs, are costly and start from 1,000 USD.
Online training programs are the most flexible option. You get access for three months to a year and you can complete the training at your own pace.
Other training programs have a fixed schedule and you have to complete the course within three to four sittings, and that can be very exhausting.
Online training programs have no location restrictions; you can join them from anywhere.
Other types of training programs force you to visit their center. If it is nearby, you can easily attend. Otherwise, you will need to make travel arrangements.
Online training programs have no seat limitations.
Other training programs do. If you don’t join at the right time, you have to wait until the next scheduled program.
Drawbacks of Online Training Programs
An online training program lacks interaction. You have to watch the recorded webinar, read notes, and understand the concepts on your own.
The other drawback is the slow response time to your queries. If you have any questions, you will post it on the forum and the response takes time. These days, online support is fast and they reply within a few minutes to hours, but still not as quick as in live classes where you get an immediate response.
Classroom Training Programs
This is the traditional method of teaching. You have to sit for six to eight hours per day for three to five days, sometimes even more.
Classroom training programs offer you many benefits.
The most important is interactivity. Sessions are interactive in a classroom training program. This helps you understand the concepts better. Many studies have shown that interactive sessions are the best teaching method.
In a classroom training program, you can clear your doubts instantly.
You will meet cross-functional professionals that will help you understand processes in different industries and you can expand your network.
You can complete your training quickly, usually in three to five days. With an online training program, this may take several days to months, and you may lose interest.
Drawbacks of Classroom Training Programs
The first drawback is the high price: these programs start from 1,000 USD to several thousand USD.
Classroom training programs are conducted in big cities on a fixed schedule. If you do not live nearby, you will have to travel to join the program.
Seats are limited, so if you are late in applying for the program, you may have to wait for the next date.
If you want to join a classroom training program, I suggest you research it and the trainer thoroughly. If the trainer is experienced and well known, then you should join it.
Live Virtual Training Programs
This training program is relatively new and is gaining popularity.
You take part in the sessions in real-time through the computer with a webcam and microphone. You can clear your doubts in real-time.
Drawbacks of Live Virtual Training Programs
If you don’t live in the same geographic location, the time difference may pose a problem for you.
You must have a high-speed, uninterrupted internet connection if you want to enjoy the program. A poor internet connection may pose a problem.
These programs are costly; it is similar to a classroom training program.
You should join this program if the trainer is renowned.
Hybrid Training Programs
This training program has features of online training, classroom training, and virtual training.
Here, the training provider may deliver the study materials by mail. You have to study them and then send the assignments through mail/email. Sometimes, you may have a few online, face-to-face sessions to ask questions.
Drawbacks of Hybrid Training Programs
If the program provider schedules a face-to-face session and you don’t live in the same geographical location, you may not be able to attend.
Likewise, a poor internet connection may pose a problem for you during the live online sessions.
Other problems include the deliverability of materials, communication gaps, lack of interactivity, etc.
What type of training program should you select?
You should choose a program that is suited to your needs.
If cost is not an issue, you can spare a few days and are ready to travel, join a classroom training program. Always ensure that the trainer is worthy of this effort.
Don’t choose a professional trainer whose only job is to train for various providers. Make sure that they are experienced in project management and still involved with it.
However, if you are looking for an affordable and flexible training program, join one online.
I have explained all the types of training programs with their pros and cons, and now you can make a better, more informed decision.
If you are interested in joining an online training program for the PMP exam, you can take my 35 contact hours program. This is PMI approved and provides you with a PMP exam preparation package.
The access is for one year and the program comes with a money-back guarantee.
You can choose any type of training program. Classroom training programs are very costly, while online training programs are popular for their flexibility, comfort, and price tag. Online and classroom PMP training programs are more popular, but these days, live virtual training programs are gaining notoriety. Make sure any training program you select is PMI approved.
What training program are you thinking of joining? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.