When I was preparing for my PMP certification exam and was searching for an affordable PMP training program, nobody was there to guide me on which type of PMP training program I should select.
I did not know that there were any other types of PMP training programs that were available except the classroom training program. Therefore, I joined a classroom PMP training program, and I still regret it.
It cost me money and time. I traveled for two nights and stayed three days in a hotel just to get my training. It was a not a good experience for me.
I wish that I had been aware of other types of training programs which could have saved me from these hassles.
I constantly receive emails from visitors searching for a suitable a training program for themselves. Experienced professionals just want a training program to earn 35 contact hours at a minimum cost, and others want a training program that can give them a better understanding of the subject.
Since I have gone through this process, I understand how difficult it can be for you to select the right PMP training program for yourself.
You may have many doubts in your mind, such as:
- What are the various kinds of PMP training programs available?
- Which type of training program should I select?
- Which type of training program is the cheapest?
I’m writing this blog post to answer these questions, and I hope it will answer your all queries.
Before I go any further, I would strongly suggest you always look for a PMI approved Registered Education Provider (REP) because it offers you many benefits, such as:
- Their course content is reviewed and approved by the PMI which guarantees the quality of the course.
- During an audit you don’t have to prove that your course content aligns with the PMI guidelines.
- PMI approved providers are reliable and trustworthy.
Therefore you should try to get training from any PMI approved provider.
Types of PMP Training Programs
There are various types of PMP training programs available on the market; however, according to the delivery of training, you can divide the PMP training programs into four main categories:
- Online Training Programs
- Classroom Training Programs
- Online Live Training Programs
- Hybrid Training Programs
Online and classroom PMP training programs are more popular, however online live training programs are also becoming very popular these days.
Now let’s discuss each type of training program in detail.
Online PMP Training Programs
I don’t have any data to support my claim, though I believe this is currently the most popular form of PMP training program.
This type of training program is popular for its flexibility, comfortability, and the price tag.
Joining this type of program is very easy. You only need to have a desktop or laptop computer with an Internet connection. After making the payment, you get immediate access to the program.
Once you complete the training you can download your certificate immediately.
If you have some experience in project management and don’t want to spend a lot of money on contact hours, I suggest you try the online PMP training program because it offers you many benefits over other types of training programs, such as:
- No location restrictions
- No seat limitations
Online training programs are the cheapest among all that are offered. The cost of online PMP training programs range from 100 USD to 350 USD. On the other hand the cost of a classroom training program starts at 1,000 USD and can go up to 4,000 USD.
Other types of training programs such as hybrid and live classroom training programs are also not cheap. Typically they hover around 1,000 USD.
Again, online training programs are the most flexible program among all other types of training programs.
Online training providers give you sufficient time to complete the training. The validity of the course can vary from several months to a lifetime. Therefore, you can complete the course at your own pace.
Conversely, with other types of training programs the schedule is fixed and you may have to complete the course within three to four sittings. This can be very exhausting for you.
No Location Restrictions
Online training programs are not limited by location.
You can join an online training program from any place in the world and can complete the course from your home.
With the other types of training programs you may have to visit to their center to attend the course. If the center is close to where you live, you can go and join the course easily. However if it is far away you may have to make travel arrangements.
No Seat Limitations
There is are no seat limitations with online training programs. Any number of students can join it at any given time.
However with the other types of training programs you may face seat limitation issues. If you don’t join at the right time, you may miss the train.
Drawbacks of Online Training Programs
The main drawback of online training program is a lack of interaction. There is no interactive discussion. You have to watch the recorded webinar and understand the concepts.
The other drawback is the slow response to your queries. If you need to clarify any points during the training and you post your question in the forum or the support portal, the response from the instructor may take some time. Although these days you can expect them to respond within 24 hours, I think it is still not very quick.
Classroom Training Programs
This is the oldest and most traditional method of teaching, and we all have gone through it. In this type of training program, you have to attend the training program and the trainer will teach you in a class. Here you will have to sit for six to eight hours per day for a period of three to five days, sometimes even more.
The classroom training program offers you many benefits.
The first and most important benefit is interactivity. In classroom training programs, sessions are very interactive. The trainer explains concepts and participants ask questions. This helps you understand the concepts better. According to many studies, interactive sessions are the best teaching method.
In classroom training program, if you have any questions you can ask the teacher and get the answer instantly.
Here you also get a chance to meet cross-functional professionals, which helps you understand processes in different industries and you are also able to expand your network.
In classroom training programs you can complete your training very quickly; in three to five days the training is completed.
However, classroom training programs have some drawbacks as well.
The first drawback is the cost, because these programs can cost from 1,000 USD to several thousand.
Moreover, these programs are usually conducted in big cities and on a fixed schedule. So if you do not live near their center, you will have to travel to join the program.
Seats are also limited in classroom training programs, so if you are little late applying for the program, they may deny your entry and you will have to wait for the next dates.
Now if you want to join a classroom training program, I suggest you contact your local PMI chapter. Usually the quality of the training offered by the PMI’s local chapters is better than the other providers.
Online Live Training Programs
The third category is a live online training program. This type of training program is relatively new and is becoming more popular.
This type of training program is mostly given by training providers who are experienced in providing online training and want to venture into another arena.
In online live training programs, an instructor will teach the class from a remote place and you have to attend the lecture in real time through the computer with a webcam and microphone. The instructor will deliver the lecture through a webinar, and if you have any questions you can ask them in real time.
The drawback of this type of program is that if you don’t live in same geographic location, the time difference may pose a problem for you.
The other problem is the quality of the Internet connection; you must have a high-speed, uninterrupted Internet connection if you want to enjoy the program seamlessly. Moreover, most of the time the price of a live online training program is similar to a classroom training program.
The only benefit of this program is that you may get access to a renowned expert.
Hybrid Training Programs
The last type of training program is a hybrid training program.
In a hybrid training program, 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 live online face to face sessions to answer questions.
Hybrid training programs have many shortcomings; for example, if the program provider decides to schedule a live online face to face session and you don’t live in same geographical location, the time difference may pose a problem for you.
Likewise, low quality Internet may be a problem for you during the live sessions.
Other problems include deliverability of materials, communication gaps, etc.
Now the final question:
What type of training program should you select?
The answer to this question is not simple and only you can decide what type of training program is suitable for you.
If you are less experienced in project management, cost does not matter to you, you can spare three to five days for the training, and the trainer is very renowned, you should invest in the classroom training program.
However, if you have a busy schedule and are looking for flexible and low cost training program, you should join any online training program.
Anyway, it is your call and your decision.
I have explained all types of training programs with their pros and cons and now you can make a better, more informed decision.
Although there are many ways to earn these 35 contact hours, you should select the program which is most suitable to you. Classroom training programs are very costly, while the online versions are the cheapest and offer you a lot of flexibility but lack the interactivity of classroom training. When selecting any programs make sure that they are PMI approved providers, otherwise if you are audited you may face difficulty in proving your course content.
Among all the types of training programs, online training programs are the cheapest and the easiest way to earn 35 contact hours. They offer you everything you need to understand project management concepts, including study materials, sample questions, mock tests, etc.
Here is where this blog post on types of PMP training program ends. If you have something to share, you can do so through the comments section.