Project Management Training | Thinkful

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If you’re a natural-born leader with excellent communication and organizational skills, a rewarding career in project management is a perfect fit. The role is in high-demand across a range of different sectors from tech and finance to retail and manufacturing.

Experienced project managers can expect to earn up to $140,000 and enjoy solid job security and great career prospects. So even though you need to learn some specialized skills to succeed, your hard work will pay off long-term.

In this post, we’ll discuss how you can level-up your PM skills and kickstart your management career with a dedicated training program. But first, let’s look at the role in more detail.

What Does a Project Manager Do?

Project managers are responsible for planning, executing, controlling, and managing specific projects for an organization. They must ensure these projects are completed on time, on budget, and as planned.

Examples of business projects include the development of new software to improve a business process, construction of new offices, or planning a strategy to break into a new market.

You’ll have to lead large teams and keep everybody heading in the right direction. You’ll also need to quickly and efficiently tackle any problems that arise during your projects. Team members will look to you for answers, motivation, and inspiration.

Skills Required to Become a Project Manager

To make it in project management you’ll need great people skills. Most successful PMs can handle a range of different personalities, ensure team members gel together, and get the best performance out of individuals.

You’ll need a flexible mindset and strong problem-solving skills to adapt and update your project plans in real-time. You’ll also need solid communication and presentation skills to report progress to senior management and company stakeholders.

Project managers excel at both formal and informal business interactions. They develop an uncanny knack for reading both their employee’s and client’s unspoken desires, challenges, and expectations.

Experienced PMs are also super organized professionals with good time management, task prioritization, and risk assessment skills.

Project Management Specializations

Here are some of the most common areas of specialization for project managers:

1. Technology

Project managers play an important role in large tech companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook, especially when new software is released or digital platforms are upgraded. Tech-based PMs must oversee the entire project, perform cost-benefit analysis, and draw up contracts for third-party vendors.

2. Marketing

Marketing PMs need to be creative and possess a strong vision. You’ll need to  effectively communicate your ideas to team members and senior management. You’ll also be responsible for tracking progress with key performance indicators (KPIs).

3. Engineering

Project managers involved in the manufacturing and engineering sector are specialized in handling the logistics of complicated engineering projects. They also maintain great relationships with vendors and clients, ensuring their expectations are met.

4. Construction

Large-scale  construction projects create a whole new set of challenges for even the  most experienced project managers. Factors such as employee health and safety, building regulations, and construction laws must be considered while also managing deadlines, budgets, teams, and working standards.

5. Healthcare

Project managers working for leading healthcare companies may have to lead projects handling the development of new drugs. You could also be responsible for creating new patient management processes for an organization.

6. Energy

Project managers are usually picked up by state energy departments to handle programming, planning, budgeting, and capital acquisition.

Top Project Management Training Courses

Whichever PM specialization you choose to pursue, you’ll need to enroll in a structured education program to learn the required skills. In the following list we’ve compiled the most focused and expertly designed PM training courses on offer:

1. Technical Project Management Bootcamp by Thinkful

Our very own technical PM course will teach you everything you need to kickstart your dream project management career. You’ll learn the latest PM tools and techniques from our rigorous curriculum, designed by leading experts in the field.

This online course includes workshops and real-life projects that you can add to your resume. You’ll gain practical hands-on experience working in the PM role so you can hit the ground running.

You’ll  receive one-on-one mentoring and career coaching from our veteran team  to help you land a well-paid PM role. Our previous students have secured  positions in leading companies like Google, Amazon, Walmart Labs, and IBM.

If you’re interested in learning more head over to the course page. You can also schedule a call with our admissions team who will gladly answer any of your questions.

2. Introduction to Project Management by The University of Washington

This course is offered to you free of charge by the University of Washington. It provides a perfect introduction to the subject and will get you up to speed with the basics of project management.

The  course includes four lessons and focuses on building your understanding  of project management roles in top tier positions. It will teach you how to break down a complex project into smaller work structures.

If you’re not 100% sure that a future in project management is for you, we recommend enrolling in this free introduction course. It’ll provide you with further insight into the role and help you decide on your career direction.  

3. Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management by Coursera

This course is provided in association with the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. The program has a fixed structure and requires you to invest at least  four hours per week. Submissions are made at the end of every week and your performance is graded.

The training program is registered with The Project Management Institute and is recognized by most employers. Learning material is broken into four phases:

  • Welcome to the World of Projects
  • The Ins & Outs of Project Planning
  • It’s a Risky World & Then the Unexpected Happened
  • Ready, Set, Go Project Execution

You can complete the training online and the entire course takes around 9 hours to complete.  

4. Project Management Certificate Program by Cornell University

This certification program is great for both established PMs looking to validate their skills and beginners seeking a comprehensive introduction to project management. There are two pricing options available. You can enroll for a fixed tuition fee of $3900 or pay over 5 monthly installments of $830 per month.

The project management certificate is split into six study modules:

  • Organizing the Project and Its Components
  • Planning and Managing Resources
  • Assessing, Managing, and Mitigating Project Risk
  • Using Earned Value Management for Project Managers
  • Agile Project Management Approaches
  • PMP Study Group

You’ll need to commit 5 hours per week for 3 months in this instructor-led online course. You can expect under 35 students per study group.  

5. Project Management Professional Course by Cybrary

Cybrary offers a free PM course consisting of 10 different modules that take 7 hours to complete. The curriculum does a great job at familiarizing you with some of the most important principles and strengthens your understanding of PM basics.

Topics include:  

  • How to initiate, plan, and manage a project
  • Risk assessment processes
  • Monitoring and controlling project contracts
  • How to develop project schedules and budgets

The course concludes with an exam. This certification can be added to your resume to demonstrate your skills and passion for the PM role.  

6. PMP Certification Training Course by Simplilearn

This training course is taught by Jeff Allen, a world-class instructor, and an experienced project manager. Allen does a great job of teaching using real-life examples. The course  includes several case studies that demonstrate how project management  techniques have been successfully used.

The program serves as an intensive prep for your PMP (Project Management Professional) certification too. The course is flexible, allowing you to progress at your own pace. Pricing starts at $340.

7. Online PMP Certification Exam Prep by BrainSensei

BrainSensei has differentiated itself from the rest of the pack by striving to make learning fun. They make sure that there’s never a dull moment, injecting humor and real-life examples into their lessons. They also make a point out of assessing how much you’ve retained at the end of each module so you can prepare for the exam. They have a convenient free-trial available or the full course costs $500 for 6 months.

8. Diploma in Project Management by Alison

This free training course aims to teach you the intricacies of project management and provides real-world examples.

Modules include:

  • An overview of project management, including the history and insightful interviews with veterans of the field.
  • Methodology and approach, covering investigation, planning, design, production, and evaluation.
  • Project management tools, including PERT diagrams, scheduling, critical path method, and estimating activity time.

The program features a quiz after every module to test your understanding of the course material.  

9. PMP Certification Training by GoSkills

This  online course features video tutorials, personalized learning,  unlimited tests and quizzes, and award-winning instructors. Prices start  from $199 for an annual subscription to the course material. They even offer a 7-day free trial to try before you buy.

Study modules cover the following topics:

  • The project lifecycle
  • Project benefits and metrics
  • Project management plan and project documents
  • Critical path calculations Leads, lags, and float  

You Have A Bright Future in Project Management

A future in project management will provide you with incredible job satisfaction and exciting challenges. You’ll also be highly rewarded and enjoy excellent job security.  

If you’d like to continue your research and learn about similar fields, consider looking into product management. You can read our product management careers blog or learn about the difference between project managers and product managers.

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