The Dangers of Online PMP Certification Courses
Online PMP Certification courses are the best way to train and certify aspiring project managers who don’t have the time or the means to attend a live PMP course. Unfortunately, not all online PMP courses are created equal. If you’re not careful, you could end up with a course that does nothing to get you your PMP certification.
Here are a few of the dangers:
Course Uses Outdated Information
As of this writing, the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PEMBOK) is on its 4th edition. All PMP certification courses, online or offline, need to use this edition in order to prepare their students for the PMP exam.
Your course details should indicate which PEMBOK version they are using in their materials. If not, ask and make sure you get a direct answer.
Your Instructor Isn’t Qualified
In online courses, you never see your instructor face-to-face (except in video chat). For all you know, your instructor may not actually be qualified to be teaching your PMP certification class, and is instead just running rote off a pre-made syllabus.
Only certified Project Management Professionals who are Registered Educational Providers can teach PMP classes. If it’s not already provided, ask for the instructor’s REP number. You’ll need this info in case your class gets audited.
Ineffective Teaching Methods
Is this a course where you’re going to be spoon-fed a bunch of dry printed and audio-visual material? Or are you actively participating in the discussion and being asked to perform learning exercises? Is the instructor an effective orator and presenter, able to express his ideas in a logical manner?
Different people learn in different ways. Try to find out as much as you can about the instructor’s teaching style prior to registering for the course by asking former students, or searching for feedback online or through social media. After all, online PMP courses have costs beyond just their fee like your time, a share of your mind, and opportunity costs, and you do not want to waste any of these valuable resources in an ineffective manner.
Patrick Icasas is a former marketing project manager with 7 years of marketing and PR agency experience, managing creative projects for brands such as Nokia, Verizon Wireless, and Adobe. He now spends his time helping people make the most out of their project management software and entertaining his 5 year old daughter.