18 best project management courses online for professionals
The project management industry is pivotal in sustaining the global economy. With a growing number of projects globally, the demand for competent people managers is on the rise. PM offers interesting career opportunities if you have the right qualification.
This review is for people who want to get their project management qualifications online. We cover some of the best project management courses online and also provide guidance to help you choose the one that is best for you.
Project Management Courses Online – Overview
Project Management is not limited to a single definition. It is such a vast and innovative field that it keeps on evolving continually. The Project Management Institute PMI gives a very broad definition: “Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.”
This definition shows that PM is more than just a body of knowledge. It incorporates everything from learning theory to using technology to human engineering.
Managing resources – Project managers are highly skilled people whose sole job is to minimize the wastage of resources in a project, which is not an option in today’s competitive world. To put things into perspective, PMI 2017 reported that companies that invested in project management initiatives tended to waste 28 times less money.
Scope of duties – A typical project manager has to single-handedly oversee these principal activities: Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monitoring and Controlling, Closing. Being an expert in all of these is not an easy job. It requires mastery of skills such as time management, communication, leadership, creativity among others.
Regulations – Since PM is such a crucial job in the modern context, this profession is highly regulated and standardized. It has a wide array of sub-fields and professional certifications, as well as a multitude of training options.
List of courses – Below, we cover some of the best project management courses online plus training options. If you aim to become a project manager or are already working as one, these courses from various providers will help get you started or further improve.
Best Project Management Courses Online – Top Picks
|Coursera||RICE University||LinkedIn Learning||Udemy|
|Free. Certificate Fee.||$1,900. Certificate.||$26.99/month||from $11.99|
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*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure at the end of this post.
Note: This review gives an overview of the best product management courses online. It is not meant to be comprehensive as there are many other PM courses available.
1. Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management – Coursera
This (visit website) is a project management course for beginners offered by the University of Virginia. It is a beneficial learning opportunity for those seeking insight into the modern PM world. The instructor starts with an introduction to PM and explains its rudimentary concepts, such as what is the project life cycle or the critical path of a project.
Towards the end, specialized concepts such as the earned value approach and latest software solutions are touched upon, which are a selling point for this course according to many reviewers. It boasts a 4.7-star rating on Coursera.
Apart from video lectures, the course directs you towards insightful reading material and also has a bunch of quizzes. If you complete this course, you earn 12 PDUs for PMI, which can help you maintain your certification status. One of the best project management courses online to gain university-style education, certification, and recognition.
Provider: University of Virginia. Coursera | Level: Beginners.
Instructors: Yael Grushka-Cockayne | Course Duration: 4 weeks.
Info: View course. Browse: Search all project management courses on Coursera.
2. Strategic Project Management – RICE University
RICE University’s Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies offers this 8-week course (visit website) for senior executives, project management professionals, managers, and functional specialists tasked with bringing off projects successfully.
Upon enrolling in this project management course, participants will learn how to display strategic project management through sound execution. Completing this course will bring professionals a step closer to transitioning from operational to strategic roles.
The class starts with the expectations and role of a project manager. Learners will then move to strategic thinking and value management. The latter is split over two modules that break down the concept into two sections: mining projects for value and maximizing value.
From here, students will dive deep into strategic project leadership, organizational structures, challenges, project changes, risks, and the future landscape for project managers. By the end, students will have a framework ready for how to apply strategic thinking by aligning projects, programs, and portfolio goals.
Provider: Rice University, GetSmarter | Duration: 8 weeks | Certificate: Yes.
Level: Professionals | Pace: Instructor-lead | Price: $1,900
Info: Visit course website. Get free prospectus. Browse all management courses.
3. Become a Project Manager – LinkedIn Learning
Become a Project Manager (visit website) is a comprehensive program for business professionals looking to switch to more strategic roles within their companies. This course is designed to impart proven project management techniques to learners and enable them with the skillset that can help them bring projects to completion successfully every time.
Starting with an overview of project management foundations, ethics, and requirements, the class will gradually move to specific aspects that underline these foundations. These particularly include the concepts of scheduling, budgeting, and teaming. Another key aspect that students will learn is communication and how to deal with challenges such as miscommunication that could result in misalignment of project goals and execution.
The last two modules in the program deal with managing risks and project stakeholders before finishing off with Microsoft project quick tips. By the end, students will have developed the understanding required to handle first projects as well as enterprise-wide initiatives. This is among the best project management courses online for beginners.
4. Geno Auriemma Teaches Leading Winning Teams, MasterClass
With 11 national college championships and two gold medals, Geno Auriemma is a living legend. These days, he dedicates himself to teaching up-and-coming coaches and future team leaders the secrets of profound resilience and effective leadership, which is why we have included his class in our review of the best project management courses online.
His class ‘Leading Winning Teams' (visit website) will help you develop powerful leadership skills and apply the right measure of compassion and push needed to pivot others out of their fears. As a participant, you will learn how to create and lead a team in any industry, environment, workplace, community, or even at home.
Once enrolled, you will go through a series of lectures designed to help you become a great teammate, attract and retain the best talent, develop empathic connections, track progress, perform under pressure and embrace your failures alongside the successes.
This class is among the best project management courses online to build strong leadership and teambuilding skills. There are also many more leadership topics covered on MasterClass. A subscription offers access to all of them. Learn from the best coaches.
5. Project Management Principles – Specialization – Coursera
This Coursera specialization (visit website) consists of a number of closely related courses. This track is meant for PM beginners with a general interest in this field. It is composed of 4 different project management courses online that teach key concepts such as project initiation, planning, scheduling, budgeting, and risk management.
The first 3 project management courses are taught via videos, reading assignments or quizzes and focus on traditional product-centric principles. The final course is the specialization project itself. Students step into a project manager’s shoes and plan out a project A-Z. The final report is peer-reviewed, which offers a unique learning experience.
People who are enthusiastic about becoming project managers can learn a lot from this specialization, it will show you a clear path to follow. This could be one of the best project management courses online for those looking for a comprehensive study track.
Provider: University of California, Irvine. Coursera | Teacher: Margaret Meloni
Level: Beginners. | Duration: 5 months. | Pricing: Try 7 days free. From $59/month.
Info: View course. Browse: Search all project management courses on Coursera.
6. Agile Project Management – University of Cape Town
Agile Project Management (visit website) by the University of Cape Town is an 8-week program on the GetSmarter learning platform. It aims at helping project managers looking to increase efficiency by harnessing the potential of an Agile approach in business.
It also targets those looking to stay up-to-date by developing relevant skills and those seeking a better understanding of the business contexts that best suit the Agile methods. In this course, you will learn how to adopt an Agile Project Management strategy that ensures projects efficacy via multiple reassessments and adaptation of plans.
By the end, practicing managers and participants will have a solid understanding of the principles, methods, and values related to the Agile approach. You will be able to identify the differences between traditional methods and this new approach.
Furthermore, students will be able to locate the suitable conditions for Agile ways, perform adaptive planning along with continuous improvement, and build efficient, high-perming teams. This is one of the best agile project management courses online.
Provider: University of Cape Town, GetSmarter | Certificate: Yes.
Level: Professionals | Pace: Instructor-lead | Duration: 8 weeks | Price: $990
Info: Visit course website. Get free prospectus. Browse all management courses.
7. The Project Management Course: Beginner to PROject Manager – Udemy
Project management is a highly transferable discipline. Learn the skills and tools in this project management course (visit website) that can help you on a job, in your business, and also in your personal life. It will equip learners with more than 15 templates and downloads that they can use on future projects.
They teach Gantt charts, Critical Path Method, Project Plan, and Budget among other useful tools to prepare you for success. The course carries you through a complete project case study with realistic scenarios along the way. You will also study the Waterfall and Agile philosophies and practice them inside the SCRUM framework.
By the end of the course, you will have upskilled yourself into eligibility for a promotion or a new position in Project Management. If you like learning with Udemy, this is certainly one of the best project management courses online that are suitable for beginners.
Tip: Browse our lists of the best business courses, or entrepreneurship courses or business management courses, or accounting courses, or real estate courses or leadership courses and product management courses to further expand your skills.
8. Project Management Foundations – LinkedIn
Let's start with a beginner-level course that can help you kickstart a career in the industry. The ‘PM Foundations' course (visit website) will help learners understand what project management entails and how a regular workday will look like for a professional.
It is comprised of 9 chapters, each one dealing with a specific phase of a typical project i.e. initiation, planning, execution, closure, etc. Students can test their knowledge via quizzes and challenges that encourage them to apply what they have learned to real-life situations. An exam will earn you a certificate and valuable credits for NASBA and PMI.
A distinctive feature is that it has a special chapter on Agile Project Management. If you are interested in going down that path then this is among the best project management courses online suitable for beginners. Being on LinkedIn Learning also gives you access to all other courses available on the platform, e.g. The Become A Project Manager (view).
9. Agile Crash Course & Agile Projects – Udemy
Agile is one of the latest and most effective contemporary project management approaches. It is a feedback-based methodology focused on maximizing quality and output through the optimal use of human creativity.
This Udemy course (visit website) provides a solid foundation for Agile and is designed for beginners. It starts with an overview of Agile, then dives into its constituents such as the Agile team and tools where it discusses innovations like the Kanban board.
A notable aspect of this course is that it attempts to explain the universality of Agile as a PM framework by discussing how it is not limited to software development and IT. There is a final exam at the end. In between the course, there are optional activities like an Agile project and learning games that can enhance your learning experience.
The ‘Agile Crash Course’ can lead to employment opportunities in modernistic PM environments like software development and business analysis.
10. Introduction to Project Management – edX
The next suggestion in our list is another elementary-level project management course from The University of Adelaide. The Introduction to Project Management course is quite similar to our previous suggestions in terms of curriculum design. It relays the core knowledge and principles of PM to learners, starting from the very baseline.
What distinguishes it from many beginner-level project management courses out there is its focus on developing the learners’ personal qualities and soft skills. If you are looking for something that goes beyond book knowledge and guides you on what practical traits you need to work on, this is the course for you.
An advantage of edX is that the course content is often free; you can purchase a verified certificate upon completion but it is optional. Therefore, it is an attractive package for students and young professionals looking to boost their career prospects in this industry.
Provider: University of Adelaide. edX | Level: Introductory.
Instructors: Frank Shultmann and others
Course Content: 6 weeks. | Pricing: Free. Certificate $199
11. Essentials of Project Management for the Non-Project Manager – AMA
The American Management Association (AMA) is an education-driven organization that offers a variety of training materials in project management. The course content is the same as an introductory project management course: project life cycle, technical jargon, professional tools, soft skills, etc.
A salient feature of this course is that it is specially curated for people who are already a part of a PM team but not in a leading role. It is perfect for entry-level professionals who want to prove their mettle as a useful team resource and climb up the ladder to become a project manager. It covers topics like the SMART criteria and Work Breakdown Structure.
An advantage of taking this course is that it is offered as a live online session where you can directly interact with your instructor and fellow students, just like in a real classroom.
Provider: American Management Association AMA | Level: Beginners
Instructors: AMA teachers | Course: 4 lessons online. 2 days in-person.
Pricing: $1,995 AMA Members
12. Diploma in Project Management – Alison
Alison is a free e-learning platform that offers great opportunities for professional development. Its Diploma courses are designed as a complete package for learners who seek wholesome knowledge of a subject rather than a specific portion of it.
Consequently, the Diploma is a truly comprehensive beginner’s guide to project management. Starting from a general intro to project planning, it goes on to discuss core PM topics: methodology, toolset, documentation, and project life cycle, over 27 modules.
It ends with an in-depth case study that bolsters all concepts in one’s mind and exhibits its practical implementation. You need to pass the final assessment to complete the diploma. Interested candidates can also purchase their Alison diploma upon completion.
Overall, we believe that classes encompassing all these topics are rare. Thus, this is certainly one of the best project management courses online for beginners.
Provider: Alison | Level: Beginners. | Instructors: n.a.
Course: 6-10 hours. Assessment included.
Pricing: Free. Certificate available.
13. Scrum: The Basics – LinkedIn
Our next suggestion Scrum: The Basics (visit website) is slightly different from the aforementioned traditional project management courses online. Scrum is a PM framework that has rapidly gained popularity as an agile project management tool.
The course is centered on this trending methodology. It provides a quick round-up on what Scrum is and how it stemmed from the Agile movement in the PM world, what thinking styles and ideological principles it is based on, and how it is implemented as a team.
Video lectures are backed by chapter-end quizzes. Completing this short course will earn you 1 PDU/Contact Hour for PMI. This class is among the best project management courses online to help you explore this paradigm of PM and open up chances for careers in software development, research, business analysis, etc.
14. RIT – MicroMaster in Project Management – edX
edX MicroMaster is an impressive e-learning feature of the platform. MicroMasters are a series of graduate-level courses offered by universities, which if completed, are accepted as recognized credits by graduate schools and employers.
The MicroMaster in Project Management by RITx is an intensive 8-month learning path comprising 3 graduate-level project management courses and a final exam.
The first course discusses the project life cycle in detail, teaching each process and challenge comprehensively. The second course talks about the human factor involved in PM, guiding you about what personal characteristics and best practices can lead to project success. The third course focuses on the nuances of international project management, showing you how to conquer global PM challenges.
The final exam is an online proctored assessment, clearing which will earn you a MicroMaster degree. This online degree is widely accepted as proof of your mettle in PM and can potentially land you a job.
Provider: RIT, edX| Level: Beginners. | Instructors: Leonie Fernandes
Course: MicroMasters Program. 8 months. 4 graduate-level courses.
Original Price: $900.
15. TU Delft – Project Management – Mastering Complexity – edX
Managing a project is a real-life scenario that never goes entirely as planned. A good project manager is astute enough to deal with the complexities that arise repeatedly and still deliver everything as required.
TU Delft offers the course to established project managers who are looking to upskill themselves; knowledge and prior experience in PM is a pre-requisite.
Complexity in the context of PM is introduced at first. You will learn how to identify possible complexities via the TOE framework and prepare for them beforehand. The course will then guide you about the diversity of management styles suited to different complexities and what state of mind should you put yourself in to tackle them effectively.
By the end, there is a standard peer-reviewed assessment that will help you apply your knowledge and also see where you stand. This is among the best project management courses online for advanced certification and handling complex projects.
Provider: TU Delft, edX | Level: Advanced. | Instructors: Hans Bakker
Duration: 5 weeks. 4–6 hours/week
Pricing: Free. Certificate $199
16. Project Management Professional (PMP) – Cybrary
The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification by PMI is a coveted achievement in the PM industry. Having it in your portfolio renders you a class apart.
Cybrary offers this PMP training course to people who are willing to rise to the top in the PM industry. It is an intermediate project management course that builds upon basic knowledge and is a pathway to certification. This course adds 10 CEU/CPE to your credit.
As a learner, you will first revisit all basic level topics like project life cycle and scope definition. After that, the course will then systematically deal with advanced level topics like costing/budgeting, human resource allocation, quality control, risk management.
These are essential skills to learn to perform well on the exam and in the field. This could be one of the best project management courses online to not only help you with PMP but also contribute to your PM career.
Provider: Cybrary | Level: Intermediate. | Instructors: Vince McKeown
Course: 5 hours. 11 modules
Pricing: Free limited account. Premium from $33/month
17. Cert Prep: Project Management Professional (PMP) – LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a hub of highly experienced and successful professionals aiming to impart their knowledge and share their expertise with learners; this course is a true example of this.
The ‘Cert Prep: PMP’ course is a beginner-level course that is specifically devised for students targeting the PMP certification exam. It is equivalent to 35 PDUs/Contact Hours, which is the eligibility requirement by PMI to sit the exam. Once done with this course, you can just go ahead and apply.
An appealing feature of this project management course is that it is based on PMBOK®, PMI’s own guidebook. The course curriculum exactly matches what PMI expects from exam-takers. Some mentionable topics include risk management, stakeholder management, communications, scheduling, etc.
In addition to this, the instructor adds her own piece of advice regarding the preparation, the exam itself, and PM in general. Assessments in this course include chapter quizzes and a project. Once completed, you will receive a certificate of completion.
18. PMP Certification Training Course – Simplilearn
Another PMP Prep course… Simplilearn offers an extensive project management training course online for certification.
Our Simplilearn suggestion shares a number of features with the abovementioned LL course. The course is designed in accordance with PMBOK® by PMI, it earns you 35 PDUs/Contact Hours, and the trainer is an experienced PMI expert himself.
Its live online classroom and interactive sessions set it apart from the previous listings. Students can ask questions during class, discuss scenarios, and demand clarifications from the teacher. This type of environment is undoubtedly conducive to higher-level learning.
The teaching methodology is comparatively more inclusive. Students learn through live classes, hands-on projects, case studies, and industry-based scenarios. In addition to this, there are a bunch of simulation tests for practice.
Overall, project managers aiming to ace the PMP exam may find this as one of the best project management courses online for comprehensive preparation.
Provider: Simplilearn| Level: Intermediates. | Instructors: Tim Jerome
Course: 35 contact hours/PDUs. 6 projects. 8 case studies. 7 simulation test papers.
Choosing The Best Project Management Courses Online
We researched intensively to compile a handy list of the best project management courses online and to present it conveniently. However, we understand if all this information is hard to process and you might be wondering which course you should go for.
While the final decision is yours to take, we would like to highlight some points to consider if you want to make your experience worthwhile.
Learning Goal – The first thing to consider is what you are aiming for. Some are looking for a peek into the PM world out of sheer interest, some have a professional certification in mind, while others may be targeting specific PM fields and career paths. Each course has its own learning objective, make sure it aligns with your own.
Study Level – This is important. The online project management courses in our list are classified as beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Make sure you pick a course that is your level. Otherwise, you will end up regretting your decision.
Teaching Style – Learning is as much subjective in nature as it is objective. If you feel you can learn better from pre-recorded lectures, you may shortlist some project management courses from our list. Likewise, if a personalized learning experience attracts you more, you will certainly end up with a different shortlist.
Industry – If you are employed or a job-seeker, researching industry-specific PM requirements is a good idea. Management approach varies from industry to industry and there are specialized project management courses online for each approach. Take on a course that strengthens your CV the most and builds on your existing skills.
Cost – Some of the project management courses online are free to access while others are paid. As a student, you might also want to consider your finances and pick a course that fits your budget. However, while a free class has its advantages, it is the course object, learning outcome, and teaching quality that should matter the most.
Duration – Each course has its own schedule and it is good to keep that in mind as well. Online learning has an element of time management in it and the course duration can affect your decision. One thing to note, however, is that many online courses are self-paced.
Providers – The providers offering the project management courses listed here are well-recognized and established in the market. Here are also round-up reviews of popular Linkedin Courses, edX courses or Pluralsight courses covering related skills.
We hope we cleared some cobwebs, you can now go ahead and pick the right online courses. Decision-making is a key aspect of project management, let this decision be your first PM challenge!
Additional best project management courses online
- PMI ORG – PM Basics
- PMI ORG – PM For Beginners
- Scrum ORG – Professional Scrum Foundations Training
- Kadenze – PM For Designers
- Scrum Alliance – Get Certified Course
Best Project Management Courses Online 2023 – Review Verdict
We would like to end this review on the best project management courses online by reminding you that this industry has a bright future. The path you are choosing for yourself can lead to immense personal satisfaction and commendable achievements. It is the epitome of creative and logical thinking, things we are hardwired for.
Whatever your choice is, just ensure that it is an informed one. Once you get started, there is no turning back as this field is bound to captivate you!
Best Project Management Courses Online 2023
- Become A Project Manager – LinkedIn
- Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management – Coursera
- Strategic Project Management – RICE University
- Geno Auriemma Teaches Leading Winning Teams
- Agile Project Management – University of Cape Town
- Project Management Course: Beginner to PROject Manager – Udemy
- PM Foundations – LinkedIn
- Introduction to Project Management – edX
- Essentials of PM for the Non-Project Manager – AMA
- Diploma in Project Management – Alison
- Scrum: The Basics – LinkedIn
- Agile Crash Course – Udemy
- Project Management Principles – Specialization – Coursera
- RIT – MicroMaster in Project Management – edX
- TU Delft – Project Management – Mastering Complexity – edX
- Project Management Professional (PMP) – Cybrary
- Cert Prep: Project Management Professional (PMP) – LinkedIn
- PMP Certification Training Course – Simplilearn
Have you taken any certifications or courses? What are the best project management courses online in 2023? Let us know in the comments.
Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links to some providers of project management courses online. courselounge may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. It does not add any extra costs. All reviews, opinions, descriptions and comparisons expressed here are our own.