Demand for high-quality project managers is growing. Research suggests there’s still a significant gap between the requirement for project managers and the talent available.

Global demand needs 25 million new project professionals by 2030, which means 2.3 million people need to enter the market each year just to keep up with demand.

How do you stay competitive against the influx of keen new project managers looking for roles?

Professional development is key.

But, what options are out there, and how do you decide between them? In this article, we’ll cover all that and more.

Why is project management training so important?

The current job market is evolving. Project managers, like so many other professions, are going to need new skills to stay competitive.

The opportunity to take advantage of project management training matters to project professionals. Over half said that a culture that prioritized options for continuous development was an important criterion when job hunting.

Whether that’s investing in a project management certification or building specialist knowledge with a short niche course, now is the time for boosting your capabilities.

So, what skills are needed?

Digital skills and data fluency are emerging trends, and everyone in a project role will need to be able to use digital tools to display and interpret key metrics.

That’s not to say softer skills won’t be important also.

In a recent survey on the profession, 37% of respondents thought people management and stakeholder engagement was the top skill required of project professionals.

Survey results on what are the top skills for project professionals

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Recruiting practices are also changing. More companies are now using automated tracking systems to filter applications received for roles. These programs search for keywords in resumes that match future employees’ desired skills or competencies.

This means your application could automatically be filtered out if you don’t have a recognized qualification, such as Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

And speaking of PMP, earning potential for those with the certification is 22% higher than for those without. Considering the PMP exam fee is only about $500, that’s an investment worth making.

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What should you look for in a project management training course?

Project management courses include many different things, and which you choose will depend on what you need. Training shouldn’t be a one-time thing. Changing trends mean that you’ll need to grow and develop throughout your project management career.

You can also look at job advertisements for roles you’d consider in the future to see where you might have a skills gap that needs filling.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) says that technical project management skills aren’t enough.

They believe the ideal skill set consists of:

  • Leadership
  • Technical project management
  • Strategic and business management

They call this the “PMI Talent Triangle.”

PMI talent triangle

(Image Source)

What else should you be considering?

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to further narrow down what training program would be best for you.

What is your current career stage and level of experience?

It’s worth bearing in mind that some courses have prerequisites. PMP certification requires at least 3 years of experience in leading projects and 35 hours of previous project management training.

Do you need a generalist or specialist course?

If you’re earlier in your career, a generalist course covering most of the project management basics could be a good option. A specialist course that sets you apart from the competition may be more useful as your career progresses.

Do you need a certification or a course from an accrediting body?

Again, it depends. You do need to get savvy about applicant tracking systems and consider if a formal certification or a course from a highly-regarded training provider such as the PMI will increase your future employability.

But, there’s still a place for bite-sized learning, whether that’s learning new skills or new platforms that will help you run your project more efficiently, such as monday.com.

How much time/money do you have to invest in your development?

Being a project manager can be pretty time-consuming. Being realistic about what level of commitment you can make is essential. But, don’t always shove professional development to the bottom of the pile.

Learning a new skill can create additional value for your clients, so try negotiating some time off for training if you can’t find a gap in your current workweek. 

The same goes for your finances. Consider the potential return on your investment before making your decision. It may be that your company would consider sponsoring you through a course because they know they’ll benefit from your improved competency in the future.

Once you’ve identified your development gaps and answered the above questions, you’ll know what to look for in your perfect training course.

What are the best resources to grow your skills?

Whether you want a paid project management course leading to PMP certification or are just looking to increase your skills, there’s an option out there for you. Let’s have a look at a few choices below:

1. PMI Project Management Professional (PMP)

The Project Management Institute (PMI) is globally recognized as one of the top providers of project and program management courses. They have a variety of options suitable for both waterfall and Agile project management practitioners.

Their flagship accreditation course is the PMP certification.

What prerequisites are there?

  • A 4-year degree, or high-school diploma and extra experience
  • 36 months’ experience leading projects or 60 hours with a high-school diploma
  • 35 hours of project management training or a CAPM certification

How does it work?

  • Complete an application demonstrating your experience and training. To cover the training element, you can take a PMP preparation course.
  • Take your PMP certification exam, which will have questions about all 5 stages of the project lifecycle
  • Proudly display your PMP digital certificate on your email signature, resume, and LinkedIn profile.

What does it cost?

  • There’s an exam fee of $555 for non-members and $405 for PMI members.
  • The course cost varies, but the official e-learning course run by the PMI is $799 for non-members and $699 for members.

2. PMI Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

If you’d like to grow your responsibility in a project team or manage larger projects, then the CAPM might be a good first step.  

What prerequisites are there?

  • Secondary degree (high-school diploma, associate degree, or global equivalent)
  • 23 hours of project management education

How does it work?

  • Complete an application showing evidence of your previous project management education and academic record.
  • Take your CAPM exam. There are 150 questions on 12 topic areas, and you have 3 hours to complete them.
  • Celebrate your success. Then schedule time for the 15 professional development units (PDUs) of training you need to complete every 3 years to maintain your accreditation.

What does it cost?

  • $300 for non-members and $225 for PMI members

3. Scrum.org Certified Professional Scrum Master

If you’re looking to build your skills in tools and frameworks within the Agile methodology, then a Scrum Master course could help. Scrum.org dubs itself “the home of Scrum” and has both free resources and certified training courses on all things Scrum.

What prerequisites are there?

  • None, but Scrum.org says the assessment is difficult. If you have a high level of Scrum knowledge, you can go straight to the assessment. Otherwise, Scrum.org runs a 2-day Professional Scrum Master course to help prepare you.

How does it work?

  • Complete the preparation advised by Scrum.org. They provide a “Scrum Guide” and a reading list to get you assessment-ready.
  • Check you’re good to go by taking the “Scrum Open Assessment” practice test.
  • Take the assessment and look forward to using your new certification.

What does it cost?

  • The stand-alone assessment is $150. The 2-day Professional Scrum Master Course is around $1,100, including the assessment fee, dependent on the provider.

4. Bite-sized course to meet a specific need

We know that digital skills are increasingly important. While not officially part of their Talent Triangle, the PMI just added them to its list of core project management competencies.

Businesses are also demanding more from their project managers. This includes an ability to display project information to inform and engage stakeholders and an ability to interpret project data to drive effective decision-making.

Plus, we’ve already highlighted the growing demand for soft skills, such as stakeholder management, negotiation, and effective communication.

There is a whole host of training providers that offer a wide range of resources to build your digital and personal competencies.

Popular options include platforms like EdX and Coursera, which partner with some of the most prestigious academic institutions and have both free online and paid courses to supplement your skills.

Over at monday.com, there’s a range of training options to help you boost your capabilities. We host both live and on-demand webinars, so you can learn more about our fantastic range of features and best practices in all things project management.

Whether you need to know how to do more with Agile, or you want to dive deeper into automations, we’ve got you covered.

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What else do you need to know?

Project management training is just one aspect of being a good project manager. Grounding your new skills and experience is also crucial — so working across a range of different project types and methodologies improves your credibility and employability.

Great tools can make your life as a project manager much easier and fill in the gaps while you build your skills. For example, while you’re becoming more knowledgeable about data interpretation, you can find a software solution with clear and engaging reporting functionality that can help drive insight and improve decision-making.

monday.com has all the features you need from a project management platform. And because monday.com is a Work OS, project management is only one of the many use cases it can tackle.

In terms of project management, some of our main features include:

  • Templates: get access to over 200 fully customizable templates, which make getting started on project documentation, planning, and control simple.
  • Collaboration: communicate in context within the monday.com platform or link up to any one of your favorite collaboration apps.
monday.com project overview board with collaboration icons shown
  • Automations: get rid of mundane or repetitive tasks with more than 250,000 automation recipes to streamline any type of workflow.
  • Team management: assign tasks, measure progress, and manage your entire team in one place.
  • Integrations: integrate 40+ of your favorite tools and apps in just a couple of clicks.
  • Data visualizations: visualize your board in a way that works for you, with 8 different view types, including Kanban, Timeline, Calendar, Map, Gantt, and Workload.
  • Reporting: get access to customizable reporting dashboards to make sense of your data and make better decisions.

To learn more about everything you can get done with our platform, watch this short video overview:

Project management training is a building block to success

There’s never been a better time to begin, or grow, your career in project management. Whatever stage of career you’re at, there are great resources out there to help you build your skills.

The job market and the way we approach our work are evolving like never before. monday.com has the resources to support you every step of the way.  

If you’re new to project management, you can start with monday.com’s project management plan.

If you’re more experienced, this great webinar on advanced project management can help keep you competitive.

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