Project management is a particularly multidisciplinary endeavor. This is both good and bad. On the one hand, few degree programs can teach you what you need to know about communication, relating to others, technical skills, and leadership to guarantee effectiveness in your management. On the other hand, the multidisciplinary aspects of project management lend themselves to inspiration and learning from many different sources. There are hundreds of webinars on leadership, online tutorials on project management software, bootcamps for learning to code online, and MOOCs on managing human capitol.
While there are plenty of opportunities to improve your project management skillset online, it’s important to first pinpoint what you’re hoping to gain through this education. Perhaps you’re trying to gain a certification, or gain exposure to different management styles, or attempting to start your own business. For each of these online learning aided endeavors, you’ll want to approach your search for in different ways. Some of the most common reasons for wanting to enhance project management skills through learning resources are listed below:
- Preparing for industry certification
- Gaining continuing education credits (PDU’s)
- General enhancement of project management skills or obtaining of basics in PM
- Obtaining industry specific technical skills or industry specific management skills
- Getting ready to start your own organization or side project
- Wanting to learn specific software or tools for project management
Depending on what your objective is, you’ll want to look different locations for training resources. An entire cottage industry has sprung up around the preparation of individuals for industry certifications. These opportunities can range from self paced, text-based resources, to books, to Udemy courses, to hands-on in-person training for certs. Continuing education credits can be obtained through self-paced resources with quizzes as well as in webinars or conferences. General enhancement of project management skills is perhaps the broadest category of learning resources, with everything from books to documentary series, to MOOCs, to university courses available. Industry-specific technical skills are often available through trade organizations, podcasts, or skill-based bootcamps. Those looking to start their own organization can find all sorts of training and support from incubators, small business networks, course platforms like Udemy, and trade-specific organizations. And those looking to learn specific software or tools can often find help on MOOC platforms, forums, as well as through tutorials put out by the makers of said software.
Needless to say, the number of locations and intensity of training available can be overwhelming. This is particularly the case for project managers who would like to improve their management in a variety of areas.
One resource that has greatly helped me in my project management learning journey is a guide from ProjectManagementDegrees.net that breaks online learning opportunities in project management down into categories and then provides a number of useful ideas for obtaining training. There are other resources like this online as well. And just browsing around some curated lists of PM-learning resources can help to point you in the right direction before potentially mistakenly putting down money on training that isn’t the right fit. One final note is that many employers will help to subsidize or completely pay for training resources for their employees. Make sure to ask your superior or human resources department if this is an option for you.