As readers of this blog already know, formal certifications have become increasingly important to organizations in the public and private sectors. That trend has been clearly evident in the field of project management as that profession has evolved, rapidly, with employers insisting that project managers equip themselves with appropriate professional credentials. In that context, the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, administered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), is the best known and most widely accepted credential in the PM field. PMP certification, according to PMI research published in the most recent edition of the PMI Project Management Salary Survey, is “globally recognized and demanded”.

PMP Pre-Requisites
Candidates for the PMP certification must meet several requirements. Those with bachelor’s or equivalent degrees must have three years of experience, with 4,500 hours devoted to “leading and directing” a project. Those with high school or equivalent diplomas must have five years of experience that includes 7,500 hours of project leadership. In both cases, candidates must have 35 hours of formal education.

Once those requirements are satisfied, candidates are allowed to sit for a four-hour computer-based test consisting of 200 questions. Content for the examination is drawn from the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide published by PMI, covering five discrete areas: project initiation, project planning, project execution, project monitoring and control, and project closing.

The test gives each subject a different weight, with some 79 percent of the 200 questions covering the areas of planning, execution, and monitoring and control. Project initiation and closing account for only 21 percent of the test questions.

The educational component of the PMP qualification process can only be satisfied by coursework offered by approved providers. Designated coursework offered by PMI chapters is approved. Other coursework, offered by employers, training schools, colleges and distance-learning providers (like us) also serve to satisfy the educational requirement.

Online Training for the PMP Certification is Increasingly Convenient
For those considering their educational options, the availability of online education can make the process significantly more manageable. Online training is recognized to the same extent as education offered in a physical classroom, and it offers a number of important benefits.

The vast majority of people considering the PMP certification are working professionals and active project managers. The PMP certification is a major exam that requires a great deal of preparation and most of these candidates have a very maxed out work life in addition to perhaps family at home. The online training option makes preparing for the PMP, that much more accomodating.

Candidates can satisfy the educational requirement without having to travel to distant locations. The online option can provide significant savings of time and money, and it makes it easy for candidates to access the mandatory coursework. Internet-based coursework can also make it easy for students to review complicated material, to brush up on topic areas and to refresh subject matter in anticipation of the PMP examination, all at their own convenience and their own speed.

Even if a local venue is available, some candidates may have scheduling issues that interfere with attendance. For others, the practical benefits of the online option may not be terribly important. Those candidates may select the online PMP training experience as a simple matter of personal preference. Regardless of the reason, the availability of accredited online options is a real benefit to PMP candidates.