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How To Choose A Digital Project Management Course For 2020

 

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Most project managers know you don’t necessarily need formal digital project management courses or a project management certification to get a job.

In fact, there’s tons of anecdotal evidence to support the contrary. Raise your hand if you’ve been one of many project managers thrown into the position without fully understanding what you were getting yourself into!

61% of respondents in PMI’s Pulse of the Profession 2020 noted that their organizations offer training in Project Management. While this could mean anything from internal training on processes and standards to budget for formal training or courses, it’s important to note that companies are investing in training their project managers, even if they do throw them into the deep end a little bit from time to time.

Whether your organization has given you some training budget, or whether you’re looking for ways to up your skills and be a better project manager, this article will cover what to look for in a digital project management course and how to choose the best one for your needs.

The DPM offers a digital project management course that fits our below criteria — find out more here!

5 Benefits Of Digital Project Management Courses

Courses in digital project management can offer a lot of benefits, depending on the one you choose. Here’s a few of the main ones that you can expect from any solid course offering.

1. Build Your Skills

Digital project management courses will teach you — and give you the opportunity to practice — project management skills. This includes hard skills such as project planning, scheduling, and risk management, as well as soft skills like communication, organization, and prioritization.

Depending on the course, you might also get some training in technical skills, which is great for working and communicating with your development team.

2. Network With Your Peers

The best digital project management courses will offer some type of networking or a way to connect with other project managers taking the course. This could be in the form of meetups, Slack communities or messaging apps, online forums or comment threads, or other events for networking.

Whatever the format, the ability to network with fellow project managers is great for learning new perspectives and best practices, getting support or mentoring, and even finding job opportunities if you’re on the hunt.

3. Gain Flexibility

One of the most valuable things you can get from a digital project management course is increased flexibility in the way you manage projects. The course should provide a wealth of knowledge in project management methodologies, processes, and management styles so that you can find the best fit for your project and your team.

If you find that a certain process or methodology isn’t working out the way you thought it would, you can quickly pivot to another approach and keep your project on track.

4. Get Certification

Courses will often offer certification or acknowledgment at the end of the course. This is great for boosting your resume or profile, as it signals to your current or future employer that you have formal training and the hard skills to succeed as a project manager. It might also help you boost your digital project manager salary down the line.

5. Gain Confidence

Another great benefit of digital project management courses is increased confidence. Having skills and knowledge, as well as training in how to use them, will help you feel confident in putting them to use.

It also gives you a source of information and skills to draw on when in doubt.

What to Expect From A Digital Project Management Course

What you can expect from a digital project management course really depends on the course itself, and there are lots of different types of courses out there. I’ve covered the main ones below.

All-In-One Course

All-in-one-courses tend to cover a little bit of everything from project processes to the most popular methodologies, as well as things like budget and scope.

You can expect training in a lot of different topics, although the material might not be as in-depth in the interest of keeping the course to a reasonable duration. These courses are great for new project managers involved in digital projects, as well as more experienced project managers who haven’t had formal training or courses.

Degree/Satellite Programs

These types of programs are usually offered through universities or colleges, and they’re often multi-year programs that earn you a degree or diploma. Most are highly specialized and will cover the material in-depth.

You can also expect relatively heavy assignment loads and potential exams, so make sure you know what you’re getting into. These types of programs look great on your resume and can help you make the jump into a specific role or specialized type of project management.

Some highly recognized and sought-after options include Boston University, University of Denver, London South Bank University, and Northeastern University.

Exam-Prep Courses

If you’re aiming for a project management certification such as the Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification, you might want to consider an exam-prep course. You can often find ones specific to the certification you’re going for, which will cover everything you need to know for the certification exam.

Methodology-Specific Courses

These courses are for project managers who need or want to learn a particular project management methodology, such as Agile or Scrum. These types of courses will provide knowledge of and training in the specific methodology and how to use it throughout a project.

Methodology-specific courses are great for hands-on learning, and some offer certifications for the specific methodology that the course covers. This is a great option for becoming more specialized.

What to Look For When Choosing A Digital Project Management Course

When narrowing down which course to choose, you’ll need some criteria to evaluate your options. Here’s our list of what to look for to make sure a course is right for you.

1. Online and Remote Options

Can the course be followed or taught online? Are there options for remote learning? Project managers are busy, so the convenience of being able to take the course online and access it from anywhere is appealing. Make sure you have this option.

2. Cost

How much does the course cost? Do they offer different price points to fit your budget?

Make sure the cost fits your budget, or that it at least offers different price points depending on your budget and your needs. For example, a course might offer basic lessons, assignments, and personalized coaching or mentorship, but if you just want the lessons and assignments, can you opt for fewer perks and a lower cost?

3. Duration and Time Investment

How many weeks or hours will the course take? Do they offer the option to go at your own pace?

As mentioned, project managers are busy people. If you’re only able to commit 1 or 2 hours per week to a course, make sure it doesn’t require more than that, or check whether you can scale the hours you invest up or down depending on your schedule.

Keep in mind that if you invest less time, you might get less out of the course, so finding the right balance between time investment and output is important.

4. Interactivity

Is the course interactive? Does it offer a variety of different types of content and ways of learning, such as videos, webinars, or assignments?

For most people, listening to a lecture alone is not the best way to learn. Make sure the course you choose includes a variety of content types and ways of learning. This might include videos, panels and group discussions, assignments, exams, and mentorship or coaching.

Another thing to look for is whether the course offers templates and samples of relevant documents and charts. These are great for interactivity and can be used for real-life projects.

5. Networking

Does the course offer opportunities to connect with peers and project management experts? Can you attend networking events or connect virtually?

Not only is networking and connecting with your peers a great way to learn and form a support group, it can present opportunities for jobs, career development, and mentorship. Make sure the course you choose provides ways to connect with your fellow students.

The ability to connect with experts in the field is also important for mentorship, coaching (if offered), and support. Check the credentials and backgrounds of potential course instructors to see if they align with what you are hoping to get out of the course.

6. Topics

Will the course teach you what you want or need to learn? What topics or areas are included in the course material?

This will depend on what exactly you want to learn. For example, if you’re looking for an all-in-one or basics course, some topics or instruction areas to look for include initiating projects, timelines, budgets, and leadership. Look for any specific skills you want to learn as well.

If you’re looking for courses in a specialized area, such as marketing project management courses, check the course material, the instructors’ backgrounds, and reviews from previous students to make sure you’re getting what you need out of the course.

7. Certification

Do you get a certificate or acknowledgment at the end of the course? How can you show that you’ve taken and passed the course?

Lots of courses offer some type of certification upon completion. This is great for showing your employer or potential employers that you have digital project management training and that you know how to use it. Make sure the course offers some way to prove that you’ve taken it, even if it’s as simple as a badge for your LinkedIn profile.

The DPM School: Mastering Digital Project Management

Our DPM School is the perfect digital project management course for new project managers and those looking to level-up their skills and get formal training. We offer flexible price points and time investments, interactive learning and instruction, expert course instructors, and a certificate upon completion. More information here!

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Nuala Turner

About Nuala Turner

Content writer and project management enthusiast. Excited about the possibilities in research and copywriting for project management, marketing, media, and the digital space.

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