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Best Project Management Training and Certification

10 Best Project Management Training & Certification in 2023: Free & Paid Online Courses

If you're not constantly learning, you're standing still – especially in the project management world. To get ahead of the pack, continue reading our roundup of the best project management training programs.

Brett DayAleksander HougenJasna Mishevska

Written by Brett Day (Writer, Editor)

Reviewed by Aleksander Hougen (Co-Chief Editor)

Facts checked by Jasna Mishevska (Lead Fact-Checking Editor)

Last Updated: 2024-04-19T15:03:23+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing. Learn more here.

Key Takeaways: Project Management Training

  • Earning a certificate in project management can open many doors and increase your earning potential.
  • You don’t have to break the bank to learn new skills. In fact, you can find project management courses that cost you nothing.
  • You can find project management courses that cover Linear, Agile and hybrid methodologies.

It’s no secret that everything is progressing rapidly, including with project management methodologies and management techniques. For example, even the best project management software is advancing, thanks to AI tools. If you want to stay on top and find success as the best project manager possible, you need to invest in project management training.

Whether you’re just starting your project management career or want to increase your knowledge and improve your methods and earning potential, you need to learn new skills. Fortunately, there are many project management training certifications available. In this roundup, we’ll look at the courses and exams that should be on your radar.  

What Makes the Best Training & Certifications?

We have rounded up what we feel are the best project management certifications. We looked for courses that will help you learn about the fundamentals of project management, different methodologies, people management and more. 

Here are our top project management certification recommendations. Note that the certifications aren’t listed from best to worst; they each offer something for different scenarios and industries, so consider what is best for your needs.

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  1. Project Management Professional (PMP) — A certification that covers a broad variety of project management topics and methodologies.
  2. Certified Project Management (CPM) — Covers everything to prepare you for project management in government settings.
  3. Professional in Project Management (PPM) — Highly regarded in the corporate domain covering to plan, execute, control and complete projects.
  4. BVOP Certified Project Manager — Helps you learn Agile project techniques and people management skills.
  5. Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) — The best certification for those who want to lead Scrum teams.
  6. Master Project Manager (MPM) — Show the world that you can operate as a project manager at the master’s level.
  7. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) — Ideal for those just getting started in project management.
  8. PRINCE2 Foundation/PRINCE2 Practitioner — The best course for those who want to learn the ins and outs of this highly rigid methodology.
  9. PRINCE2 Agile Foundation/Agile Practitioner — For those who want the benefits of PRINCE2, only in Agile form.
  10. Six Sigma — For those who like to follow the data, minimize waste, reduce errors and increase profit margins.

Below, we’ll take a closer look at each of the project management training offerings and will show you what they cover, how much they cost, and what you can expect if you spring for a certification.

What Criteria Did We Use to Evaluate the Certifications?

During our search for project management certifications, we looked for the most widely recognized options that are accepted nationally and internationally that offer value for money, and promise to enhance a participant’s career and earning prospects.

The 10 Best Project Management Certifications

Below, we’ve listed some of the best project management certifications for project managers. The certifications aren’t listed in order from best to worst — that would be silly, as they all offer something different for various scenarios and industries. Look through and see if any meet your project management needs. We have also included some honorable mentions at the end.

Course pricing may vary depending on the institution providing the certification and course. From our research, the pricing provided below represents the best deals.

1. Project Management Professional (PMP)

PMP certification is highly regarded and can open many doors.
  • Price: $405 (member), $575 (non-member)
  • Time to complete: Courses vary; the PMP exam lasts 230 minutes.
  • Website:




  • High school diploma or associate’s degree
  • 60 months of experience in the last eight years 
  • 35 hours of project management education or CAPM certification
  • A four-year degree
  • 36 months of project leading experience
  • 35 hours of project management education or CAPM certification 

Deemed by many to be the best certification for project managers, the Project Management Professional certification has many prior requirements that need to be met beforehand. The Project Management Institute offers a challenging exam that tests applicants with 180 questions (175 scored and five unscored) over three categories: people, process and business environment.

According to the PMP examination handbook, the exam covers managing conflict, collaborating with project stakeholders, managing and assessing risk, planning and project compliance, and more. No matter what industry you work in or whether you use Microsoft Project or any other project management software, you’ll easily be able to apply what you learn.

2. Certified Project Management (CPM)

The EC-Council offers a few online courses for its Certified Project Management course.
  • Price: $999 (on-demand), $2,999 (unlimited on-demand), $2,999 (live)
  • Requirements: None
  • Time to complete: Variable
  • Website:

According to EC-Council, the organization offers world-class training and certifications that are trusted by governments globally. There are three ways to obtain the certified project management certification from EC-Council: on-demand, unlimited on-demand and live courses. 

The project management courses include instructor-led training videos, official e-Courseware, access to online CyberQ labs, and the exam and certificate. The mid-tier course adds an additional certification course and a Code Red continuing education video subscription. The live course adds an exam insurance program. 

The syllabus covers a wide range of topics, including project scopes, scheduling and time management, budgeting, and vendor and risk management. There are also courses on reporting, stakeholder engagement and much more. Take this course, and you’ll be prepared for many types of projects.

3. Professional in Project Management (PPM)

In as little as 45 hours, you could be on your way to a better job.
  • Price: $340 (premium package with e-course and exam)
  • Requirements: E-course completion
  • Time to complete: 45 to 50 hours
  • Website:

The Professional in Project Management (PPM) certification is well-regarded and one of the most difficult exams to pass, with seven out of 10 failing on the first attempt. The course and exam cover many topics including project management fundamentals, project team building, effective planning and scheduling, crisis and risk management, leadership skills and more. 

The closed-book exam lasts two hours and has 150 questions. You must score 75% (113 correct questions) to pass. If you want to improve your project management skills and earning potential, take a closer look at the PPM project management certification.

4. BVOP Certified Project Manager

The BVOP certification teaches about project management methods
and how to become a people-first leader.
  • Price: $130
  • Requirements: None, but knowledge of the BVOP Ultimate Guide will help
  • Time to complete: Variable
  • Website:

Business Value-Oriented Project Management (BVOP) is an Agile methodology that targets new and experienced project managers, business analysts and Scrum Masters. While the BVOP Certified Project Manager certification teaches about the processes involved in project management methodologies, BVOP is also focused on people management, effective communication and team dynamics.

The exam, which BVOP claims 95% of applicants pass on the first attempt, covers topics found in the BVOP Ultimate Guide, a free online resource. Applicants also receive a free mock exam. There are no prerequisites, and you do not need project management experience, though it is desired. To pass, you need to score 75% or greater. If you want to be a people-first manager, this course will appeal to you.

5. Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

scrum alliance
The CSM certification can show the world that you’re ready to lead Agile teams.
  • Price: Varies; typically $300 to $1,500
  • Requirements: Completion of CSM coursework
  • Time to complete: At least 14 hours
  • Website:

If you work in software development and want to become a Certified Scrum Master (CSM), ScrumAlliance can help. Thanks to its network of practitioners, you can find the perfect class. 

Each class, which provides professional development units (PDUs), delivers at least 14 hours of instructor-led training that covers Scrum, Scrum Master core competencies, and service to the Scrum team, product owners and organizations.

A Scrum Master certification can show potential employers that you understand the Agile method, know how to guide your team and understand the Scrum framework and Scrum values. Prices of the course vary by practitioner, but what remains the same is the need to answer 37 out of 50 questions correctly within 60 minutes to pass the exam.

6. Master Project Manager (MPM)

If you want to make the most of the data projects give you, the MPM certification is the way to go.
  • Price: Courses: $2,500 to $3,000; certification: $300
  • Requirements: Application review, three years of project management experience and approved college education or training. Some exceptions are made for those with master’s degrees or honorable military discharge.
  • Time to complete: Four days
  • Website:

The American Academy of Certified Project Managers (AAPM) founded the Master Project Manager (MPM) certification. This certification is for highly experienced project managers, operations directors, senior analysts and directors with undergraduate and master’s degrees who want international project management recognition within multiple industries.

Per the AAPM website, the course is split into four modules and will teach you how to use project analysis as a key business driver. You’ll also learn how to comply with international project management standards, discover the best technologies to use, develop tool kits and master the art of efficient project delivery.

7. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

The CAPM certification is the precursor to the PMP certificate and
is ideal for project coordinator associates and junior project managers.
  • Price:$225 (member), $300 (non-member)
  • Requirements: High school diploma or global equivalent. Twenty-three contact hours of project management education before taking the exam. Per PMI, the Project Management Basics Course ($350) can help with this requirement.  
  • Time to complete: Three-hour test, variable study time.
  • Website:

If you’re just getting started in project management and you’re worried that many of these courses are too advanced, relax. The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), is for you. This entry-level course is the precursor to the more advanced PMP course and is ideal for junior project managers.

To obtain the CAPM certification, you must pass a 150-question test that covers the fundamentals of project management and project management roles. You must have an understanding of project scope, scheduling, cost analysis, resource allocation and more. You will need a CAPM certificate to sit for some of PMI’s more advanced exams. 

8. PRINCE2 Foundation & PRINCE2 Practitioner

prince2 foundation
PRINCE2 is more popular in the U.K. and Europe, but it’s finding its way to the Americas.
  • Price: 6th Edition: Foundation: $680; Practitioner: $755
  • Requirements: PRINCE2 Foundation, or one of many certifications (including PMP, CAPM, or IPMA A, B, C or D) needed to sit for the Practitioner exam.
  • Time to complete: Available courses vary in length. The Foundation exam is 60 minutes long; the Practitioner exam is 150 minutes long. 
  • Website:

Projects In Controlled Environments 2 (PRINCE2 for short) is a project management methodology used by government agencies (and private companies) that need to justify every aspect of every project. This highly structured method — which asks the who, what, when, where, why and how questions of every task — is complex and not for the faint of heart.

PRINCE2 certifications break down into two categories: Foundation and Practitioner. The Foundation certification shows that you’ve learned about the theoretical knowledge of planning, managing, and delivering projects using PRINCE2, while the Practitioner certification tests to see if you’re ready to apply the knowledge in real-world scenarios. There’s much to learn, so be prepared to study. 

9. PRINCE2 Agile Foundation & Agile Practitioner

PRINCE2 Agile provides the perfect blend of structure and flexibility.
  • Price: Foundation exam $580, Practitioner exam $655
  • Requirements: PRINCE2 Agile Practitioner requires any of the PRINCE2 Foundation Certifications. You can also have CAPM, PMP, or IPMA A, B, C or D certifications.
  • Time to complete: Course completion times vary. Foundation exam is 60 minutes; Practitioner exam is 150 minutes.
  • Website:

If you’re a project manager who is well-versed in all things Agile, PRINCE2 Agile certifications may be more your speed. All of the fundamentals of PRINCE2 (mentioned above) remain the same. However, the Agile version supports a more flexible approach that embraces many aspects of the Agile Manifesto.

PRINCE2 Agile features two components: Foundation and Practitioner. The Foundation certification tests knowledge of governance and Agile concepts and techniques. The Practitioner exam takes what you learned and tests your understanding of PRINCE2 Agile using real-world project management examples. It also offers a combo course option. The rewards for passing will be great, but again, you’ll really need to study to pass.

10. Six Sigma

six sigma
No matter if you work in systems engineering or as a project manager,
if you want to lower project failure rates, a Six Sigma certification can help. 
  • Price: $195 to $995
  • Requirements
    🟡: no requirements
    🟢: three years of full-time work experience in approved fields
    ⚫: three years of full-time employment in approved fields or two completed Six Sigma projects.
  • Time to complete: Variable
  • Website:

The analytical skills project managers can learn through Six Sigma courses are invaluable. Six Sigma certifications show potential employers that you have a thorough knowledge of project planning, resource management and cost analysis. You’ll also be highly sought-after for your ability to lead teams, control quality, solve problems, mitigate risks, eliminate waste and increase profits.

The idea is to earn various certifications or yellow, green, black and master belts. Each shows how deep your knowledge of Six Sigma principles is. Each certification varies in length and has multiple exams. Yellow has 11 tests, while Green features 24 tests. The Six Sigma Black belt has 33 exams. Each exam has 10 to 15 questions. The Master Black Belt exam has 150 questions and takes four hours. 

Honorable Mentions: Additional Courses

Below, we have listed a few more project management certifications worth a closer look. Whether you work in IT, professional services, creative, construction or human resource industries, these courses can help advance your career.

CompTIA Project+

comptia project+
The CompTIA Project+ certification is ideal for those about to embark on a career in IT.

If you want to manage less complex IT projects, check out the CompTIA Project+ (PK0-005) certification. This offering covers multiple methodologies and frameworks, and it is for anyone with six to 12 months of IT project management experience. The exam, which can be taken in person or via online courses, features up to 90 multiple-choice questions and costs $358. 

Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP)

pmi acp
If you want to show your boss you’re an Agile master, the ACP certification is what you need.

If you want to show an employer that you have a thorough understanding of all things Agile, the Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP) certification from the Project Management Institute ($495 for nonmembers and $435 for members) is calling your name. This course covers Lean, kanban and Scrum, Extreme Programming and everything that goes along with them. 

Coursera: Project Management Principles and Practices Specialization

Coursera offers many courses for free; you only need to pay for your certificate.

If you’re on a budget, the Project Management Principles and Practices course from Coursera should be on your radar. This course covers project initiation, budgeting and scheduling, managing risks and more. You’ll even create a mock project. The course is free; however, you’ll need to be a member ($39 per month) to complete the specialization and receive your certificate.

Final Thoughts

If you want to continue your professional development and better influence project outcomes, get your hands on one (or more) of the certifications we have listed above. By gaining certification, you can enhance your career prospects, increase your income, and be coveted by leading companies. Money spent on bettering yourself is always money well spent.

For related articles, check out our the best Agile certification options.

Have you taken any of the courses that we have talked about? Are you planning to take a course to further your career? If so, which course(s) will you take? Let us know in the comments and, as always, thanks for reading.

FAQ: Project Management Training

  • The best training for project managers depends on the projects they’ll be working on and the methodology that needs to be used.

  • Absolutely. The PMP certification teaches students about various methodologies, project management techniques, people management, communication skills and more. If you want to get ahead in project management, you can’t afford to skip the PMP certification.

  • All project management courses have pros and cons. Labeling one certification as the best is hard, as every project manager has different needs. Pick the one that suits the direction you want to go.

  • The five stages are project initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and controlling and closing.

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