Free project management courses: Improve your skills with these PM training courses
Project management is a rapidly expanding field that offers potential for a career leading and managing projects, but it's not easy or affordable to gain the knowledge you need. To help set you on your project management journey, here is a guide to free project management courses and training options.
Note: This article will be updated regularly as more online project management courses become available. Located here are free online courses available for project managers in all stages of their career.
Founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, edX is one of the biggest MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) platforms available and offers many project management (PM) courses and certifications. You can take individual courses at no charge, and many of them can be accredited towards an edX credential.
Here are just some of the project management courses available to students and professionals. These courses are free unless specified otherwise. Because edX is a large open global online educational platform, note that courses are offered and accredited through various funding or partnering organizations and educational institutions like MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, Microsoft and many others worldwide.
Big Data Capstone Project – a self-paced course that applies the techniques and theory you have gained from the four courses in this Big Data MicroMasters program to a medium-scale data science project.
Communication Skills and Teamwork – a $60 self-paced course on effective writing and presentation skills are essential for career success. Learn how to create and deliver high-impact communications, improve your soft skills, and effectively lead and collaborate within teams.
Six Sigma: Define and Measure – an introduction to the Six Sigma methodology and DMAIC cycle for process improvement with a focus on the define and measure phases.
Project Risk Assessment – a self-paced course on how to conduct risk analysis of different projects using both conceptual and practical developments in modern finance.
Financial Decision Rules for Project Evaluation – a self-paced course on how to use decision criteria and rules to evaluate projects based on their impact on business, including payback, Net Present Value (NPV), and Internal Rate of Return (IRR).
In addition to directly linked project management courses, edX also offers closely related courses that can enhance your knowledge areas linked to effectively initiating, leading and managing projects.
Business Management – covers how to master the essentials of managing a successful business including accounting, finance, marketing, operations, people management, and strategy.
International Business Management – is a course to help professionals gain management skills and the mindset needed for international business success from the world-renowned Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Cloud Computing Management – teaches methods for managing cloud computing projects and helps build an understanding of the various risks and compliance issues involved.
Evidence-Based Management – covers critical thinking skills and the knowledge needed to become a more effective decision maker.
When it comes to PM education options, “The future workforce requires not only cutting-edge hard skills but also critical soft skills like project management. Tech employers are looking beyond just technical qualifications and taking a more holistic approach when reviewing applicants, and project management will be an increasingly coveted skill with positions growing at 1.5 million opportunities per year according to the Project Management Institute (pdf),” Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX tells CIO.com.
Alison is another portal that provides free online project management courses and certification and offers a comprehensive review of project management with things like methodology, tool sets and documentation. It also includes insight into the project life cycle plus analysis, planning, design, and evaluation. The course also includes a project management case study.
Coursersa is a provider of PM courses and has partnered with world renowned educational institutions to offer project management courses and certifications to businesses worldwide. Businesses and individuals can register for free to take courses, and Coursersa offers project management courses at every level. While their courses aren’t free, they are priced from approximately $29 – $99 making them affordable for most, especially in light of the high-value content. Coursersa’s full project management course list can be found here.
Cybrary is an open source project management portal that “educates on how to initiate, plan and manage a project, as well as the process behind analyzing risk, monitoring and controlling project contracts and how to develop schedules and budgets.” The site offers various PM modules and certification.
Regardless of which PM course or provider you choose, gaining a more in-depth understanding of project management can improve your effectiveness as a business professional and ultimately it will increase your marketability. It’s a good idea to weigh your desired career options, path towards certification, as well as course provider carefully beforehand.