Best PMP Live Online Training – 6 Popular Courses Compared
PMP Live Online Training is one of the three ways to attain 35 contact hours. In the previous article, we critically reviewed and compared 7 popular PMP online training courses. In this article, we will look at 6 popular PMP live online training courses – we will review and compare them to find the best PMP Live online training course.
With advancement in Internet technologies, the geographical boundaries have shrunk. The training companies have exploited the new technologies to launch slew of PMP Live online training courses. There are plethora of choices available on the Internet today. These courses are often referred to as PMP Online Boot Camp, PMP Instructor Led Training and PMP Virtual Classroom. But the nomenclature is not important – we want to find out “which is the best course for certification?”.
I think, you would already searched for “PMP online boot camp” or something similar on the Internet. You would have found that there are plenty of courses out there and you can enroll into any of these. But all these courses are not equal. Given the abundance of such courses, it was not easy for me to pick the best PMP online boot camp course. I will be lying, if I say that I have seen all the courses that are available on the Internet today.
So, how did I pick the best PMP instructor led training course?
I started by shortlisting 6 popular courses. I critically reviewed these courses and compared them on the key features. By the end of this article, you would know the complete procedure for review and comparison. You would also get to know the key features of a PMP instructor led training course.
Note: In case you are inclined towards a PMP instructor led training course that is not part of this article, you can evaluate it against the key features mentioned in this article. You can use the key features for reviewing & grading your chosen course; and decide if it is better (or worse) than the 6 popular courses.
PMP Online Boot Camp Training
PMP online boot camp training happens over the Internet. These courses are similar to regular boot camp courses as they follow a definite schedule and are taught by an Instructor. But, instead of a physical classroom, the Instructor teaches live over the Internet. As a student, you attend a series of online lectures to complete the course. Usually, as part of the course, you also get access to online training material like videos, audios, presentations and workbooks.
Who Should Choose PMP Online Boot Camp?
There are 3 basic modes to undergo a PMP training:
In my opinion, if you are contemplating between PMP live online training and a regular classroom course, then you should invest in the former. You will be able to save some money without really foregoing the benefits of an instructor led training.
PMP Instructor Led Training Course – Key Features
We already know that there are hundreds of instructor led training courses out there. In this article, I have compared 6 popular courses. I believe, one of the 6 would suite your needs. You will be able to buy a suitable course after reading this article. However (if you want), this article will also give you tips to explore & evaluate other courses that are not covered in this article.
So, what are the key factors or attributes that makes a PMP live online training good? What are the things that you should look out for before enrolling in such a course? Here is a list of key features that are must for an PMP live online training.
Trainer’s Credentials – In my opinion, this is the most important aspect of an online boot camp. A trainer is your guide, your mentor and the coach. Most of your learning is going to happen in the virtual classroom. The trainer must have good knowledge and experience. He should enjoy good reputation and credibility in the industry. If you feel that the trainer is not good enough, then you should disregard the training provider.
Trainer Interaction – PMP certification is about hard work and lot of self-study. But, once in a while, you will need guidance from an experienced hand. Your training provider should provide unhindered access to the trainer. You should be able to easily interact & communicate with the trainer even after the class.
Timing Flexibility – The timing flexibility is very important for a virtual classroom course; especially if you have chosen it over the regular classroom course. Your course should give you the flexibility to attend online classes in the evenings or over the weekends. This way you will be able to utilize your off-time for PMP prep. In addition to the timing flexibility, the duration of online classes should be short (2-4 hours), so that you can learn in short & focused sessions.
Study Material – The quality of study material and course handouts course should be good. Wherever required, the study material should have PMBOK Guide’s references, pictures & figures, practical examples and other illustrations. The study material should be complete, comprehensive and easy to follow.
eLearning Access – The real exam prep happens after the virtual class; through self-study. Your training provider should give you access to eLearning material like audios & videos. You can listen to the audios and watch videos while you are doing mundane jobs like jogging, commuting, waiting at Doctor’s, transiting through airport etc. You can potentially save 25% of your preparation time by using eLearning content.
Study Assistance – Many courses provide study & administrative support through emails, private forum discussions, and webinars; while some others do not provide this feature. This is an important feature and your course should provide this feature. Your training provider should give some sort of offline study assistance. After the class, you will have to study on your own. Study assistance would be useful for extra motivation & clarification of doubts. You might feel lost in the absence of such a feature.
Note: Some courses come with a pass guarantee. I believe, this should not be a key attribute for taking a decision on a course. In my opinion, pass guarantee is just a marketing gimmick and nothing more. A pass guarantee is not a bad attribute in itself. If all the other things are equal, then pass guarantee could be an icing on the cake. Otherwise, do not get swayed by it. Usually, under such a guarantee, the training provider either refunds your fees or allows you to continue to access the course till you pass the exam. But, do you want to enroll in a course to fail the exam? You neither want your money back nor waste time & money on additional PMP attempts. So, a better approach is to invest your time & money in a good, credible, and popular course.
6 Popular Instructor-Led Online PMP Training Courses
PM PrepCast is somewhat different from a regular instructor-led course. In a traditional course, the students attend the virtual classes followed by self-study & preparation. An online boot camp has a predefined schedule and agenda. PrepCast does not have set class schedule or agenda. The students are given flexibility to define schedule & agenda. They can discuss with the instructor(s) to decide a mutually convenient coaching schedule (at any time during the course period). They can undergo one-on-one personal coaching and group coaching. The coaching can be interspersed with the self-study. The coaching can be used for guidance from the instructor, while self-study can be used for exam prep.
Unlike the above training providers, Simplilearn is a popular certification training company. It offers slew of courses that includes project management courses and many others. You can find their PMP course on their website – SimpliLearn PMP Training.
PMStudy is a an old and established training company. It focuses only on project management training and offers many products for PMP preparation. You can find their solution on their website – PMStudy.
Andy Crowe is renowned project management author and speaker. He is the author of a best selling PMP preparation book – The PMP Exam By Andy Crowe. His course is available on his company’s website – Velociteach.
RMC Learning Solutions was founded by the famous Rita Mulcahy. She was the author of the most popular PMP preparation book – PMP Exam Prep by Rita Mulcahy. The company offers many project management training products. All the products, offered by this company, are based on Rita’s style of instruction. You can find the course on their website.
Comparison of PMP Online Boot Camp
Cornelius Fichtner vs Christopher Scordo vs Simplilearn
vs PMStudy vs Andy Crowe vs Rita Mulcahy
|Cornelius Fichtner||Christopher Scordo||Simplilearn||PMStudy||Andy Crowe||Rita Mulcahy|
|35 Hours Certificate||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Instructor Bio||Click here||Click Here||NA||Click Here||Click Here||Click Here|
|Instruction Hours||12 hours of personal coaching
5 hours of group coaching
|24 hours of study time||28 hours of study time||28 hours of study time||28 hours of study time||18 hours of study time|
|Instruction Timing||personal coaching is scheduled between the instructor & the candidate
group coaching runs every week
|Flexible class schedule
2 or 5 hours classes conducted over 6 weeks
|Flexible class schedule
10 days of 3 hour classes
8 days of 4 hour classes
|4 week days / weekend days – 8 am to 6 pm||4 week days – 10 am to 7 pm||3 week days – 9 am to 4 pm CST|
|eLearning Content Included?||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|eLearning Course Demo||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|eLearning Content Access Period||Lifetime||180 days||60 days||6 months|
|Mobile Access||Downloadable Videos||Through Mobile App||Through Mobile App||Requires Internet|
|Video Content||50 hours||29 hours||4+ hours||35 hours|
|Audio Content||Yes||No||Yes||6 CDs|
|Course Workbook||129 pages||450 pages||No||232 pages||Yes||No|
|Knowledge Area Study Guide||No||Yes||Yes||Yes. Part of elearning course.||Yes. Andy Crowe’s book.||Yes. Rita Mulcahy’s book.|
|Chapter Questions||300||About 300||83||345||1200 through Andy’s book, workbook & simulator||About 500. Part of Rita Mulcahy’s book.|
|Final Practice Questions||200 + 1800 questions through simulator||1000+ questions through simulator||1000 questions through simulator||100 + 52 questions through book||600 questions through simulator||1500 questions. Part of PM Fastrack CD|
|PMP Formulas Guide||Yes. Extensive & comprehensive guide.||Yes||No||No||Yes||No|
|PMBOK Guide Process Chart||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Flashcards||1500 flashcards Available at USD 29.99||300 flashcards available at USD 29.95||No||200. Part of elearning course – Not downloadable||250 flashcards||300+ flashcards|
|ITTO Memory Jogger / PMP Memory Map||Yes. Extensive & comprehensive guide.||Yes||No||No||Yes. Part of workbook.||No|
|PMP Tips & Tricks||Yes. As part of the course and through weekly newsletters.||Yes||Yes. Part of eLearning videos.||Yes. Limited. Part of workbook.||Yes. Part of Andy Crowe’s book.||Yes. Part of Rita Mulcahy’s book.|
|Additional Study Material I||Detailed Formula Guide with explanations & 105 questions (worth USD 29.99).||PMP exam simulator with 1000+ questions (worth USD 59)||All-in-one prep kit including Andy’s book, Quick Reference Guide, 6 audio CDs and flashcards (worth USD 129)||PMP Exam Prep Combo including Rita Mulcahy’s book, PM Fastrack and flashcards (worth USD 399).|
|Additional Study Material II||An eBook bundle with 3 eBooks including PMP Essentials, Memory Jogger & Audit Kit (worth USD 23.99).|
|Interaction with Instructor||Yes. One-on-one through personal coaching.||Yes. Through phone & email.
One-on-one special sessions on phone.
|Yes. Only during the class.||Yes. During the class and through phone & email.||Yes. Only during the class.||Yes. Only during the class.|
|Interaction with Peers||Yes. Limited.||Yes.Limited.||Yes. Limited.||Yes. Limited.||Yes. Limited.||Yes. Limited.|
|Application Assistance||Yes. Through forums.||Yes. From Instructors.||Yes. Through forums.||Yes. Through email.||Yes. Through email and phone.||No|
|Study Assistance||Yes. Through coaching & forums.||Yes. Through phone & email with the Instructor.||Yes. Through forums.||Yes. Through phone & email with the instructor.||Yes. Through Velociteach training team.||No|
|Transfer Class||NA. Personal & Group Coaching have schedule flexibility.||Yes. Free transfers available before the class starts.||Unlimited access to multiple batches in 90 days.||No||Free – 15 days before the class starts
USD 250 – within 14 days prior to the class.
USD 500 – after the class starts.
|Yes. Available before the class starts.
Free – First transfer.
Chargeable – Subsequent transfers.
|Refund Policy||100% refund within 90 days.||100% refund – 7 days before the class starts.
USD 150 cancellation fee – within 7 days of the class start.
75% refund – 24 hours after the class starts.
|100% – within 7 days of the class. (with conditions)||None||With charges.
Course Fee minus USD 628 – 30 days before the class starts.
|With cancellation charges.
USD 50 – 30 days prior to the class.
USD 150 – between 30 days & 8 days prior to the class.
No refund – within 7 days of the class.
|Pass Guarantee||No||Perpetual course access till the student passes. (with conditions)||100% fee refund after first unsuccessful attempt. (with conditions)||Reimbursement of exam retake fee & partial refund of course fee. (with conditions)||100% fee refund after 3 unsuccessful tries in 1 year.||Extra guidance and free class if the candidate fails. (with conditions)|
|USD 1899||USD 2447||USD 1100|
- PM PrepCast is available in three variants – Basic, Elite & Executive. PM PrepCast Executive is a combo product – it includes PM PrepCast Elite and many other PMP preparation products as detailed in the table above. PM PrepCast Elite is also a combo product that includes PM PrepCast Basic and PM Exam Simulator. PM PrepCast Basic is a regular online self-learning course.
- PMTraining course does offer eLearning course as part of its virtual classroom course. It can be bought separately for USD 349.
- Simplilearn’s course is priced differently in different countries. You can check the price in your country by clicking here.
I have not considered pricing, refund policy, and pass guarantee, while arriving at the following ratings. I have not considered them as the courses should be compared on the technical factors like quality & content; pricing should not influence the rating. Moreover, everyone’s budget is different. However, you should consider the price and other factors before taking the final decision.
I have also not considered Rita’s course for the final comparison, as it does not provide 35 contact hours certificate. A 35 contact hours training is mandatory to take the PMP exam.
|Cornelius Fichtner||Christopher Scordo||Simplilearn||PMStudy||Andy Crowe|
|Trainer’s Credentials||(5.0 / 5)||(5.0 / 5)||(3.0 / 5)||(5.0 / 5)||(5.0 / 5)|
|Trainer Interaction||(5.0 / 5)||(5.0 / 5)||(5.0 / 5)||(4.0 / 5)||(3.0 / 5)|
|Timing Flexibility||(5.0 / 5)||(4.0 / 5)||(5.0 / 5)||(2.0 / 5)||(1.0 / 5)|
|Study Material||(4.5 / 5)||(5.0 / 5)||(4.0 / 5)||(4.0 / 5)||(4.5 / 5)|
|eLearning Access||(5.0 / 5)||(0.0 / 5)||(4.0 / 5)||(3.0 / 5)||(4.0 / 5)|
|Overall Rating||(4.9 / 5)||(3.8 / 5)||(4.2 / 5)||(3.6 / 5)||(3.5 / 5)|
Rational for Rating
- Simplilearn does not provide Trainer’s bio on their website. Hence, I have taken a average rating of 3 stars for the ‘Trainer’s Credentials’.
- Both PM Prepcast and PMTraining provide one-on-one sessions with the instructor. Hence, I have given 5 star rating on ‘Trainer Interaction’.
- Simplilearn provides unlimited access to multiple batches during the 90 day period. Hence, I have given 5 star rating on ‘Trainer Interaction’ and ‘Timing Flexibility’.
- PMStudy and Velociteach conduct full day virtual classes. PMStudy gives an option for weekday or weekend classes. Since they offer little flexibility, I have given a very low rating on ‘Timing Flexibility’.
- I have given rating for ‘eLearning Access’ based on the duration of the access. PMTrainig does not provide eLearning access as part of the course.
Best PMP Live Online Training
The PMP Exam preparation is an expensive affair. The training cost is one of the major expenses. You should choose your training course carefully. The quality of complete training package should be good and it should provide a good value for your money.
After doing a thorough review and evaluation of the listed instructor led training courses, here is my final recommendation.
PM PrepCast is not a traditional instructor-led course, but it excels on all accounts. It is reasonably priced and provides downloadable access to the videos. PM PrepCast Executive is our top rated course and you can invest in it without any fear. However, if you are not comfortable with the non-traditional approach of this course, then you should opt for my next recommendation.
PMTraining’s course is a traditional virtual classroom course. It is third on the rating scale but it is still my first choice. Overall the training course is excellent but the lower rating is due to the lack of an eLearning access. This drawback can be easily negated by investing in an another PMP online training course. You can buy PMTraining’s onDemand course, but I would suggest you to buy another company’s course to get a different perspective. You can check my article on Best PMP online training course for my recommendation on eLearning courses. You can buy a good secondary course. Even after buying a secondary eLearning course, PMTraining’s course would be cost-effective.
Simplilearn’s course is an excellent course. This is the cheapest course around. In fact, it costs less then some of the ridiculously priced self-learning courses. The only drawback of this course is that Simplilearn does not publish the bio of their trainers. However on the positive side, they provide unlimited access to multiple batches during the 90 day course period. This way you can follow the trainer of your choice. If budget is your consideration then, you should definitely go with course. In fact, I would advise Indian students to choose this course as their first choice – it just costs about USD 200 in India.
Disclosure: I have not received any compensation (in cash or kind) from the Authors or the Training Companies or anyone else associated with any of the training courses. But this article contains affiliate links – it means that, if you click & buy from these links then, I will receive a small commission. This commission helps me in maintaining this blog for free. However, you don’t pay anything extra. I do not actively use any of these products since I am already certified. But, I recommend only those products that I believe will definitely help the certification aspirants.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Company logos taken from respective company websites