21 Best Free & Paid Project Management Courses

12 min read

With high salaries and high demand, becoming a project management professional is an attractive career choice.  The job of a project manager can be challenging. No two projects are the same; there’s always something new.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner learning the fundamentals or a senior manager, project management courses can help keep you up to date on the methodologies, software, and continuing education you need to perform your job at your best. 

What qualifications do I need to be a project manager?

There are no specific qualifications that you need to be a project manager.  Some people take on more and more responsibilities and grow into the role, while others study project management at a university or get a project management certificate

Do I need experience to become a project manager? You will need experience to get an advanced position in project management, but formal education or certification will assist in landing a junior-level role. For successful project management, you’ll need to possess strong leadership skills and be proficient in risk management, time management, communication, and critical thinking. Project management tools and software help, but a project management course can guide you through the entire scope companies are looking for when they hire a project manager.  

Best Free Project Management Courses

Project management courses are more accessible than ever before.  Many reputable universities and online education platforms offer free classes, although some will charge a fee for a certificate upon completion.  We’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of the best free project management courses available right now. 

1. Coursera 

Coursera works with universities and organizations to provide online courses, projects, certifications, and degrees.  A handful of project management course options are available on this platform, including niche or industry-specific options like construction project management or becoming a scrum master.  

Specializations from Coursera involve multiple courses, and they are all free to access but require a fee for a certificate. Coursera is registered with the Project Management Institute (PMI) as an Education Provider, so if you’d like to obtain a PMP certification, the materials would be a good foundation. 

2. Oxford Home Study Centre

The Oxford Home Study Centre allows you to earn a certificate in project management at your own pace. They offer a 200-hour course, rolling open enrollment, and provide all materials.  The syllabus includes 4 sections: Introduction, Project Management & the Project Life Cycle, Project Cost Management, and Project Quality Management.  

3. Alison

This free online diploma course is perfect for the budding project manager.  The phases of the system development life cycle ( analysis, planning, design, and evaluation) are covered first before jumping into practical aspects and methodologies. You’ll also have the opportunity to conduct a case study before finishing the course to help you see the phases in action. 

After your diploma, check out some of the certificates Alison offers for learners, such as Agile Essentials, Scrum Development, Microsoft Project, Six Sigma, and more! 

4. W Canvas

The University of Washington provides an online learning management system called the W Canvas for accessible courses.  Everyday Project Management covers the key learning objectives and the five phases of project management (Initiate, Planning, Execute, Monitor and Control, and Project Close).  By the end, the material should have you ready to manage your first project. 

5. edX

Another self-paced online learning program to help build your skills as a project manager.  In addition to the practical ways to manage the project, this course also touches on effective communication and people management. There are no prerequisites for this course; it's intended for beginners. 

Unlike other online learning options, this course requires date-specific sign-ups.  If you’d like a certificate at the end and unlimited access to the materials, you’ll need to pay $199 for the verified track.

6. Google via Coursera

Google offers many free or affordable tools and products.  You may want to consider Google’s Project Management Professional Certificate if you already use Google tools. No experience is required, and Google insists that course takers will be job-ready by the end. 

This certificate is comprised of 6 different courses, including a whole section on agile methodologies and a capstone project to practice your newly acquired skills.

7. Cybrary

This is the course for you if you want free help with your PMP certification. Cybrary’s Project Management Professional course follows the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge: PMBOK® Guide to prepare you for your exam.  The course counts as 10 CEUs and has videos and practice exams included.

Note: this is an intermediate course, but adding a PMP credential to your resumé can boost your salary up to 32%.

Best Paid Project Management Courses

Free courses are generally geared towards beginners or may only offer limited access to course materials.  If you’re serious about taking the next steps in your project management career and want more access to the materials and instructors, then a paid course may be a better option. 

Here we’ve gathered paid courses ranging from $29.99 to tuition programs at universities costing as much as $6,965. Our summaries will help you decide which is best for you. 

8. Udemy

The healthcare sector is always on the hunt for adept project managers, and Udemy offers courses for beginners looking to jump into that role.  There are many affordable courses that will get you up to speed on project lifecycles, planning new programs, terminology, and monitoring your project performance.  

At only $29.99, Healthcare Project Management is a one-hour course with the potential to boost your career.  Take that course followed by Change Management in Healthcare (also $29.99) and learn the principles and theories to implement changes and drive success in the healthcare industry. 

9. Project Management Institute

The Project Management Institute is a globally recognized leader in project management education.  PMI’s website has a dedicated eLearning section showcasing numerous courses available to help you learn the material each exam covers.  There are courses for the PMP Certification Exam and the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) Exam. PMI also offers courses on Agile Project Management training, business analysis, stakeholder management, and more.  These courses range from free to $799.

For those who want immersive training, PMI offers up to 4-days of live virtual or in-person training events that can earn you up to 28 professional development units (PDUs). The prices for these sessions range from $780 - $3,270.00, depending on the number of days and your membership with PMI. 

10. Colorado State University - Online Project Management Certificate

To take the PMP exam, you’ll need 35 contact hours of formal education. Colorado State University’s Online Project Management Certificate will provide you with 48 contact hours and all the preparation you need to take the PMP exam.  All classes are taken over 16 weeks. Tuition is $3395. 

11. Master of Project Academy

Master of Project Academy offers virtual, in-person, self-paced, or hybrid prep courses for your project management career. The PMP Certification training provides the 35 contact hours required for the PMP exam, and all of the preparation materials provided by Master of Project Academy have given their students a 99.6% pass rate. 

The pricing varies according to the type of classes (live virtual, self-paced, etc.).  If you’d like to do a live class, expect it to be 4 jam-packed days of learning.  The standard plan for this is $1370, but if you choose a higher tier that includes the Online Self-Paced study videos, the price jumps to $1570 or $1697 if you’d like to add a coaching session.  

For those looking for more of a self-paced online study option, try an annual subscription to the PMP certification training at $547. 

12. Georgetown University - Certification in Project Management

Enroll at Georgetown University and take 6 courses to develop all the skills you need to become a project manager.  This certificate program teaches newcomers everything they need to know to leave the program ready to take on their own projects.  It offers the program on campus, online, or as an intensive-paced course. 

The instructor-led courses will teach you project planning and how to manage your project team.  At $6965, you’ll learn how to engage your stakeholders and maintain your budget. Upon completion, not only will you have this vast array of knowledge to take into the real world, but as an authorized training partner with PMI, you’ll also meet all the requirements for the PMP or CAPM exams. 

13. Cornell University - Project Management Certificate Program

Another instructor-led program on our list comes from Cornell University. This program provides an interactive experience for students. The entire program is 50 education hours, and you’ll have a study group to work with should you decide to pursue your PMP exam. 

This program focuses on hands-on tools and how to scope projects effectively.  During this program, you’ll hone in on project scheduling, budgeting, resource allocation, and the Agile approach. 

If paid in full, this program costs $3,900, or you can pay $830 monthly. Expect the course to take 5 months to complete. 

14. Velociteach InSite - The Complete PMP Exam Prep Bundle 

The Prep Bundle is a 100% online option, providing 47 contact hours towards the PMP Exam.  It follows the 49 processes in the PMBOK Guide and explores traditional waterfall methodologies alongside agile methods.  You’ll also have access to 1100 testing questions, answers, and explanations.  While this course doesn’t have job training, like some of the university programs, at only $388, it's a great value.

15. KnowledgeHut

KnowledgeHut is a mentor-guided program to prepare you for your PMP exam. The training is live, but you’ll have access to a self-paced section to complement your studies.  As you complete the course, you can follow the study guide or attend a live training session for hands-on practice.  

KnowledgeHut is $799 when you pay for the entire year, or make monthly payments as low as $77/month.

16. Prince2

Many programs we’ve looked at focus on PMI and the PMP exam, which are preferred in the US, Canada, Australia, and the Middle East. In the UK, Western European countries, and Australia, you may see more opportunities with a Prince2 certificate.  

Prince2, Projects IN Controlled Environments, is a process-based methodology that emphasizes diving projects into manageable stages.  In the Prince2 6th Edition Plus Pack Online, you get everything you need, including the exams for the certification.  You also will have access to a tutor should you need extra help. This online pack is well worth it at $1,362.

17. Brain Sensei

Everyone has different learning styles, and some of the course material presented can be a little dry.  Brain Sensei is the right course if you want a little humor or interaction to break down tough topics. They offer learning paths for PMP and CAPM; however, only the PMP prep course has a Live Virtual Instructor option.  

The CAPM class is $349, while the PMP prep course is $499.  If you choose a Live Instructor course, you need to sign up for a specific session. It will run $1199, but if you try to sign up ahead of time, you may save $200!

18. Simplilearn - PMP Certification Training Course

Simplilearn’s PMP Certification Training Course is a boot camp-style course geared for those who are on tight schedules. Classes run 9 to 18 sessions long, with the option for weekend-only or consecutively until all material is covered. 

This boot camp provides 35 contact hours for the PMP exam and access to all the digital materials from PMI.  You’ll learn through case studies, use Gantt charts and scheduling models, cover cost estimating and management, and resource allocation.  Simplilearn is so confident in their camps that they offer a 100% money-back guarantee.  

To take Simplilearn’s online boot camp, you’re looking at a $999 investment, with financing options available through Affirm. 

Best Project Management Courses with Free Trials

If you’re unsure about investing in a course, a few options offer a free trial before committing. If you’re a fast learner, you can take advantage of the trial period to learn everything you need.

19. GoSkills

GoSkills only offers a 7-day free trial period, but they offer courses in general project management, PMI certifications, Six Sigma, Scrum, Agile, Microsoft Projects, and more.  They have monthly payment options after the 7-day free trial for $29/month or pay for the whole year for only $204.

20. Upskillist

With Upskillist, you have a 7-day free trial.  The Professional Diploma in Project Management is a 17-week course, broken into 4 modules. Classes for the modules are at set times, but the Member’s Area records all classes, for your convenience. 

After your free trial period, Upskillist is 69.99/month to continue learning. 

21. LinkedIn Learning

The Project Management Foundations course on LinkedIn Learning is for beginner project managers. It is a short course that will teach you the basics and leave you with a certificate on your LinkedIn account. 

LinkedIn Learning offers a 1-month free trial — you can easily complete this course and add your certificate while on your trial period.  You’ll still have time to explore their other courses, too. After the trial period, LinkedIn Learning is $239.88 if paid annually or $39.99/month if you pay month to month. 

Join Our Community For Freelance Project Managers

There are plenty of project management course options to suit any schedule and budget.  Adding additional certifications can boost your salary.  The entry-level salary for project managers is between $52,000 and $70,000 a year.  Any of these courses listed can help you launch your project management career.

Are you a project manager? MVP Match can help you transition from a full-time job to full-time freelancing. We connect skilled freelance professionals to our network of clients. Join MVP Match to unlock more opportunities in your freelancing career.

About the Author

Kate manages content marketing for talent acquisition at MVP Match. Her job? Attracting the best and brightest tech talent into our community where they are matched with rewarding roles they deserve. She's a copywriter at heart, and has spent over 10 years in marketing for tech, healthcare, and consulting firms. An avid traveler and workation pro, Kate both embraces and advocates for a future where everyone is empowered to define work on their terms.