The 35 contact hour training is one of the mandatory requirements to apply for PMP certification. The 35 contact hour training refers to a formal education in project management from a university, training institution or any online training provider. As the PMP certification becomes more popular, options to earn these 35 contact hours (sometimes incorrectly referred as 35 PDUs) are increasing. Lot of options could be confusing. Are you confused and don’t know what is the best way to earn these contact hours? Read on to understand different options and their pros and cons.
The goal of this article is to provide details on 35 contact hour training and explain different options and provide a comparative analysis to help you make the best choice.
The 35 Contact Hour Training is a prerequisite to apply for PMP certification. You need to have formal project management training to earn these 35 contact hours. These training classes come in different flavors. Depending on the path you take, earning these credits may take anywhere from a week to 10 weeks. The price could also range from $100 to $2500 depending on your choice.
The scope and content of all the PMP certification training courses are pretty much the same. They include full coverage of the PMBOK guide with all process groups, knowledge areas and ITTOs. Most training providers also offer a collection of study aids such as formula cheat sheets, memory aids to remember different topics etc. In addition, these courses include practice exams to test your knowledge and application of PMBOK guide to real world situations.
Three types of 35 Contact Hour Training
- PMP Boot Camps: One week
- Regular Weekly Classes: About 10 weeks
- E-Classes: Variable time
PMP Boot Camps
The PMP Boot camps are for the fast track folks. This is a 4-5 day full day class with lot of materials covered in very short time. These are instructor led classes where a group of people study and discuss PMP certification materials in a classroom environment. Anyone that has time constraint to get their PMP certification can choose this form of 35 contact hour training.
Advantages of PMP Boot Camps
- Suitable for people in a hurry to get certified
- You earn 35 contact hours just in a week
- If you already know PMBOK guide, you can use boot camps as quick refreshers
Disadvantages of PMP Boot Camps
- Absorbing large amount of information in very short period may be overwhelming
- Hard to focus on the subject and concentrate all day for 4-5 days
- You will have to days off from the work
- These are expensive. Classes may run between $1500 to upwards of $2500.
Regular Weekly Classes
These are traditional PMP certification training classes. They normally have four hour class once a week. PMP knowledge areas and process groups are covered on a weekly basis. The class runs for about 10 weeks. These are instructor led classes where a group of people study and discuss PMP certification materials in a classroom environment.
Advantage of Weekly Classes
- These classes cover the material at a steady pace which gives you enough time to absorb the content.
- This is a classroom type of environment where you can interact with others and exchange ideas and learn.
Disadvantages of Weekly Classes
- 10 Weeks sometime may give a feeling of class taking forever
- Unless you do the homework, you may miss the continuity between classes
- These are expensive too. Classes may run between $1500 to upwards of $2000.
These are new generation classes attracting more and more folks recently. As the name suggests, these classes deliver the course content in electronic format. You will get both video and audio content covering all areas to meet 35 contact hour requirements. Many people are using them to complete their 35 Contact Hour Training.
When I prepared for my PMP certification I didn’t know about any E-Classes. So, I ended up taking weekly class that lasted for 10 weeks. It was a good class. However, now, after reviewing some good E-Classes, I really wish I knew about them for my preparation.
Advantages of E-Classes
The electronic format comes with several huge advantages.
Learn On the Go!
With electronic format, you can easily learn on the go. Most of the PMP aspirants have full time job and other commitments. Anything that helps save time is a bonus. You can load the audio onto your iPod or any other mp3 player and listen to them while driving, walking, and working out and virtually anywhere!
This is a blessing in itself. PMP examination requires you to thoroughly understand the concept. This is not simple stuff. Having access to the contents/presentations in electronic format, allows you to stop and take a break or re-watch something you didn’t understand and so on. This gives the complete flexibility to learn the way you like.
For me, It was almost a year between the class and the exam. I had pretty much lost what I had learnt in the class. I badly needed refresh. But, once done I had no chance to take the class again. The new electronic class addresses this issue.
The Cost Factor
I had paid $1500.00 for my 10 week course. I am amazed to see how inexpensive today’s best E-Classes are. The most popular for PMP Certification today is from Project Management Prepcast which costs just $200.00!!!.
Not all E Courses are Created Equal
As these E-Classes for PMP preparation gets more popular, there are lot of online PMP preparation course popping up. One should very careful in choosing the right course before putting the money. It is a good idea to check if the provider is a PMI R.E.P. R.E.P stands for Registered Education Provider. That means, PMI has reviewed their course material and put their stamp on it.
Disadvantages of E-Classes
- There is no manual interaction with the teacher or other candidates
- Opportunity to discuss and clarify doubts is limited to emails or forum discussions
- Without real time-table or scheduled class hours, some folks may find it hard to pace the learning
- Flexibility may lead to procrastination also
The PM Prepcast:
Without a doubt, one of the best E courses for your PMP exam prep work is PM Prepcast. Here are some of the key features this course has to offer.
- The course includes a comprehensive 50 hours of video training
- It also includes 9 hours of audio training which you can use effectively during drive time
- This course fulfills 35 Contact Hour Training requirement and you get a certificate
- It comes with90 days access to PMP exam simulator and 1800 questions
- Supplemental Email Course will help you reaffirm the concepts you have been learning
- Access to online Forum puts you in a community of other PMP aspirants.
- It has the flexibility to watch on your computer or portable players
- The Prepacast is backed by its credibility of serving over 42000+ students
- The course comes with 90 day money back guarantee
- PMI R.E.P. Approved which gives you a peace of mind regarding the authenticity of the course.
Check out this article for more PMP Certification Training Choice