If you are preparing for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam, the chances are that you have heard about more than one boot camp. You might even know about other project managers who have joined these camps. And it naturally makes you a question: how effective is a project management bootcamp course?
Project management boot camps are intensive courses that provide an in-depth understanding of project management. The courses are usually of short duration and can be done on-site. Organizations can offer this course to their employees either as mandatory training or as optional training to improve their skills.
The truth is that a project management boot camp can be a great way to prepare. Here are the reasons for that!
1. Immersive courses with a real-world perspective
Boot camps try to cover varied elements of the project management course within a short time. Thus, to ensure better knowledge retention, they try to make the experience as immersive and engaging as possible.
Also, these boot camps focus more on practical learning than other full-length courses. Combining immersive courses and a real-world perspective prepares you well for the exam and your future career.
2. Valuable interaction with like-minded individuals
Boot camps are short-term training courses that let you interact with other professionals from your field with an experienced instructor. This feels especially valuable when you are from a small company and hardly get to meet with any other project manager. Plus, it’s reassuring that you aren’t the only one facing challenges! Sharing experiences and discussing the challenges with other students help you gain perspective.
Interacting with the instructor has its benefits as well. After all, parts of ‘A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)’ will be hard to understand. Don’t blame yourself – even experienced professionals get stuck at certain parts of the book! Thus, it helps to have someone to talk to about the jargon and concepts to understand the subject better.
3. The training standards are pretty remarkable at boot camps
Such intensive training courses are highly in demand, and several such courses are available in the market. Thus, the companies offering these boot camps know that they will have to offer excellent services to attract students. Students will either give rave reviews about the experience or say how disappointed they feel about it. Whether or not the boot camp gets enough students for the next batch depends on these reviews.
Therefore, the training companies make additional efforts to ensure they have the most qualified and experienced trainers to help the students. Now, the approach of each trainer and training camp is different. Some camps help the students get started with the preparations, while others are meant to offer additional help during the last leg of the preparations. As you already know which of these two categories suits you, talk to the training company in advance to know what they are offering through their boot camp. Ask them in-depth about their approach to advising the students aspiring to be project managers.
If you are keen to find out more, ask about your instructor and do a bit of research about them on your own. In most cases, the experience and qualifications of the instructor are published online. The general idea is to look for someone with enough experience in this field because they will be able to go beyond the books to offer real-world examples of different topics. Also, their practical knowledge of different areas of project management will come in handy.
4. Adding practical context to the exam preparation
Applicants must have at least 4,500 hours of work experience to apply and appear for the PMP exam. It goes up to 7,500 for the ones without a bachelor’s degree.
But it is hard to figure out how such a vast real-world experience can come in handy for the multiple-choice questions in the exam. Is hands-on experience in the matter enough to choose the correct answer? This is where your boot camp training comes into the picture.
With the instructor’s help, you gradually start adding context to your knowledge. You develop an understanding of the real-world principles behind those exam questions. This is important because you do not appear for the exam only to score the highest. Your scores reflect your understanding of the duties and aims of a project manager.
5. The much-needed boost to your self-confidence
So, how do you know that you are ready for the exam? It is the toughest question for any student trying to prepare independently. But project management boot camps help you gain a clearer understanding of exactly how ready you are.
You will come across other students in the same situation as yours. The kind of questions they ask in class and their performance in classroom interactions will give you a fair idea about how ready you are. And, of course, you will get a trainer who will help you understand how ready you are and how far you need to go.
If this is your first time taking the exam or you’re someone who is taking the exam after a long time, it can feel intimidating. But the feeling is reassuring when you see many other students in the same boat as you. Besides, boot camps are those intensive training sessions that pump up your enthusiasm to appear for the exam. Plus, there is always a trainer to boost your morale to sit for the examination.
Boot camps make you more confident in your abilities. So, whether you have 4,500 or 7,500 hours of work experience, gaining greater faith in your capacity is a good idea.
If you have yet to join a boot camp, it is time to consider one. Boot camps are the best option for those who would like to get an overview of the basics of project management classes and gain real-time experience by working on lice cases. There is no denying that such an experience will help with your preparations.