Training for Program Managers: 6 Programs To Consider

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated August 19, 2022 | Published June 1, 2021

Updated August 19, 2022

Published June 1, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Training is a great way for program managers to improve their skills and succeed in their roles. Completing trainings and professional development classes can help you gain familiarity with program management or build on the knowledge you already have. No matter where you are in your career, it's helpful to learn about best practices and advancements in your industry. 

In this article, we discuss what a program manager is, explain program manager training and list six different companies that offer training resources for those in this role.

What is a program manager?

A program manager is a professional who manages and coordinates multiple, complex projects to achieve a company's strategic organizational goals. Strategic goals are a business's long-term, broad objectives that typically focus on solving problems, managing resources, guiding employee efforts, improving processes, making better decisions and increasing profitability. Program managers can work in any field, including marketing, information technology and construction, and are usually responsible for developing the particular series of steps to reach strategic goals.

Program managers are senior-level professionals who are expert project managers, as they handle multiple projects at once. While projects typically have singular short-term goals, clear deadlines and tangible deliverables, programs consist of several interconnected projects and have multifaceted goals. Program managers usually lead a team of project managers and other employees to ensure organizational effectiveness. They are in charge of making quick, thoughtful decisions about which projects to complete, prioritizing projects that help a business achieve its mission and identifying and managing project risks.

Read more: What Is Program Management?

What do program managers do?

Here are some of the responsibilities of a program manager:

  • Articulating a program's strategy, objectives and desired benefits for a business

  • Choosing projects needed to reach a program's goals and ensuring teams deliver them on time and within budget

  • Building effective project teams based on employee skills and experience and supervising collaboration across teams

  • Implementing strategies, initiatives, events and activities related to the program goals

  • Measuring return on investment and managing budgets for projects and programs

  • Tracking and reporting project progress through metrics of success such as key performance indicators

  • Managing calendars for project deadlines and events

  • Navigating projects and work relationships across organizations, regions and cultures

  • Reviewing the effectiveness of programs and making suggestions for improvements to stakeholders

Related: Program Manager Skills: Definition and Examples

What is program manager training?

Program manager trainings are programs that enable professionals to learn valuable information and practical skills that can aid them in their careers. Trainings can be self-guided or led by a teacher and typically involve resources such as study guides, workshops, practice tests, books and webinars. Completing program manager training can help you in the following ways:

  • Preparing for and earning industry certifications

  • Demonstrating your commitment to your position

  • Introducing you to new resources, technology and program management strategies

  • Facilitating career growth and promotions

  • Making you more competitive in the job market

  • Offering you networking opportunities

Related: 15 Topics To Include in Your Manager Training Program

6 companies that offer training for program managers

Here are six companies that offer trainings for program managers:

1. Project Management Institute

The Project Management Institute (PMI) is a project management firm with over 600,000 members around the world. Through its website, you can get a membership, attend local and national events, earn certifications, take professional development classes, view webinars, gain business expertise and find jobs. The PMI offers training resources for the Program Management Professional (PgMP) certification, a credential that represents a person's advanced program management knowledge and skills. You can prepare for the PgMP exam by studying the free handbook, exam content outline and sample questions available on the PMI website.

If you're an entry-level program manager or you're still working on getting experience in the field, consider earning the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification before you earn the PgMP. Possessing the PMP can make it easier to earn the PgMP and it proves your ability to manage projects and lead teams. The PMI also offers The Standard for Program Management, a guidebook that covers the principles of program management, and the PMBOK Guide, an up-to-date guide to the project management body of knowledge and global standards. The PMI also offers the following additional certifications:

  • PMI Risk Management Professional: 

    This certification acknowledges expertise in identifying, evaluating and mitigating project risks and taking advantage of opportunities.

  • PMI Scheduling Professional:

    This certification recognizes knowledge and expertise in creating and maintaining project schedules

Related: Program Management Certification: What It Is and How to Earn It

2. Strategy Execution

Strategy Execution's program management training workshops are for individuals or groups and can help program managers at any level develop project management, communication, leadership, strategic planning and business skills. They base their curriculum on PMI's Standard for Program Management knowledge areas to help you learn industry principles and get program management certifications.

Here are some of Strategy Execution's available courses, all available through their website:

  • Program Management: This course teaches you to ensure your programs achieve organizational objectives and gain the most benefits for your company.

  • Rapid Assessment and Recovery of Troubled Projects: This course covers how to assess and overcome issues in projects and develop recovery plans.

  • Leading Complex Projects: This course prepares students with the ability to manage an extensive amount of variables, adapt to unexpected challenges and practice innovation when managing a program.

  • Aligning Project Management with Organizational Strategy: This course helps professionals form business strategies, develop portfolios and satisfy business stakeholders.

Related: What Is a Technical Program Manager? (With Tasks and Skills)

3. Learning Tree International

Learning Tree International educates people and organizations about new technologies, methods for organizational growth and effective business strategies. They provide a program management training course that can be self- or teacher-led and covers real-world scenarios. In addition, students can earn the PMP certification by completing this course. In the course, students learn how to:

  • Develop a business case

  • Use programs to reach organizational objectives

  • Implement program roadmaps

  • Establish a governance framework

  • Collaborate with stakeholders

Related: Learn About Being a Program Manager

4. Management Concepts

Management Concepts offers a variety of professional development resources, including online trainings, custom learning solutions, human capital advisory services, certifications and learning program operations. They also provide a free ebook that covers working with the Agile methodology of segmenting projects into phases. This organization's virtual courses focus on those who work in government and allow program managers to both earn and maintain certifications by practicing continued learning. Here are some of the program management trainings it offers on its website:

  • The Integrated Project Team

  • Strategic Portfolio and Resource Management

  • Managing Projects of Differing Complexity

  • Making Decisions Using Earned Value

  • Managing Stakeholder Expectations and Relationships

  • Leading and Managing High-Performing Project Teams

  • Assessing and Recovering Troubled Projects

  • Mission-Driven Project Management: From Strategy to Action

  • Program Management

Related: Program Manager vs. Project Manager: What's the Difference?

5. Udemy

Udemy is an organization that provides video courses and certifications for professionals and organizations in all kinds of fields, including:

  • Finance and accounting

  • Web development

  • Business

  • Information technology and software

  • Office productivity

  • Design and marketing

It connects students with professional instructors around the world. Here are some of the program manager trainings they offer:

  • PgMP Application Development

  • Technical Program Management

  • Program Manager Essentials

  • Program Management Fundamentals

  • Program Management Interview Course

  • Strategic Project Management

  • Program Management Professional (

    PgMP) Exam Prep Course

Related: 21 Program Management Interview Questions

6. Professional and Continuing Education at the University of Washington

The Professional and Continuing Education department at the University of Washington (UW) provides a two-course certificate program that helps prepare students for the PgMP certification exam. It lasts four to five months and takes place on weekends. Students who take this course can learn how to measure and maintain program benefits, engage stakeholders and coordinate projects across roles, organizations and regions. The PMI has reviewed and approved the UW Professional and Continuing Education trainings, and professionals can take these to earn professional development units (PDIs) to maintain their PgMP certification.

Related: Program Manager Resume Examples and Templates

Tips for choosing program manager training

Thinking carefully about the different components and costs of trainings can allow you to make a smart, informed decision about which training program is best for you and your career goals. Here are some tips for deciding:

  • Consider certifications: Consider which certifications you want to earn and take courses that prepare you to take the related exams: Some courses may even allow you to earn credentials just for attending them.

  • Think about your budget: Calculate how much money you want to spend on training. Some organizations offer discount programs if you pay for a membership, which may allow you to take advantage of other helpful resources.

  • Consider your availability: Courses range in duration and availability. Consider how much time you have to complete courses before signing up for one.

  • Talk to your coworkers and supervisors: Consult your professional network, including friends, coworkers and supervisors, for their advice about programs. They may have suggestions and tips about which trainings are the best.

  • Do your research: Explore the websites of organizations that provide program management training to learn what other resources they offer. You may be able to earn certifications, download free materials and ask industry professionals for advice.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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