What’s a fair price for a PMP or ITIL class?

Reading a new book by William Poundstone titled “Priceless” It is really a great read.  That is if you are interested in the psychology of pricing and spending.

This has made me ponder the true value of ITIL v3 and PMP certification classes, as well as the other general training courses I conduct.  I have conducted these certification courses in person (CBT), online instructor led sessions, and pre-recorded self-paced online courses.  Each time the price is/was different.  Same instructor.  Often times the same material.  Maybe a different delivery method.  Maybe a different location.  But same general content.  Yet different prices.

I have seen the full spectrum of training costs.  Some astronomical.  Reaching many thousands for a day or two.  There are PMP, PRINCE2, and ITIL classes out there selling for $3,500 for 4 days without batting an eyelash.  It must sell.  They hold the classes and don’t offer much in the form of discounts.  At least when I tried.

Then I have seen training classes for as little as $350.  That’s one less zero!  Pretty big jump.

Makes me wonder, is the $3,500 class 10x better than the cheap session?  I am certain there are levels of quality, organization, and intangibles between the offerings.  Ten times?!  Maybe not that drastic.

The format and presentation of the material is a definite distinguisher.  Alas, I have seen student course material from a $2,600 course that was nothing more than a binder with screenshots of the presenter’s powerpoint and a bunch of lines underneath.  And the Powerpoint were nothing more than bullet points!  Obviously – at least to me and others with instructional design educations – this was an ‘expert’ telling you whenever s/he knows and what is already covered in the books.  Sure, they add personal ‘war stories’, but is that worth extra $1,000?  It’s rhetorical; don’t answer that.  Just amazed that this form of “instruction” is so prevalent – especially in IT.

With so many options out there, it can definitely be overwhelming for those seeking a good training option.  Prices and options and offerings run the gamut.  The services revolve around the same general objective – to get you to pass a certification exam or learn something new.  Telling which one is better. Or which one best fits your needs.  Or most importantly, knowing the ‘value’ equals the ‘price’.  Not an easy task.

Judging by the decrease in many course offers over the recent years, the inflated prices at the top of the spectrum are becoming more reasonable.  Although, the ‘cheap’ options may be too cheap to successfully run a training operation.  Then again, it might be right-pricing the whole PMP, Prince2, ITIL, etc playground.

What I plan to try out for the ITIL Crowd is maybe opening the door for people to name their own price.  Making it a price that more closely matches the true value.  I will start this only for corporate clients for the moment. Got a budget or price in mind – run it past me: neal@theitilcrowd.com.  Name your price. You never know, the price may be right.