How to Start an Entry-Level IT Project Management Career
Whether you’re a service member preparing for the transition to civilian life, a veteran, a recent college graduate, an IT professional looking to gain new skills or just someone with an appetite for new skills, project management is an area of IT that is worth learning. According to CompTIA, almost 25% of IT job openings request project management skills.
In this blog, we’ll explore how to enter the IT project management space and provide information on an entry-level project management certification that is an ideal career kickstarter.
Step 1: Become Familiar With the Basics
Before jumping into IT project management, it’s important to understand the basics. There are a lot of resources available that can help guide your research process including relevant books, YouTube videos or even free courses that can help you get started.
When thinking about how to launch an IT project management career, your first thought might be to earn a degree in this field. While earning a bachelor’s degree is an excellent way to learn project management skills and a requirement for most employers, hiring managers are also looking for candidates who have hands-on project management experience.
So, how do you start gaining experience with no previous work experience? Certifications are an excellent option. More specifically, CompTIA Project+ is an ideal certification for beginner project managers because it does not require any previous experience. Compare that to the Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification which requires a four-year college/university degree, 36 months of experience leading projects in the past eight years, and 35 hours of project management education/training or CAPM certification.
On top of being ideal for entry-level IT professionals, CompTIA Project+ is also perfect for IT pros whose job duties include managing projects that aren’t as intricate as those an experienced full-time project manager might manage. Many employers demand Project+ because it covers a wide range of topics, including how to manage a project lifecycle by managing risk, establishing a communication plan, managing resources and stakeholders and maintaining project documentation.
Step 3: Continue Education and Start Gaining Experience
As an IT professional, it’s important to study regularly and keep your skills current. If you have a bachelor’s degree, it might be worth it to go back to school to earn a master’s degree in project management. According to a report from Burning Glass Labor Insight, 34% of job postings prefer or require a master’s degree. The same report found that many employers also require PMP certification.
While CompTIA Project+ is an enticing addition to an entry-level professional’s resume, PMP is the gold standard for full-time, experienced project managers. After earning Project+ certification, you may consider higher-level certifications like PMP, Scrum and PRINCE2.
All of the aforementioned certifications can help you land project management roles like:
Assistant Project Manager
Senior Project Manager
Want to learn more about project management?
Be sure to join our upcoming webinar titled, “Learn How to Manage Entry-Level Projects with CompTIA Project+”. SkillStorm Career Advisor, Seth Parker, will be joined by CompTIA Director of Business Development, Kevin McDonald, on Thursday, October 5th at 12:30 PM Eastern Time. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about project management and the CompTIA Project+ certification training course, powered by SkillStorm. Register for the webinar here.
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