Is the Project+ Worth It?
Project management is an important but often overlooked skill in the IT world. If you have ever been part of a project as a team member, then you know that there is a lot to consider about all the objectives that need to be completed during projects. Managing the milestones of each leg of an IT project, while carrying out portions of the technical outcomes can be very difficult. This is especially true if you have not had much experience with managing a project.
If you are new to project management then the Project+ certification from CompTIA aims to get you started in this space — and shows you what is expected of you as a member of a project team. If you already have some project experience, then this could also be a great way to validate those skills. We want to look into the current state of the cert and see what it is that makes it valuable in today's environment.
What is the Project+?
The first thing to note about the Project+ certification is that it is aimed at both IT professionals and non-technical professionals. It covers the fundamental skills that are required to manage small- to medium-sized projects, including effective techniques for navigating common pitfalls of project management.
If you find yourself responsible for smaller projects with less complex objectives, then this is a good starting point to get into the project management space. The skills that you learn in the Project+ are foundational and will help you to build your overall project management expertise.
Project+ is an entry-level certification, so it doesn't drill too deep into any one specific concept. Instead, it teaches you the important fundamentals about many different principles to help you understand the basics behind each methodology. However, it covers many different concepts that span across multiple project management frameworks — making it a solid springboard into more advanced project management training.
Here are some of the exam objectives that you will need to master in order to pass the Project+ exam. These are laid out on the CompTIA website that can be downloaded directly from here.
Project Basics: 36%
Project Constraints: 17%
Communication & Change Management: 26%
Project Tools and Documentation: 21%
Project Basics. This objective wants you to summarize the basic properties of what a project entails. These include items such as phases, cost controls, schedules, responsibilities and roles. Agile is a key part of this objective, so you will also need to be able to identify the key features and functions that this methodology uses.
Project Constraints. This objective requires that you foresee the potential impact of different constraints and influential items within the project. You need to understand different project roles, risks associated with tasks, and how all this ties into different stages of the project lifecycle.
Communication and Change Management: This objective requires that you understand which communication methods you should use in certain situations. Change controls are a big part of this objective so you will need a strong understanding of what they are and how they are used.
Project Tools and Documentation: In this section, you need to be able to compare the different types of project management tools — and understand how to review and analyse documentation from both partner and project sources.
The cost to take the Project+ exam is $319 USD. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions, the number of which varies. However, the maximum amount of questions that an exam taker could see is 95 questions. The candidate needs to score 710 on a scale of 100-900. The exam duration is 90 minutes.
What Experience Do You Need for the Project+?
The great thing about Project+ certification is that there is no barrier to entry and no certification prerequisites. That said, it's beneficial to have an IT foundation, and of course, having some project management experience can't hurt. While it is not a requirement, it will definitely help you to conceptualize some of the techniques, methodologies and procedures that are used in project management as it relates to the exam.
The exam is based on an adaptive multiple-choice exam and requires that you are very familiar with all the exam objectives and their requirements before attempting it.
Who Should Take the Project+ Exam?
The roles that we have put together are aimed at general project management positions, but there are many others that are combinations of one or more of each of these so your mileage may vary.
Why Project Associates Should Take the Project+
A project associate is an entry-level position that normally falls under the supervision of a project manager or research supervisor. The main role of a project associate is to collect information about the project and capture that data. Project associates also help to support the rest of the project members by making information available when requested.
Project documentation is also another area where a Project Associate is used quite a lot. Project associates do a lot of the leg work in a project, especially when things start to scale up and involve more teams. The Project+ certification is a great resource for anyone in a position like Project associate, or for anyone wanting to get into project management in general. It is an entry-level to intermediate cert that teaches the fundamentals of project management. Glassdoor shows that the median salary of a project associate is $50,486. The high end of the pay scale is $71,000 and the low end is $37,000.
Why Project Consultants Should Take the Project+
Project Consultant jobs are also general in their nature. Project consultants are responsible for a wide range of tasks during the lifetime of a project. Project consultants are generally called into a project to assist with a specific goal of the project, especially when there is pressure from stakeholders to complete a milestone or task. Project consultants are usually experts in a particular field, which makes them highly sought after. This role is normally seen as a mid-to-high-level job as it is very specialized in most cases. Glassdoor shows that the median salary of a project consultant is $71,202. The high end of the pay scale is $97,000 and the low end is $47,000.
Why Project Managers Should Take the Project+
Not surprisingly, project managers are responsible for many of the core aspects of project management. These include over arching functions such as planning, organizing and resource allocation. Where this role differs from the first two is that Project managers are also responsible for budgeting and planning costs for a project, including spending on personnel, resources and anything else that is needed to complete a project. Glassdoor shows that the median salary of an IT project manager is $88,000. The high end of the pay scale is $119,000 and the low end is $66,000.
Is the Project+ Worth It?
Project+ is a broad certification that covers many fundamentals about project management. Holding this cert demonstrates that you understand how best practices are performed, and that you know how to carry out the basic project tasks that will be required of you.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you have been working in a project management role and you are looking to validate your skills then this is a great certification to help you do that. It will help to reinforce the correct procedures that you already perform, and it will also help you to learn new methodologies and apply those to your own internal procedures.
The Project+ is definitely worth it. Whether you are just getting started, or if you are trying to improve what you are already doing then you can't go wrong with earning this well-rounded certification.
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