Learn how developing proficiency in Microsoft Project, the most widely-used project management software, can kickstart your career in project management. Discover how the power of this tool can help manage multiple complex projects, a key to a successful career in this rapidly growing field.
- Microsoft Project has a 66% project management software market share, making proficiency in this tool a must-have skill for aspiring Project Managers.
- The Project Management Institute (PMI) predicts that over 22 million new project management jobs will be created by 2027, signaling a strong demand for skilled Project Managers.
- Microsoft Project's advanced features, such as kanban boards and Gantt charts, assist Project Managers in managing resources, tracking budgets, and sharing calendars with team members, among other tasks.
- The average salary for a Project Manager is around $116,000 annually, making it a lucrative career option.
- While Microsoft Project is powerful due to its full integration with other Microsoft Office programs, advanced features require specific training for effective usage.
- Microsoft Project is offered in both cloud-based and "on-premise" versions, with prices varying based on the chosen solution and user count. The most expansive cloud-based version, Project Plan 5, costs around $55 per user per month.
To use Microsoft Project, you must purchase the software or subscription access to the software from Microsoft. Prices for Microsoft Project vary: there is a one-time fee for the downloadable software program or a monthly subscription service based on the number of users.
What is Microsoft Project?
Microsoft Project is the project management software in the Microsoft Office suite of programs. Microsoft Project is the world's most widely-used project management software and has been since its release. MS Project currently has around a 66% project management software market share. Proficiency in Microsoft Project is a must-have skill for aspiring Project Managers.
Project management is a booming field: the number of Project Manager jobs is expected to increase by over 33% over the next five years. The Project Management Institute (PMI) predicts that over 22 million new project management jobs will be created by 2027. Project management is growing rapidly because more companies recognize the need for professional help managing projects. However, there are already more Project Manager positions than employees trained in project management.
Microsoft Project assists Project Managers in prioritizing tasks, defining expectations, delegating tasks, tracking and managing resources, creating and tracking budgets, and sharing calendars with your team. Project also includes project management methodology tools, such as kanban boards and Gantt charts. Some of Project’s major features include tools for project planning, communication and collaboration, progress tracking and reporting, roadmaps for project tracking, financial management and timesheets, and resource management.
Project is fully integrated with Microsoft Teams, allowing team members to share files, attend meetings, and chat easily. Its scheduling features are automatic, which can help teams stay on track with less direct supervision from the Project Manager. Project also incorporates the cutting-edge Microsoft Power BI dashboard, allowing project teams to visualize and analyze data in real-time.
While Microsoft Project may seem easy to learn because of its familiar Microsoft Office interface, you will need to learn its advanced features to use it effectively. Senior Project Managers praise its power to manage multiple complex projects. Developing your ability to manage complex projects is the key to a successful career in project management.
One of the biggest advantages of Microsoft Project is its full integration with other Microsoft Office programs. Microsoft Office is the most widely-used software suite in the world. If you’re serious about pursuing project management as a career, you’ll want to consider training in the entire suite of programs, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Read more about what Microsoft Project is and why you should learn it.
What Can You Do with Microsoft Project?
Project management is a hot career path: the Project Management Institute (PMI) predicts that over 22 million new Project Manager jobs will be created by 2027. Even without this 33% increase in job positions, there is already a significant talent gap in project management, with more companies seeking Project Managers than qualified candidates.
Another perk of a career in project management is a high salary: the average salary for a Project Manager is around $116,000 annually. That is more than double the national average of approximately $50,000 across all occupations. Training in project management could lead to a lucrative career.
Project Managers need to have many skills, including soft skills such as communication, leadership, and time management. Project Managers will also need to have advanced skills using Microsoft Project, the world’s most widely-used project management software tool, for decades.
Microsoft Project is the industry standard for managing complex and multiple projects. Its powerful project management features include interactive dashboards for project monitoring, integrated project timeline, task prioritization and delegation, team dashboard, report generation, resource tracking and management, and the Master Project Plan for managing multiple projects.
In-Depth Review of the Cost
Some of Noble’s free seminars (mainly Adobe) break down the costs associated with a tool, including the different pricing tiers and free trials available. Check the free Microsoft Project videos and online tutorials and others to see if there’s something you can use.
Microsoft Project is currently offered as a cloud-based or “on-premise solution,” which means a fully-installed desktop software application. The cost of using Microsoft Project varies based on your chosen solution: a cloud-based version with collaborative features or a stand-alone software product. Microsoft offers a free one-month trial on all three levels of its cloud-based Project subscription services.
If you choose the stand-alone software product, you have two options. Microsoft Project Standard 2021 costs around $680. This version does not allow for any syncing with Project Online, which means you won’t be able to collaborate automatically with other Project Online and Project Server users. The Standard version also lacks advanced features, such as timesheet and payroll integration, task management, resource management, Microsoft PowerBI, business intelligence integrations, and advanced analytic tools.
For a higher fee, you can purchase Project Professional 2021 for around $1,200. This version includes everything with Microsoft Project Standard and some additional features, including resource management, timesheet and payroll management, advanced analytic features, and syncing with Microsoft Project Online and Microsoft Project Standard.
Microsoft also offers several cloud-based versions of Microsoft Project, which are available via three levels of subscription plans. Project Plan 1 currently costs around $10 per user a month. This plan includes only a browser-based version of Project which lacks a desktop application and some collaborative and advanced features.
Project Plan 3 features a price tag of around $30 a month per user. One of the most significant differences is that it includes the desktop client version of Project for up to five computers in addition to Project for the Web. In contrast, Project Plan 1 only includes browser-based versions of Project. Additional features in this version include the visual roadmap and increased resource management features.
The most expansive and expensive cloud-based version of Microsoft Project is Project Plan 5. This plan costs around $55 a month for each user. In addition to all of the features included in Project Plan 1 and 3, these subscriptions include advanced portfolio management, demand management, and enterprise-level resource and planning features.
Why Learn Microsoft Project?
Learning Microsoft Project is required for aspiring Project Managers. Project has been the world's most popular project management software for decades. Harnessing Project’s advanced features for managing complex or multiple projects is a must-have skill for those pursuing project management as a career.
When most people think of Microsoft Office, they think of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Microsoft’s popular suite of productivity applications also includes a project management program, Microsoft Project. One of the reasons that Microsoft Project is so powerful is that it is fully integrated with Office’s more well-known programs.
To manage projects professionally, you’ll need advanced skills in Microsoft Project. Many Project Managers report that training in Microsoft Project improved their project management skills and ability to manage complex projects. Some of Microsoft Project’s powerful project management tools include creating schedules and plans, task delegation, budget creation and financial management, progress tracking, resource management, and project analysis.
Read more about why you should learn Microsoft Project.
Free Introductory Microsoft Project Course Online
If you’re not quite ready to commit to taking an entire course in Microsoft Project, there are free introductory courses online. Because these courses are free, you’ll be able to see if project management appeals to you without investing the time and money for a complete course.
Noble Desktop is a business, design, and coding school based in NYC. They offer free online seminars on various topics, including Microsoft Office. Project Managers use Microsoft Excel for budgeting projects, resource management, and creating charts and data visualizations. In Top 10 Beginner Excel Tricks You Need To Know, students learn essential tricks for harnessing more of the power of Microsoft Excel. Some tricks include creating charts, data validation, screenshots, navigation shortcuts, text and chart formatting, and tricks for streamlining your Excel workflow.
Free introductory Microsoft Project courses are typically uploaded to platforms like Udemy and YouTube. These courses can offer a great introduction to familiarizing yourself with the interface and features of Microsoft Project.
Read about more free Microsoft Project videos and online tutorials.
Learn Microsoft Project with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop
If you’re an aspiring Project Manager, you’ll need to train in Microsoft Project. NYIM is a business, design, and coding school based in NYC. They offer tech courses and bootcamps both live online or at their state-of-the-art campus in Midtown Manhattan.
All of NYIM’s courses have guaranteed small class sizes and are taught by instructors who are experts in their industry. NYIM uses a unique hands-on approach in which instructors give a “micro-lecture” and then immediately guide students through applying what they learned using real-world projects. Graduates can take advantage of NYIM’s “free retake” option, which allows them to retake the course for free for up to one year to refresh or further develop skills.
Live online courses are a great option if you don’t live in the NYC area. Because the class is happening live, it works exactly like an in-person class: you’ll be able to ask questions, interact with your instructor and classmates in real-time, and even receive direct feedback on your work using screen-sharing software.
NYIM offers many options for learning Microsoft Project and the other programs in the Microsoft Office suite. In their Microsoft Project Level I course, students learn essential project management concepts and the fundamentals of using Microsoft Project to manage projects. Some of the Project skills that graduates will develop include defining projects, creating and organizing tasks, analyzing task relationships, creating a work breakdown structure, creating a resource calendar, resource management, creating baselines, sharing project plans, and finalizing project plans. Graduates earn a Certificate of Completion, which is sharable on Linkedin and your Project Manager Resume.
NYIM’s Microsoft Project Level II covers more advanced techniques, including managing multiple projects. Instructors guide students through hands-on projects to develop skills using Microsoft Project to execute a project, monitor progress, control a project plan, create progress reports, and use advanced customized features. Graduates earn a Certificate of Completion to share on their Project Manager resume or Linkedin.
If you want to study project management or pursue project management education hours toward CAPM Certification, you should consider a course like Noble Desktop’s Project Management Bootcamp. A PMP-Certified instructor trains students in project management theories and methodologies to help them launch a new career as Project Managers. Topics covered include the Project Management LifeCycle, project scope, project planning, resource management, risk management, financial management, team management, and becoming a professional Project Manager.