How to Learn Microsoft Project

Want to boost your career with Microsoft Project skills? Whether you're interested in a traditional classroom setting, interactive online courses, or flexible on-demand training, there are plenty of options for mastering this popular project management software program.

Key Insights

  • Microsoft Project, part of the Microsoft Office suite, is crucial for aspiring Project Managers and has been the most widely deployed project management software since the 1980s.
  • Project management is a rapidly growing field with an expected 33% increase in job positions over the next five years, presenting promising career opportunities.
  • Microsoft Project equips Project Managers with tools to prioritize tasks, manage resources, track budgets, and facilitate team collaboration, among other functions.
  • Integrating successfully with other Microsoft Office programs, Microsoft Project offers comprehensive solutions for project management.
  • Project Managers earn an average salary of $116,000 annually, making this skill an attractive one for those looking into a lucrative career.
  • Noble Desktop offers various highly-reviewed Microsoft Project training options, including in-person and live online courses, ensuring quality education for every learning preference.

Microsoft Project is the project management software program in the Microsoft Office family of products. It has been the most widely-used project management software program since the 1980s. Aspiring Project Managers will want to include Microsoft Project proficiency on their resume or portfolio. The number of options for learning Microsoft Project might be overwhelming at first glance. There are books, video tutorials, classes, and more to choose from; it all depends on your learning style and personal preferences. 

Here, we’ll discuss the various methods of learning Microsoft Project so you can decide how you’d like to get started.

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. 

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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-Person Microsoft Project Training

In-person classes are the most traditional form of training. There is nothing quite like learning in the same room with an expert and other interested students. In-person training is recommended for extroverts and people who want to be mentored. One perk is that you’ll get more personalized attention in an in-person class. 

A potential drawback of in-person classes might be the lack of availability in your area. You can use Noble Desktop’s Classes Near Me tool to check for in-person Microsoft Project courses in your area. This tool provides an excellent overview of the course options in your area. 

You'll want structured, highly reviewed courses if you’re planning to launch a new project management career. NYIM offers Microsoft Project training that is highly reviewed and time-tested; all of their courses are available in person at their state-of-the-art campus in Midtown Manhattan, or you can choose to enroll in a live online course. NYIM’s courses have guaranteed small class sizes, and graduates can use their “free retake” option to retake the course for free to refresh or further develop their skills. 

NYIM offers two levels of Microsoft Project training: an introductory Microsoft Project Level I to master the fundamentals and an advanced Microsoft Project Level II for managing more complex projects. Aspiring Project Managers can enroll in their comprehensive Project Management Bootcamp to study project management theories and concepts. 

New Horizons offers in-person Microsoft Project training at their campuses in most major American tech hubs, including New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Atlanta, and Denver.

Live Online Microsoft Project Training

In-person Microsoft Project training doesn’t happen in every area. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve mastery of Microsoft Project. 

Online classes that are taught live work exactly like in-person classes. Because the course is live, you’ll be able to interact with your instructor and classmates in real-time. You’ll have the ability to ask questions. You can collaborate with classmates or get feedback on your work using screen-sharing software. One major perk of live online classes is that they can be done anywhere, even in your bedroom.

NYIM offers live online Microsoft Project courses. Students develop foundational skills in using Microsoft Project and project management theories and concepts in their introductory Microsoft Project Level I course. An expert instructor guides students through real-world projects to develop skills in defining projects, creating tasks, resource management, and creating a project plan. Graduates earn a Certificate of Completion, which is shareable on Linkedin.

Free Online Courses & Tutorials

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.

On-Demand Microsoft Project Classes

If your schedule is too busy for a structured course, you may consider choosing an on-demand Microsoft Project training. On-demand courses offer a lot more flexibility because they can be completed on your own time. One potential drawback is that they lack the mentorship of a live class, and you must be self-disciplined to ensure you stay on track. 

On-demand courses can be paid or free. For example, there are on-demand Microsoft Project courses on Udemy and Linkedin that you can access for a fee. You can also use free resources, such as video tutorials on YouTube; however, you may spend more time learning unnecessary things without the hands-on guidance of an instructor. 

Noble Desktop’s Classes Near Me tool lists the on-demand training options for Microsoft Project.

Which Learning Method is Right for Me?

With so many different resources available to help beginners learn Microsoft Project, you might be unsure about which one is best for you. Everyone has different learning styles and preferences, and you can experiment with multiple tools to see which one feels right for you. One of the great things about directing your learning is that you pick which combination of tools you prefer; you don’t have to stick with what an instructor chooses.

It’s also essential to consider your current schedule before selecting a learning method. If you have a lot of responsibilities like a full-time job or family commitments, you may not be able to devote time to a structured course that requires you to attend at the same time every day. In this case, a self-paced class or video tutorials may be better since you can access them when your schedule allows. On the other hand, those with a more flexible schedule may prefer a structured course offered in-person or live online. 

You may want to consider the availability of certificates or certifications from your learning method. If you’re planning to launch a new career in project management, you’ll want to be able to demonstrate your new skills on your Project Manager Resume. Choosing a learning method with a certificate or certification can help you achieve that. For example, NYIM’s Microsoft Project courses include a Certificate of Completion, which is shareable on Linkedin. This quickly and effectively communicates to potential employers your level of training in Microsoft Project. 

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

Level of Difficulty, Prerequisites, & Cost 

Microsoft Project is significantly more difficult to learn than most other Office programs. Those programs also have more room for error: a poorly-formatted Word document still communicates the information even if it doesn’t look professional. However, Microsoft Project is essentially a relational database, meaning you have to get everything right from the beginning. 

Many self-taught Microsoft Project learners struggle, especially with the program’s more advanced features. Project Managers must juggle many different tasks, which is why Microsoft Project uses a combination of tables that work together; these tables typically contain tasks, calendars, and resources. Unless the project’s tables are initiated correctly, you will only produce junk data. 

There are no rigid prerequisites for training in Microsoft Project. Some recommend familiarizing yourself with other Microsoft Office products first. However, you can learn Project even if you still consider yourself a beginner in Office or Excel. 

Unfortunately, there are no free versions of Microsoft Project. And although Project is part of the Office family of products, it is not included in the software suite. You can purchase a stand-alone version of Microsoft Project, allowing only one user to work locally without team collaboration. To use Project’s collaboration features, you’ll need to subscribe to one of Microsoft’s cloud-based Microsoft Project subscription plans.

Microsoft offers cloud-based Project plans, including a basic plan for $10 per user per month. However, this plan has fewer features than Microsoft’s more expensive plans, including more advanced project management tools. For $30 per user per month, users also gain access to features such as resource management, desktop clients, demand management, portfolio selection, and enterprise-level resource management. 

Read about how difficult it is to learn Microsoft Project.

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. 

Key Insights

  • Microsoft Project offers many training options, including in-person, live online, free online videos and tutorials, and on-demand.
  • Choosing the proper learning method for you will depend on your current life and career goals.
  • You will want a certificate to demonstrate your Microsoft Project proficiency, such as the one offered in NYIM’s Microsoft Project courses.

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