Microsoft Project Prerequisites

What to Learn Before Microsoft Project

Improve your career prospects by mastering Microsoft Project, a key tool for project management professionals. Dive into the specifics of this software suite and understand how learning it can open up a world of opportunities in the rapidly growing project management field.

Key Insights

  • Microsoft Project, a project management software from Microsoft Office family, leads the market with a whopping 66% share. Its proficiency is critical for aspiring Project Managers.
  • Project management is a rapidly growing field with PMI predicting over 22 million new project management jobs by 2027, creating more demand than there are trained professionals available.
  • Microsoft Project aids in task prioritization, defining expectations, delegating tasks, tracking and managing resources, and creating budgets. It is also fully integrated with other Microsoft Office programs and Microsoft Teams.
  • Proficiency in the entire suite of Microsoft Office programs, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, is beneficial for aspiring Project Managers.
  • Project management offers lucrative career opportunities, with the average salary for a Project Manager standing at around $116,000 annually, more than double the national average across all occupations.
  • Despite the familiar Microsoft Office interface, Microsoft Project has a learning curve. Proper training is recommended to effectively leverage the software’s advanced features.

Microsoft Project is the project management software program in the Microsoft Office family of products. It has been the most popular project management software since the 1980s. 

You might worry that Microsoft Project will be too hard to learn. This guide will help you understand the best methods for learning Microsoft Project and what you should study first to make the learning process easier. This way, you’ll be successful however you choose to apply your new skills. 

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.

Is Microsoft Project Easy to Learn?

Microsoft Project has a learning curve. Unlike other project management software programs, you won’t be able to start using it immediately. If you’re serious about mastering Microsoft Project, you will need to seek training. 

Microsoft has recently made changes to Project to make its interface more familiar to users of other more familiar Office programs like Word or Excel. However, since Project functions like a relational database, you must set up projects correctly to harness the data and reporting features of Project. Training in Microsoft Project allows you to take full advantage of the program’s popular features. 

Taking a course is the fastest way to master Microsoft Project for a project management career. NYIM offers two levels of training in Microsoft Project: Microsoft Project Level I for beginners and Microsoft Project Level II for advanced users. 

What to Know Before Learning Microsoft Project

There are no complex prerequisites for learning Microsoft Project. However, there is the knowledge that could be useful for you when you begin training.

Microsoft Office

Mastering Microsoft Office is a must-have for aspiring Project Managers. Microsoft Office proficiency is the most-requested skill on entry-level Project Manager job listings. Professional Project Managers use other Office programs for various parts of their job: Word for communication and reports, PowerPoint for communicating with stakeholders and project proposals, and Excel for budgeting and organization.

NYIM offers Microsoft Office training both live online and at their state-of-the-art campus in Midtown Manhattan. All of their classes feature expert instructors and have guaranteed small class sizes. NYIM offers a “free retake” option, allowing graduates to retake the course free to refresh the material or continue developing their skills. 

NYIM’s Microsoft Office Fundamentals Bootcamp provides essential training in Microsoft Office's most popular programs. Students conquer core business fundamentals in Excel, create professional presentations using PowerPoint, master formatting and tables in Word, and learn professional-level Outlook tips. Graduates earn a Certificate of Completion, which is shareable on Linkedin. 

Microsoft Excel

Project Managers need to have advanced skills in Microsoft Office and Microsoft Project. If there is one program to focus on other than MS Project, it is Microsoft Excel. Excel is a must-have for Project Managers who typically use it for budgeting, organization, tracking project hours and progress, tracking critical paths, establishing task priorities, tracking resource use, and task delegation. 

Noble Desktop offers an Excel for Business Bootcamp, which provides comprehensive training in Excel, taking students from beginners to advanced. Instructors guide students through developing skills in calculations, graphs, functions, Pivot Tables, databases, working with text, basic macro creation, and advanced database functions. 

Project Management Methodologies

If your interest in Microsoft Project is because you’re an aspiring Project Manager, then you should consider training in project management first. The Project Management Institute (PMI) has defined the field of project management in a framework called the Project Management Body of Knowledge. Understanding PMBOK is a necessary step in becoming a professional Project Manager. 

Noble Desktop offers a Project Management Bootcamp, which provides essential training in PMBOK and prepares graduates for a career as Project Managers. A PMP-Certified Project Manager mentors students through real-world projects to develop knowledge in the Project Management LifeCycle, project scope, project planning, resource management, managing project teams, risk management, project communication and documentation, and becoming a professional Project Manager. Graduates earn a Certificate of Completion, which is shareable on Linkedin. 

Key Insights

  • Microsoft Project has a learning curve, and most people need the training to use its powerful features properly.
  • Understanding Microsoft Office can help in learning Project. Aspiring Project Managers will want to be familiar with the popular productivity suite used in project management.
  • Aspiring Project Managers should have advanced skills in Microsoft Excel.
  • Training in Microsoft Project could increase your understanding of project management methodologies.

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.

How to Learn Excel

Master Excel with hands-on training. Excel is the leading spreadsheet application used by over 750 million people worldwide.

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