There are a variety of certifications available to and benefiting today's IT project manager. Some test the more technical aspects of information technology projects while others test general project management skills as they relate to any industry. The CompTIA Project+ certification allows project managers or those in related roles in the IT industry to acquire a project management credential in relatively short amount of time and with no prerequisites or post-certification continuing education requirements.
This certification tests project management skills for those with at least 12 months of experience participating in or leading projects with a technical component. The exam tests project proficiency in business, interpersonal and technical aspects.
Who should pursue the CompTIA Project+ certification?
The required year of project experience can come in almost any role; example titles might include project manager, business analyst, or project team member. Professionals that are interested in working for companies such as Xerox Analyst Services, BT Global Services or Computacenter would be well-suited to pursue the CompTIA Project+ certification; these and similar firms offer positive testimony on the CompTIA website regarding the confidence they have in the talent of CompTIA-certified professionals.
Because the CompTIA Project+ certification generates exam questions based on industry-wide analysis and survey research, these companies can feel confident in hiring CompTIA certified professionals. Additionally, CompTIA offers vendor-neutral project management certification which allows employers to hire based on skill, regardless of project management software or product experience. Other companies that look specifically for CompTIA certified professionals include Canon, Dell and HP.
The CompTIA Project+ certification process
Unlike some project management certifications, the Project+ credential does not require the candidates apply for or demonstrate exam prerequisites. In part, this is why CompTIA's certification can be earned at a faster pace than other project management credentials. Once an IT professional decides to pursue the CompTIA Project+ certification, the remainder of the certification process looks essentially like this:
- Train and prepare for the exam. A wide variety of training methods exist for CompTIA Project+ candidates. Instructor-led classroom study, independent computer-based study, and CompTIA's own eLearning courses are all widely offered. Example exam questions can even be downloaded from the CompTIA website.
- Purchase an exam voucher and register. Once candidates finish preparing for the exam, they'll need to purchase an exam voucher. For U.S. candidates and CompTIA members, the exam is $209. For non-members the exam is $246. The voucher is used in registering for the exam. CompTIA Project+ exams can be taken at Prometric and Pearson VUE testing centers.
- Take the exam. An exam "blueprint" is available on the CompTIA website. The exam requires candidates to complete 80 questions in 90 minutes. Question formats include multiple-choice, multiple-response and drag-and-drop items. Exam questions cover four project management domains, each covering a different percentage of the exam:
- Project initiation and scope definition--20%
- Project planning--30%
- Project execution, control and coordination--43%
- Project closure, acceptance and support--7%
Once candidates pass the exam they are CompTIA Project+ certified and unlike some certifications, this one does not require the completion of any post-exam or periodic continuing education requirements. The 2011 IT Skills and Salary Report by Global Knowledge indicated that of the 12,000-some survey respondents, the average salary for those holding the CompTIA Project+ certification was $87,057.