MS Project Exam – Everything You Need To Know About The Microsoft Project Certification
The Microsoft Project Certification has been deprecated since 2019 and they no longer offer the exam; however, it has been reported that Microsoft Project is being used by 92% of companies, as such Project Managers with Microsoft Project expertise or experience remain highly sought after.
Considering Microsoft’s huge reach, it’s no surprise that they’ve been able to create such a large user base for its project management software. Those who might have looked for MS Project Certification should still consider learning about this very useful tool to advance their Project Management Career.
Microsoft Project was designed by Microsoft to support businesses and their project management teams to obtain greater success rates in their projects. It offers systems to plan, schedule, and track the progress of a project.
It’s likely that when applying for a project management role, companies will ask about your Microsoft Project skillset, experience, and knowledge.
The now retired 74-343 Microsoft Project certification exam was taken by project managers who used Microsoft Project and wished to present their expertise in the software to potential clients and employers.
Microsoft Project was not standard in the previous installments of MS Office, however, the latest packages of Office 365 do include it, broadening the reach of this software to even more people and businesses.
Microsoft Project Certification – Why Was It Retired?
After Microsoft retired the MS Project Certification Exam in 2019, many project managers asked what would replace it. They were equally worried about the situation with certifications that depended upon that exam, such as the “Managing Projects and Portfolios with Microsoft PPM (70-348)” certification – which has also now been retired.
Microsoft’s stated reason for the retirement of these MS Project Exams is that they did this in order to “adapt to the rapidly changing project management world and technologies.”
Because of the new approach that Microsoft is taking, there is no replacement MS Project exam certification planned. The dynamic world of Project Management means that more emphasis will now exist on PMP Certification and other Certification Exams that show core competency in Project Management to a high level.
It does seem however that Microsoft is looking to improve MS Project in its entirety by focusing on specialist certifications rather than exams; however, there is no replacement for the Microsoft Project Certification.
How Can I Learn Microsoft Project?
There are many methods to learn Microsoft Project, either on your own or with some assistance. There are many educational courses online that can guide you step by step, and Microsoft has their own help documentation for MS Project.
Learning alone may be more economical, but the time saved by working with a course provider may prove more valuable as you can learn the full aspects of the project management software at a greater speed than if you went about it alone. Choosing the right method to learn MS Project is about how you learn best and is ultimately a personal choice.
On the other hand, if you go to a high-quality educational institution, you can easily find very good content at reasonable prices. Microsoft provides certification for instructors looking to teach Microsoft Project and other tools and skills, so if you do intend to take a course or find an instructor, we strongly suggest going with one that is a certified Microsoft Trainer.
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Try the first two modules of our story-based PMP and CAPM Exam Prep courses and a mini practice exam and see how it all works
Online vs Class Education for Microsoft Project Certification?
Many looking to learn more about Microsoft Project will want to know, what is better, an in-person classroom education or an online one? Simply put, that all depends on you. Digital is often more affordable and can be organized easier within your schedule, while in-person classrooms provide a much closer connection to the instructor than what can be obtained online.
We’ll go through and discuss the pros and cons of each in the following areas:
- Ease of Access
Undoubtedly, communication is much better with in-person Microsoft Project Classes. Being able to talk with an instructor directly and in-person has many benefits that cannot be replicated digitally. Even when there is a live instructor on a digital course, vital communication issues can arise due to a lack of body language signals and other interpersonal necessities for communication.
As mentioned above, online learning is not limited to video tutorials, there are live courses led by instructors that do allow for direct communication, with video to video online classes providing much of what an in-person classroom can provide also.
Digital learning provides the greatest method for adaptability, as often you can learn where you want, when you want. You can revisit previously completed components when you need to brush up or you misunderstand something which cannot be done as easily in a live setting. It also allows you to choose what you learn, as you may already be a master over certain aspects of the training, you will not need to be restricted to the needs of other classmates when learning digitally on your own. In this regard, you can also skip to the level you know you are at immediately so you can focus your time on areas that you are unfamiliar with.
By its very nature, classrooms must be more restrictive due to the group aspect of its methodology. However, learning as a group does have many benefits, being able to take part in group discussions is a great way to learn and many people thrive in this environment.
Ease of Access:
As we mentioned above, learning online is unparalleled in its capacity to provide you with the greatest access to your learning materials since you can learn at any time, anyplace, and at your own pace. As long as you have wifi, you can access the training (previous, current, or future) at any time you want.
Digital platforms have evolved to the point that they even offer apps that can be used to support your learning on your phone, so even those with the busiest of schedules can still take time while “on the go” to learn with their mobile device.
On the other hand, in-person classrooms have a set schedule and location, which brings with it the issues traditional learning often faces: Missed classes can’t be repeated, extra travel needs to be accommodated in your schedule and you have no say in when or where it will take place (Beyond initially signing up to the course most in line with your schedule).
Generally speaking, self-paced solo learning is the cheapest solution (other than free resources and complete self-learning), while in-person classes and courses are the most expensive method of learning with virtual but live online classes with instructors falling in the middle.
On top of this, the travel costs needed for in-person learning should also be taken into account, along with time that may need to be taken off of work. With Digital (including live virtual instructor-led) courses you do not need to worry about travel costs or time.
A key advantage to in-person classroom training is the dedication and focus that it forces upon its students. With self-paced training a lot of willpower is needed, the seemingly limitless opportunities to learn whenever you want can act as a blockage and feed the urge to procrastinate.
Equally so with online, instructor-led courses, distractions can be a big issue, specific efforts will need to be made to ensure the time you take to learn either self-paced or virtual led is actually productive and in an environment that supports the learning process.
Whereas, in-person training in classrooms, by their very nature, minimizes distractions and creates a very productive environment for learning.
One great benefit of online learning is that very high-quality instructors can be found, due to the lower cost for them to create courses or run online classes compared to traditional learning, some of the top instructors in the world can be found and studied under. This is not to say that those specializing in education and undertaking consistent classroom lessons are not experts in their field, just that the high cost of setting these up means that the top instructors must make very expensive fees to make it feasible.
This is not only true for Microsoft Project Exam Training, but for many kinds of training. PMP Exam Prep for example has developed extensively online with many great resources now available.
Ultimately it comes down to your personal learning style and what works best for your schedule and personality. Many people prefer to learn online, while others find the classroom courses extremely valuable.
Is Microsoft Project Certification Exam Learning Still Useful?
As discussed, Microsoft has retired their MS Project Certification exam, but this does not mean that Microsoft Project knowledge is not seen as something extremely valuable by employers.
Since 92% of companies do use this tool for their project management needs, having a good knowledge of this tool is necessary for a Project Manager. Therefore, taking an MS Project Exam course or learning about the Microsoft Project Certification is still valuable to help you learn the core concepts of the tool.
In addition, the courses that involve MS Project Certification do not simply offer videos, but also very effective learning tools such as sample questions and exercises which greatly benefit the learning process.
Microsoft Project Certification Sample Exam Questions
Quizzes and test questions are a great way to evaluate your knowledge. Being able to numerically evaluate your knowledge means you can properly evaluate your knowledge level, and over time be able to see your progress in a subject as you retake exams and can compare past and present results. You can also drill down on specific portions that you may have issues with, these questions are what allow you to identify these problem areas in the first place.
For your own self-assessment, we’ve placed a few samples questions regarding Microsoft Project.
Sample Question #1:
What is the default task dependency?
Sample Question #2:
Milestones must have a specific time duration.
Sample Question #3:
Out of the following types of constraints, which do not require a date?
a. Start No Later Than
b. Finish No Earlier Than
c. As Late As Possible
Sample Questions #4:
You need to add lag time in the dependency to create a delay in the start time of a dependent task.
Jobs Looking For A Microsoft Project Certification
MS Project Certification Jobs do not exist, per se, however, most companies will look for Project Managers with experience and knowledge of Microsoft Project and it will often list Microsoft Project as a needed requirement to apply for their Project Manager vacancies. They may even test you on Microsoft Project so it’s advised to become very familiar with this tool.
If you have spent time learning and getting deeply knowledgeable about Microsoft Project, passing the interview will be easier. Having the MS Project Certificate will potentially even remove the need for this additional testing, however, this will not help those looking to obtain a new MS Project Certification due to its retirement.
Below you can see Project Management roles that explicitly list MS Project experience as a requirement for any candidates applying for this vacancy:
What Salary Does A Microsoft Project Certification Provide?
On average, a Microsoft Project Certified Professional can earn $118k in the United States. This varies with experience level and other certifications, but it is clear that the more certifications and proof of seniority that can be presented the higher the salary that can be obtained. In addition to the $118k the common benefits of a Microsoft Project Certified Professional are:
- Employee stock ownership plan
- Health Insurance
- Stock Options
- 401(k) matching
Below we are listing a report of Project Manager Salaries from a few companies major companies:
- LTI – Project Manager (895 reported salaries) $95,447/yr
- IBM – Project Manager (736 Salaries reported) $100,934/yr
- Cisco Systems – Project Manager (719 Salaries reported) $150,915/yr
Summary – Microsoft Project Certification
Even though the Microsoft Project Certification Exam has been retired and can no longer be obtained, the majority of companies use this software and expect their project managers to be capable of operating it. It’s therefore incredibly important for Project Managers to become very deeply knowledgeable with this tool, whether through personal learning or enrolling in courses. The continued self-improvement of a project manager is what ensures a consistently growing salary expectation and new employment opportunities for a Project Manager.
Interested in finding out what you can expect to make in salary as a project manager? Check out our article Show Me The Money! Salary expectations with a PMP
Already applying for project management jobs? Prepare with our free list of Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers