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Go from MSP Technician to Project Manager

Go from MSP Technician to Project Manager

Whatever your current role is at your MSP, adding project management skills to your toolbox will grow your career. As your MSP spins out projects – from an independent project request or managed services – into a menu of services, your team will need people who can take a project – or a portfolio of them – from start to finish.  

Learning the best practices, methodologies, strategies, terminology, and tools of project management can help you do this more quickly and with fewer on-the-job lessons learned.  

Here are nine courses and certifications that will help you go from the help desk to the project management office:

CompTIA Project+ 

The affordable CompTIA Project+ certification ($369) is designed specifically for IT pros looking for the basic skills that will help them grow into managing small to medium-sized projects. It will get you up to speed on the methodology around Agile and help you deliver IT projects on time and on budget. It’s a great place to start because it is focused on smaller projects, which is likely your MSP’s bread and butter. It will help you understand everything from phases, schedules, and roles, to project constraints, change management, project management tools, and documentation. The test is 90 minutes long. Preparation depends on the course you choose. It is also perfect because it is within the industry – so you’ll get technology specific examples! 

Certified Junior Project Manager (IAPM) 

If you are eyeing a job managing projects from your seat on the help desk, this course ($100) from the International Association of Project Managers is a great place to start. It will lay the foundation, cover the basics, and arm you with the theoretical knowledge of project management you need to show you are ready to get started. It requires no previous experience and happens entirely online The test is 40 questions and you have 35 minutes to answer them. Preparing for that test involves reading through the eight modules and mastering the content. You can take a practice test and try again, if you like.  

Foundations of Project Management 

Looking to dip your feet into the world of project management without committing to a full courseload? Or maybe you want to hone your understanding of the role of a PM in an organization and arm yourself with the terminology and methodologies as you position yourself to take on some project management responsibilities. This four-module course at Coursera ($49 a month) takes about 18 hours and is a great starting point and is part of the Google Career Certificate. Start here, get your feet wet, and then decide if you are ready to dive in deeper.  

Google Project Management: Professional Certificate 

In this introductory six-course series on project management from Google, you need no experience – or even a degree – to learn traditional and Agile project management styles using industry-standard tools and platforms. This course covers estimating and budgeting, running meetings, managing stakeholders, identifying risk, applying Agile and Scrum frameworks, and more. It all happens online at Coursera. You can enroll for free and pay $49 a month after a seven-day trial. Coursera estimates it will take you six months to complete if you put in 10 hours a week. 

Associate in Project Management from GAQM 

The Global Association for Quality Management (GAQM) offers this e-course and certification ($150) for people in any field – with little to no knowledge of project management – who are hoping to attempt a move into the role. The GAQM estimates it will take you 15 to 20 hours to complete this entry-level course. The course covers the common terms, current thinking about managing projects, and concludes with a one-hour test. If you pass the test, you will receive GAQM’s widely recognized certificate. 

The CAPM Certification 

If you have some job experience and are ready to move up, start with this 23-hour Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) prep course ($350) from the respected Project Management Institute (PMI). Successful completion of the three-hour CAPM exam will demonstrate that you have the basics down, can handle a wide range of projects, understand the various approaches (Agile, predictive, and hybrid), and are ready to move up. You can prep online and take the test online to get a certificate that will demonstrate you are ready to call yourself a Project Manager.  

IT Project Management 

This three-course certification ($672.30) from the University of Washington, offered through EdX, focuses on project management as it relates to IT. You will learn the difference between major project management methodologies and the lifecycle of IT projects. You will understand the role of the project management office (PMO) in an IT organization and how to take your team from ad-hock PMs to a PMO. Strategic Applications of IT Project & Program Management covers the standards and framework. Portfolio Management, Governance, & the PMO focuses on techniques for monitoring and managing a portfolio of IT projects. And Leadership and Management for PM Practitioners in IT will focus on the leadership skills you’ll need. The course will take about five months if you spend two to five hours a week on it. 

Agile Project Management 

Scrum and Agile are popular methodologies in IT because they offer guidelines to help teams work toward successful project completion and continuous improvement. If becoming a PM in the IT space is your goal, this course from the University of Maryland, offered by EdX ($1,120.50), is a great place to dig in. After successfully completing the five courses in this series, which will take five months if you spend two to three hours a week working on it, you will possess a knowledge of Scrum and Agile principles and how to apply them. You will also have a professional certificate to prove it – that you can add to your CV to boost your chances of getting that seat in the project management office.  

Get on the Job Training  

If there is no time in your day to hit the books but your organization is considering a project management software implementation, a fast way to learn basic project management skills is while learning to use that software. If Perfect Project is the tool your team chooses, you will have lots of resources to learn from, including our knowledge base, Carmen our AI project management coaching tool, and the 12-week training that is part of our onboarding process. If you are hoping to upskill yourself or your team, the resources that come with the tool you adopt should be a key criteria when choosing that tool.  


Do you have a favorite certification program you think we missed? Drop us a line at so we can add it to future updates! 




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