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How to go from tech to project manager

By ramabrooks ·
I have spent the last 4 years as an IT tech. most of that time as a desktop tech and the last 6 months as a help desk tech. I have CompTIA A+ and Network+ plus I just recently earned an Associates of Applied Science Degree in CIS.

I am looking for other folks who have made the career change from tech to project manager to see how they did it. Currently I am studying for the CompTIA Project+ cert. Thanks.

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Good fortune

by JamesRL In reply to How to go from tech to pr ...

I worked at a large international company in a desktop support area. It started off representing my region on desktop projects - mostly commenting and helping to plan implementations. From there I went to doing small but progressively larger desktop projects - off the shelf software rollouts etc. I was brought into a development group where I did the PC planning, and learned more about software development projects.

There are desktop project managers out there - the Value added resellers use them to rollout new computers and/or printers to an org. That gives you some project experience - then look for growth opportunities - data centres have projects. The toughie is software development - the software development lifecycle can be complex.

Hope that helps.


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try these

by Dr Dij In reply to Good fortune

mindleaders has online courses cheap on pc sw, incl ms proj mgr.

get a copy and use it for something, even if you simply put in a project to build a patio

you can read dozens of proj mgmt books, including pmbok (the proj mgmt inst book) online at

peter schulte book on IT proj mgmt is real good as how to deal with people and get things done under trying conditions rather than just how to use m$ proj sw.

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MS Project does not a good PM make

by kvnmklly In reply to try these

Never let anyone mislead you into thinking that buying a copy of MS Project will turn you into a project manager. MS Project is a tool for those who understand project management fundamentals -- not a miracle worker. In order to get the most out of the software, you'll need to go in with a grasp of PM fundamentals and methodology. Otherwise, you'll just be using it as an expensive Gantt chart generator.

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by Dr Dij In reply to MS Project does not a goo ...

That's why I suggested courses, books and reading pmbok. However ms Proj is the cheapest way to learn to produce charts which is likely to be necessary, tho only part of being PM.

Most projects fail due to human element, not dealing with people, unplanned events / delays, not thinking thru tech required, extra expenses needed, and others; not because they didn't learn ms Proj.

There are also much more heavy-duty sw such as primavera, and collaboration software which can be essential or a useful part of successful proj.

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by aderoy In reply to Agreed

I would have to argue the m$project is cheap way to learn. Try these:
Primavera - has a lowend tool (SmartTrak?)
Plan For Windows - <$50USD great for learning, smaller projects

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You are absolutely correct

by bekacg In reply to MS Project does not a goo ...

Being a good PM is not predicated on how well you can use MS Project, which can a bear to master. I agree with you that it is more important to understand the basic principles of PM, especially the principles embodied within the PMI PM Body of Knowledge. Even then having a PMP certification doesn't make you a good PM. It is the culmination of using good PM practices consistently and knowing how to motivate and lead your teams that will determine just how good of a PM you are.

Anyone can purchase MS Project or any other of a myriad of scheduling solutions. Regardless of your tool(s) of choice, it's how you use them to convey project status to your team and customers that counts, and not that you can make pretty little charts and reports.

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I concur

by Observant In reply to MS Project does not a goo ...

I am in agreement with your reply. I would also like to contact you about a Project Manager Position.

I have a Masters degree, PMP Cert, CWNA, and a few other certifications but want to transition from tech to PM and use the skills I've learned.

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Good point

by R.S In reply to MS Project does not a goo ...

Heelo Mr,kkelly
The way you answered this question indicates that you r a wise person and had good understanding of the IT world ,, so may you let me ask for your help I want to start my career in DataBase and don't know how to start?? or what to start with ?? so can you tell me or gide me in such thing ,
Thanks alot sir for your help .

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Becoming a PM

by BFilmFan In reply to How to go from tech to pr ...

You have your basic desktop time in.

Now you need to hold positions and gain additional experience as:

Network/System Administrator
Network/System Enginner
Network/System Architect

Each of these positions should give you an opportunity to work on projects and perhaps even develop and manage smaller projects or portions of projects.

You are going to need both technical and business professional experience managing technology and people. It is an art of learning to meet your clients needs and expectations with a technical solution , while managing your technical teams designing, testing and deploying solutions.

My experience is that most project managers have at least 10 years of industry experience with a minimum of 3 years managing people. Until you have that lvel of experience, it is going to be impossible to break in as a project manager.

I would recommend that you get a business degree, your PMP certification and lots of industry experience (consulting is great for exposing yourself to different IT methodologies and clients) while you pursue your goals.

Best of luck.

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On PMP certification

by JamesRL In reply to Becoming a PM

Unlike a Microsoft exam, PMP certification is not available unless you can prove 5 years(if you have a degree, 7 if you don't) experience in projects, including exposure to all the different sub disciplines. You have to submit a detailled resume before you will be allowed to sit the exam.


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