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May 23, 2016

New, free program to help IT professionals gain project management skills

Programs_ProjectEssentialsThe Creating IT Futures Foundation is launching a new, free educational program intended to help IT professionals learn how to coordinate IT projects — and position themselves for career growth.

Called Project Essentials, the eight-week, classroom-based course includes soft-skills training from the Foundation’s /developing-programs/certnext/prepareu">PrepareU boot camp, along with project management and business analysis skills tailored to the entry-level, certified IT professional.

Using interactive lessons and labs to teach communication, collaboration, conflict resolution and problem-solving skills, Project Essentials also addresses good workplace and career habits. Students will gain knowledge and skills in project management to initiate, manage and support a project or business initiative.

The business analysis section of the class will teach students how to define business requirements, collect and analyze data, design solutions and act as a liaison between IT and business end-users. Upon graduating from Project Essentials, students will be able to lead projects with confidence and complete projects on time and within budget.

At the end of the eight-week program, students will take the CompTIA Project+ exam. Graduates earning that certification will be introduced to 60-plus local employers with which the Foundation partners.

To qualify for admission, students must hold one or more IT certifications, with preference being given to CompTIA certifications; have a degree in IT; or be enrolled in IT training. The class will take place from Aug. 1 to Sept. 23 in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, with applications due by July 18. Classes run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The Creating IT Futures Foundation is the philanthropic arm of CompTIA, the voice of the world’s IT industry. Its mission is to help populations under-represented in IT — as well as individuals who are lacking in opportunity — to prepare for, secure, and be successful in IT careers.

Project Essentials is the latest course offering from the Foundation, which also recently launched PrepareU, a two-week, classroom-based program designed to help technically skilled IT workers land the IT jobs they desire and give them tools needed to achieve pay raises and promotions. Through real-life scenarios, PrepareU students learn communication, collaboration, conflict resolution and problem-solving skills, as well as good workplace and career habits.

Both Project Essentials and PrepareU are part of the Foundation’s CertNext training series that teaches “softer” professional skills that employers consistently affirm are critical for one’s career success.

“Employers want both hard technical and soft skills in their IT employees. Our IT-Ready program teaches both, but often other IT workers and college graduates have the technical skills they need for the job but not the softer career skills,” said Sue Wallace, executive director, Minnesota, Creating IT Futures Foundation. “That why this summer, we’re offering a two-week boot camp on soft skills as well as a more intensive eight-week course that merges the two-week course with additional training on project management and business analysis.”

Both Project Essentials and PrepareU are geared toward developing skills needed in current open IT jobs. Candidates applying to Project Essentials must:
  • Be at least 18 years old,
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal immigrant,
  • Be a high school graduate or have a GED,
  • Have access to a computer with Internet connection, and
  • Have already achieved an associate or bachelor’s degree in computer science or information technology or have earned at least one IT certification (a CompTIA certification is preferred but not required) or be enrolled in an IT training class.
Applications are being accepted online.