Should I study MCSE or Prince2 for a career in IT projects?

Expert advice for readers' career problems

The question

Should I study MCSE or Prince2 for a career in IT projects?

I have spent 15 years in management accounting, during which I have also been fixing the company's IT. I enjoy system testing and implementation, but I do not have any formal qualifications.

Would a Prince2 course open a career in IT project work, or should I go for the MCSE (Microsoft certified systems engineer) first?

The solution

IT foundation, then MCSE, then Prince2

The first thing to bear in mind is that Prince2 and MCSE qualifications are very different in content and application.

It sounds as though you like to get into the gritty detail of a project, so the MCSE would be more suitable as it would enable you to work on a project basis and play a key role in the administration and implementation of a network.

However, as you have no formal background in IT, you may require a foundation in basic hardware, software and networking skills before commencing on the more advanced MCSE. Courses such as Comptia's A+ and Network+ may be suitable.

It may feel like a step back before moving forward, but getting the basics right now will ensure that you fly through the MCSE training and can quickly get involved with projects.

Prince2 is growing in popularity across all vertical sectors and is becoming the de facto project management approach. Once you are on your way, a Prince2 course will help you take a more strategic role, while your MCSE training will enable you to understand the logistics required to carry out a project effectively.

Solution by Robert Chapman, chief executive at The Training Camp

The panel: Computer People, Hudson, No Limits Coaching, The Training Camp, Wreay Group

Computer Weekly has put together a panel of experts whose specialist knowledge you can draw on to solve a problem. E-mail your question (or your solution to the question above) to [email protected]

Catch up on career advice with Next Move >>

Read more on IT jobs and recruitment