The CompTIA IT-Project+ certification is not really getting a lot of play right now, and you do not see it mentioned much in job postings or classified ads. That makes me leery of recommending it to you. Therefore, you might want to start whittling away at the PMP classroom education requirement to prepare yourself for the PMP directly. That said, if some credential -- any credential -- will help you make a career change or to secure job advancement, you can go ahead and pursue the IT-Project+ cert first, then work your way into the PMI's PMP.
It's easy to sign up for CompTIA certs. Visit either Prometric or VUE and follow their sign-up instructions to schedule (and pay for) the IT-Project+ exam. If your employer is a CompTIA member, that exam will cost you $177; if not, it will cost $207 (membership and other discounts may vary, however).
This was first published in April 2003