If you’ve spent any time working with Microsoft Office—and the chances of that are very good, especially if you’ve ever worked for a large company—you’ve probably encountered SharePoint, which is Microsoft’s web-based collaborative platform for sharing and storing documents, enterprise search, workflow templates, and more.

Like many Microsoft products, SharePoint is highly customizable depending on the organization. If you’re a technologist who needs to learn as much about SharePoint as possible, as fast as possible, where do you start? And which jobs tend to utilize SharePoint the most, thus necessitating training? Let’s jump in and find out.  

Is SharePoint easy/hard to learn?  

As with so many other software and cloud platforms, SharePoint becomes more complicated the deeper you delve into its features and nuances. Learning the basics of its document management and storage is relatively straightforward for anyone familiar with how similar systems work. 

However, sysadmins and other kinds of infrastructure-oriented technologists will need to know how to configure SharePoint to the needs of individual organizations, and here’s where the fun really begins. Those tasked with some aspect of an organization’s SharePoint management will need to familiarize themselves with manipulating content and site structures; activating certain product features and themes; and configuring metadata, analytics, and workflows.

 Anyone learning the basics of SharePoint will also need to master how SharePoint integrates with Office, and its compatibility with various standards and APIs.

Can I teach myself?  

There are lots of resources online for teaching yourself the nuances of SharePoint. Start with Microsoft’s documentation, which includes a tutorial (and video training sessions). Online learning portals such as Learning Tree and Udemy also offer instruction in the platform.

Is it worth learning?  

According to Emsi Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings nationwide, SharePoint skills are in high demand (which makes sense, since it’s part of the Microsoft Office suite, and Office powers a lot of organizational workflows). The median salary for those job openings mentioning these skills is $65,442 per year; top associated professions include: 

  • Software developer
  • Project manager
  • Business analyst
  • Office/administrative assistant
  • IT project manager
  • Computer support specialist

SharePoint is worth learning for the same reason that Office is worth learning: Given how a lot of organizations rely on it, at least some familiarity with its core features will help you integrate with your team’s overall workflow. 

Is it in demand?  

Demand for these skills varies by profession. As you can see from the following breakdown (also courtesy of Emsi Burning Glass), relatively small percentages of software developers, office/administrative assistants, and software engineers need these skills—but the need is a bit more prevalent among sysadmins, technical writers, and project coordinators:

If you’re a SharePoint developer, of course, you absolutely need to know the nuances of the platform, since you’re responsible for configuring and customizing related systems. If you’re interested in SharePoint development as a full-time profession, check out all the documentation that Microsoft has posted online about it, including how to set up Frameworks, APIs, and schemas.  

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