For veterans seeking a way to apply military training to a civilian job, a career in project management may be a perfect fit. While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not specifically report data in a general “project manager” category, they do report growth in more specific project management jobs such as IT Manager, Financial Manager and Construction Manager.
For the two dozen jobs related to project management in over 20 industries, the BLS reported higher than average growth over the next decade. This information can be valuable knowledge for veterans seeking higher education courses to help complete a comprehensive project management skill set. With the right education, veterans can have the opportunity to stand out from the competition.
Project managers are needed to keep track of project details while also understanding and seeing the entire project as a whole. Veterans are typically experienced at handling complex details necessary for long-term outcomes. With military technology training, today’s veterans can enter the civilian job force with several project management skills already in place. From healthcare to information technology, and administrative services to finance, project managers are needed to help drive company direction and growth in an increasingly diverse workplace. With G.I. Bill benefits, veterans can polish off project management skills by attending online certificate programs that may join together effectively with military experience.
Flexible Communication Skills
In a business setting, accurate and effective communication can help save valuable time and money. Streamlining communication protocol, communicating with diverse team members and tailoring the message to the recipient are some military communication skills directly applicable to a civilian work setting. In addition to a variety of verbal, written, and electronic communication skills inherent to military personnel, business owners may also look for strong international and intercultural knowledge that many veterans can bring with them to the civilian workplace.
Veterans who can speak one or more foreign languages, while possessing extensive international experience, may be in a good position to leverage these strengths in a job search. In today’s business world, some executives may be seeking project managers than can help the company thrive in an evolving global marketplace. Being flexible, responsive and highly skilled in a variety of communication techniques can make veterans a wise choice for international project management job openings.
Solid Technological Acumen
Securing strong technological expertise is pften a valued opportunity throughout the Armed Services. Many veterans enter the civilian workforce with desirable technical skills that support business efficiency goals. While some military software and hardware applications may be foreign to some hiring executives, veterans may be able to translate those skills by hiring a résumé consultant, working closely with an employment agency specializing in the veteran population, or by completing an online project management certificate program. Military personnel with project management training are often well-versed in adapting technology to improve organizational effectiveness and increasing team cohesion aimed at achieving wide-reaching company goals.
Veterans May Have What it Takes to be Great Project Managers
Employers typically seek professionals who can display the hard and soft skills to drive profit goals in a tough global economy. With versatile communication skills, the ability to think strategically and the training to adapt technology to be meet business challenges, veterans can offer expertise across a wide range of project management skills. Because knowledgeable project managers are needed in many industries, veterans looking to leverage advancement opportunities within a career path might consider the benefits of complementing a specialty area skill set with a project management certificate.
Professional certificates in project management are available through several regionally accredited colleges and universities, many of which are conveniently offered online. While online courses can help professionals secure additional knowledge, they can also put students in direct contact with industry leaders who are connected in their respective fields. In addition to online courses, professional organizations such as the Project Management Institute, offer opportunities to network, volunteer and continue career growth through participation in seminars and conferences.
While translating military skills to the civilian job market may require a little finesse, the rewards can worth the effort. As the need for skilled project managers increases, business leaders are frequently seeking the right candidates that can help lead the company toward increased profitability in today’s fiercely competitive marketplace. With much of the required skills and experience already acquired, project management can be a great career choice for military veterans.