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Does anyone have any advice on what kind of work or training I can do to gain experience that can be used towards a career in Project Management?


Alexander Muniz Watertown, NY

Currently active duty Army seeking any opportunities to further training or experience in Project Management field. I am enrolled in CSU Global pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Project Management. I am looking for anything and everything I can do while I'm active so I can market myself to a career oriented job. I have 14 months left until my ETS date, however, I am trying to get a voluntary separation for employment.

29 March 2016 13 replies Education & Training



Sherry Heyl Alpharetta, GA

You have project management experience already, even if it is not as structured as an official job role. When you go to take the PMP certification they count (or at least used to, double check) all of your project management experience for you to qualify for the exam. PMI also has some great networking events for you to meet with others.

30 March 2016 Helpful answer


Chuck Burger King Of Prussia, PA

Another good source of information / networking ops is the National Defense Industrial Association's (NDIA) Integrated Program Management Division.(IPMD). The IPMD is a "forum for maintaining strong Industry and Government working relationships to promote disciplined program performance management methodologies for planning and executing programs to optimize outcomes". This organization is likely the center of the PM universe in the world of US and international defense programs, a space that is incredibly ripe for veteran talent.

30 March 2016 Helpful answer


John Green Cary, NC

PMI credentials distinguish you in the job market and can help you move ahead. Several certifications including the PMP® validate a range of education and experience levels in project management.

The PMP is the gold standard of project management certification. Recognized and demanded by organizations worldwide, the PMP validates your competence to perform in the role of a project manager, leading and directing projects and teams.

29 March 2016 Helpful answer


Andrea Gnilka Springfield, VA

Hi Alexander,

I agree with what everyone has posted so far in that the PMP is the best way to certify that you have project management experience, but your question to me seemed to be how do you gain the experience that you need in project management. A project is really broadly defined as a temporary endeavor to produce a unique product or service. I bet that if you counted your experience, you've already done something that would qualify as a project that you've worked on. Managing the project is really overseeing it in the various life cycle phases it will go through. PMI requires that you have 7,500 hours of project experience to qualify for the PMP exam, or 4,500 if you have a four year degree. If you are looking for project experience, there are a lot of options within consulting to get the hands-on experience you need to qualify for this certification exam. This is simply meant to help add to all of the great advice already provided here.




Goran Ristovski Plymouth, MI

Hi Alexander - Thank you for your service! Obtaining one of the certificates from the Project Management Institute would be a helpful addition to your degree and existing experience. They have certificates for folks with different level of experience but ultimately their PMP certificate is the one that most recognized in the marketplace.


William Hinz Seaford, DE

Formal training and project management certification is of course excellent things to have on your resume. However from an employer’s prospective when looking for a project manager for a specific project, business experience in the field for which the project will apply is also critical. For example if I were looking for someone to manage a transportation logistics project, I would want someone with transportation logistics experience. As a former project manager I feel that experience is just as important as formal project management skills and techniques. It is key to good communications with the project team and upper management, creating realistic work schedules, reacting to unplanned events, evaluating project design, test and implementation plans and maintaining project team morale. A project manager must be a good leader and have the respect of the project team members.


Judy Bernard West Columbia, TX

Make sure you have a very good understanding of contracting and contract management. Contracts are the heart of most program management duties where a deliverable is involved. The management courses offered by the Defense Department have specialized courses for acquisition managers.


Jeff Sanders Deland, FL

Go to USAjobs and choose U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and see what they have, they always have something going on. And they have opportunities all over the world. I had a buddy who worked for them in Afghanistan. There, they had all kinds of projects. But, they have positions all over the U.S. as well. Project manager is one of the most frequently posted vacancy announcements. Even if you don't want to work for them the rest of your life, a few years under your belt will get you some valuable experience in project management. Good luck!


David Daugerdas Palatine, IL

Thank you for your service. I agree with the above comments regarding PMI and earning your PMP. Also, volunteer experience is a good way to exercise your project management skills and this can count toward the hours needed to apply for the PMP exam. There are many opportunities you might look into regarding volunteering at schools, churches or through your local PMI chapter.


Jerry Welsh Middleville, MI

Check out Syracuse University, it has a PMP program just for veterans, free of charge, including the study guide and test. It is in their Veteran Career Transition Program. I have a number of my workshop folks who have already taken the test, some in the que. Great veteran friendly place, quick responses to email etc.


nancy ouellette Durham, NC

I agree with Sherry in her response. Everyone to some degree has exposure to project management, whether it be in career or personal life, so really think about how the guidelines of project management can apply to both career and life so that when seeking out jobs in the field you can utilize those examples :)

Further, absolutely look into PMP/PMI certifications, the testing isn't horrible. You may also consider looking to Lean Six Sigma which is hot in the market and also a skillset sought out by companies when hiring PM's.


Dave Zimmerman West Palm Beach, FL

PMP/PMI are your best bet. VA will pay for your testing. Go to VA website and search certification reimbursement. There are several other certification that you are qualified for and could help you.

Good Luck.


Deb Miller Bardstown, KY

thank you for your service. USPS @ has an AWESOME Six Sigma program - usually these jobs are under engineering. Still - worth checking into.

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