Please upgrade your web browser

These pages are built with modern web browsers in mind, and are not optimized for Internet Explorer 8 or below. Please try using another web browser, such as Internet Explorer 9, Internet Explorer 10, Internet Explorer 11, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari.

What certifications or training should i focus on?


William Martel Smithfield, VA

I am coming up on my 22 year mark in the navy. Currently I am working my way to complete my bachelors in business management and will be pushing to complete my PMP certification. For those in the project/program management world, what training would you recommend? Are there any courses out there or specific programs I should look into to help make me more relevant and competitive when i make my transition in 2 years?

My linkedIn profile is above for reference.

7 August 2022 6 replies Military to Civilian Transition



Kathleen Pear Raritan, NJ

Hello and congratulations on a successful career! Thank you!
I sent you a message on Linked IN to connect. I have worked in the Program/Project/Portfolio space for 20 years and I agree with what everyone has previously responded. I have a PMP certification, but anything AGLIE / SCRUM is the way of the future. Our company is moving from a Project mind-set to a Product mindset, so maybe trying to learn about PRODUCT MANAGMENT could also give you a leg up in some companies. We have a program that hires veterans for Program/Project positions, but I am new to the group and I am not sure on the requirements. Feel free to get back to me directly and I will see if I can find the program contacts in my organization.


William Shontz Norristown, PA

From one WIlliam to another; Thank you for your service.

Look at this post from Kandi Tillman at 50Strong.

She absolutely hits the nail on the head. With your military experience AND a PMP you can get a job in almost any industry and at any company. I left the Military w/ a PMP, an MBA and a LSSBB and did not at all end up in any kind of position that was looking for a "project manager".

The skills you build in the Service and w/ a PMP will apply at any Fortune 500 company. Find out what drives you, find companies that do that thing and start networking and asking for informational interviews. Once you get a feel for the industry and companies your are interested in, start looking to see if their values line up with yours.

Once you find that, full court press to network around the company and apply for jobs that interest you and you are qualified for. Do not disqualify yourself, let the company do that.

Wishing you the best.


Tim Feemster Dallas, TX

I would suggest you get a PMI certification. It will help you in any job in the private sector. Also look at entry level logistics and supply chain college courses you can take online like Transportation 101, Warehousing 101, Process Improvement/Lean, International goods movement and Supply chain technology. Look into supply chain professional organizations like and for potential "local" meetings you can attend even though you are not a member to network with civilian supply chain folks. If you have more questions, connect with me on LinkedIn or send me an email-


Carly Jones Boulder, CO

Agile certifications are hot in the industries right now, depending on what role(s) you are interested in. And, there are various agile organizations offering, but the most popular is still SAFe(TM). Many of the roles/certs have aspects of project/program management between organization/daily planning and technical vision & leadership.


Jerry Welsh Middleville, MI

Start Informational Interviewing as soon as you can. This will put you in touch with people doing the career you are focusing on determining what happens on a daily basis. I would suggest hooking up with HireMilitary and look at their guide on how to conduct good informational interviews. I would also find any online or in person how to use LinkedIn by Michael Quinn or another former military stressing the do's and do not's of this powerful tool. I would also see if you are eligible for a Skillbridge for program management. There is nothing better than getting to physically work in the role you have chosen.
The reason I am suggesting a quick start, you may find the private sector project management career is not your cup of tea. Understand the average American will change careers 3-5 times in their work life. This is according to Bureau of Labor Statistics, so you may find this impacting you prior to pulling the plug. Also keep in mind while you have been serving your country for the past 22 years your competition will have had anywhere between 4-8 successful job searches and new positions. That means creating a resume with proper keywords, value statements that measure up to the metrics the industry looks for and at least a couple interviews convincing the hiring team they were the right fit for the position and the company.
I think if you follow Michael Quinn and other former senior military who are honest about their transition and explain the right way to go about it, you will save yourself a lot of trauma in the transition process. As a former TAP facilitator most everyone coming into TAP wanted a "great" resume, not understanding that if you do not know what you want to do you are creating a document no one will understand or look at.
You are way ahead of many of your peers, and open to suggestions! This gives you a great leg up. YOU OWN THE TRANSITION, no one will hand you a key and it is a lot of work. Think of how much you have learned over the past 22 years, which means very little to the private sector, when I say means very little, I mean in your knowledge and terms from a military person, it has to translated into the career speak (Informational Interview) and ACP pick up a mentor also. There are tons of places and people willing to assist. Do not pay for a service some of the worst resumes have been paid for, you need to tailor to each job you apply for, use which will tell you what keyword match you met. Just one example of the many tips and tools out there. Thank you for your service, sacrifices and God Bless.


Richard Byrne Hillsborough, NJ

From your LinkedIn profile it appears you are already in good shape.

You could log onto the ACP webpage, click on the "Community" icon.
Then click on the "Advisors" tab
In the "Refine by" pull down box, select "Project Management"
Note the "Show More" box at the bottom of the page.
Examine the advisor profiles, and use the ACP message feature for advice.

You should conduct commercial & government job searches using pertinent keywords.
Examine the desired qualifications as stated in the job descriptions.
Target versions of your resume that highlight those qualifications.
Supplement training & certifications to meet those jobs you desire, possibly taking advantage of the skill-bridge program during your last 180 days of service.
ie.: Agile, Scrum Master?

I've added links to information & videos under sections of my EE webpage that might be useful: - Proj. Man. - Commercial Job searches - Gov. jobs - DOD COOL - traverse BLS to find dream career, Skillbridge - 1 year FREE LinkedIn Premium

Commercial Job search "Project Management", your location (18 jobs)

Gov Job search "Project Management", your location (173 jobs)

Commercial Job search "Scrum" location unspecified (67,114 jobs)

Your Answer

Please log in to answer this question.

Sign Up

You can join as either a Veteran or an Advisor.

An Advisor already has a career, with or without military experience, and is willing to engage with and help veterans.
Sign Up as an Advisor.

A Veteran has military experience and is seeking a new career, or assistance with life after service.
Sign Up as a Veteran.