Project management doesn’t exist solely in the halls of businesses or branches of the military; it’s all around you. Regardless of whether something falls under a profession, social, intellectual, or emotional category, almost everything can be broken down into a related series of tasks within a project that can be effectively assessed, examined, and managed. Those who have project management skills and know how to apply them will find that they have a skill set that is in high demand.
To be successful as a project manager in a business setting, you must be highly organized and have excellent time management skills. You must also be able to communicate effectively across different levels of the organization and be able to successfully delegate and assign tasks. A preference for a logical, structured approach to problem solving is also helpful. Project managers have a variety of day-to-day responsibilities, including:
Many service members find that they make excellent project managers due to the training, skills, and mindset that they develop through their military experience.
Military experience can form the foundation for effectively solving problems, achieving goals, and developing and implementing processes, all of which are vital project management skills. Many of the same attributes acquired from serving in a military environment can be successfully applied to a career in project management, such as:
Project managers can come from diverse backgrounds and may be generalists or specialists. Generalists may be assigned to a variety of projects across many different functional areas while specialists tend to have deeper background in a particular area, such as human resources or healthcare, and are assigned only to projects within that area. Regardless, anyone who is interested in project management can benefit from courses in topics such as project budgeting and estimating, project team leadership, and strategic planning. Those who are serious about a career in project management and want the most career options and best placement opportunities may consider obtaining a Master of Business Administration, or MBA in Project Management.
You can also pursue professional certifications to improve your employment prospects. The most well-respected project management certifications include Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), and Program Management Professional (PgMP). The American Academy of Project Management allows candidates to use their military service towards certification as Master Project Manager (MPM) and Certified International Project Manager (CIPM).
Project management is increasingly important in today’s business environment, with career opportunities available in almost any business setting. Project management positions are often plentiful in key industries, such as construction, information technology, and engineering. However, positions continue to grow across all industries as more companies realize the benefits of project management’s structured and methodical approach.
The leadership and organizational skills that service members gain from military training make them prime candidates for project management positions and companies increasingly recognize and appreciate the value of military experience to this field.