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Senior Enlisted = Project Management Professional!

THE SCENE. You are retiring soon and attending a job fair. You see an employer you are very interested in. Time to chat up one of the recruiters. Suddenly they ask about your certifications. What? Sure you just wrapped up your college degree, no questions about that, but what was I currently certified in? Who cares right? How could I have gotten to this point of working so hard on my personal education that I missed the bus on certifications? You wonder what their organization values and start talking about PMP certification.

From a Senior Enlisted Service Member

“It was pure luck that someone in the transition class was going through the PMP training at University of Syracuse through the VCTP program and heard me talking about certifications. A few quick emails, forms filled out and I was enrolled in the program during the next cohort. The next thing that I quickly learned about PMP; it is Senior Enlisted 101! Once you learn the terminology you can quickly apply all those years of getting &*^t done in the military to the civilian sector.”


  • Project is defined as any endeavor that has a start and a stop with the purpose of creating a product, service or result = Sounds like every initiation/season, IG and unit evaluation most of you reading have worked on.

  • Stakeholder management is identifying and managing expectations of key influential personnel during a project = Very much like getting the Officers and Enlisted onboard with a shift in policy from DoD or a new Commanding Officer.

  • Having a solid Rewards and Recognition program = Well this one is easy. There are many examples but just think of military awards.

Why Are Project Management Jobs A Good Fit for Veterans?

Project management is very similar to military planning and it's essentially the same across companies. Project management phases such as initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing are also performed in the military. The main difference is the industry-specific language or jargon they utilize. This certification demonstrates that you understand project management's global language while connecting you to a community of professionals, organizations, and experts worldwide. Many industries are now requiring their project managers to have this certification.

Furthermore, many transitioning veterans find successful and satisfying careers as project managers. They can obtain this goal by merely transferring skills developed in the military into their civilian career.

While we discussed the VCTP program above there are many training providers currently conducting Project Management Professional (PMP) training and bootcamps both in person and online. When doing your research, look for cost-effectiveness, high success rate, and refund guarantees. In other words, look for affordability and flexibility while meeting your needs and goals. At the end of the day everyone ends up at the Project Management Institute for certification and continuation of training. Check them out at

Here are a few pieces of information to get you started.


Step 1: Make sure you meet the required experience and hours

One of the main requirements to apply for this certification is a four-year degree with 4,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education, or a secondary degree (high school diploma or equivalent) with 7,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education. To read more about the requirements, you can visit the official website: Many of you have this experience but do not realize it.

Step 2: Apply in the website to take the exam

Go to the PMI website. You will be able to validate your project management experience and education. Before registering, make sure you have all the information about projects you've led (i.e., where you've worked, your role and responsibilities, and duration of projects) and training you've completed (i.e., institutions attended, courses completed, qualifying hours).

Step 3: Register for the exam and pay the fee

Once your application is reviewed and approved, you will be able to register for the exam. You will also have to pay a fee that could be cheaper if you become a PMI member.

Step 4: Study!

Once you've registered for the exam, you will have a date for the test, and you can develop a study plan. Every person studies differently, but coming up with a plan that allows you to study with flexibility for 2-3 months will be ideal. Others may need more or less, based on individual assessment. External resources could help you prepare for the exam, such as test prep books and organizations that offer the course for free or at a lower cost for transitioning military members. The Veterans Career Transition Program (VCTP) offered through Syracuse University is one of these resources.

Another way of studying is to practice with sample questions. offers a list of free PMP sample questions, and there are also review apps available for your phone at

Step 5: Take the TestBe confident in yourself and your abilities! It’s multiple choice so……………………….

Step 6: Maintain your certification.

You're done! But remember never to stop growing professionally and continue to engage in professional experiences to maintain your certification. explains what you need to do to keep your certification once you get it.

Visit today and fill out your profile. Remember that we are YOUR ENLISTED HIRING professionals. Let us help you find your next career. PMP or not, we have opportunities today!


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