Earning my PMP certification; assessing the impact

Nearly six months after earning my PMP certification several realizations occurred. Before I actualize the above statement, let me outline my journey to the project management professional certification. It started in 2013, while I was beginning the transition process out of the Marine Corps after 5 years on active duty.

The daunting challenge of finding and determining my next course of action led to enrolling in a university to study business via the Post 9/11 GI Bill. At the same time, I stumbled upon the field of project management (PMP) and thought to myself, wow, this seems somehow relatable to the military. But, as many will tell you the road to becoming PMP certified is less traveled and can be difficult to navigate.

Fast forward to 2015, I’d already been in higher education going on two years and was nowhere near completing my PMP application and quite frankly, lost in the whole process. Resources do exist and training programs are available, however none really bridge the gap between military experience and the project management field. Additionally, the extraordinary costs of civilian training programs didn’t help the matter, most wanting $2,000-$3,000 +, or utilize self-study with no actual instructor to rely on for guidance.

In May 2015, I joined the webinar PMP Boot Camp with Vets2PM and the rest is history. The course lasted 3 weeks, prepared me for taking the actual exam, provided mentorship and an interactive environment, and I retained a year access to all course materials. I tested in August for the PMP certification and passed on my first attempt.

Now, back to my first statement of this article, what I’ve realized in the last six months. There have been scores of success stories at Vets2PM. Students are moving through the entire process systemically and passing the PMP exam leading to new careers, promotions, and knocking down previously closed doors. But, the point that stands out the most to me and is often overlooked:

Vets2PM has a knockout punch when it comes to NETWORKING. The online community that’s being cultivated even as I write this article is astounding. I’ve made so many connections and have gained access to tremendous opportunities; I can honestly say I wouldn’t have experienced the personal/professional growth if it weren’t for first and foremost being a student with Vets2PM.

There are so many great people involved with this organization, Tim and Eric (Co-Founders) and the growing number of Vets2PM employees, the many supporters and advocates, but equally important the students and alumni. It’s amazing how much everyone motivates, takes care of one another, and communicates daily; if you’re looking for an exemplary post-military community and superb training, look no further.

Additionally, the project management field itself is highly lucrative and adding jobs across the globe year after year. But don’t just take my word for it, checkout: http://www.pmi.org/~/media/PDF/Business-Solutions/PMIProjectManagementSkillsGapReport.ashx

“Between 2010 and 2020, 15.7 million new project management roles will be created globally across seven project-intensive industries. High demand for project-oriented professionals is reflected in both average salary and salary growth. Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential holders in the U.S. earned an average of 16 percent more (approximately US$14,500) than their non-credentialed peers in 2011.”