How Do You Become an IT Project Manager After Military Service?

A veteran who wants to become an IT project manager after military service will need to demonstrate that they have the right skills, experience, education and qualifications. In order to do this, they will need to revise their resumes and applications by translating their military backgrounds into civilian terms.

Similar Duties

Former service members will need to demonstrate to employers that they know how to oversee, implement and communicate projects with various parties. They should have experience with managing the scopes, budgets and schedules of strategic initiatives and organizational projects. Their resumes should reflect that they have experience driving project plans, identifying business needs, working with IT tech leaders and determining appropriate solutions. When it comes to project plan management, they must know how to track and monitor all aspects of a project via software programs.

This includes all project tasks, hours, resources, dependencies and committed dates. It includes updating project plans, assessing and mitigating risks, setting clear expectations of roles, adhering to all commitment dates and prioritizing assignments based on the delivery of value-added services. Former service members should have experience with status reporting on deliverables, project plans, major milestones and, implementation activities. They should have experience collaborating with IT partners and management to identify and prioritize tasks based on ROI, productivity and compliance.

Similar Education

Former service members will need to show how their military occupational specialty (MOS) training is similar to a civilian degree like computer science, information technology or information systems. Their resume might show that they are familiar with operating systems, like Apple and Windows, programming languages, like Java and Python, and website development tools, like template engines and content management systems. Their resume should show that they have a basic understanding of computer information systems and applications like Adobe and Microsoft Office.

Former service members’ resumes might reflect their knowledge of database development, data modeling tools and structured query language (SQL). Former service members who want to become IT project managers must have the ability to strategically organize, access and share information. They should know how to collaborate with information technology teams and leverage technology to foster project efficiency and effectiveness. Experience with presentations, public speaking, audience analysis and effective delivery techniques is helpful.

Similar Skills and Knowledge

A veteran who wants to become an IT project manager should have knowledge of project execution and process development techniques. They should be familiar with programming languages, database systems, application platforms and business intelligence technology. They should have solid oral and written communication skills that allow them to adapt content and delivery to the audience. They should have the interpersonal relationship skills to allow to effectively lead others, develop consensus among parties and work effectively with diverse groups.

Former service members should know how to manage shareholders expectations, communicate with management, motivate team members and drive desired results. They should know how to manage timelines, adjust priorities, analyze data and collectively solve problems. IT project managers should have the ability to organize and monitor multiple projects with varying deadlines and demands. IT project managers must be comfortable working in high pressure environments with hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment.

Related Resource: How Do You Get a Job in Linguistics After the Military?

Readers should note that most employers want project managers with standard professional credentials. The Project Management Certification (PMI/PMP) is recommended through the Project Management Institute (PMI).