Dean Taylor is the Managing Director of IMD Group, a business and management consultancy. He discusses the value of project management training.
All career paths involve training, so it is important to choose courses that will enable you to achieve your professional goals after leaving the Services. If you want to work in project management, first remember you gained many relevant soft skills during your military career, including leadership, teamwork, reliability and time management. However, although employers value these attributes, they need to be supported by vocational training to prove you can apply them in a commercial setting.
You should only complete project management accreditation that is recognised by the industry you want to work in. For example, PRINCE2 is a respected qualification that focuses on methodology, meaning all practitioners have a common approach to completing projects irrespective of their backgrounds. Another option is to join the Association for Project Management, which provides training for all levels and is the way to achieve Chartered Project Professional standard. Agile is a newer project management approach, which is becoming increasingly popular.
Choose a reputable training provider that is recommended by major industry associations, and is good value for money. For example, do they provide additional services to the course, such as career advice and mentors? Find out about their policies for refunds and appealing if you disagree with an assessment decision.
Finally try to do as much training as possible before you leave the Services. That way you will be as prepared as you can be to start your new career.
Ask the Expert
You can read Dean’s answer, as well as other industry leaders, in the latest issue of Pathfinder Magazine – the monthly magazine for Service leavers. The OA edits a regular article called ‘Ask the Expert’, where career questions are answered by a panel of experts. Read the full article.