While Washington, D.C. remains a hot-bed of cleared careers, exciting, high-paying and interesting work is available across the country – from locations as diverse as Sierra Vista, Ariz. to Fort Bragg, N.C. One of the critical career areas with opportunities across the country is program management. Because wherever there are government programs, there is a need for qualified program managers to oversee the work.
First step to a successful application – read the qualifications
Program management careers are as diverse as the programs themselves, so it’s critical that you read position descriptions carefully to ensure you meet the qualifications. Here is an example of an (active as of posting) list of qualifications for a PMP to support U.S. Forces Command at Fort Bragg, NC:
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience with an advanced degree in engineering or business preferred
- 24 semester hours in mathematical, engineering, or quantitative analysis courses
- A minimum of 10 years’ program-related experience in related areas with at least 5 or more years’ cost analysis experience
- Project (PMP) or Program (PgMP) Management Professional certified
- Familiarity with Defense Department Data Sources (cost and software data reporting) and EVM
- Top Secret or ability to obtain interim TS
- Knowledgeable in the mission and operational requirements of U.S. Army
- Demonstrate understanding of U.S. Army IT operational and technical requirements and an advanced understanding of U.S. Army IT applications and network systems
- Expertise in management and control of complex information systems architectures involving multiple disparate database, network, and communications subsystems
- Performs the role of the Change Manager using the latest ITIL Foundations framework as guide to change management practices
- Responsible for change management procedures and processes and suggests changes to meet customer requirements
Some of the minimum qualifications are standard – a PMP certification, for instance, and understanding of the organizational mission (in this case, of the U.S. Army and U.S. Army IT applications). Also standard – 10 years of program-related experience. Program managers oversee both personnel and dollars, so some form of previous management experience is generally required. The careers are a great fit for veterans, who often have management experience, financial management experience and strong leadership abilities (if you don’t have the required certification it’s often a good idea to get them).