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Topics: Construction
Career Options Questions

I am about to finish my contract in the Active Duty Army, served 12 years. I have spent the last 12 years as a Dental Tech, holding various management positions (practice manager, clinic manager, operations manager, training manager, and project manager).

I currently have my undergrad in Project/Operations Management, MS in Construction Management, and next spring I will completed my MBA in Engineering Management; I also have my CAPM.

My question is, what options will have a career wise with my education? I am a little nervous not having experience in any of these fields that I have graduate education in.
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I think you have lots of options, what is it you want to do?

Well, I’d like to stick in the Engineering field. So like a project Engineer, but from speaking to my friends who are engineers, normally project engineers have an engineering degree. I like managing projects and I would want to focus on either construction or engineering.

I don’t know if that helped hahaha.

Sounds to me like you have a good education and experience for it. Now, I work in tech, so that would be my outside looking in opinion. (if it helps, I used to do robotic engineering in manufacturing).

The trick is to write it in a way to get recruiters to believe it. I believe it just based on what you wrote, recruiters probably have about as much knowledge as me in construction.

The key points for me - 12 years in the army with experience training people and project management. Undergrad in Project management, MBA in engineering management. I see it combined and I see MBA with 12 years of management experience. Off to the hiring manager you go. (a lot of recruiters seem to think like that)

If you have enough project management experience, get the PMP. I would be worried they would try to lowball you on salary with the CAPM. If not, you just might have to fight a little harder to get the salary you deserve. I have neither the PMP or CAPM, most of my certs are in Agile and I have to struggle a bit sometimes. New role I am in talks over might finally result in me getting the PMP, by forcing it on me, and I am kind of dreading that test.

Thank you so much! That was very reassuring. Unfortunately, I only served as a project manager for about a year. They tend to throw us around a lot job wise. My contract isn’t up until the spring, so I’m trying to get all of my ducks in a row.

Are there any other certifications you recommend? Not specific in those two areas, but project management or management in general.

If you have Agile experience, that never hurts to get certified in that.

All managers can usually benefit from Lean Six Sigma, a green or black belt.

Agree with Joshua,
Mr. Spenser, As Joshua mentioned go for relevant certification including PMP, Six Sigma. I am sure you will get a got opportunity.
Wish you the best

1. Military experience is usually looked upon favorably by most companies, since it implies you handled a wide variety of complicated undertakings.
2. If you apply for a federal job at people with military service are given bonus points over those who never served. You could work at various agencies and get a wealth of practical experience.

Thank you everyone! I’m just worried my lack of experience in Construction and not having an engineering degree will prevent me from getting a job. I intend on getting additional certifications (Six Sigma and OSHA)as Soon as I am finished with my MBA. As I’ve read from other forums, Construction doesn’t look to much at book education compared to experience and certifications. I probably won’t be to picky when it comes to a first job or salary because I know I need to get that experience under my belt.

Thanks again and I am keeping my fingers crossed!

I respectfully disagree with some of the guidance provided above. IT based professionals typically have no understanding of the Construction Process,yet they freely dispense career advice on the Construction Forum.......

My advice to you is to get your CV on the free job boards and spend some time each day applying to PM type jobs that appeal to you. The Market is Hot now for Project Execution management candidates. Forget Agile and Six Sigma- these are not a priority. OSHA 30 and First Aid would be great on your resume, although most companies provide that training in-house.

Due to the degrees you already have, and your military background, you will be a top candidate for any Project Execution Team- you need to get on a team and absorb as much info from the PM as possible......

By participating on the Job Boards, you will quickly realize who the Big Players are in the Construction Industry, and you will probably have a good direction for a targeted focus for applications- don't be afraid to go direct to the Web Page of the Company. Talent Management divisions in each company search and chase candidates from the job boards and those outside direct applications.

Everyone in our business is looking for a candidate like you!

Good Luck!

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The only people who find what they are looking for in life are the fault finders.

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