So, I'm preparing myself to get back into the private sector after a couple of years of unemployment and a couple of years of underemployment. A brief history, for those interested in context:
- I'm an IT professional with over 15yrs experience, but I was fired in 2008 during the crash, didn't work for nearly two years. I'm quite underpaid for my skillset, but I don't want to get back into server admin.
- Before I was fired, I was the regional IT & InfoSec Manager for the southern US, and ran the IT dept for the R&D center of a huge multinational company. I had a staff and a large budget! I did projects, ISO audits, and the occasional server support in between managing the techs and helping them fix obscure problems they couldn't solve. The only desktop computer I fixed was the CEO's.
- Right now I work at what could charitably be called an IT Manager's position, but this job is roughly in line with what I was doing a decade ago in terms of skills and responsibility. I have one part time IT minion and a much smaller budget. I fix printers and crimp network cable and tell secretaries how to find the bookmarks bar.
- My current salary is ~25% less than what I was making before the crash.
So, it's time for a slight change. My favorite part of my pre-crash job was the project management - those of you who know me also know I was heavily involved in PM work for a NWN persistent world for a number of years as well. I want to move toward project management, and away from pure IT work. To that end, I want to get a PMP certification from the PMI
. Unfortunately this can be very expensive! This is the cheapest crash-course type option I can find
, and I don't have $1900 to spend right now. Moreover, I won't have it anytime in the near future due to the utter disaster my finances are, post-downturn. Again, spoilers for context:
I have a mortgage I could afford at my pre-crash salary, but now I am barely making the PITI each month. I'm years behind on my property taxes, my retirement is completely gone, and I no longer have any savings. Oh, did I mention I have a disabled wife and three kids ages 16, 14, and 12? I'm broke.
My credit is no longer good enough to get a loan even of that size. I don't have any prospects of increased salary unless I switch jobs, and my skillset is getting rusty and dated for pure IT positions, most of which don't pay a lot more than my current job. With my prior experience, moving into PM work seems to be the best shot I have of nearing that magic 6-figure mark, but I can't fund the training. Catch 22! That leads to my question:
I am a white man in his 30s, with no military service record, not in poverty and not disabled. Does anyone know of any grants or loans or other programs I can take advantage of to pay for this training course and get my PMP certification? I've looked through the Dept. of Labor and Education's websites, and their online tools tell me I'm not eligible for any federal program... but I don't know how trustworthy or complete they are, or how thoroughly I searched. Has anyone else done anything like this? Any ideas at all?
Thanks for your time.