The Voluntary Education Center aboard Quantico is currently proctoring over 82 Federal Aviation Administration exams for both military personnel and DOD civilians.
What many personnel may not realize is that the VEC is not solely just for pursuing college level education, but they also provide very practical certifications that can help an individual develop skills and credentials and advance their profession.
The VEC is recognized as a national test site for Pearson VUE. Pearson VUE is an educational solutions company that emphasizes computer-based testing for students, service members and business professionals. Each year more than 14 million applicants around the world take exams through Pearson VUE.
According to Bobby Hughes, education and career specialist, "These exams will help service members and their families stand out for selection boards and industry recruiters."
A few popular certifications administered by Pearson VUE on the MCB Quantico VEC include: CompTIA, C++Institute, Cisco Systems and many more. A complete list of exam offerings can be accessed at PearsonVUE.com/military/exams.
The VEC has also recently implemented the ability to offer FAA exams for many aviation-related licenses and certifications. The new program works by having applicants visit the official FFA website, FAA.gov, take courses, read supplemental books and prepare themselves to take the exams. Within the FAA website, the "Training and Testing" section will provide guides and details for earning licensure and certifications for your desired field of interest.
Each exam is broken down by categories. Some of the categories include: Commercial Pilot, Flight Engineer, Aircraft Dispatcher, Airline Transport Pilot, Recreational Pilot, Private Pilot, Sport Pilot, Instrument Rating, Parachute Rigger, Flight Instructor and many more.
"A definitive advantage with having the VEC provide the FAA exams is convenience," Hughes said. Because military personnel are constantly on the move, the accessibility of earning these certifications will be favorable for active duty service members.
"The ability to have FAA training and certifications will be very popular in the future for both service members and DOD civilians," Hughes said.
FAA Testing will be administered on Wednesdays in the Voluntary Education Center, Bldg. 3088 at 9 a.m. The applicant must present state or federal government-issued photo identification. There are also no fees associated with taking FAA exams.
Another educational program that Hughes suggested was Marine Corps Credentialed Opportunities On-Line.
Cool is a resource specifically tailored for Marines who are interested in getting information on what civilian credentials related to their MOS. Cool is not a website for earning licenses or certifications, but mainly used as a search engine for strictly looking for where to learn and take exams leading to licenses and certifications.
These credentials are important because, when before a civilian employer, prospective hires who are certified may be favored higher and paid more.
"This will be exceptionally great for Marine Helicopter Squadron 1. These certifications are not only limited to military aviation occupations, but they are actively sought by civilian airline entities as well. Credentials show that you are an expert in the industry," Hughes said.