Veterans are a significant part of the U.S population, with data from the BLS indicating approximately 19.2 million veterans across the country, who account for 8 percent of the adult population. However, transitioning from the military to civilian life is not seamless for the 200,000 service members retiring annually. Despite the good service to the country, veterans face serious limitations when looking for employment opportunities, even if they are more educated, loyal, and experienced.
The pressure of finding the right company coupled with strenuous efforts of networking and explaining the transferable skills on resumes makes job-hunting for veterans overly complicated. Fortunately, some companies, especially in the technology sector, have realized this and currently prioritize employing veterans to help them advance their post-military careers. The companies include;
Amazon is a well-known tech company that doesn’t need an introduction. From their service website, Amazon promised to hire more than 25,000 veterans and their spouses. Veterans with limited or no tech experience shouldn’t be worried. The tech giant also pledged to provide sufficient training and certification to more than 10,000 active service members, veterans, and their spouses through the Amazon Web Service Educate Program. From the company’s website, the education program grants access to training, credits, and career options.
Being among the companies that brushed off degree requirements for job seekers, Amazon acknowledges that veterans possess top-notch technical skills. Therefore, veterans don’t need to have a technology-related degree or well-versed with cloud services. The company promises to provide a customized pathway for veterans to rewarding career opportunities.
In a bid to curb the high unemployment rates for veterans, Microsoft was among the first tech company to offer free training services to retired military personnel and their families. Through the Microsoft Software and Systems Academy, the company provides crucial career skills to veterans that fit the currently growing tech industry. It also provides training and skills acquisition to military spouses through the Military Spouse Technology Academy.
Google is another tech giant that strongly supported the quest of helping veterans find well-paying careers after retiring from service. Through the Super Bowl LIII, Google enlisted several programs and services that benefit military veterans, their spouses, and families to find a career in the company.
The giant also rolled out a “Help a hero get hired” initiative, a nationwide event held annually to connect transitioning military veterans with mentors from the company. Google acknowledges that military veterans offer more than their occupational specialty. Therefore, by pairing them with mentors through in-person or virtual connections, mentors can guide veterans through resume creation, tips for passing interviews, and how to find the right career path in tech.
Cisco’s military training program is probably among the first initiatives aimed at helping military veterans transition to better careers. Since its inception in 1997, Cisco Networking Academy has enabled more than 87,000 veterans to advance their tech skills and helped them find high-paying tech careers.
Cisco also recently rolled out the Cisco Talent Bridge, a program that connects trained veterans with Cisco partners globally. However, veterans without technical training should begin with the introductory courses from Cisco Networking Academy. The Talent Bridge program is for active service members looking to transition, post-deployment veterans, National Guard Reservists, and military spouses with some prior qualifications in tech.
The qualifications could be a bachelor’s degree in a technology field, such as computer science or engineering, an Associate’s degree with not less than two years of IT experience, or Cisco Certified Network certifications.
GoDaddy is a tech industry leader excellently known for employing military veterans. This is probably because a Marine Corps veteran, Bob Parsons, founded the company. Besides giving hiring preference to veterans, the company has cumulatively donated over $1.4 million to Semper Fi Fund, an initiative that helps injured service members and their families regardless of their branches.
The company knows that a community of like-minded veterans is important. As such, employed veterans often enjoy continued support from the GoDaddy Veteran Employee organization, which routinely offers support through guest speakers and organized events.
Why Should Veterans Consider Tech Industry?
Besides other sectors of the economy, veterans should prioritize technology for many reasons. For starters, the technology sector is undoubtedly one of the key sources of employment. This probably explains why the government launched the TechHire program, which focused on training and equipping more people with technological skills.
Secondly, there are several open technology jobs in the U.S and globally currently. Unfortunately, the limited number of available professionals cannot fill them. That aside, the initial stereotypical perception of programmers as clever working nerds is slowly fading. Currently, the perception of coding has changed, and people recognize it as a stable and lucrative job that suits everyone, including veterans looking to pursue new careers.
To support this change in perception, multiple training programs are available for those who want to venture into tech. Coding bootcamps, for instance, are readily available for aspiring programmers. Funding to support veterans learn, such as the G.I Bill benefits and veteran scholarships, also help veterans break into tech.
Without a doubt, technology is a great career to pursue after active years in the military for many reasons. Nearly all the skills acquired in the military, such as problem-solving, perseverance, and analytical thinking, are directly applicable to the technology sector. That said, veterans should leverage these skills to find employment opportunities in one of the companies mentioned above or any other tech company prioritizing veterans in their recruitment.