What is a good career opportunity for veterans?

A well-chosen career path for veterans can be difficult to find. After leaving the armed forces, many soldiers realize that they often can’t perform the same jobs they had in the military due to various regulations or roadblocks. In fact, this is one of the biggest challenges veterans face when leaving the military. Non-military life can be even more difficult since self-marketing and self-knowledge skills typically aren’t taught while serving. Transitioning to civilian life only becomes that much more complicated after soldiers learn the cost of living outside of the military. Not being able to find a rewarding job makes re-entry that much more depressing and stressful.

A lot of veterans resort to being armed guards, police officers, or construction workers. While these are not bad career paths, they aren’t for everyone, and it can be a hard thing to know that you are worth so much more and not be able to work in the field you love.

It’s not mentioned often, but information technology and information security are excellent career opportunities for veterans. Information technology is a disciplined field where a lot of the experience that soldiers have are highly sought after. It’s the soft skills that soldiers have that many civilians don’t that are highly coveted.

For example, working in IT requires a calm and collected individual that can work under heavy pressure. When an IT system goes down, a business could potentially lose millions of dollars per day in revenue. It’s the job of the IT staff to diagnose the issue and fix it as fast as possible. Many times, this requires coming up with a game plan on the fly and implementing temporary solutions to keep things running. This needs to be done while managers and the CEO of a company are demanding immediate results with no understanding of the technical details. Does this sound familiar?

The IT field is often considered difficult to get into because of the amount of knowledge an IT worker needs to obtain. This isn’t further from the truth. There are many programs called boot camps that can train people for IT certifications within weeks. These are called boot camps for a reason. Much like the boot camp any soldier first has to enter into, these programs are condensed courses designed to teach potential IT workers the fundamentals of the trade. It’s an intense course, albeit,with maybe a little less yelling, that gets people in the proper shape to enter into a career in IT.

Soldiers have an immediate advantage over every single civilian in the IT industry, too. Veterans easily qualify for security clearances if they don’t already have one. There is a shortage of IT workers in the United States and an even bigger shortage of trained individuals that have security clearances. The simple fact that vets have, or can get, security clearance means that they are all but guaranteed a high paying, respected position.

Having a security clearance opens the door into the field of cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing IT fields. It is projected that the United States will not have enough cybersecurity professionals to meet the demand for the next 20 years. Companies like Lockheed Martin, the DoD, Microsoft, and even Apple, are constantly looking for trained cybersecurity professionals, especially those with a military background.

Military personnel make some of the best cyber security experts. Cybersecurity requires an extreme amount of self-discipline and an ability to follow a process. It requires professionals to solve complex problems, implement creative solutions, and think on their toes. This is one of the most rewarding IT fields. Cybersecurity professionals are the people that keep communities safe every day from invisible threats.

Transitioning into civilian life from the military can be a daunting task. Vets have good opportunities to put their skills to use, be a valued part of society, and earn a good living. If the idea of becoming a cybersecurity or IT professional sounds like an opportunity you might be interested in, reach out to www.veterantransitionmission.org to speak with a coordinator. They will guide you through the process and help you transition into a new life path.