The day-to-day of the military and the daily grind of Corporate America are worlds apart. Worlds.
They resemble each other in no way possible, yet once you’ve gotten your discharge papers from the military, it sometimes can seem like you’re expected to make the military to civilian transition and just jump into the corporate world head first, figuring out how to swim in the heat of the moment.
It doesn’t sound easy, but even still, it’s much easier said than done.
Clearly, starting out in an entry-level position is almost a necessity… not only because of the skills you need to learn that you don’t have yet, but also so you can start out in a less threatening role while you get your bearings in a totally different work environment than what you’ve ever been used to.
And for veterans interested in some of the top jobs for veterans in IT, that means a pretty conscious choice between a few deliberate starting points you can use as a launch pad for a successful life-long post-military IT career. (You know…once you learn how to swim among those corporate sharks.)
Taking examples from GS4, a company with its hands in security and information technology whose workforce is around 1/4 veterans, here are some of the top job for veterans to pursue when making the military to civilian transition into the workforce:
1. Support Specialist, Technical Support with Security
This is perhaps the most popular starting point for many veterans wishing to pursue an IT career. The reason it is one of the top jobs for veterans is that the required IT certifications to qualify for entry-level IT careers in this field are also the certifications required to be DOD 8570 compliant – which can lead to some of the best government cybersecurity IT careers! Also, they are almost always covered by GI Bill® and Post 9/11 education benefits. LeaderQuest’s Computer User Support Specialist IT training program is only 23 days and will prepare you for four different DOD 8570 compliant certifications in only 23 days!
Earning the base ITIL and CompTIA IT certifications will help you get your foot in the door quickly and allow you to get experience while pursuing your long term IT education and career goals.
2. Tech Compliance
As an entry-level compliance officer, you get your hands on policy creation, implementation, and procedures to make sure the entity you’re working for stays within important compliance guidelines.
While some companies will require a Bachelor’s Degree for such a position, others are more concerned with experience, and still others simply just want you to have the knowledge you need to back yourself up.
A training like our Network Security Specialist IT Training is comprehensive and will give you’ll the knowledge you need to get in on the ground level so you can start climbing your way up the ladder.
3. Network Technician / Network Administrator
Cisco® products provide a network that can securely and reliably handle all types of traffic, throughout the entire network, over virtually any media, while providing consistent service delivery to all users. Because of this, Cisco products are used across the world and it is essential for anyone serious about network administration to be knowledgeable and experienced in Cisco. CCNA is by far the most popular IT certification for Cisco products and is highly sought after by many companies. CCNA Training and Certification can happen in as little as 10 days and put you on the road to advanced level IT careers.
4. Network Control Center Operator
Admittedly, this may not be the most glamorous of entry-level positions for IT careers, but it is something, and it does get you working under the people whose jobs you want someday.
You’re essentially working as a call center help specialist, but with a little deeper responsibility in solving security-based technical problems.
The great thing about it, though, is that it doesn’t require anything higher than a high school diploma and conversational English skills to land the job… meaning it’s one that you could probably land right away without having to worry about who’s paying your bills while you’re going to school.
5. Transition & Management Training for Veterans
While this is not specifically an IT career, if you can get accepted into a position like this, it can be one of your best bets for getting your foot in the door at some of the most successful companies in the country…setting you up for a great career path in your field of choice until retirement.
GE, for example, has a transition assistance workshop created specifically for United States veterans moving out of the military and into the corporate workforce. (It’s called JOLP – Junior Officer Leadership Program.)
While they’re not always hiring for IT positions into this program, it’s worth checking regularly to see if they are.
Because GE is such a large company, it’s only natural that they’ll have some IT support roles, and if you get accepted into their program, you’ll rotate around to different departments so you can dig your hands into many aspects of business (like finance, leadership, organization, and six sigma quality), giving you a deeper understanding of the business world that’ll only help your career in the best ways possible.
And though GE, in particular, does require a Bachelor’s degree to get into their program, (you could definitely use your Post 9/11 Benefit to help pay for that), some other programs may be more flexible on educational prerequisites.
The Most Important Step for Military to Civilian Transition… Getting Your Foot in the Door
One of the most difficult things for transitioning veterans entering the corporate world is going from a position of authority and respect to starting out at the bottom of the ladder once again.
It can seem a little de-motivating at first, but with the discipline, motivation, and pure work ethic that you learned in the military, you’ll be able to learn, work hard, and study towards higher-level IT certifications, meaning that you won’t be at the bottom of the ladder for long!
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).