We’ve got a special place in our hearts for veterans who’ve served to keep our country and our freedoms safe.
So much so that we dedicate an entire department of our company to working with veterans and their families helping them figure out the technical education and IT training they need to get on their desired IT career path once they leave the armed services.
One of the biggest things we’ve noticed when Veterans come to us is that there’s a lot of confusion when it comes to:
- How to know which jobs you qualify for as a veteran
- What technical education path and certifications can best elevate your current military skills and background to qualify you for CURRENT job openings
- How to get the most out of your Post 9/11 Benefits
Competition in the commercial world doesn’t make it much better, either. It’s a place where even the most high-ranking military titles don’t carry as much weight as we’d like them to, and where entry-level salaries can be more cut-throat than you’d like to deal with.
So, to help you wade through the confusion and frustration, we got our IT Career Training Services team to answer some of the most common, frustrating questions veterans have about taking the next step in their career path after leaving the military.
Because after serving our country the way that you did? You deserve the IT career of your dreams!
Q: Why do so many job listings require skills that I don’t have? Where can I use the skills I learned in the Army?
Positions and working skills required for the army are very specialized.
And while they require time, study and practice to learn and not everyone can do them, they are so specialized to one career path; which often means they’re not directly applicable to working from a cubicle, for example.
Jobs in the Department of Defense might be a good choice, since they’re typically better at helping veterans transfer their skill sets than corporate organizations.
Q: Do you mean I have to start from the bottom, even after I reached _______ rank in the army?
While you may not have to start from the absolute bottom (like an unpaid college-level internship), chances are you won’t land the job you’re after right away. Most corporate promotion strategies are based on merit, and a lot of hiring in the corporate world happens from within.
So, yes, you might need to get your foot in the door with a lower-level position than you’d initially like, but the good news is you can use the discipline and focus you learned in the military to quickly prove yourself better than your peers, pushing you up the promotion ladder.
Q: Do I have to do two to four years in a college before I can get some kind of degree to prove myself?
As long as the educational institution is approved by the VA (LeaderQuest is!), you can use your Post 9/11 Benefit to pay for any kind of job-based training, so you don’t have to waste your time sitting in classes about world literature if you’d rather work in technology.
In fact, many of our career-ready, VA-approved technical training programs are quite short. The I.T. training program we most recommend for veterans who want to begin their IT career is only 23 days, for example.
Take a look at our Degree vs. Certification article to see pros and cons of each path.
Q: I think I might want to work in IT, but how do I choose an IT career path, let alone a training program?
IT is a great choice. It’s one of the fastest-growing sectors and provides more and more high-paying jobs every single year.
Since most veterans don’t already have a working background in IT, we recommend our Computer User Support Specialist Training. It gives you all the fundamentals you need to start a solid career path, and gives you what you need to pass THREE CompTIA certifications (A+, Network+, and Security+), which around 80% of IT employers look at as an advantage.
(We also love that it only takes 23 days to complete.)
The three certifications also fill levels one and two of the security requirements for Department of Defense Directive 8570, if you decide you’d like to work for them.
Q: If I can’t get the salary I want right away, what kind of salary can I expect?
This highly depends on the field of work you go into. Teaching is vastly different from marketing, which is vastly different from IT. (Not to mention all the other endless possibilities.)
But since we specialize in helping veterans transition into the IT field, we’ll answer for those interested in IT.
Based on our research from O*Net Online, we’ve found that Computer Support Technicians (an entry-level position you can obtain with our training) that have the CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications earn between $46,000 to $66,000 per year, depending on location.
This is still above the national average, which was $44,888 in 2013.
So… What Should I Do Next?
How you use your Post 9/11 Benefit is totally up to you and what your post-military career goals are.
If you know what your dream career is, identify the qualifications it has and figure out what kind of training program you need to get your foot in the door of a company that can help lead you there.
If you’re still not sure what you’d like to do, we have a veteran resources center you can check out. Get in touch and we can answer all of YOUR questions and help you help figure out exactly what you want, how to get there, and how to use your Post 9/11 Benefit to help!