Veterans are becoming an increasingly popular option for employers seeking skilled personnel that can handle the demands of the modern workplace.
Why is that?
Because of the nature of their previous job and training (as well as the skills and experiences from their military career), veterans are considered reliable, hardworking, and detail-oriented employees in the civilian workforce.
There are many careers that military veterans can pursue after they leave the service.
However, not all occupations are created equal. Some civilian jobs may be more stable or offer better pay and benefits than others.
Most popular civilian careers for veterans
For those veterans who are still unsure where they could work, they may want to check out these job categories:
1. Operations Manager
These professionals are responsible for planning, directing, and coordinating the operations of a company (either in the public sector or the private sector). The role of a management consultant (or in-house manager) includes a variety of duties, from developing staff schedules and assigning job responsibilities to organizing and coordinating activities across the company’s departments, and allocating resources.
Operations managers have to be strong and capable leaders to motivate and guide employees, and military leadership experience comes in handy in such a role.
Manager jobs such as this one (and several others, like project manager and sales manager) usually require a bachelor’s degree in business, management, or related fields.
2. Personal Financial Advisor
A professional financial advisor helps people, businesses, and even large organizations with various financial planning.
The main responsibilities of a personal financial advisor are understanding their client’s financial goals and developing plans to reach them. These plans can be anything from college savings to retirement and estate plans.
The skills needed for this type of job for veterans may include accounting, finance, and related areas of study.
3. Nurse Practitioner
These health care professionals provide primary or specialty healthcare services to patients, including direct healthcare, patient education, and coordination of care with other healthcare workers.
They can work in various settings, from hospitals and clinics to physician’s offices.
It is common for veterans who had a health-related position in their military life to pursue this type of civilian career.
However, many with unrelated backgrounds choose to follow this career path as well.
Veterans in the IT field
One career path that is often overlooked by veterans is working in the IT field. A wide range of IT careers can be very lucrative and provide a lot of stability. Plus, many IT careers are perfect for veterans because they often require skills like attention to detail and a focus on problem-solving.
Additionally, many veterans have relevant experience working with computer systems and software in the military. This makes them well-qualified for many IT careers.
Here are some of the best IT careers for military veterans:
1. Cloud computing
Cloud computing is a relatively new field that is growing rapidly. In fact, as LinkedIn reports, cloud computing is one of the top three hard skills employers require from potential candidates.
According to Glassdoor, the annual median pay for a Cloud Computing professional is $81,497 in the US, while the entry-level salary is anywhere from $57K to $70K.
A cloud computing specialist role includes:
- Managing the lifecycle of a cloud environment
- Designing applications for the cloud
- Planning its architecture
- Adapting security measures
- Providing resources
- Maintaining its components
Cloud professionals often work as cloud administrators, cloud security analysts, cloud network engineers, or cloud automation engineers.
Veterans often make great cloud computing professionals because of their abilities for critical thinking, complex problem-solving, analytical thinking, cooperation, and attention to detail, among other things.
Many cloud professionals earn certifications that help them hone their skills and advance their careers.
Microsoft Certified Azure Fundamentals is a great certificate program for veterans who want to gain basic knowledge and learn related skills to start their cloud computing journey.
2. Network Engineer
Network engineers are responsible for designing, implementing, and maintaining computer networks. The work includes troubleshooting hardware and software, software support, system design, and analysis.
Network engineers often work in companies or organizations that have large computer networks.
Indeed reports that the average base salary of a network engineer is $92,017 per year, while the low end of this wage spectrum reaches $58,693.
Veterans make great network engineers because they are nimble, reliable, and capable of solving complex and technical challenges in a timely manner and meeting critical deadlines.
3. Cybersecurity specialist
Cybersecurity specialists are experts in the field of information technology security. They design and build security systems and processes that help companies secure their information technology resources.
Payscale has recently reported that cybersecurity specialists with less than a year of experience earn, on average, $58,670 per year. In contrast, those with more than 20 years on the job make, on average, $114,734.
This job involves but is not limited to the following:
- Safeguarding information system assets
- Protecting systems by determining access privileges
- Controlling resources and structures
- Implementing security improvements
Veterans can be great cybersecurity specialists since they are trained to work under high pressure, have experience dealing with sensitive information, can think like cybercriminals, and are quick thinkers and good problem solvers.
CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) is the industry standard for validating that you can perform data analysis and interpret the results to identify a company’s vulnerabilities, risks, and threats.
4. Cybersecurity Analyst
Cybersecurity analysts are responsible for protecting computer networks from attacks. These cyber professionals work with organizations to identify security risks and implement solutions to mitigate those risks.
The job of an information security analyst includes understanding cyberattacks, malware, and the behavior of cyberattackers, as well as anticipating and preventing these attacks.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median pay of an information security analyst is $102,600, while the salary for entry-level positions reaches $61,520. This makes this position one of the top paying jobs for veterans.
Veterans often make great cybersecurity analysts because they are familiar with working in high-pressure environments and have experience dealing with sensitive information from their time in the military.
They also have qualities wanted in this line of work, like integrity, discipline, threat analysis, and attention to detail.
As a bonus, many veterans have relevant experience working with computer networks and systems in the military.
Combined with the right certification programs, like CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) and Ethical Hacker Certification (CEH), veterans can be well-suited for a career that rewards such qualities.
Working in IT can be a great career option for military veterans. Many IT careers can be ideal for veterans employment because most top-paying jobs in this industry often require skills veterans already possess.
More importantly, IT careers are very lucrative and provide a lot of stability and opportunities for career development.
MyComputerCareer is devoted to helping veterans transition to meaningful careers in the civilian world. We offer high-demand certifications, team support, and lifetime career services to help connect veterans with available jobs and military friendly employers in the IT industry.