According to studies on the transition from military to civilian life, 48% of post 9/11 veterans have a hard time after leaving the military. The department of veterans affairs is doing their part by offering an assistance program, but it doesn’t work that well for everyone.
Veterans transitioning from regular duty may find it hard to readjust to the civilian world since most of them joined the army at a young age, making military life all they’ve known for most of their adult life. Military experience can always come in handy; however, it won’t always be applicable in the real world. And many of the skills former soldiers learned in all their years of service will not be necessary for everyday life.
Veterans employment is on the rise, but you can still face employers who underestimate the benefits of a military-trained individual. Fortunately, there are companies like MyComputerCareer that make it their mission to aid veterans during their transitional process.
To fully understand how a military veteran can make the transition to civilian life as easy as possible, we need to look at the bigger picture first.
Common challenges during readjustment
The transition from the military to civilian life can be stressful and confusing. Former military personnel re-entering society may face community-related issues. If you have been on the field for too long, your family and friends may have developed new routines that you have to adapt to.
Preparing to join the civilian workforce – Depending on your financial resources, you may be in need of a job. Those who have served from a young age probably don’t know how they fit into the corporate world. Transition assistance programs help with the first step, but many vets lean towards additional education. MyComputerCareer offers both online and on-campus training for veterans in need of certificate programs. Online degrees can be a great addition to your resume and prove very helpful during your job hunt.
Establishing services – Things like life insurance or a doctor’s appointment are handled by the military as long as you are in service. Veterans will need to learn how to navigate and manage the paperwork in order to become eligible for the benefits provided by the Department of Veteran Affairs. In case you are unaware of the Post-9/11 GI Bill here is the most important information as stated on the VE website:
“The Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) helps you pay for school or job training. If you’ve served on active duty after September 10, 2001, you may qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33). Find out if you can get this education benefit.“
Who is eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) benefits?
- Veterans who served at least 90 days on active duty (either all at once or with breaks in service) on or after September 11, 2001,
- Veterans who received a Purple Heart on or after September 11, 2001, and were honorably discharged after any amount of service
- Veterans who served for at least 30 continuous days (all at once, without a break in service) on or after September 11, 2001, and were honorably discharged with a service-connected disability. Additional information can be found here.
Finding jobs that resonate with a military background
A crucial part of a successful transition is finding a veteran-friendly work environment. From healthcare to law enforcement, many civilian jobs can benefit from your military skill set. However, it seems that many veterans naturally gravitate towards IT Many roles in the information technology sector benefit immensely from military skills like discipline and loyalty. Employers in the IT sector struggle with finding loyal and disciplined staff members, so your military background and training can be considered a real asset at these are core principles taught in the military.
Healthcare is a logical choice after the military since most jobs revolve around teamwork and helping those in need. Very similar, if not the same, as during the service. Your need to help others may still continue to be fulfilled. Unfortunately, not every veteran has the educational background and experience required for work in the field of medicine and healthcare.
Law Enforcement works in a very similar way. Your educational level will play a significant role in the screening process, but some civilian options are available as well:
- Crime Scene Investigator
- Criminal Research Specialist
- Private Investigator
- Public Information Officer
- Asset Protection Manager
Again, your education will determine your qualification for these positions.
Information Technology can be considered as a combination of the two examples mentioned above. There are at least five well-known tech companies that are always on the lookout for military-trained staff. Among these are some tech giants like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. You may find that tech jobs as a compelling career choice after the military because of the industry’s dynamic workspace that requires excellent communication skills and self-discipline. Skills gathered during active duty can be easily translated and implemented into the IT sector. Thanks to modern tools like skills translators, you can easily find the best suitable position in IT by comparing it to your previous line of service.
The benefits of joining the IT industry
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about 546,200 new jobs are expected to become available in the IT industry from 2018 to 2028. With an expected growth of 12%, information technology has become the fastest growing industry in the country. When it comes to transition assistance, constant interaction with co-workers will speed up your transition process while at the same time, you may meet fellow veterans that also gravitated toward the same industry. Those who went through the same process before you can provide valuable tips for transition and serve as guides into the corporate world.
As with healthcare and law enforcement, a certain degree of education is required to enter the IT workforce. Military-friendly academies like MyComputerCareer offer certified courses that you can add to your resume. We also provide special attention to military vets looking to make it in the tech industry and help you during your job-seeking process. Contact us today, and start your IT journey.
How to get an education after the military
Use the Veterans Educational Assistance Program – The program provides financial assistance for pursuing courses towards vocational training, certificate programs, or even a college degree. You are eligible for the benefits of the program if you enrolled in service between January 1, 1977, and June 30, 1985.
Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits – The GI bill provides up to 36 months of education benefits that cover tuition, books, supplies, or monthly housing. You need to have completed 90 days of aggregate active duty after September 10, 2001 to qualify for these benefits.
Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty – It is a bill that benefits active-duty members. By contributing $100 per month for 12 months, you can receive a monthly education benefit if you have fulfilled all of the requirements.
Picking the right school – As we already mentioned, MyComputerAcademy is recognized as a veteran-friendly school that offers training online or at one of our campuses. We offer in-demand certifications across five of the leading brands in IT, including Microsoft, Linux, Cisco, CompTIA, and even the Certified Ethical Hacker certification from EC-Council.
Understand the value of certifications
The constant growth of the job market increases competition, so employers are taking your education level very seriously. Having a couple of certificates in your resume can put you in front of other candidates. Certified courses aren’t only meant to be a means to acquire a diploma or certification. They serve as a guide for the civilian workforce and a vast knowledge base of what awaits you in the corporate world. By talking to your teacher and fellow students, you will receive valuable tips that will help your transition process go smoother. You can request a free career evaluation at MyComputerCareer and find the best career path for you.
Recognize your unique qualities
Having a rich resume is always a bonus during your job hunt, but you should be aware of the many skills and qualities that you acquired during deployment.
Discipline – You are already used to following rules and sticking to tight schedules, and it may surprise you how many people in the workforce lack this discipline. Many tech companies struggle to find qualified staff that can respect deadlines and practice discipline in the workspace. The advancement of technology has brought new distractions into the office space, and the current civilian workforce is having a hard time coping with them.
Loyalty – Attrition can be costly, so employers value loyal staff members. Tech companies are in high demand for motivated and dedicated workers who will remain loyal and allow them to focus their resources on company growth. Since veterans are known for their loyalty, they don’t find it hard to fit into this rare category. Military experience applies perfectly to companies that strive for growth.
Communication and Technical Skills – A significant number of vets speak more than just one language, and their linguistic skills are very valuable for companies that plan on global expansions. The streamlined discipline during the service will help you set better workflows and contribute to communication logistics within the company.
Tips for a more straightforward transition process
Apart from thinking about your financial situation, you should also plan out your transition process and follow some simple rules to make things as comfortable as possible. Life after deployment can have an impact on your mental health, so it is essential not to overlook that fact.
Prepare early – It is advised that some preparation should be in place before you leave the military. During deployment, you are always under pressure and focused on the goals of your mission, but research suggests that you should start thinking about what is to come as early as 24 months before you are discharged from service. 84% of surveyed veterans recommend that starting early will secure a smooth transition in the long-run.
Develop a transition plan – You should think about goals, enabling activities, and timelines. By establishing a starting point, you will set yourself on a clear path towards a comfortable transition. You can start by researching different industries and finding the best job description for your current skill set. With access to online courses, you can even consider doing something completely different in the civilian sector. If you spend enough time on the research, you can broaden your field of opportunities.
Practice networking – Utilize social media platforms like LinkedIn and try to recognize potential prospects. Connecting with others opens up more room for improvement and speeds up your adaptation process. You should also consider participating in communities that resonate with your interests. They are an infinite source of information that you can use and apply in your daily life.
Learn to apply your skills – A military skill set can be beneficial in the civilian sector if you learn to leverage your competencies. Translating your skills builds a strong resume, results in excellent interviewing skills, and adds the ability to demonstrate your value to a potential employer. Practice makes perfect, and you should spend a lot of time on it. You will continuously have to prove your value by demonstrating how your skills add value when networking. Out of all the elements that are included in a transition process, this one requires the most effort.
Practice patience – A total of 48% surveyed veterans claim their transition was ‘more difficult than expected,’ and more than half (59%) say it ‘required more time than expected.’ Your patience will be tested, so you should remember that becoming a soldier or sailor was just as demanding. Build your network, expand your knowledge, and certify your skills. If given enough time, a career opportunity should open up soon enough.
Get assistance through learning
Certified courses offered by MyComputerCareer can bring a lot more value to you as an individual than what is expected of them. The Military Friendly® ratings have set the standard for companies and colleges that provide positive employment and education outcomes, as well as incorporating social and community support for service members, veterans, and their families. MyComputerCareer is no exception, and it strives to provide much-needed support to veteran students. You can start by evaluating your career for free!
Colleges and companies that offer certified courses can provide a simulation of the environment you should expect in the civilian workforce. By providing their guidance and knowledge, your teachers will contribute to your general awareness and ability to adapt. Don’t be afraid to interact with them and request more information when you need it. Any form of assistance will prove valuable during your transition, so you should always utilize it.
Find the veteran job right for you
It is very important to remember that you should spend a lot of time thinking about your career path. Your experiences and skills acquired during your time in the military, along with your rank, can serve as an indicator of your qualities and your general interests. Getting off military duty doesn’t mean that you can’t practice discipline and commitment during community or office work. Having peace of mind during working hours will help you adapt to an entirely new setting. The transition process is a lot simpler if you have made the right career choice, so try not to overlook that fact.
Leaving the military life behind you will come with challenges. Your established routines will change drastically, and an adaptation process can take time. Putting a lot of effort and planning is crucial, so you should always try to research as much as you can as early as possible. Thanks to VE programs, you can seek help through a transition assistance program that assists veterans in transition. By utilizing your skills and enhancing them with additional education, you will be able to join the civilian workforce and speed up your adaptation process. You must understand your value as a military-trained individual. The IT industry, along with many others, lack staff with qualities you already possess thanks to your time in service. Dedication and a hard-working ethic are your best tools for success, so try to use them in your career development.
And before wrapping up, we should emphasize patience once again. Many veterans experienced a period of depression after retirement, and a certain dose of patience will probably be required. The same goes for your job search and career development. Without proper networking and a strong resume, you won’t be able to compete in the job market. Use the benefits of certified courses, contact us, and start your IT journey today. MyComputerCareer offers a variety of IT courses and programs that will help you translate your military skills and apply them in the civilian workforce.