Military Veterans Find Second-Chance Opportunities with IT Jobs

May 13, 2013

Among men and women in the United States military who return home from combat and find themselves having difficulties with returning to the workforce, there's a growing sentiment that IT jobs may hold the answer. Washington is working hard to set veterans up with employment that will fit their needs.

According to The Hill, First Lady Michelle Obama recently announced a partnership between IT companies and the military that will help veterans land jobs in the tech sector. About 161,000 service members would become certified for 12 different tech professions that are currently in high demand. Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council, called the partnership "a triple win" – service members get much-needed jobs, businesses fill important positions and the economy as a whole improves.

Given the heavy volume of manpower that the U.S. has invested in its recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, there is a staggering number of veterans currently returning from home and looking for work. The Hill estimates 1 million veterans will flood the job market in the next year. Many of those veterans experience trouble reentering the workforce for a variety of reasons, including red tape, outdated certifications or a lack of relevant training or experience. The first lady noted that helping these veterans has become "one of the most pressing issues we face," and she's made it one of her signature issues through her Joining Forces program.

Difficulties with training
While many veterans can become dedicated, hard-working members of a staff, the biggest problem with employing them in the IT sector is training them. Often, they return home from service with a wealth of tech experience under their belts already, but that experience might be outdated or insufficient for the specific line of work they're getting into. This new government IT partnership seeks to bridge the gap between veterans' current qualifications and the requirements of the jobs they seek.

"Although the majority of IT specialists in the military receive training equivalent to their civilian IT counterparts, few, on their own, seek additional off-duty industry training that can lead towards additional IT certifications above and beyond those required for their military occupation," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement. "The IT Training and Certification Partnership can be used to leverage additional training opportunities that can directly contribute towards service members attaining civilian IT-related certifications beyond those that are provided in-service."

IT is a rapidly growing field. By completing training courses and quickly making a contribution to the workforce, veterans can continue making their country a better place after returning home from combat.