Are there Jobs in Information Technology for Former Military?

Over the past few decades the demand for technology has created an industry with tremendous job potential. People with the right technical skills are sought after and rarely out of work. However, with companies outsourcing technical jobs overseas and the recent economic downturn, what are today’s job prospects and are there jobs in IT for former military personnel? The answer might surprise you. Not only has there been job growth in the field, many organizations seek out candidates with a certain set of key skills learned, you guessed it, in the military.

Military Skills Contribute to Corporate Success

In the private sector profitability is critical to success. To reach that goal companies recruit people with specific attributes and skills. Per the Harvard Business Review article “Military Skill Sets Lead to Organizational Success” expertise such as intelligence, planning and preparation, execution, team leadership, and subordinate development are proficiencies businesses need that veterans bring to the table. Myriad corporations have military veteran CEOs, CIOs, and cultures that reflect the value of military techniques in their business practices and hiring policies.

Technical Skills Translate to Jobs

Many of the technical skills developed in the military directly translate to civilian IT jobs. For example, an Army engineer microwave system installer transitions to a corporate telecommunications specialist. Fortunately, departments in large IT organizations are numerous so there is ample opportunity for many veterans to match their skills to employer requirements. Some of the departments within IT organizations where opportunities exist include: software development; hardware; telecommunications; business analysis; documentation; information security; architecture; database; disaster recovery; mobile technology; and management. The candidate should conduct a search of these various areas to ascertain where his current skills would best fit into the IT organization.

In contrast, some military skills are not as easily translated to civilian IT jobs, although one might be surprised. Online skill translator programs can be useful in determining how one’s military skills are applied to the private sector. According to The Society for Human Resource Management’s article “Skill Translators Just One Piece of the Puzzle When Hiring Veterans.” Hero 2 Hired is one of the best online resources available when planning to transition out of the military. Looking into how skills translate can help get into an IT organization or accepted into a college program in computer science or information systems.

IT Job Growth Statistics

The good news is that the IT job market continues to grow, albeit at a slower rate than in decades past. In October 2013 the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported adding 21,000 jobs to Professional and Technical Services. Other Information Services gained 3,000 jobs which follows a steady gain in this category in specific sectors.

Preparation is Key

IT jobs do exist for veterans, but some legwork is required to find them and present oneself as a qualified candidate—it entails time and effort. In this competitive job market veterans must understand how their skills translate to the job they seek. They should research the organization and be ready to talk about how their achievements are relevant and valuable in helping the business meet those goals.

Related Resource: Information about Colorado Technical University, including specific advantages afforded to military.