In 2015, the United States Armed Forces announced a plan to cut down on the number of men and women currently serving terms of active duty. According to the Army Times, 40,000 soldiers will not be offered a reenlistment option under a doctrine of ongoing budget cuts, which means that tens of thousands of veterans will soon join the ranks of those looking for jobs in the civilian sector.
This reduction in force (RIF) measure is usually undertaken after a wartime period starts winding down, and it often catches some service members, who may have been planning to extend their active duty terms, by surprise. What this means for the American job market is that competition will increase as employers become more selective with regard to their hiring policies.
Why the IT Industry is a Good Career Fit for Veterans
While it is true that veterans have a certain advantage when they look for work, it is important to remember that the RIF program is going to flood the job search marketplace as they reenter civilian life over the next few months.
Some veterans are going to have an extra advantage when they start looking for work; those whose military occupation specialty (MOS) code can be easily converted into an information technology (IT) civilian position. For example, the Army 25B MOS, known as Information Technology Specialist, will certainly interest employers who are looking to hire network technicians and administrators.
Not all active duty members affected by the RIF program will have IT backgrounds, and even those with the 25B MOS may need to obtain additional specialty certifications to get higher paying jobs; a good example in this regard would be the Certified Information Systems Security Practitioner (CISSP) Certificate. However, federal and state governments are increasing their IT infrastructures, and these are employers known to hire veterans preferentially.
There’s a little-known fact about the government IT industry that veterans need to be aware of: the standards of competency and knowledge required of government IT employees were developed by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). This means that the curriculum and style of instruction of IT certificate courses such as CompTIA and Cisco will be familiar to veterans since these courses were developed under DoD guidelines.
The Need for Veterans Trained in IT
A substantial amount of the IT jobs currently available in the federal and state government workplaces require a security clearance, which in many cases is easier for veterans to obtain. These tend to be higher-paying jobs with great benefits, and they may even count active duty and reserve years towards retirement.
According to a recent news report published by the Kansas City Star, more than 2,000 technology jobs in Kansas City have not been filled due to a lack of qualified applicants. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that nearly half a million tech jobs were vacant across the nation in mid-2015.
In the end, there is no question that the IT field offers good careers for veterans, and there are numerous reasons for this. In addition to the current demand and the security clearance advantage, veterans can also pursue IT certificates outside of the traditional four-year degree programs, which allows them to join the civilian workforce and get better jobs even faster. If you are a veteran looking for a job in IT, check out the courses that we offer today!