Separating from the military and re-entering civilian life creates a myriad of challenges for service members, the greatest of which is finding a new career path. Thankfully, there are countless organizations and programs that work closely with veterans to help them identify their skills and build new ones that will help them in civilian jobs. Here’s a look at some training programs that help to prepare military personnel for careers in civilian fields:
A team of military veterans established Vets2PM to assist other transitioning personnel in securing employment as project managers at civilian businesses. The organization helps these individuals move into successful civilian careers by facilitating job preparation and providing other key services. Building upon their clients’ previous military experience, Vets2PM guides clients through a curriculum that teaches them the fundamentals of project management. This program helps prepare them to take the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide examination as well as the Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification exams. The Vets2PM training program typically lasts between 60 and 90 days.
As veterans prepare to apply for project management positions, Vets2PM compiles thorough executive resumes for them. The organization also hosts workshops that teach them crucial interview skills. As part of the Vets2PM network, veterans receive regular e-mails announcing new job positions and career development programs. The organization also maintains close contact with all of its clients and provides them access to industry mentors throughout their entire civilian careers.
2. AWS Educate
In partnership with the White House Joining Forces initiative, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched a program for current and retired service members who want to pursue careers in the cloud computing industry. About 10,000 individuals have participated in AWS Educate with the aim of joining this in-demand field.
AWS Educate works with veterans to determine where they would like to take their cloud careers. The program connects them to AWS Cloud Career Pathways, through which they can participate in as much as 30 hours of training for their preferred job path. As they move closer to applying for jobs, veterans can connect with the AWS Educate Job Board and build their own cloud portfolios.
3. Veterans on Wall Street (VOWS)
An initiative with six chapters across the country, VOWS helps active and retired service members find success in the civilian financial services sector. The program has partnered with the Bob Woodruff Foundation to provide education and mentoring to military members. VOWS not only works with veterans looking to pursue careers in financial services, but it also focuses on helping financial institutions retain these talented workers.
4. Vets in Tech
Vets in Tech is making it easier for military personnel to transition back into civilian life by helping them secure employment in the technology sector. To this end, the organization helps veterans build upon their existing skill sets through education. Vets in Tech runs a number of training programs that focus on such topics as web development and cybersecurity.
Veterans struggling to find employment in the tech industry can also turn to Vets in Tech for assistance with skills translation, resume composition, and interviewing. The organization works with technology firms to place talented service members in the right job positions. Vets in Tech even has a program designed for veterans who want to start their own tech business.
5. Deloitte CORE Leadership Program
The Westlake, Texas-based Deloitte University has developed the Career Opportunity Redefinition & Exploration (CORE) Leadership Program to assist military veterans during their transition into business careers. In particular, vets learn to identify and translate their relevant skills so they can find the right civilian jobs for them. All participants in CORE learn how to pinpoint their strengths and use them to convey their story to employers. CORE also gives veterans the tools they need to begin building their civilian networks with members of the Deloitte community and the wider business sector.
6. Vets Who Code
A veteran-led organization, Vets Who Code provides training to military veterans who are looking to embark on civilian careers in software engineering and web development. The nonprofit has partnered with nearly three dozen companies to help veterans hone their coding skills. These organizations then provide mentors to veterans, which helps them learn the ins and outs of the software development industry and the technical side of coding.
7. DoD SkillBridge
The US Department of Defense (DoD) has developed the SkillBridge to help transitioning personnel find job training programs in nearly any civilian sector. Service members who are within their last 180 days of active service can embark on the program, which places them in training programs, internships, and apprenticeships in their industry of choice. This gives them the opportunity to learn new skills in hands-on training while utilizing their existing experience.
The DoD works closely with industry partners to facilitate the SkillBridge program. These affiliates offer valuable work experience to service members, who also receive their military benefits throughout training. Interested personnel must first obtain approval from their unit commander before embarking on the SkillBridge program. During this time, they work full-time with their industry partners to hone the skills needed for their civilian careers.