Transitioning from military service to civilian life can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to finding employment. However, the IT and cybersecurity industries are great options for veterans looking to start their civilian careers. In this article, we will explore the potential of these industries for veterans, the challenges they may face, and the resources available to help them succeed.
The average pay and benefits for veterans working in the field of IT and cybersecurity will depend on several factors, including their level of experience, the company they work for, their job title, and the location of the job. That being said, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $93,250 in May 2020. The BLS also reports that the median annual wage for information security analysts, which is a common job title in cybersecurity, was $103,590 in May 2020.
In addition to competitive salaries, many companies that hire veterans in IT and cybersecurity offer a range of benefits, such as:
Health insurance: Many companies offer comprehensive health insurance plans that cover medical, dental, and vision expenses.
Retirement benefits: Many companies offer retirement benefits such as 401(k) plans or pensions.
Tuition assistance: Some companies offer tuition assistance or reimbursement for veterans pursuing additional education or certifications.
Flexible work arrangements: Many companies offer flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting or flexible schedules, which can be beneficial for veterans who may have caregiving responsibilities or other commitments.
Professional development opportunities: Many companies offer opportunities for professional development, including training, certification programs, and mentorship, which can help veterans advance in their careers.
Veterans-specific benefits: Some companies may offer specific benefits for veterans, such as military leave, support groups, or special accommodations for service-connected disabilities.
Why IT and cybersecurity are great industries for veterans
There are many similarities between military service and IT/cybersecurity jobs. Both require discipline, attention to detail, and the ability to work under pressure. Additionally, the demand for IT and cybersecurity professionals is high and continues to grow. These industries offer many opportunities for career growth and advancement, as well as a variety of job roles and specialties. Certifications and training programs are also available to help veterans transition into IT and cybersecurity careers.
Challenges faced by veterans seeking IT/cybersecurity jobs
Veterans may encounter several obstacles when searching for IT and cybersecurity jobs. One of the most significant challenges is a lack of relevant work experience or civilian networks. Another challenge is translating military skills and experience into relevant IT and cybersecurity qualifications and achievements on a resume. Networking and building relationships with industry professionals and organizations are essential for veterans to overcome these challenges.
Resources available for veterans seeking IT/cybersecurity jobs
Several programs and organizations specifically support veterans in their job search, such as Hire Heroes USA and the Veterans Affairs’ VA for Vets program. Job fairs, career training programs, and other resources can connect veterans with IT and cybersecurity job opportunities. Financial assistance programs are also available for veterans pursuing IT and cybersecurity education or certifications
Programs available that can help veterans seeking jobs in IT and cybersecurity include:
VA for Vets: This program, run by the Department of Veterans Affairs, provides veterans with resources and tools to help them find employment, including job search assistance and career coaching.
Hire Heroes USA: This nonprofit organization offers free career coaching and job search assistance to transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses. They have a specific program called “Warrior Integration Program” which helps veterans and their spouses prepare for and find careers in the technology industry, including IT and cybersecurity.
CyberVets USA: This program, run by the Virginia-based nonprofit, MACH37 Cyber Accelerator, provides free cybersecurity training and certification to veterans and military spouses, with the goal of helping them find employment in the cybersecurity industry.
Onward to Opportunity: This program, run by Syracuse University in partnership with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, provides veterans and their families with training and certification in a variety of industries, including IT and cybersecurity.
Microsoft Software & Systems Academy: This program, run by Microsoft, provides transitioning service members and veterans with training and certification in IT and cybersecurity, as well as job placement assistance.
These are just a few examples of the many programs available to help veterans seeking jobs in IT and cybersecurity. By taking advantage of these resources, veterans can gain the skills and certifications needed to successfully transition into civilian careers in these high-demand industries.
Many veterans have successfully transitioned into IT and cybersecurity careers. For example, some veterans have used their experience in the military to excel in cybersecurity roles such as security analysts, cybersecurity consultants, and cybersecurity managers. These veterans often possess the discipline, attention to detail, and the ability to work under pressure necessary for success in the field.
There are many companies that actively seek to hire veterans and offer support and resources to help them transition into careers in IT and cybersecurity. Here are some examples:
Amazon: Amazon has committed to hiring 25,000 veterans and military spouses by 2021 and offers a Military Apprenticeship program to help veterans gain skills and certifications in IT.
Cisco: Cisco has a dedicated Veterans Program that provides veterans with networking and cybersecurity training, as well as mentorship and job placement assistance.
IBM: IBM has a Veterans Employment Initiative that provides veterans with free training and certification in software development, data analytics, cybersecurity, and more.
Microsoft: Microsoft offers a Software & Systems Academy that provides training and certification in IT and cybersecurity to transitioning service members and veterans.
Dell: Dell has a Veterans Advancement Program that provides veterans with career training and development opportunities in IT, cybersecurity, and other fields.
Booz Allen Hamilton: Booz Allen Hamilton has a veteran hiring initiative that actively recruits veterans for positions in IT and cybersecurity, and offers training and professional development opportunities.
Google: Google has a Veterans Network and offers a Veterans Apprenticeship program to help veterans gain experience and skills in IT.
Verizon: Verizon has a dedicated Military Recruitment team and offers training and development opportunities in IT and cybersecurity.
Oracle: Oracle has a Veterans Program that provides veterans with training and certification in various IT fields, including database administration and cybersecurity.
General Electric (GE): GE has a Veterans Network and a Veterans in Tech program that provides veterans with training and job placement opportunities in IT and cybersecurity.
AT&T: AT&T has a Veterans talent acquisition team that actively recruits veterans and offers training and development opportunities in IT and cybersecurity.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE): HPE has a Veterans Program that provides veterans with training and job placement assistance in various IT fields, including cybersecurity.
IT and cybersecurity industries are great options for veterans looking to start their civilian careers. These industries offer many opportunities for career growth and advancement. However, veterans may face challenges when searching for jobs. Fortunately, several resources are available to help veterans overcome these challenges and succeed in their job search. With the right skills and training, veterans can find fulfilling and well-paying careers in IT and cybersecurity.