You’ve acquired many new skills while serving in the military and you're probably wondering what careers for veterans are out there. Now that you are transitioning to civilian life, wouldn’t it be great to use those skills in a field that is interesting and lucrative? You should be able to take your military experience and use it as a foundation for a new vocation. That’s why so many returning veterans transition into IT careers.
Information technology continues to be a growing field where veterans can apply their skills. Military training generates a talent pool rich in technology and cybersecurity experience. Those skills tend to readily translate to IT careers in civilian life. And demand for IT professionals continues to grow.
Your Veterans Education Benefits can help you launch your technology career with benefits that pay for vocational training. Veterans benefits provide tuition assistance for career training in computer repairs, computer networking, cybersecurity, systems administration, database management, and a host of related IT careers.
So where do you see yourself with a career in IT? There are a variety of options, with multiple job titles, different pay scales, and high-profile hiring companies.
12 IT careers for transitioning veterans:
- Office administrators: Office Administrators are often called Office Managers. And for good reason – Office Administrators are responsible for so many of the tasks that ensure an office functions efficiently. Their duties include coordinating meetings, managing projects, responding to important messages by phone or email, and many other day to day needs. Because this employee will wear so many hats, it is important for Office Administrators to be fast and efficient using Microsoft Office. The Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification demonstrates proficiency in using the tools that will make an entire company more productive.
- Data analysts: With this increasing dependence on data to make strategic decisions at all levels of a company’s infrastructure, Data Analysts are as critical as ever. Day to day, Data Analysts spend their time collecting and interpreting data to tell a story that can be easily read by stakeholders within the company.
They will be expected to have proficiency in Microsoft Excel, SQL, and other database/spreadsheet tools, but critical thinking and presentation skills are a must as Data Analysts will be expected to convey their findings to others in their organization. Click here to read more about what Data Analysts do.
- IT Technicians: IT Technicians are the front line of the IT world. They are responsible for maintaining, troubleshooting, and repairing hardware and software across their organization’s infrastructure. Because of this, IT Technicians are constantly learning from new challenges and new tasks. It is important for IT Technicians to have a foundational knowledge troubleshooting in a wide range of systems. CompTIA’s vendor agnostic certifications (like A+, Network+, and Security+) give IT Technicians the foundations in multiple software and hardware vendors so they may apply their skills in almost any IT environment.
- Network Systems Administrators: The importance of network availability ensures that this job role will be in constant demand for years to come. The Network Administrator role can be a starting point in IT or a lifelong career because of the massive amount of skills to be learned. Network Administrators are primarily responsible for installing, configuring, and maintaining all network hardware, software, and communication links. They also make sure that employees' workstations are working efficiently and stay connected to the central computer network.
- Cloud Technology Professionals: With a term as all-encompassing as Cloud, it can be difficult to define exactly what someone in a Cloud Computing role actually does. In general, this individual is charged with managing the end-to-end lifecycle of a cloud environment. This can include anything from designing applications, planning architecture, deploying security protocols, or provisioning resources. The Cloud space has a lot of optionality when it comes to available tools, but teams will primarily find themselves using one or all of the three main providers: Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, or Google Cloud Platform. Fortunately, all three of these vendors have developed clear roadmaps for certification depending on the day-to-day functions an individual will find themselves performing.
- Web Designers: Web Designers may be considered the architects of the customer experience. The web sites they create have the power to make first impressions and are often the main portal to information about a company. While Web Developers do not always control the copywrite on a site, they are responsible for creating the design and layout of a website. Modern Web Designers may not need to be expert coders, as there are a number of tools to help get the job done now. Experience and training in the Adobe Creative Suite, including Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver, will set Web Designers up for success.
- Project Managers: Project Managers are responsible for planning, executing, and monitoring projects that may include many different stakeholders and departments. For this reason, they tend to be excellent communicators and very organized. Along with the software tools that Project Managers use to keep track of their projects (Microsoft Project, Outlook, Excel, etc.), there are a great deal of best practices for how to manage a project effectively. Project Management Institute (PMI) offers certifications for all levels of Project Managers and continually ranks as some of the most valuable certifications in the job market.
- Management Professionals: At any company, there are business processes and projects that need to be managed. In fact, it is increasingly common to find that the top job roles in a department are much less technical than the positions that they manage. Leaders today spend their time analyzing how best to ensure their department improves the top and bottom lines of a company. Managers delegate tasks and responsibilities, create reports and presentations and collaborate with other departments to achieve goals. They must be effective communicators, coaches, and lifelong learners. Click here to read more about what management professionals do.
- Database Administrators: A Data Analyst is only as useful as the data they can collect. Therefore it is so important for a well-maintained and secure database from which to pull it. The Database Administrator is the person responsible for ensuring databases run efficiently. They will design the architecture of where data will go and how users can access or use that data. A Database Administrator should have an eye for details and be able to solve logic problems as these are critical to everyone having dependable access to the source of data. From a technical perspective, an understanding of SQL and SQL Server tools is a must.
- Cybersecurity Professionals: Cybersecurity is the protective software, hardware, and set of best practices used by IT professionals to guard everything from private data to physical servers and networks. Typical threats to cybersecurity include Malware, Viruses, Worms, Trojans, and Spyware. The steady occurrence of data breaches and attacks on sensitive and confidential information is making data protection a critical component of an organization's leadership and governance strategy. IT security professionals plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization's computer networks and systems. Their responsibilities are continually expanding as the number of cyberattacks increases. IT security analysts are heavily involved with creating their organization's disaster recovery plan, a procedure that IT employees follow in case of emergency.
- Software Developers: Software Developers write and test code that allows computer applications and software programs to function properly. They turn the program designs created by engineers into instructions that a computer can follow. They are also responsible for continuous testing and continuous improvement of the software. The pace of Software Development has drastically increased in recent years. With the constant availability and frequent updates of modern applications, Software Developers are expected to understand not only the coding languages and tools to build the applications, but strategies that a Software Development department uses to get these updates out fast. Models like Scrum/Agile and DevOps are increasingly important concepts for Software Developers to understand.
- IT Service Managers: In the modern era, the Help Desk at a company is considered a customer service department. There has been increased focus on these departments to assess the needs of a service request, properly diagnose the problem, and solve that issue in a timely and kindly manner. At the top of this organization is the IT Service Manager. In addition to ensuring a quality support experience, the IT Service Manager plans, coordinate, and directs computer-related activities in an organization. They help determine the information technology goals of an organization and are responsible for implementing computer systems to meet those goals. It is a very demanding role, but a fulfilling one, if you study up on the best practices of building an efficient IT Service Group. Fortunately, the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL®) is a great resource and collection of certifications for just that.
Training for Veterans Available
These and other IT careers are available to veterans with technical skills and the right IT credentials. The right career training and certifications can put you well on your way to landing a great IT job with a future. If you want to learn more, the education advisors at New Horizons Career Development Solutions can help you find the right career path and show you how to make the most of your Veterans Education Benefits. Contact us to see how we can help you launch your IT career.