Companies hiring tech workers are looking for veterans. If you’ve served in the military, then you have the right skills to transition into a technology job. Veterans are leaving the service with expertise in data security, SQL, security risk management, electronics troubleshooting, and program management. And companies that hire vets are seeing benefits as well. For every returning veteran a company hires, it gets up to $5,600 in tax credits, or up to $9,600 if it hires a wounded veteran.
To improve your chances of finding a job in technology, many transitioning veterans take on additional career training and receive training certificates. Learning the latest techniques in systems administration, web design, program management, database administration, healthcare IT, and related areas expands your skill set and gives you the knowledge to step into a number of high-paying tech jobs. And your chances of being hired increase when you include tech certification as part of their career training.
Veterans have an added advantage because the GI Bill® will pay for your career training. You can acquire new skills and a certificate to show your expertise in just a few months, and with certification, you have a better chance to find a great tech job.
The Top Certifications for Tech Jobs
When you consider career opportunities in tech, you can find a role that matches your military training and interests. A variety of technology jobs are in demand, and each has its own qualifications and training certificates. Here is a list of the top technical certifications for veterans and some of the jobs that go with them:
- CompTIA A+ – A CompTIA A+ certification is the entry point for most Information Technology professionals. Certification shows you are prepared to troubleshoot operating system and network issues, and generally help users access the data they require. With a CompTIA+ certification you can become a Support Specialist or a Field Service Technician.
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) – Similar to a CompTIA+ qualification, an MCSA proves you know Microsoft technology, including Windows, Windows Server,, Exchange Server, SQL Server, Azure, and other software. Once you acquire a certification you are better qualified for jobs such as Senior Systems Engineer.
- CompTIA+ Network – The CompTIA Network+ helps you move beyond basic IT support to basic networking configuration and support, including network design, management, configuring hardware such as routers and servers, virtualization, and troubleshooting. With a Network+ certificate you will have a leg up applying for a job as a Network Field Technician, IS consultant, or Help Desk Technician.
- Cisco Certified Networking Administrator Program (CCNA) – If you want to expand your computer networking expertise you might consider a CCNA certification, which demonstrates expertise in routing and switching, cloud computing, and next-generation computing architectures. We have some CCNA job blogs that may make sense to showcase/interlink here.
- Red Hat Certified Systems Administrator (RHCSA) – If you are more interested in network computing software, an RHCSA certification will demonstrate your prowess in Linux systems, including directory management, file systems, storage partitioning and volumes, managing users, and data security.
- CompTIA+ Security – Data security is a booming field and a CompTIA Security+ certificate validates your ability to deal with core IT cybersecurity issues. Financial institutions, e-commerce companies, or anyone with sensitive data to protect needs security professionals for jobs such as Network Administrator, Security Specialist, and Security Engineer. If you are interested in being a Defense contractor with access to privileged information, DoD Directive 8570 requires training and certification based on the job classification.
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) – If you are really serious about data security, a CISSP certification shows you understand how to design, implement, and manage state-of-the-art cybersecurity programs.
- Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) – If you are seeking a job as an Office Manager or Administrator, then an MOS certificate will increase your professional value, since it shows that you have mastered Microsoft Office,the most used business software suite in the United States.
- Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)- Healthcare data management is a growing field and an HIMSS certificate is required by many health care organizations seeking IT professionals.
- Healthcare Information Security and Privacy Practitioner (HCISPP) – Data security is a big concern in health care, especially protecting patient information, and it has its own unique set of rules and protocols. An HCISPP certification will show you understand cybersecurity and best practices as it relates to health care and help you get a job as a Senior Security Consultant or Information Security Analyst for a hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office.
- Project Management Professional (PMP) – Many veterans already have project management experience, although the military doesn’t call it that. “Mission-related” translates to projects that need to be designed and managed. The two most recognized certifications are the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) and Project Management Professional (PMP).
- Lean Six Sigma – As a veteran, you also understand the principles of Lean Six Sigma, improving team performance by removing unnecessary processes and waste. Companies are seeking veterans with Lean Six Sigma certifications. Depending on your interest and expertise, the American Society of Quality offers certifications at different Belt levels to show your expertise in different aspects of Lean Six Sigma.
Use Your GI Bill® Benefits Towards Training Certificates
You can use your veterans benefits to acquire the necessary skills and training certificates for a challenging, rewarding career. GI Bill® benefits will pay for tuition, books, and even housing in some cases. For non-degree programs such as career training you receive net costs and fees (up to the national maximum) and up to $83 per month for books and school supplies. And you can get your certification quickly, usually in 18 months or less—less time than it would take for a college degree.
Your eligibility for educational benefits is determined by the number of months of active duty and other parameters. You should contact your VA adviser to learn more.
If you are not sure where to get started, we can help. New Horizons Career Development Solutions offers free career consultations. Why not contact a Veteran Career Expert and get started with a certification to launch your new tech career?