After separating from the military, determining the future path of your career can take time and careful planning. Jobs for veterans with technology credentials can provide both stimulating experiences as well as lucrative salaries. You can locate and focus on these opportunities by taking inventory of the skills and knowledge you possess, identifying veteran-friendly workforces, and presenting a competitive package to hiring managers and recruiters.
Document and analyze your background to build parameters for your targeted position types.
The inventory that you build is more than just what you would include in a resume. Make note of all systems in which you have proficiency, all platforms you routinely work on, and any other technology knowledge that you can transfer from your military experience to your future civilian career. Next, research specific position types to map matches between what you can do and what an employer may expect of you.
[Need a degree? Learn how to get college credit for your military experience.]
1. Software Application Developer
A software application developer designs and builds programs that may be used by corporations for a variety of tasks from office automation to manufacturing control.
Median wage: $93,280
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology or Information Systems, certifications in specific design and software systems, 3-5 years on-the-job experience
Key Qualities: Project management expertise, critical thinking skills, design aptitude
2. Computer Systems Analyst
A computer systems analyst evaluates the full life cycle of needs and expectations within a work process flow to improve current systems or implement more advanced solutions.
Median wage: $83,800
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology, Information Systems, or Computer Information Systems, 3-5 years on-the-job experience
Key Qualities: Critical thinking skills, data analysis aptitude, resource management expertise
3. Computer Support Specialist
A computer support specialist works with the end-users of hardware and software to enable proficient use, while troubleshooting issues that may occur.
Median wage: $50,130
Education: Some college, training or certification on specific systems, 2-4 years on-the-job experience
Key Qualities: Listening and interpretation skills, ability to explain directions and solutions simply and in non-tech language
Narrow your job search by geographic location and industry.
Some locations may have more opportunities than others in the technology field you’ve targeted. For instance, you may find more opportunities with government contractors if you narrow your search to the Washington, D.C. and surrounding area. Silicon Valley is a well-known hub of technology companies, but you can also find a wealth of opportunities in the Seattle, Washington area, in Austin, Texas, or in nearly any large city around the country.
Government agencies offer veteran preference points when hiring civilian contractors. Some public and private corporations also show preference to veteran applicants. These can include companies that work on government and military contracts, as well as transportation, research and development, airline, and financial organizations.
Prepare your applicant package carefully.
You package includes not only your resume but also cover letters crafted for each position you apply to, and a presentation you can easily share or discuss with hiring managers and recruiters. This presentation – which can be as simple as a bulleted list or as elaborate as a collection of slides – should include details on your background and experience, accomplishments, and the ways in which your particular skills stand apart from the rest of the job crowd.
Thank you for your service!