The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported that an average of 9.0 percent of post-9/11 veterans were out of work in 2013, and with 1 million veterans set to transition to civilian life over the next three years, this number could get worse. The post-9/11 veteran unemployment rate is almost twice that of the national average. In short, some of our nation’s veterans are struggling to find work.
As the U.S. winds down from conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq and prepares to add to the nearly 511,000 currently unemployed veterans right now in the United States, the Vow to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 allows service members to begin the transition process while they are still on active duty. This has opened the door for tech companies like Microsoft, who have found that their current job applicants do not have the skills to meet the company’s basic qualifications.
[Tweet “Tech companies are eager to hire veterans who possess self-discipline and problem-solving skills.”]
The leadership and maturity that members learn in the service are traits that are invaluable in any career field.
To meet the demand and tap into the vast potential of veteran applicants, Microsoft has launched a program that offers technology training to veterans who are still on active duty. The program is called the Software and Systems Academy, a 16-week course in which graduates are guaranteed to be hired by Microsoft or one of its contractors. As one of the leading computer software companies in the world, Microsoft is definitely at the forefront of veteran recruitment.
Other tech companies like Cisco Systems, AT&T and Raytheon are stepping up with their own programs intended to give veterans the skills and resources needed to get hired. An initiative started by The White House known as “Joining Forces: Employment” brings together the resources of the federal government to identify opportunities across the public and private sectors to make it easier for our veterans to connect with the companies that want to hire them. To date 44 states have answered the challenge by passing legislation that streamlines the ability of our service members to obtain civilian certifications. The website outlines all of the companies involved with the initiative and what they are currently offering veterans in terms of assistance programs. Depending on the company, assistance packages can come in the form of classroom training, online training, resume writing and interviewing skills, as well as certification programs to prepare veterans for jobs in IT companies.
Tech companies more than ever are on the lookout for qualified applicants to fill their entry level positions. Training and hiring prior U.S. service members shows the most promise to meet the demands of a growing technology industry.