There’s never been a better time to have a career in computer technology. According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 7.6 million job openings in the United States. Almost 4 million of those are IT-related positions including 162,000 Network Architects, 294,000 Programmers, 367,000 System Managers, and 600,000 System Analysts. These jobs are expected to grow at least 12% over the next 5 years, faster than any other occupation.

So, what do these statistics mean to someone transitioning from the military back into civilian life? The answer is simple: unprecedented opportunity. Not only are there millions of openings; but just as importantly, thousands of companies are actively seeking to hire veterans.

For example, Accenture, a leading provider of technology services, has recently committed to hiring 5,000 veterans and military spouses over the next 5 years.  Republic Services, a national environmental services firm, fosters a “military friendly culture” and wants to hire veterans who have worked in the military as information technology specialists, intermediate repairers of telephone systems and personal computers, or client system specialists.

EMC, a global leader in IT products and services, is another large corporation specifically looking for veterans to fill its job openings. As a founding member of the Veterans Job Mission, a coalition of companies that have collectively hired 450,000 veterans since 2011, EMC seeks applicants who not only possess the requisite technical skills but also exhibit “a proven ability to influence teams, a high energy ‘get-it-done’ attitude, and excellent resource management skills,” qualities often found in returning vets.

The largest private-sector initiative for hiring returning veterans is called Hiring Our Heroes, a program created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation in 2011. By coordinating hiring efforts with 2,000 private partners, sponsoring over 1,000 job fairs, and offering state-of-the-art online career tools, this program is committed to finding meaningful work opportunities for 700,000 veterans and military spouses with organizations of all sizes.

Why are so many companies actively recruiting veterans? Chet Peters, a mechanical engineer, former Marine Corps sniper, and co-founder of a metal engraving company in Columbus, OH, describes it this way:

“My brother and I are both Marine Corps veterans. When we hire workers at our growing company, we try to hire veterans first. Military experience comes with many lessons that cannot be learned in college and are not screened for or appreciated by most civilian employers.” According to Peters, these unique lessons include an appreciation for teamwork, resourcefulness, an unparalleled sense of camaraderie, and the ability to take constructive criticism.

His comments begin to explain why thousands of companies have ramped up veteran recruiting in the past few years. But why are employers particularly interested in hiring veterans for information technology jobs?

To answer this question, let’s consider the personal qualities that employers want their IT hires to possess. John Rampton, owner of a successful start-up in Silicon Valley, wrote an article for Entrepreneur magazine identifying characteristics of a good computer programmer. Only one of these qualities addresses technical skills. The rest describe attitudes, people skills, and emotional tendencies needed to get the job done.

It is often said that “A battle plan is excellent until the first shot is fired.” IT professionals like Rampton know that the task of programming, debugging, networking, and protecting computers is a constant battle that requires problem-solving skills, teamwork, respect for deadlines, and grace under fire – exactly the same qualities that soldiers must exhibit in order to successfully complete their missions. More and more companies are recruiting veterans for IT jobs because they bring real-world experience and emotional maturity to the workplace battlefield.

One of the factors inhibiting the hiring of veterans for IT jobs is the inability of some corporate managers to translate a veteran’s IT experience into terms that match the company’s job description. The “Hiring Our Heroes” program, mentioned above, offers a free online tool that translates the skills and experiences of a service member into a strong resume that civilian employers can understand. Once this new resume is created, the tool makes it viewable to thousands of employers interested in hiring veterans. For details, please visit: https://resumeengine.org

One of the factors that makes Carolina Career College exceptional among technical training organizations is its lifetime commitment to your career after you graduate from our classes. We’ll do everything in our power to help you take advantage of today’s job opportunities.

We’ll help you assess your marketable skills, identify the most promising career paths, write a powerful resume, and impress prospective employers during interviews. We’ll help you recognize both technical skills and personal qualities that employers will find compelling and guide you through the hiring process. You’ll also have access to our student-exclusive, on-campus career fairs, events that have led many of our students to find work in the IT field before they ever finish training with us!

The opportunities have never been better.  Let’s get started. Call us today at 919-336-1000.

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