Talent-Starved Tech Firms Should be Training Returning Veterans

Talent-Starved Tech Firms Should be Training Returning Veterans

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Tech Firms Should Train Returning Veterans

Monday, November 10, 2014 - 12:15pm

CAMPAIGN: Veterans Day


I loved reading an article in the Oct. 30 Forbes blog by Julie Samuels about why tech firms should be considering returning veterans for jobs. It just makes sense that many of the skills that veterans attain in the military would translate to the tech sector. Plus, with many training programs available to returning veterans, pointing them to skills that will make them more employable is probably a smart thing to consider.

Be sure to check out the whole article, but I wanted to share a few highlights that you can pass along to the vets in your life.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, by 2020, there will be 1.4 million “computer specialist” job openings in the United States. Yet, training is lagging behind these market trends. Samuels says, “Round peg, meet round hole. Equipping our veterans with the necessary technical skills to fill high-paying jobs is not only possible, but imperative. Doing so paves the road for economic success for them and the country.”

Our government has a history of providing job training to those who serve, traditionally in manufacturing and logistics fields. Those programs should be expanded to include technical fields. Furthermore, veterans should be able to use their GI Bill benefits to take advantage of opportunities that already exist to learn technical skills without attending traditional college programs.

Samuel reports on the experience of Isaac Elias, a 32-year-old veteran who spent five years on active duty and served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. When Isaac left the military, he knew he had access to various career development opportunities. However, most of them were through formal partnerships with traditional industry, like manufacturing or logistics. These jobs didn’t appeal to Isaac, who had served in military intelligence.

In turn, he used his GI benefits, including paid tuition and living expenses, to attend a four-year college. In only three years, he finished with a degree in Business Administration. While in school, his interest in technology grew, aided by professors who extolled how technological advances were dramatically changing business. Between his classes, his family (a wife and three children), and his job waiting tables, Isaac taught himself to code.

Armed with an informal coding education and a business degree, Isaac struggled to find reliable employment in his desired field. So, he went back to school, this time without GI benefits. Read on at our blog to see the rest of Isaac's story...