Cleared veterans just now stepping into the uncharted territory of civilian second careers may want to take a look at some of most in-demand job skills currently listed by hiring managers.  Having these on your resume, along with a security clearance, can boost your position in the long chain of applicants and also your earnings.

As the first quarter of 2014 closes, the employment picture looks good, with some 57,000 jobs added in the business and professional sectors alone.  With hiring happening at a steady pace, check out the following skills and list them prominently on your resume if you have them.  Those in the process of adding these skills should highlight that training as well (but never claim to have skills you don’t have, even if you’re ‘working on it.’

Quality Assurance (QA)

This skill ensures hiring managers that you have experience in developing testing and strategies to ensure design specifications and applications, analyzing technical documents and enforcing quality standards and procedure throughout software development.  This may also mean you are responsible for maintaining defect documentation and logs, recognizing and identifying where change need to be made and developed and track metrics.  Salaries vary, but you can expect around $80,000 or above.

JavaScript (JS)

A programming language used commonly as part of web browsers, JavaScript is generally a requirement for web developers, software engineers and software developers and front-end developers.   The uptick in cloud computing continues to drive the demand for front end languages like JS.  JavaScript developers are earning above $90,000.


Being bilingual is an asset in today’s job market, as more than 55 million people in the U.S. speak another language in addition to English, with Spanish ranking number one.  But according to Rosetta Stone, any foreign language can boost income.  The demand for a second language crosses all sectors, including technology, finance, manufacturing, sales, professional services and government.

Software development

In both the government and government contracting sectors, cleared software developers are among the most in-demand professionals.  Better yet, they’re in demand in every region of the country.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developers earn an average of $99,000, with the top 10 percent earning $140,000 or higher.

Technical Support

Like auto mechanics, technical support jobs will never go away; they’ll just evolve.  Technical support personnel are the go-to folks for everything from fixing technical problems to virus combat, installation and configuring computer systems, diagnosing both hardware and software issues and more.  While salaries vary by company, technical support specialists earn an average of $65,000.  But a clearance and additional skills generally add more to the offer.

Structured query language (SQL)

Jobs requiring SQL generally center on data – managing data warehouses, business intelligence implementation, and additional technical expertise.SQL is at the core of relational databases, and ranks at the top of the list of IT skill demands.  Most employers want to see two years of experience, but a clearance can mean exceptions to this. Senior SQL database administrators are earning six figure salaries.  On the low end, salaries are in the mid $80,000 range.


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Tranette Ledford is a writer and owner of Ledford, LLC, which provides writing, editorial and public relations consulting for defense, military and private sector businesses. You can contact her at: