Military spouses who want to work outside the home have suffered high unemployment rates for years. A recent survey showed that while 60% of those looking to work hold a post-secondary degree of associate or higher, they still face a double-digit unemployment rate. And this doesn’t include the less educated that are looking for work, too.
But there is a fast-growing sector in the civilian workplace that has more jobs than it has people to fill them. Could matching this untapped human resource with open jobs be a win/win for all parties? Possibly.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Information Technology (IT) industry is projected to grow by 13% between 2016 to 2026 – a percentage classified as “faster than average”. Between the growth of cloud computing, the expansion of the collection and storage of data, and a surge in information security, 557,100 new jobs are expected to be added during this 10-year period. And this field pays well: In May 2017, the median wage in this sector was $84,580 verss the median wage of all other occupations of $37,690.
Microsoft Expands Training to Military Spouses
In a new effort to fill this void, Microsoft has expanded their Software & Systems Academy to now include military spouses. In a new 22-week pilot program, 19 military spouses are receiving training in Server Cloud Administration. This program is four weeks longer than the standard 18-week program because it took into consideration that spouses have other family and household commitments their veteran counterparts typically don’t have, and allowed more time to complete the program. The first pilot program class is set to graduate on February 28, 2019. Along with IT training, mentoring and continued support after graduating, students also receive training in resume writing and interviewing.
Working in the IT industry can be an ideal job for a military spouse as many jobs can be performed remotely. Because of this, re-stationing is not as devastating as it is with more conventional-types of jobs. As a remote worker, all that is required is a computer and Internet connection.
Military spouses with IT training can work in a variety of disciplines within the industry from consultancy, to support, to engineering, to name a few. Less technical positions in sales, marketing, content creation and delivery, and strategy development are also viable possibilities.
IT training for military spouses could be the panacea to both finding rewarding careers and helping fill a void in the IT industry. Only time will tell as to the success of this program, but it does look promising.