For years now, the mantra of educators, businessmen and even parents for graduating high school students has been to go to college and get a four-year academic degree. And it is true that college graduates on average make more money than high school graduates without a bachelor’s degree. But does one need a four-year degree to earn a good living? Not necessarily – at least not in today’s technical job market.

Right now there is a high demand for jobs that require some post-secondary training, but less than a four-year degree. In some fields, a two-year degree or less can lead to a well-paying job with benefits. Even certificates or certifications requiring just a few weeks of training are in high demand right now. Because the supply of trained people is short and the job demand high, these jobs are paying top dollar to the few trained in that type of work.

And for veterans with valid security clearances, the opportunities are even greater as many of the IT, software development and other computer-type jobs available require some level of security clearance. Depending on when the last reinvestigation was completed, a security clearance can remain valid for up to two years after getting out of the military. This not only saves a hiring company money, but time, too.

Right now, in the U.S. there are 30 million jobs not requiring a bachelor’s degree that pays on average $55,000 per year. And the job market is expected to continue to grow. California is predicting that 30% of all its job openings by 2025 – more than a million jobs alone in that state – will require some type of post-secondary education, but less than a four-year degree. In a recent report, employers had posted 16,000 jobs requiring technical training during a 12-month period. By relying on degree-producing courses that take from two to four years to complete to fill job vacancies, unfilled open positions are outpacing the people qualified to fill them at an alarming rate.

VA launches VET TEC

The VA recognized the opportunities this created for veterans in technical type jobs when it announced in February 2019 and reported here at ClearanceJobs, its five-year pilot program called VET TEC. Under this program, veterans with at least one-day of GI Bill entitlement left can train in technical courses requiring less than two years of training with no reduction to their GI Bill remaining balance; some courses require only a few weeks. One such course is software coding.  Right now six schools have been approved to teach courses under the VET TEC program.

Coding bootcamps – called that because of the intensity of their training programs – are springing up across the country and for good reason. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the number of software development jobs to grow as much as 26% from 2016 out to 2026 while the growth rate for all other occupations during this period is predicted to average around 7%.

One such coding bootcamp approved in March 2019 by the VA (but not part of the VET TEC program) is Claim Academy located in St. Louis, MO. Veterans can use their GI Bill to pay the $10,000 tuition fee to take either the 12-week .NET or Java Bootcamp Training. Both are 70-hour per week courses taught on site at their campus. In a recent third-party report 93% of Claim Academy 300 graduates found jobs after graduation – 13% higher than the industry average of 80%.

For military members, families, and veterans looking for a quick training program in a high demand field that pays well, a coding bootcamp program could be just what you are looking for.

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Kness retired in November 2007 as a Senior Noncommissioned Officer after serving 36 years of service with the Minnesota Army National Guard of which 32 of those years were in a full-time status along with being a traditional guardsman. Kness takes pride in being able to still help veterans, military members, and families as they struggle through veteran and dependent education issues.