When thinking about transitioning, some military experiences, education and training translate better into specific civilian career fields than others – especially if staying in the same basic field of work. Five of the more popular jobs after the military are:

  1. Business and Finance
  2. Social Work
  3. Engineering
  4. Cybersecurity
  5. STEM

While all are good choices, two of the five stand out for the number of current job openings and demand for veterans with the right skills and security clearance: cybersecurity and STEM.

Cybersecurity jobs after the military

Besides the interesting type of work in this field, two of the other main attractions that entice veterans to go in this field are job opportunities and pay. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this field will grow by 28% between 2016 and 2026 which is labeled as a “much faster than average” growth projection rate. As far as pay, the median in May 2018 was $98,350.

Also known as computer security or information technology security in the civilian world, professionals in this field use technology to monitor, mitigate and prevent online threats that could cause network outages or threaten network security. Some of the Military Occupation Specialties (MOS) that transition well to cyber security include:

  • Army – Cyber Operations Specialist
  • Air Force – Cyber Surety Specialists
  • Navy – Cyber Security Engineers (Officer), Cryptologic and Info Systems Techs (Enlisted)
  • Marines – Information Assurance Techs
  • Coast Guard – Info Systems Techs

Best Online Cybersecurity Schools for Veterans

For those transitioning from a different military field, usually a four-year bachelor’s degree is needed in cybersecurity or information technology/security. If you need a degree in cybersecurity to qualify for this type of work, use your GI Bill at any of these five best-rated online schools having cybersecurity programs:

  1. Western Governor’s University
  2. Colorado State University – Global Campus
  3. Liberty University
  4. University of Illinois – Springfield
  5. Charter Oaks State College

STEM jobs after the military

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) is another fast-growing field with an estimated 9 million jobs added between 2012 and 2022. And according to the job forecasts, this field will continue the upward trend into the future. As far as wages, it tops out at $128,000 at the manager level.

Because this field encompasses a broad range, there are many military positions in all branches that transition well into this field, such as:

  • Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Cyber
  • Signal
  • Information Security Analyst
  • Computer Network Architects
  • Medical Scientists – both clinical and lab

Best Online STEM Schools for Veterans

Most of the STEM jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree. Many require an advanced degree. The schools listed below are the four top veteran-friendly ones having great STEM programs:

  • San Francisco State University
  • University of New Haven
  • Florida International University
  • North Shore Community College

GI Bill STEM Scholarship

Starting on August 1, 2019, the VA is launching the Rogers STEM Scholarship. Awardees will get up to an additional 9 months of GI Bill benefits (up to a maximum of $30,000). The scholarship is meant for veterans who are in a STEM program already, have completed at least 60 semester hours of that program, but will have exhausted their GI Bill benefits before completing the program. Alternately, veterans already having a STEM degree but wanting to get a teaching certification can also apply.

The cybersecurity and STEM civilian job markets will continue to grow by all projections and are two good fields for veterans interested in continuing to serve by getting trained in and working in jobs that not only improve, but also protect their country.

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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.