While starting to get better in the last few weeks, unemployment due to the pandemic is still high for veterans and civilians alike. This is making it a challenge to find a fulfilling and rewarding career for service members soon transitioning out of the military. But unlike many civilians, veterans have the advantage of the soft and hard skills learned from military service.
4 Career Fields for Veterans to consider
Because of these skills, the four career fields below are good choices for veterans.
Of all career professions, healthcare is the top one. However many veterans without military healthcare experience tend to shy away from pursuing this career field. Big mistake!
Because veterans have leadership and problem-solving skills and the ability to work under pressure, healthcare is a very good fit. For veterans without healthcare experience, good areas to concentrate on are healthcare support fields like hospital operations, logistics, or administration. Or veterans can use their GI Bill to train in the healthcare fields of nursing, medical research, Physician’s Assistant or Nurse Practitioner. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts the healthcare field will grow by 14% out through 2028 which equates to 1.9 million new jobs.
2. Government Service
According to the BLS, 22% of government workers are veterans. These public service jobs are found at all levels of government to include local, state and federal. Many of the federal agencies are required to give veterans a hiring preference which can increase their position on a hiring list when competing with civilian vying for the same jobs. Most government jobs not only pay well, but provide other generous benefits like health, retirement, vacation, etc.
And veterans like working in public service and government jobs because in many cases their military service time counts toward longevity. This leads to higher starting salaries and quicker promotion potential.
3. Defense Contracting
For veterans under the age of 45, working for a defense contractor is a popular career choice after military service. Many service members have jobs waiting for them when they get out from the connections they made while serving with defense contractors. Don’t ignore all of your networking opportunities while you are in the military.
Contracting jobs in many cases are able to utilize the veteran’s military skills. They also can provide the structured company environment veterans were used to. Additionally, the defense industry has continued to support national security despite the current pandemic.
4. Information Technology (IT)
The field of IT is growing by leaps and bounds and is predicted to continue doing so well into the future.
For example, the BLS is projecting the demand for Information Security Analysts will grow by 32% (much faster than average) between now and 2028. That equates to approximately 35,500 new jobs added to the existing 112,300. And these jobs pay well with the median pay in this field currently at $98,350 per year. And because demand is far outpacing supply of qualified people, promotion opportunity is higher than in many other career fields.
In the field of IT, veterans are well-suited for careers as a:
- Data Analyst
- Information Security Analyst, or
- Project Manager
Don’t Forget to Use Your Post 9/11 GI Bill
For service members still on a track to transition out of military service, picking any of these four career fields in this article would be an excellent post-military choice. And don’t forget that hard skills required for a position can be acquired or enhanced by using the Post 9/11 GI Bill, if necessary. Check your state’s offerings to find the best benefits for you.