With the pandemic causing a recession with double-digit unemployment rates at some of the highest seen since the Great Depression, veterans are finding that getting into a career job can be difficult at best. And when it will end is as unpredictable as the virus itself. Some experts, like the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, says it could end as soon as by the end of the year. Other experts, like economists at the UCLA, predict it could drag on until 2023 before the economy fully recovers to pre-pandemic levels.

3 Industries That Weather Recessions Better than Others

However in this down economy, some industries are more recession-proof than others. In fact, some are actually thriving and hiring. The three industries to focus on when looking for a post-military career are:

  1. Ecommerce
  2. Technology
  3. Healthcare

1. E-commerce

It is no secret that this industry is exploding. More people than ever are looking for ways to minimize their exposure to the virus and one of the best ways is to buy online. Everything from groceries to cars and everything in between are being purchased online and delivered to the customer’s door.

As a result, this has driven up the need for people in the whole logistics chain from warehouse managers to package delivery drivers. Because logistics is the same in the military as it is in the civilian world, veterans with logistics experience have a leg up as far as getting into the logistics career field.

Truck drivers are also in demand as it takes trucks … everything from long haul to local delivery drivers to not only get the goods to the customers, but to get products from the manufactures to the warehouses. Army 88Ms and transportation specialists from the other branches usually just need a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) with the right endorsements to get a truck driving job.

Median pay and projected growth rates range from $74,750 and a 4% (as fast as average) projected growth rate for logisticians down to $32,020 and a faster than average 5% rate for delivery drivers.

2. Technology

With an increase in e-commerce and remotely working from home, the demand has increased significantly for workers to protect company computer networks, and the data they contain, from hacking, malware, and industrial spying from competitors or adversaries. One tech job in high demand is Information Security Analysts. Most entering this field need to have a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field. The annual median pay was $99,730 according to the BLS with a 31% (much faster than average) projected growth rate out to 2030.

Another tech area growing is Software Development. As computer networks grow so does the need for the software that runs them … from home computer to the giant company networks. While a degree in this field can open up more opportunities, many great jobs are available with just a software certification or graduating from one of many shorter VA-approved coding camps.  In 2019, according to the BLS, the annual median pay for a software developer was $107,510. The field is projected to grow by 22% (much faster than average) over the next 10 years.

For veterans getting out in a few years, now would be a great time to use Tuition Assistance (TA), Tuition Top-Up, or the Post 9/11 GI Bill to get started on the education requirements needed for the tech career you want to pursue once out.

3. Healthcare

Even before the pandemic, we have seen a constant increase in the demand for healthcare growing because of the increase in our aging population. But when the pandemic hit, more and more appointments are being conducted through the use of telemedicine. On a side note, this has also shored up the increased need for more Information Security Analysts.

Physician Assistants (PAs), Nurse Practitioners (NPs), Registered Nurses (RNs), Medical Assistants, and Lab Specialists are all great healthcare careers to pursue now and well into the future.

The range of the annual median pay ranges from $112,260 PAs and NPs with a 31% (much faster than average) growth rate down to $34,800 per year with a 19% (much faster than average) projected growth rate for medical assistants. While PAs/NPs and nurses require several years of training, a medical assistant can enter the field with a certificate from a one-year health training program typically found in community colleges and vocational/technical schools. Some courses offer two-year programs resulting in an associate degree.

Find the Career Field You Want Before Your Military Transition

Part of the strategy of being prepared to enter the civilian workplace is identifying the career field you want and then getting the necessary education requirements out of the way before entering the field. Once in, veterans can then use their GI Bill to further their career opportunities if they want. For example, one could enter the healthcare field as a medical assistant and work toward a nursing or PA/NP degree. Create a solid plan and then work your plan.

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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.