The advice many of us were given while still in high school was “get a good paying job with benefits by going to college and getting a degree”. And while that is still good advice in many cases, some major companies are trending toward hiring employees based on skills and not a having degree. This is good news for servicemembers without degrees that may be interested in getting out of the military and into a good paying job in the civilian marketplace as quickly as possible.

The main issue with hiring new college graduates is that while they learned the theory and basics of their career field, they have not yet acquired the skills on how to do that job. To learn that requires time actually doing the job. And time spent learning how to do a job costs a company money.

Companies with Training Programs Focused on Skills

However, if they can find someone that already has experience and the required skills, the ramp up time from hire to being productive is much shorter. And because the pool of skilled people is shallow, to that end, some major companies have created their own training programs. Let’s look at two such companies.


Google created a skills certification program that helps graduates land high-paying jobs that don’t require a college degree. In their online Grow with Google Certificate program, candidates normally complete the required training in three to six months. At the end of the program, they are qualified to compete for $60,000 to $90,000 per year jobs that are in high demand, but short on applicants like IT Support, Data Analyst, Project Manager and UX designer just to name a few.

While the certification training normally cost $49 per month, Google has funded 100,000 need-based scholarships to help get people into the program that otherwise might not be able to afford it because of financial hardships created by the pandemic.


This software giant launched its own training program called Microsoft Certifications. It has identified ten of the most in-demand jobs in America that will have staying power through at least the next decade and have developed certification programs to train people to help fill these jobs:

  1. Customer- service specialist
  2. Sales -development representative
  3. IT support/help desk technician
  4. Digital marketer
  5. Project manager
  6. Graphic designer
  7. Financial analyst
  8. Data analyst
  9. Network administrator
  10. Software developer

The required core skills are learned through online programs and at the end of the training, candidates can take certification exams that if passed, qualify them as proficient in their chosen field. While the exams normally cost $100 per exam, Microsoft has cut the price to just $15 through the end of 2021 because of the pandemic.

Clearance Plus Certification Can Be A Veteran Job Game Changer

While Google and Microsoft hope some of the graduates will stay and work for them, both companies encourage graduates to seek jobs with other companies. Many veterans that had or have a security clearance have an additional job search advantage in that they can also apply for the jobs that require working with classified information.



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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.