According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans is higher than the national average. This has urged the U.S. Department of Labor to partner with Amazon to create an apprenticeship program that trains veterans for technical roles, both to reduce the unemployment rate for American veterans, and to fill the tech skills gaps. In writing for TechRepublic, Alison DeNisco points out that veterans possess valuable skills that can bridge the tech skills gap, and create an attractive candidate pool for fast-paced and innovative companies. She provides some reasons for this:
- They can work on a team, communicate effectively with everyone around them, and demonstrate persistence and leadership skills.
- Their military service fosters focus, resilience, collaboration, and leadership.
- Veterans have higher retention rates than other employees.
- Military experience is correlated with strong cognitive and decision-making skills.
- They are not formally educated IT experts, but frequently use tech equipment for communications, navigation, and analyzing incoming data.
Experience Can Outweigh Education
If you think that veterans only know how to hold guns and fight on the battlefield, you haven’t known their job well enough. Advances in military capability have been fueled by technology innovations, as all branches of the military try to use technology in creative ways to gain an edge. With a large amount of spending on military defense technology every year, veterans are well aware of new technological development. Veterans have excellent collaboration and leaderships skills developed in the field to pair with it. They are essentially ready-made workers who can translate their skills to quickly adapt to the tech workforce.
DeNisco also talks about how companies should try to accommodate the needs of veterans:
It’s important for veterans to learn to communicate the skills they gain in the military on their resumes, [Steve Jordan, director of the Veterans Employment Initiative at the Northern Virginia Technology Council] added. “You need to be able to change your vocabulary so it’s something the talent acquisition folks in the commercial sector can understand and match to their position descriptions and job requirements,” he said.
While many CEOs understand the value in hiring veterans, they must ensure that the message makes it down to the hiring manager, Jordan said. “If the CEO pushes it down as a priority—that they don’t need the paper-perfect candidate—then hiring managers can take a hard look at candidates who don’t have that degree but have talent and potential there,” he added.
You can view the original article here: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/why-veterans-can-fill-your-companys-tech-skills-gap/