This blog is part of ACI Learning's November series featuring our proud work with veterans.
Did you know that IT is a great fit for veterans looking for a career after the military?
Think about when you first enlisted - the excitement, the nervousness, the fear of the unknown. While these feelings have surely changed since your first deployment, the end of your military career marks the beginning of a new chapter in your life and the renewal of those same feelings. While this may be intimidating, we want you to know that with ACI Learning, you have a partner in moving forward. Our goal is to help veterans navigate the maze of opportunities ahead of them by means of education and information to choose a career and start on a bright future in the civilian world.
While you were deployed, the number of open IT positions increased tremendously.According to recent studies,the technology sector is expected to create more jobs than any other industry in the next decade. This boost is due to the increasing use of technology in corporate and personal lives. In fact, according to PWC, by 2030, almost half of all jobs will require some level of technical proficiency. So, if you are seeking a career in technology, now is the time to start looking. The U.S. workforce is desperately trying to keep up with demand, but there are not enough qualified individuals to fill these positions. In more recent years, the pandemic had a major impact. Whereas many industries shrunk, the demand for tech workers continued to grow. CompTIA Cyberstates 2021 vFinal
The sector that has the hardest time keeping up with demand also happens to be the sector that favors military veterans, cybersecurity. According to industry leaders, the cybersecurity workforce still needs to grow 65 percent to effectively defend organizations’ critical digital assets. This huge disconnect between the number of workers needed and the number available is why more than half of respondents in a (ISC)2 poll of security pros at scores of companies said cybersecurity staff shortages continue to put their organizations at risk.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median annual salary for information security analysts is $102,600. This salary is more than double the national median earnings of workers across all industries ($45,760). Even with a competitive wage, What is the demand for Cybersecurity jobs in the United States” and check it out.
What does this mean for you? Entering the IT industry can lead to great opportunities at an accelerated rate. A lot of veterans do not know this, but time in the military can be a significant advantage when seeking a career in IT.
Your Military Experience = Your Advantage
Skills you develop in the military like teamwork, leadership, and problem solving are just a few of the qualities you can use in the IT industry. Exceptional problem-solving skills alone are a great indicator for an entry-level job in IT where troubleshooting and problem-solving are large parts of the job roles. Entry level roles like Computer User Support Specialist are earning on average $57,910 a year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
On top of basic skills that can help veterans get a head start in IT careers, there are also many military occupational specialties that have direct relations to jobs in the civilian workforce.
Networking and communications positions are a fitting example of this. Have you ever seen Cisco equipment in the field? This equipment will have impacted your military career. Many of their devices are deployed all around the world with the U.S. military and are the exact same devices used on the civilian side of things.
Security Clearance and the Department of Defense
Do you have a Secret Security Clearance? Having a secret security clearance and being in the field of IT can lead to a 5.8 percent average pay increase over time, and top-secret security clearance can lead to a 12.8 percent pay increase over time according to Sentient Digital, certified individuals with security clearance are sought out by defense contractors, and have an easy time getting hired.
Are you interested in working for the Department of Defense (DoD)?
Becoming 8570 compliant with certifications from ACI Learning can also boost your earning potential, as well as make you eligible for a position working in or with the DoD.
What is DoD 8570 Compliance? DoD 8570 establishes the policies and responsibilities of Department of Defense information assurance, including training, certification, and workforce management. It is a baseline requirement for employees to access DoD IT systems.By combining your Secret Security Clearance with 8570 compliance you can significantly improve your chances of getting hired into an IT position for a defense contractor.
What is the advantage of working in IT for the DoD or a defense contractor?
You get to continue to serve your country while leveraging your security clearance to make more money. The average base salary for IT specialists in the DoD is around $90,000 according to Glass Door.
How Important are Time and Money to You?
Entering the workforce through a certification path can save you years and help build the necessary experience to advance your career and make a decent living.
When looking at college degree programs, you will find that a bachelor's degree will take around four years to complete. This translates to 120 college credits and around about 40 total classes, not to mention the additional time it takes to get hired after completion. After this, you will still be entering the workforce as an entry-level candidate making entry-level pay.
In comparison, ACI Learning’s entry-level certification program, the Computer User Support Specialist program, takes around three months from training to hire, and four certification courses.
As in any field, your pay is dependent on your experience and effort to move forward. To make the step from a Help Desk Associate to a Cybersecurity Expert, it typically takes two to four years of IT experience and can be supported by next level certifications offered by ACI Learning, like Certified Ethical Hacker or Certified Network Defender. Read more about Certs vs Degrees here.
Why IT Certifications and Why ACI Learning?
In general, certifications verify that you have specific skills or knowledge. They are a terrific way to show employers you have put in the time to learn your craft. While certifications are great, they will not always land you a job by themselves. Here at ACI Learning, we have recognized this and have gone to great lengths to bridge the gap from certification to employment.
The ACI Learning Difference
A sizable portion of our staff are military veterans, and it has pushed us to go beyond what one might expect from a training facility and inspired us to create a world-class training center that cultivates success for veterans from training to employment.
The ACI Learning training process includes multiple forms of extra support to ensure the best academic outcomes.
Instructor Mentors: Each ACI Learning Hub has an Instructor Mentor specifically dedicated to the success of all students. The Instructor Mentors will organize study groups, create personalized study plans, and tutor individual students who need the most help.
Expert Instructors: Attend four hours per day on a morning, afternoon, or evening schedule so that your training can work around your life.
Learning Portal: Carefully curated study tools, dynamic quizzes, study games, and practice tests are included in each course.
The ACI Learning Career Services Department offers one-on-one support for students who have completed their courses to help them take the next big step and get hired.
Resume/Cover letter writing to help graduates polish their resume to perfection and help them land an interview
Interview coaching &mock interview practice to help gain confidence and learn the best way to answer common questions.
LinkedIn profile creation and optimization to make sure each graduate's online presence is working for them.
Application coaching includes how, when, and what kind of jobs to apply for.
Meet and greet industry professionals in the local area to help graduates make valuable connections.
LinkedIn Tech Professionals groups to network and ask questions to ACI Learning alumni in your area.
Access to ACI Learning’s exclusive job board curated by the Career Services Employment Development Managers.
Access to ACI Learning’s employment partners. ACI Learning has partnered with DoD contractors and other companies across the country to help fill their entry-level to advanced-level positions in a wide array of IT sectors.
As you can see, ACI Learning has perfected the formula for a concise education and Career Services support that produces results. We are continually evolving and are constantly adjusting to the market to ensure a top-level education for anyone who chooses to walk through the doors of ACI Learning. We listen to our students and support our veterans in and outside of the company.
Is the IT Industry Right for You?
Whether you want to continue your service to the country through the DoD or want to make money as quickly as possible, the IT industry may be a good fit for you! Your skills from the military combined with ACI Learning’s proactive approach to training work together to get you employed as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Many ACI Learning employees are military veterans, and we empathize with what you are going through and want to aid you in this process. This life-altering decision does not have to be one that you make alone. Here at ACI Learning, our goal is to partner with you in making this decision and guide you throughout the full process.
If you are interested in transitioning into the IT industry, please fill out the contact form below and a Career Associate will contact you about your future. Thank you for your service and good luck!