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March 14, 2014
By TEKsystems

IT jobs are becoming increasingly popular among U.S. veterans, according to a new report from G.I. Jobs.

The organization's "Top 20 Hot Jobs for Veterans" report highlights the best employment opportunities for U.S. military members who have recently left the service. The No. 1 spot went to IT Specialist, a category that includes specific IT jobs such as software developer, systems administrator, information security analyst and project manager.

Veterans benefit
The list noted that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects IT job growth of between 15 and 20 percent over the next decade as corporations devote more attention and resources to network administration and cybersecurity issues.

Speaking to NBC News, Sean Collins, vice president of G.I. Jobs, explained that this general trend is not the sole reason why IT jobs appeal to veterans. Rather, these individuals possess skills that make them particularly well-suited to such work.

"The positions on the list have broad applicability. They focus less on the direct translation of (veterans') military occupations and more on the intangible skills that all post-9/11 veterans have—team leadership, effective communication, logistics experience and management of teams and assets," said Collins, the news source reported.

Collins noted that this list is based on surveys completed by a large number of leading Fortune 1000 companies with a history of hiring veterans.

"We literally derive this data from the teams at the very employers that are doing the most to move the needle to hire military talent," Collins said, according to NBC News.

Speaking to the news source, Lauren Augustine, a legislative associate for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, asserted that "[t]he employment prospects for post-9/11 veterans are improving."

To an significant extent, Augustine explained, these gains are attributable to recent pieces of legislation, such as the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, which provide financial incentives for organizations that hire veterans, the news source reported.

However, she emphasized that this progress will continue only so long as organizations in the public and private sectors see real value in bringing veterans onto their teams.

Learning to attract vets
Fortunately, evidence suggests that many firms' decision-makers are well-aware of this value and eager to hire these individuals. For example, the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) recently held a training event designed to help recruiters, hiring managers and other business leaders attract, onboard, train and retain veterans.

The NVTC, which represents the largest technology council in the United States, noted that employers view veterans as among the most "sought after talent pools in the country." Consequently, firms need to make a concerted effort to attract and hold onto these talented personnel and their highly desired IT and leadership skill sets.

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