How Veterans Can Help Close Indiana's Skills Gap

Posted: Updated:
Shawn Gardner Shawn Gardner

Over one million computing and engineering positions will need filled by 2020. It's a staggering statistic; however, with studies predicting only 400,000 computer-related students will graduate by that time, it is more important than ever the technology skills gap is diminished.

One way to close this gap is to recruit military veterans to the tech industry. After all, it is the perfect match. Tech companies have difficulty recruiting skilled employees, while veterans seek enticing careers to employ their skills. Paired with relevant training, military veterans often make the ideal candidate for a vast array of tech-related positions.

There are three ways servicemen can provide critical assistance in closing Indiana’s tech skill gap.


As previously mentioned, veterans possess many of the essential skills necessary for successful careers in tech. From self-discipline to logic, veterans are fundamentally prepped for careers in this industry. These same skills will help develop well-prepared individuals for the tech sector.

In addition to skills, it’s equally important veterans obtain the proper education necessary for their new career. With the assistance of federal programs like the G.I. Bill, servicemen are able to obtain education at no cost. In fact, there are countless programs and universities to choose from – ranging from traditional bachelor’s degrees at large, public colleges to military-like boot camps, which are perhaps a more natural extension of their military training. Recent innovative options for utilizing their G.I. Bill Funds include ‘boot camps’ that can dramatically accelerate their career and earning ability.


As a former member of the armed services, no one possesses more determination and grit than a veteran. Often seen as a critical proficiency in the tech industry, veterans will have a leg up when entering the field. These individuals have a strong desire to succeed and advance in their career, meaning they’ll become valuable employees.

While technical skills are important, many companies are looking to hire a team player who is willing to go above and beyond in their responsibilities. By bringing the same drive instilled in veterans during their time in the military, these individuals can position themselves for success.


As part of a strong network, veterans have access to key resources necessary for launching their new careers. With these means, they are able to adequately prepare themselves for a new job in tech.

Besides access to education through the G.I. Bill, veterans can also take advantage of valuable resources such as tech and business-related meetups and one-on-one meetings with current tech professionals and advocates within companies. An emerging number of companies specifically look to hire veterans and provide unique opportunities for those previously having served in the military. With someone rooting for you in the inside, job hunting becomes much easier.

With a strong parallel between the military and tech industry, veterans can prepare themselves for a career in coding by tapping into relevant skills, taking advantage of the G.I. Bill and utilizing available resources. In doing so, veterans can provide critical assistance in closing the ever-widening technology skills gap in Indiana.

Lt. Col. Shawn Gardner is vice president of strategy and business development for Eleven Fifty Academy.

  • Perspectives

    • Why Blogging Without Rules Produces the Best Content

      I spend a lot of time talking with people about what makes writing good. Depending on who you ask, good writing might be exciting and illustrative. It might be simple and efficient. If you ask someone who works in marketing, good writing translates to whatever helps a marketing strategy generate more leads, or more sales, or more of whatever a business is looking to gain. Though I fully respect and agree with this results-oriented perspective on content, in practice it can be...



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • The Honda Greensburg plant opened in 2008.

      Honda to Invest $4M, Add Jobs at Greensburg Plant

      The American Honda Motor Co. continues to invest in its Greensburg, Indiana plant as it has announced the factory will be producing the company’s first electrified sport utility vehicle in the U.S. The company says it will invest more than $4 million and add 34 new jobs in the plant to support production of the CR-V Hybrid.  

    • (photo courtesy of The Times of Northwest Indiana)

      Valpo Mansion May Fall to Wrecking Ball

      A one-time mansion that once hosted dignitaries and politicians while they visited Valparaiso appears to be facing demolition, following years of decline and disrepair.  The stately mansion, known locally as the Brown home, maybe knocked down and replaced with condominiums, according to our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana. 

    • Socio received the Top-Rated Overall Culture award. (Provided Photo/Socio)

      Inaugural Tech Culture Award Winners Unveiled

      Indianapolis-based Powderkeg has unveiled the winners of the inaugural Indiana Breakout Tech Culture Awards. Eleven Hoosier tech companies received the honors based on survey rankings from the 2019 Tech Census, which focused specifically on tech cultures. Nearly 270 tech companies were nominated and the winners were selected from a group of 50 finalists. More than 1,300 individuals responded to the survey, which allowed employees to rate their companies and employers on...

    • Photo courtesy of Purdue University

      Purdue Offers 'Stranger Things' Replica Tee

      Purdue University has partnered with trademark licensing agent CLC to produce a special-edition replica Purdue shirt that appeared on an episode of Netflix’s “Stranger Things 3.”  The university also teamed up with Venley to accurately replicate the shirt, which will be available at retailers on the West Lafayette campus and online later this month.

    • Mearns was named Ball State's president in 2017.

      Ball State President Bullish on Growth Potential

      The president of Ball State University says he is optimistic about the growth trajectory for the school and the Muncie community at large. Ball State recently set a new record for total enrollment with more than 22,000 students, including its largest-ever freshman class. The university is also continuing with several major capital projects, including the more than $87 million Foundational Sciences building, which broke ground earlier this month. In an interview in Studio (i) with...