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.

Skills

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.

Determination

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.

Resources

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.

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