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Enlisting in It: Free Certifications Help Vets Fight Unemployment

veteran at jobs fair

A veteran at the Military Officers Association of America's biannual job fair in Washington.

Credit: Chris Maddaloni / Navy Times

Military veterans are making the transition into civilian technology careers with the help of free IT certifications. Instead of retiring, these veterans are starting all over again in new fields, using their knowledge of computers and other technical disciplines from the military. Through the Computing Technology Industry Association's CompTIA Educational Foundation, which provides career opportunities for veterans through its Creating Futures program, participants can prepare for and obtain four IT certifications free of charge. For hundreds of veterans each year, these certifications can then become the basis for jobs across a wide range of different industries and fields.

In the best-case scenario, these retired military veterans are obtaining CompTIA certifications within months and then being offered full-time positions within industry. With these certifications, they are able to study online, allowing them to take a self-paced approach that fits in well with their lifestyle.

Every year, 300,000 military personnel complete their active duty and attempt to find civilian jobs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate is 11.2% among veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan age 18 and older, compared with a rate of 8.8% for non-veterans in the same age group. Soldiers are even re-enlisting specifically because of the poor civilian job market.

From Computerworld

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