3 Tips To Fast Forward Military-Civilian Career Transition

repurpose for transition

Feel like your military-civilian career transition is moving in slow motion? To accelerate the process and help establish your competitive edge, it is important to not only demonstrate your unique value as a military veteran but also set your specific skills apart from the numerous well-qualified job-seekers that hiring managers are looking at.

Although you know a degree would look fantastic on your resume, there is probably no way that you could spare another 4 years to pursue it. That is why so many service members are considering certificate programs as part of their career transition plan.

Georgetown University (2012) Center on Education & the Workforce

1. Re-purpose For Gainful Employment

As a military veteran you have made the ultimate career change.  While the idea of starting over in the civilian world can be daunting, it doesn’t have to be.  You can reboot by preparing for a new occupation by securing the skills and knowledge necessary to enter into a new career.  Earning a certificate from an accredited college is an efficient and skill-centered education option for military veterans to get into the civilian workplace.

In fact, a 2012 study conducted by Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce* found that certificates are the fastest growing form of postsecondary credentials in the United States.  A certificate program can be completed in as little as six months and can provide you with the foundational knowledge for entering careers in industries such as information technology, criminal justice & security, medical technology, healthcare, and business.

2. Use A Short Term Solution For Long Term Benefits

When applying for job openings, you must consider how you can make yourself an attractive candidate for employment opportunities.  For instance, you should consider if you need additional training or education for the occupational fields you are considering.  If so, consider a certificate program.  Certificate programs are industry focused training and education courses that provide you a noticeable advantage over your competition.  In completing an industry-specific certificate program, you are showing hiring managers that you are dedicated to staying abreast of current industry standards as well as committed to the profession.

Earning a certificate can be a smart choice for enhancing your employability in a tough job market.  Many popular job opportunities such as accounting specialist, staffing specialist, and public safety dispatcher do not require a four-year degree.  Thus, earning a certificate gives you a leg up on employment opportunities by making you more marketable in an already competitive labor market.

3. Embrace The Age Of Bite-Sized Learning

patience keyStepping right into a degree program may not be the answer for every military veteran and you may not be interested in enrolling into a full-blown degree program.  Unless you are considering a job with specific academic credentials, such as teaching, a degree may not be needed to get your foot in the door.  Called the mini-degree by US News, certificate programs provide you industry-related education meeting key skill and knowledge requirements hiring managers are looking for in an applicant.  Some certificate programs are less time consuming as they can be completed in as little as six months, with online options available.  In addition, you may be able to apply credits earned while completing a certificate program toward an Associate degree.

If you have made the transition or currently planning your transition, make sure that your transition efforts accelerates your career.  A good place to start would be to enroll into an educational certificate program.  While many agree that deciding to enroll into an educational program is one of the best paths to take for improving  your employment success, earning a two or four-year degree doesn’t have to be the first goal.  Enrolling into a certificate program can be the first stepping stone to pursuing your career path.

Additional Articles Include:
The Journey Back -Preparing For Transition
The Journey Back | Military-Civilian Skills Translation
3 Tips To Fast Forward Military-Civilian Career Transition
Dedication To Military Service Members


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