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The VA is serious about helping veterans get jobs in the tech industry

As a non-profit serving veterans through software coding training, we love keeping up with current trends for veteran interests and the technology sector. Let’s look at what’s new for the week of March 25, 2019.

Tech jobs are still a good choice for veterans

According to USA Today’s list of the Top 25 Jobs for 2019, software developers are still in high demand with an unemployment rate under two percent and a median salary in the six figure range, showing that tech jobs are still on top. In fact, out of all possible jobs in the article, software developer is #1.

So how do veterans get the hard skills to get into one of these coveted, high end tech jobs?

The VET TEC program incentivizes veterans to get coding jobs

Most veterans already know they can use their benefits of the Post-9/11 GI Bill to attend a conventional college or coding boot camp to learn to code. But now the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is offering another wonderful opportunity to get into technical programs with their newly created Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC) program.

Starting in April, 2019 the Department of Veterans Affairs will use VET TEC to get motivated, hard working veterans into tech jobs. VET TEC has been designed to give veterans another opportunity to use nontraditional training like coding boot camps to access jobs in information technology, computer software, information science, media application, data processing and computer programing fields.

As long as the vet has even a single day of GI Bill benefits available to use, VET TEC is free to the veteran but doesn’t use up their GI Bill benefits up.

The VA’s goal is to focus more on the job outcome than the education, and they’re willing to incentivize veterans to follow along. The veteran, of course, still ends up with debt free tuition as long as they work towards a job in a technical industry, and can still fall back on other GI Bill forms if they change their mind.

Vet Tec makes sure that the student does not pay anything for tuition. However, the program has delayed payment to the education institution to incentivize them to facilitate measurable results for graduates. Upon the veteran’s acceptance into the program, the VA will pay the training provider 25 percent of tuition and then another 25 percent once the veteran graduates. Finally, when the veteran gets a job in their area of study, the VA will pay the last 50 percent of tuition.

Why is the VA pushing for coding boot camps?

Coding boot camps, which are condensed, job-focused software development courses, are growing in popularity.

According to Inside Higher Ed, many coding boot camps cater to people with a bachelor’s degree who cannot afford another certificate or degree program. For these students, this short range, intense training program is an add-on to their traditional education that will not be a replacement, but an enhancement to their technical skills and resume.

However, coding boot camps are still ideal for absolute beginners because they have a compressed curricula and focus highly on job placement in high demand, relevant career fields. Because of the success of this type of learning, many universities are changing the focus of their traditional programs to include a version of a condensed coding boot camp program.

Evidence suggests that many higher education programs are starting to shift from strictly four year degrees and incorporating a boot camp style course to help fill gaps in employability after graduation.

In other words, the coding boot camp is proving to be the more vital program, as boot camp graduates are having better outcomes in many cases than their undergraduate computer science counterparts.

The Apprenti program proves the VA is serious about veteran jobs in technology

As previously stated, employers want a slew of skills and experience when looking at a potential hire. Apprenti is taking a huge leap forward for veteran technology jobs by removing the burden of experience and education. Once a veteran passes a few basic tests and qualifies for the program, Apprenti places the veteran in a well-paying technology apprenticeship in a major company for at least a year. The intent is to bring the veteran as a full-time hire, and they’ll certainly benefit from the apprenticeship regardless.

The stress of finding experience and education is eliminated by this program by placing veterans into a technology apprenticeship. During this apprenticeship the veterans are taught the appropriate skills needed to maintain a job in their chosen technological career fields. According to Apprenti’s statistics, almost 50 percent of students start the program without a prior degree and approximately 85 percent of participants are retained by the company with which they have done their apprenticeship!

Apprenticeships like those offered by Apprenti give one more avenue to get that desired tech job. Currently, there are almost 2 million vacancies in the industry, and only 65,000 students will be graduating with the requisite computer science degree. This leave a lot of gaps that need to be filled and a lot of opportunity for veterans to get their foot in the door.

What can veterans do next for a tech job?

Not all military jobs line up perfectly with jobs in the civilian world, and that means more training upon transition from your respective branch of service.

Through the ages, attending college with the Montgomery GI Bill and Post 9/11 GI Bill has always been tried and true options for veterans entering the workforce after service. However, with veterans urgently needing post-service careers, and the college education pipeline failing to supply coders to meet the total job openings in tech fields, veterans have some other options.

Programs like Apprenti and Vet Tec bring a fresh new look to the education field with cutting edge opportunities that not only give veterans the skills needed to fill in of those job vacancies, but it gets right to the paycheck as well.

Code Platoon, our non-profit coding boot camp for veterans and military spouses, accepts the GI Bill and offers scholarships for many students who do not have GI Bill benefits. We also place most of our graduates in paying apprenticeships that lead to careers with their host company.

If you’re a veteran or spouse interested in our training, please click here to apply to our program.

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