(NAPS)—Each year, between 240,000 and 360,000 service members transition out of the U.S. military, and as we draw down from the war in Afghanistan, the military is expected to separate a million service members over the next several years, according to the White House. This leaves our nation’s heroes returning home only to face a new battle—finding a job in the civilian workforce. Service members and veterans gain valuable skills and knowledge during the time they serve. However, understanding how the skills gained in the military translate to civilian jobs isn’t always easy.
An online survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of University of Phoenix® in fall 2015 of more than 500 hiring managers found that they overwhelmingly (86 percent) have considered hiring a person with military background. And of those same hiring managers, 80 percent cited hiring employees with a military background.
“Military veterans are well disciplined and possess a strong work ethic, making them desirable employees for organizations,” said Adam Such, University of Phoenix Military Relations vice president and retired Army Lieutenant Colonel. “Hiring managers are taking notice of the unique skills that military members bring to the civilian workplace. The community can support veterans by providing resources to help them communicate effectively with employers and know how their skills can help them grow and thrive in civilian careers.”
Having a plan is critical for veterans transitioning, but less than one in three (28 percent) of current active-duty service members have made a transition plan, according to another University of Phoenix survey of more than 1,000 past and active service members, 138 of whom identified as active duty. To prepare themselves for the private sector, veterans should consider:
- Putting a plan in place before leaving the military
- Getting additional career-specific training and education to add to military skill sets
- Preparing for the job search and civilian work life.
“A transition plan is essential for veterans making the leap from a military career to the civilian workforce but employers also need to take steps to ensure that a candidate’s military experience is matched appropriately to the civilian position,” said Such. “It isn’t always easy for returning military service members to know how to market their skills and employers may not instinctively know how those skills translate. The good news is that there are a number of resources out there to support veterans and employers in speaking the same language during the interview and job placement process.”
Higher education and employers can play a critical role in providing resources to those who have served, as well as the opportunities they need to successfully transition to civilian careers.
Learn More: To learn about educational tools available to help military service members take charge of their search for a meaningful career, The American Legion and AMVETS provide great resources. A variety of career services can be located through their Veteran Employment Center. For more information, visit www.legion.org/careers or www.amvets.org/careercenter.