You sign on to serve your country. You learn all kinds of new skills and experiences, and then when your military service ends, it’s time to decide what career you want to do next. Military service members often leave their service as excellent problem-solvers, pragmatic and quick on their feet. These skills can help you thrive in a number of fields, not just the military. In fact, many veterans go on to find jobs in tech. You might be surprised to find just how many of your skills could make you perfectly suited to an exciting tech career.

Tech Savvy

The truth is most military service members already have some experience using or even engineering tech devices used in the military. Drones, GPS, or comms are all common military tech, as are night vision goggles or combat helmet cameras. In fact, most of the objects we use in our daily lives now were once developed for the military.

Most military service members will have used some of these devices at the very least. Depending on how you served, you might even have experience from the IT side of military tech: engineering and maintaining the tech to make sure it all runs smoothly.

Effective Communication

Being a military leader with others following your command is about more than simply being able to strategize and implement a plan. In order to work with a team, you need to be able to communicate your plan. You need to be able to both speak well and to listen well. You need to be able to take feedback well and answer any questions your team might have. According to the University of Akron Army ROTC, effective communication in the military includes:

  1. Focusing on your message
  2. Breaking through the noise
  3. Putting your Bottom Line Up First
  4. Using simple, concrete words

The thing is, all of these communication skills can easily fit right into the tech industry. In tech careers, you’re often working with a team. You might even be leading a team. Communicating your intent clearly, inspiring others to help the team reach their goals, and listening to feedback from your team is all part of the job.

Pragmatism

Military service members quickly learn how to solve problems in a sensible, realistic way rather than working off of abstract theories. This pragmatism allows you to see solutions that might not be obvious to other people. The same kind of thinking can be a boon when working with tech. By considering practical applications and approaching problem-solving with a level head, you will be able to assess what’s needed from the tech and the best ways to implement it.

Leadership

There’s no doubt that military service can instill leadership skills. As you move up through the ranks, you’ll find others under your command. In many situations, your leadership skills determine the success of your mission and the wellbeing of those under your command. Leadership in the tech industry might not be as life and death, but it can be very fulfilling to bring out the best in your team and see the results in your work.

Cooperation

In the military, you learn to think of your peers as your brothers and sisters in arms. Teamwork is essential to do the job well. Similarly, in the tech industry, you rarely work alone. There are developers, engineers, supervisors, analysts, and more within a team. Those teamwork skills you learned in the military will make you feel right at home in a tech career, where your team can often become your work family.

Self-Motivation

Although teamwork is essential to tech, you must have discipline to succeed. Your teammates won’t hold your hand through it all, so you need to be able to motivate yourself to get the job done. Fortunately, military service members have learned discipline through-and-through. You won’t struggle to find the motivation, and you’ll know how to push through on days when the job might be a challenge.

Stress Management

Between deadlines, system failures and coding issues, the world of tech is not without stress. But military service members have already experienced some of the most stressful situations that could ever arise. They know how to get through tough days without breaking a sweat and how to manage their stress, as well as not giving in to the stress of those around them. The ability to keep a cool head under pressure is one that is sure to wow future employers in the tech industry.

Veterans Who Code

The Veterans Who Code award grants a $2,000 discount on Software Guild tuition to qualifying veterans or active military members.

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