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Posted on April 22nd, 2021 in Veterans in Tech

Consider skills that make an employee indispensable. Hardworking, ethical, driven, and personable often come to mind. These are traits that veterans have learned through years of military service, whether it’s working on active duty in the Marines or serving in the National Guard.

As with any individual, a veteran employee will bring certain strengths and struggles to the table. Let’s look at the skills veterans can bring to your tech company. 

The U.S. Military is known for instilling obedience, honesty, and loyalty in their recruits. Military personnel take their work seriously and value being team players, understanding that achieving military goals requires immense teamwork and collaboration. These skills translate well to any workplace—teamwork, loyalty, and honesty are soft skills that make any employee stand out in the office.

What Are the Strengths Veterans Bring to a Workplace?

The strengths veterans bring to the workplace are evident. In basic training, the armed forces teach obedience, punctuality, perseverance, and optimism. These qualities give veterans the foundation to be reliable workers, whether they show up to work early, hit deadlines, or help motivate their colleagues in times of stress

While veterans can be great assets in any industry, their strengths make them excel in tech. Ask any tech executive and they’ll probably tell you that constant problem-solving, deadlines, and competition are par for the course. 

Military culture teaches service members to thrive in these situations. Their military experience trains them to perform well under pressure while motivating their team to succeed. Returning military members understand the importance of team-building, are mission-oriented, and are focused problem-solvers—all traits that will be incredible assets when faced with an issue such as a cyberattack or data breach.

Given that many veterans endure hardship when returning from their time in the military, there’s a strong argument for offering a competitive salary to veterans. And according to the Pew Research Center, recent statistics support that veterans on average earn higher salaries than non-veterans. In 2017, households headed by veterans had an average annual income of $88,700, compared with about $76,100 for non-veteran households.

What Kinds of Tech Jobs Are Good for Veterans?

Choosing a career in the tech industry is one of the best civilian jobs for returning service members. There are a variety of viable tech jobs for veterans, whether it’s learning to become a coder or getting trained to become a cybersecurity professional. Eleven Fifty Academy offers several IT programs for veterans, from web and software development courses to our popular cybersecurity bootcamp. 

Our programs are the ideal IT certification training for veterans, helping them learn skills to land their first jobs in tech. And with the Gi Bill® benefits, most veterans with eligibility can attend Eleven Fifty Academy without paying a dime. For more information and to learn how to apply, Eleven Fifty offers free intro courses online to answer questions and connect prospective students with advisors. 

What Are the Benefits of Hiring Veterans?

In addition to benefiting from the skill sets and strengths veterans bring to the workplace, employers can also stand to gain financially by hiring military veterans.

The U.S. Government’s Special Employer Incentives (SEI) program can help reimburse up to 50 percent of the veteran’s salary for apprenticeships or unemployed veteran trainees. The program continues for the duration of their training and helps cover the cost of instruction, loss of production during training, and supplies and equipment needed for training. The SEI program can last up to six months and can also include workplace accommodation based on the veteran’s needs. 

Employers can also qualify for tax incentives when hiring an eligible veteran. There are a few programs available, including the Wounded Warrior Tax Credit for disabled veterans, the Returning Heroes Tax Credit, and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). 

Why Do Companies Not Hire Veterans?

Occasionally, companies may shy away from hiring veterans, in part due to retention concerns. To combat this, it’s helpful to consider why veterans tend to leave positions and make adjustments to improve your work environment to attract veterans.

For example, say your company finds a qualified, driven, and personable cybersecurity professional. Then, during the hiring process, the candidate discloses to your hiring manager that they suffer from PTSD. Business owners can consider ways to make a new hire’s working arrangement more flexible to accommodate their mental health needs. To help them thrive, consider offering a more flexible work schedule so they can restructure their days as needed. 

It’s important for employers to be familiar with special rights granted to veterans in regard to employment. The Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) and the U.S. Department of Labor monitor and investigate veterans’ rights, helping ensure that veterans receive equal treatment in job placements. 

Along with giving veterans preference in hiring for federal government jobs, VETS also helps facilitate job training and transition assistance for veterans returning to civilian life.

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