There are several careers in the field of information technology (IT) that require little or no prior work experience in a related field and/or on-the-job training. Most of these careers also utilize some of the skills and traits that veterans have gained through their experience in the military. Learn about some of these jobs and why they may be a good fit for veterans below.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*||Applicable Military Skills/Traits|
|Computer Programmers||$79,840||-8% (Decline)||Attention to detail and problem-solving skills|
|Software Developers||$102,280||24%||Problem-solving skills and attention to detail|
|Database Administrators||$84,950||11%||Organizational skills and attention to detail|
|Web Developers||$66,130||13%||Organizational and problem-solving skills|
|Computer User Support Specialists||$49,390||11%||Communication and problem-solving skills|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Job Information for Entry-Level IT Positions for Veterans
Most positions in IT require problem-solving skills and attention to detail that many veterans have perfected throughout their military training. Some IT positions may also allow veterans to apply other specific skills, such as communication or organizational skills. Here we discuss some of the entry-level IT jobs that utilize these skills in different ways.
Most military training develops varying levels of problem-solving skills, which veterans can apply to a career as a computer programmer. Computer programmers must put these skills to use as they create and test code that makes a variety of computer programs function. Veterans can also use their ability to notice details as they check codes and find errors that need to be fixed or search for ways to expand a program. Computer programmers usually work closely with software developers and engineers and do not need any prior work experience in a related field for this entry-level position.
Veterans can also apply their problem-solving skills and attention to detail in a career as a software developer. These professionals must design detailed models and software that meet a specific need and function and then work with other computer professionals to create it. Some software developers specialize in designing computer applications, while others specialize in designing computer systems, both of which require keeping detailed records of the programs for maintenance and upgrades. Software developers are not required to have previous work experience in the field and usually do not need any on-the-job training.
The military typically develops organizational skills in its members, which can easily translate to a career as a database administrator. These professionals use organization and attention to detail to organize, manage and maintain large amounts of data for their organization, much of which needs to be secured and protected from unauthorized access as it may contain personal and financial information of consumers and/or the organization. Database administrators set permissions according to directions from management and consistently back up and store data. Some of these professionals may specialize in organizing systems, while others work with applications. This is considered an entry-level position as database administrators do not need any related work experience.
Veterans who are interested in a more creative career, but also wish to apply their problem-solving and organizational skills, may pursue a career as a web developer. Web developers use their organizational skills as they meet with clients to discuss their vision for their website and then develop ways to create the site, as well as the overall flow, style and information to be included in the site. They then write and test code for the website and add all the necessary graphics, videos or other media. Some web developers may work as webmasters and continuously update the website. This entry-level position does not require any work experience in a related occupation.
Computer User Support Specialists
Veterans with good communication and problem-solving skills may excel in a career as a computer user support specialist. These specialists work to help customers set up or fix computers, software programs and other computer-related hardware. They need to carefully listen to the problem, identify possible solutions and then clearly explain a step-by-step solution to the customer. If needed, they may consult senior specialists or management to help customers or address complaints. Computer user support specialists do not need prior work experience to assist their customers.