Charting a New Course: The Best Tech Jobs for Veterans in 2023
Stepping into civilian life after serving in the military is not easy. Although the unemployment rate among veterans is relatively low, many still struggle to find a new career path that is both fulfilling and exciting. This is where the technology industry comes in. Its rapid growth offers innovative opportunities and potentially some of the best jobs for veterans in 2023.
The dynamic nature of the tech sector calls for the unique blend of attributes that veterans possess—discipline, adaptability, problem-solving skills, and leadership experience. We’re here to guide you through some of the best IT jobs for veterans that match the abilities gained from your service. This article will also show you how you can obtain the technical skills needed to claim your place as a veteran in tech.
Top 10 IT Jobs for Veterans
Some of the best tech jobs offer veterans an opportunity to leverage their skills and experiences gained from military service while contributing to the tech industry. Transitioning to these roles often involves additional training, which can be facilitated through various programs designed to support veterans in their career transitions. Let’s look at the top 10 IT jobs for veterans.
1. Cyber Security Specialist
Average salary: $104,793
Job growth: 35% growth between 2021 to 2031
Cyber security is one of the best tech jobs for veterans in 2023. As cyber security specialists, veterans can utilize their military security expertise to protect digital assets and information from cyber threats. This position requires strong attention to detail, meticulousness, and leadership skills, all of which are instilled in veterans during their time in the service.
Veterans are also familiar with high-pressure situations which makes them suitable candidates for a job in cyber security. They are trained to be vigilant and to respond timely to threats. In some ways, the nature of a cyber security job can feel like an extension of their commitment to protecting the nation and its citizens. This may offer additional fulfillment to veterans in their post-military careers.
2. Network Administrator
Average salary: $70,001
Job growth: 3% growth between 2021 to 2031
Network administration involves managing, maintaining, and optimizing an organization’s computer networks and related systems. The primary goal is to ensure network infrastructure works smoothly and securely, allowing for seamless communication and data sharing among various devices and users within the organization.
It is an ideal IT job for veterans for several reasons. Firstly, veterans are equipped with a strong security awareness. This allows them to assess potential issues that can expose the networks to unauthorized access and cyber threats. Veterans are also trained to quickly identify and address problems, a skill highly valuable in network administration. They can offer a logical and systematic solution when resolving network issues.
3. Software Engineer
Average salary: $109,932
Job growth: 25% growth between 2021 and 2031
Software engineers are responsible for developing solutions and creating innovative software applications. It is the best tech job for veterans who enjoy solving problems or puzzles. In this coding job, veterans can use their analytical thinking skills to analyze user needs, design software solutions, and optimize code performance.
Military experience also cultivates communication and collaboration skills, traits that are extremely important in this line of work. Just as teamwork is vital in the military, software engineers collaborate within development teams to create high-quality software. Additionally, the demand for skilled software engineers is consistently high, providing veterans in tech with ample employment opportunities.
4. Data Scientist
Average salary: $117,652
Job growth: 36% growth between 2021 to 2031
Data science is a broad field that covers several disciplines including machine learning and artificial intelligence. In general, data scientists are in charge of collecting, organizing, and analyzing data to discover important patterns, trends, and insights. These findings help companies understand their customers better, predict future trends, and solve pain points.
Military veterans are trained to pay attention to details, a skill that is vital for accurate data collection and analysis. They are also familiar with following a structured process. This aligns with the approach needed for data processing, modeling, and visualization. As data scientists, veterans can contribute to a range of industries and make a positive impact on society.
5. Project Manager
Average salary: $88,796
Job growth: 7% growth between 2021 to 2031
Project managers are responsible for planning, organizing, and overseeing projects from start to finish. They keep track of everything to make sure the deliverables are met on time and within the budget. They are also adept at crisis management, communication, and resource allocation, skills possessed by most military personnel.
Project management is one of the best jobs for veterans because it offers them an opportunity to utilize their leadership skills, problem-solving abilities, and dedication to achieving objectives. This job can also offer a sense of accomplishment to veterans as they help drive important projects toward successful completion.
6. Web Developer
Average salary: $77,196
Job growth: 23% growth between 2021 to 2031
Web development is one of the most accessible tech careers to people from non-tech backgrounds. Although this job requires some knowledge of programming, it is generally easier to learn compared to other tech specializations. There are three areas of web development to explore, which are front end, backend, and full stack.
As web developers, veterans get a chance to apply their skills in an area that combines creativity and problem-solving. By creating websites that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing, they get to contribute to organizations’ online presence and digital success. This can also fulfill their need to make meaningful contributions.
7. Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer
Average salary: $84,654
Job growth: 25% growth between 2021 and 2031
QA engineers ensure the functionality and overall quality of software products. They are responsible for identifying defects, improving processes, and ensuring that software meets quality standards before it reaches users. Some of their day-to-day responsibilities include testing software, executing tests, creating test plans, and enhancing user experience.
QA engineering is a great IT job for veterans as it aligns well with the skills and experiences gained during military service. Veterans can apply their discipline and precision directly into this line of work, especially when testing for software reliability. Their strict ethical values will also help them ensure software integrity, allowing companies to deliver trustworthy products to users.
8. Database Administrator
Average salary: $92,501
Job growth: 9% growth between 2021 to 2031
In a data-driven world, database administrators hold an important position in modern organizations. They are in charge of managing and maintaining databases, which are libraries of data used by businesses. Ultimately, their goal is to ensure that databases are secure, efficient, and reliable.
This is where veterans’ security awareness comes in handy. They can use their military training to protect sensitive information stored in databases against unauthorized access and cyber threats. Veterans can also utilize their problem-solving skills to identify and troubleshoot complex issues that arise within databases, before coming up with ways to mitigate them.
9. Computer Support Specialist
Average salary: $48,780
Job growth: 6% growth between 2021 to 2031
Computer support specialists are in charge of assisting users and organizations with technology-related issues. They offer technical assistance, troubleshoot problems, and offer solutions to ensure smooth operations. Also known as IT support specialists, their daily tasks include installing, updating, and configuring software applications on relevant devices.
This is a great IT job for veterans as it allows them to use their problem-solving skills to diagnose and resolve technical issues. Military training also cultivates strong communication and collaboration skills which can be directly applied to this line of work. IT support doesn’t require extensive training, eliminating the barrier to entry for veterans seeking a tech career.
10. Tech Sales Representative
Average salary: $87,522
Job growth: 6% growth between 2021 to 2031
Tech sales representatives are responsible for selling technology products and solutions to businesses and clients. Unlike conventional salespeople, those in tech sales take on the role of a consultant, providing clients with crucial information on digital solutions. Their primary goal is to ensure that their software or product addresses the client’s needs.
Veterans often possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills, which are essential for building relationships and presenting the value of technology solutions to clients. The nature of a sales job can be challenging as there might be pushback from potential clients. Thanks to military training, veterans are equipped with the resilience needed to handle rejection and navigate setbacks. An efficient way for. a veteran to become a tech sales development representative is to attend a coding bootcamp like Flockjay or SV Academy.
Benefits of Tech Jobs for Veterans
Some of the best jobs for veterans are in the tech industry. Many veterans in tech who have successfully made the transition said that the industry’s dynamic nature opens up opportunities that are lucrative, exciting, and fulfilling. Below are key benefits of IT jobs for veterans and reasons why they should consider a career pivot into tech.
Competitive salaries and growth opportunities
Tech jobs offer salaries that are often higher than other roles across industries. This makes them highly attractive to people seeking fulfilling and well-compensated careers. Professionals in software development, for example, make a median salary of $109,020. That is almost double the amount of the average annual salary across the US at $59,428. As you grow in your career, your salary can go upwards of $150,000, as reported on Glassdoor.
Demand for tech skills across industries
The tech industry needs more skilled workers in 2023. According to CompTIA’s latest Tech Jobs Report, there were over 50,000 job openings for software developers and engineers in July 2023 alone. Other top positions that employers are seeking to fill include project managers and data analysts with close to 40,000 total openings in the same month.
Flexibility in remote work and job locations
Most tech companies offer a remote work option, allowing employees to work from anywhere in the country or even the world. This arrangement contributes to a better work-life balance, increased job satisfaction, and the ability to personalize one’s work environment. As veterans transition to the civilian workforce, a flexible work arrangement might help them acclimate to their new roles better.
How Veterans Can Obtain the Skills Needed to Break Into Tech
To land an IT job, veterans must first acquire the skills needed to thrive in their new career path. Some tech jobs are more accessible to career changers as they don’t involve as much coding. The best jobs for veterans new to tech include project managers, tech sales reps, and IT support specialists. Regardless of which path you choose, below are some resources and programs that are designed to empower more veterans in tech.
Coding bootcamps are hands-on training programs that teach you how to code and other in-demand tools in a short amount of time, compared to a four-year degree. A lot of graduates find that coding bootcamps are worth the investment as they teach job-specific skills in just months. Most also offer career assistance in the form of workshops, resume preparation tips, and mock interviews to help bootcamp students ace the interview process and land a tech job.
Some of the best coding bootcamps for veterans like Coding Dojo, General Assembly, and Sabio accept the GI Bill, allowing veterans to use their benefits to cover the cost of tuition. Veterans can also take advantage of the Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC) initiative to attend a coding bootcamp that is approved by the VA.
University or College
A computer science degree is another popular pathway to a tech career. A college degree offers a comprehensive education in various aspects of technology, starting from the fundamentals of computer science. In the course of four years, students learn essential knowledge before moving on to advanced topics like machine learning, cryptography, and computer networks.
Computer science graduates often have a strong foundation for a tech career. Additionally, they stand a higher chance of landing a job at companies where formal education is preferred. To help veterans fund their tertiary education, some universities and colleges offer special scholarships and tuition assistance for military personnel. They can also opt for a personal loan or a deferred payment plan, depending on eligibility and availability.
Federal Virtual Training Environment (FedVTE)
The FedVTE initiative is a great learning avenue for veterans looking to explore a cyber security career. It’s designed to equip government employees, including military veterans, with essential cyber security skills. This free program features 850 hours of learning material, covering topics like cloud security, malware analysis, and ethical hacking and surveillance.
The fully remote program also offers preparation courses for crucial certifications such as Ethical Hacking, Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). Visit the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies website for more information.
Online Learning Platforms
There is a wide variety of online learning platforms that can help veterans gain the skills needed to break into tech. Some offer more comprehensive programs that include career assistance services, hands-on assignments, and capstone projects. These job-centric programs are ideal for veterans seeking to launch a tech career as soon as they can.
If you’re just starting out, there are also online platforms offering free introductory programs such as Codecademy, Khan Academy, and Coursera. These zero-tuition programs are great for tech beginners as they get to explore different areas of tech with minimal commitment.
Best Tech Jobs for Veterans: Recap
The tech industry may have some of the best jobs for veterans in 2023. As a dynamic sector, it can open the door to highly rewarding and fulfilling opportunities for veterans. However, there are some factors to consider when deciding if a tech job is right for you. Consider how well your military experience aligns with your chosen career path. Assess your transferable skills and see which tech roles they fit into.
You also want to consider your interest in technology. Are you excited about working with computers? Do you prefer a tech job that doesn’t involve coding? Tech-related jobs exist in various sectors so veterans in tech are not limited to specific industries or fields. Some of the best IT jobs for veterans don’t require in-depth coding proficiency, allowing for an easier and smoother career transition.
Best Tech Jobs for Veterans FAQ
Veterans bring a valuable set of skills to tech jobs due to their military experiences and training. These include leadership, collaboration, communication, and problem-solving abilities. Skills like planning and organizing are also transferable to project management, software development, and other tech roles that involve managing tasks and resources.
Top companies like Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, and Apple have been known to actively hire veterans in the tech industry due to the valuable skills and experiences they bring to the table. Many of these companies have dedicated military hiring pages, programs, and partnerships with veteran-focused organizations to assist in the transition to tech careers.
You can get a tech job without a college degree provided you have the right skills or experience. In fact, a number of modern employers are foregoing the degree requirement and prioritizing skill-based hiring. One popular avenue to obtain technical skills in a short period is coding bootcamp. It offers job-oriented training with a focus on hands-on exercises and in-demand industry tools.
Eligible veterans can use their GI Bill benefits to pay for a coding bootcamp so long as the school is approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These include Code Platoon, Galvanize, General Assembly, Tech Elevator, and V School. Veterans with one day of unexpired GI Bill eligibility can also use the Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC) benefit to cover the cost of coding bootcamp tuition and housing.