What jobs come to mind when you think about working in the technology industry? Your initial thoughts may turn to computer programmer, software engineer, and web developer ... but what about project manager, research analyst, or operations associate?
According to a recent report by the Center for a New American Security, only 25% of veterans and active duty servicemembers surveyed believe most veterans are qualified for a tech-sector career. However, when asked about specific managerial or operations-based roles, 83% and 74% of the same group, respectively, said they believed veterans could fill those positions.
Fear of not having tech-based skills leads many transitioning servicemembers to overlook the technology industry. As a result, they miss out on a number of great jobs and opportunities.
A 2020 survey by the Consumer Technology Association found the three top “soft skills” technology companies look for in candidates are effective communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Additionally, technology companies prefer candidates who have a willingness to learn, work well on a team, are adaptable, and have good time management and organization – all critical skills learned and mastered while in uniform.
So, what does this mean for you in your job search? To make the most of your job-seeking experience, Amazon’s Senior Client Lead Recruiter of the Midwest Region, Billy Knapp, recommends doing your research and articulating not just your skills, but your experiences.
“I always tell people that recruiters want to hire good talent ... but meet us halfway,” Knapp, a Marine veteran, said during a MOAA Virtual Career Fair earlier this year. “Let (recruiters) know what skill sets or qualifications you have that will allow you to succeed in said role.”
It’s also important to express what you are interested in doing, Knapp said – big tech companies like Amazon have jobs from website coder to operations manager, so your skills and experiences can lend themselves to positions you never thought of before.
And as always, never be afraid to branch out and look into positions in sectors different from what you did while serving. You never know where your next job might lie.