Ready for STEM? Your Service-Earned Skills Translate Better Than You Think

Ready for STEM? Your Service-Earned Skills Translate Better Than You Think
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Considering a post-service career in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) but not sure your service-earned skills make you a competitive candidate?


Don’t be so sure.


“Members of the military too often overlook how the activities they executed and traits demonstrated while in uniform align with so many sought-after STEM skills,” said Brendan Curran, a retired Army engineer now serving as senior operations analyst and systems engineer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. “We need to coach our military community on how to translate and articulate their experience into a message immediately recognized and valued by STEM-centric organizations.”


[MAY 23 MOAA WEBINAR: Exploring Career Opportunities in STEM]


Whether you’re nearing the end of your time in uniform, or you’re a veteran or military spouse seeking a STEM-related professional path, upcoming MOAA events can offer an edge in this growing field – one that will grow by nearly 11% from 2022 to 2032.


First, join MOAA and a panel of experts, including Curran, for a May 23 virtual event designed to help attendees find the right STEM field for them and stand out from fellow applicants. That includes knowing what certifications you need, and what to expect when you’re pursuing them.


“Everyone will encounter extremely hard courses and challenging certifications along the way,” said Philip Hicks, a retired Air Force engineer now serving as senior project manager at Dewberry (and a May 23 panelist). “Work with colleagues, network connections, and reputable organizations to push through those struggles to achieve your STEM career.”


After attending the panel, you’ll be ready for the MOAA Virtual Career Fair and Hiring Event Featuring STEM Employment on June 5. It’s a unique opportunity to connect with your potential future STEM employer.


More Resources

Those interested in STEM opportunities should seek trusted resources with reputable organizations and companies. One example: The Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act, signed into law in 2020, directs organizations like the U.S. National Science Foundation to create programs and offer initiatives.


[RELATED: Resume Help From MOAA]


Also, the D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, a MOAA partner, recently received a $3.5 million grant from Google to help train transitioning servicemembers, veterans, and military-connected spouses on cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. IVMF participants receive hands-on experience in STEM positions at no cost; those who complete the course earn a certificate from Google to share with employers.


Want more? Register today to join our STEM experts on May 23, and find more professional resources at MOAA’s Transition and Career Center.


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About the Author

Col. Brian D. Anderson, USAF (Ret)
Col. Brian D. Anderson, USAF (Ret)

Anderson joined the staff of MOAA's Career Transition Services Department in August 2011. He served 26 years in the U.S. Air Force in a wide range of command and staff assignments. Connect with him on LinkedIn.