Researchers from FDM Group, whose mission is to bring people and technology together in the professional services sector, reveal how to transition out of the military and into the tech industry.
FDM comments: “As demand for tech candidates increases year on year, fresh talent has a huge opportunity to enter this sector. “
“The skills many members of the ex-forces have picked up in the military could serve them well for a career in tech, with highly developed problem-solving skills, a focus on decision making and the ability to take initiative. “
So, as the tech industry presents a wealth of exciting job prospects for ex-forces, here are FDM’s top tips on how to enter the industry:
Develop your skills through a relevant programme
Finding a skills training programme can help fill the gap between your military service and corporate career. For instance, if you are interested in transitioning into a role as a developer, a number of immersive boot camps will allow you to gain coding skills faster, without needing to do a more prolonged course at a university.
Programmes specific to ex-forces are also particularly useful in building on your existing skills. These niche programmes will be familiar with the difficulties that may arise with entering the civilian workforce, with many being run by ex-forces personnel themselves. With this, they will be accustomed to bridging this gap and well-placed to offer support.
Network as much as possible
Networking is a fantastic way to connect with other like-minded people and discover what career path you may want to go down. Reaching out to fellow veterans who now work in the tech space is a great place to start. This doesn’t mean you need to sell yourself to the individual —just ask people what they do, ask about industry trends, talk about tech and learn more about it.
As a first step, using Linkedin can be a highly effective and useful tool to connect with relevant people. Search for people who work in a company that you want to work at or are employed in a role that you want to apply for, and send them a request or message. Find out what skills you need to be hired for that position and acquire those skills. When doing this, look for any common connections or individuals who are also in the veteran network.
Do your research
Transitioning out of the military into tech can be overwhelming with so many different career paths now an option. Therefore, it’s important to do your research. Find out what skills are required in certain fields – if you’ll need accreditation, training, or even a degree.
From there, ask important questions. If you don’t understand a role or want to learn more, this is the perfect time to do so. Reach out to people in your network who may be able to give you advice and more insight into the industry.
Demonstrate your skills
Leaving the military, you’ll have developed a list of skills that will also be applicable to an array of tech jobs. Being in the forces teaches you leadership, team building, and various technical skills – so make sure employers are aware of these strengths.
In your interview, showcase how you used these skills during your time in the forces and apply them to tasks within your desired role. For example, if you are transitioning into a career in cyber security, emphasise the security-led mindset you developed during your service and the adaptability that comes with this type of role. If you were an engineer in the military and shifting to a construction site job, talk about relevant projects you worked on and how you approached the task at hand.
In essence, harness the skills you have that are highly transferable, such as communication, teamwork, and time management, and apply them to the job you are interested in.
Look for companies that have a mission to hire veterans
While it’s important to be open to different companies, it can be helpful to look for organisations that have a clear mission to hire veterans. With companies like Amazon pledging to hire 25,000 veterans and military spouses – there are big and small tech companies with a clear interest in taking on ex-forces talent.
Joining a company with a clear goal to recruit veterans into their workforce also indicates that these companies are equipped to train, integrate, and see success with ex-military personnel.
Are you a member of the ex-forces Interested in a career in tech? Visit FDM’s ex-forces careers programme page to learn more about getting started.