In honor of Veterans, we reflected on why veterans make great technology employees. We have many employees who are veterans including our Chief Executive Officer, Doug Howard, who served in the U.S. Air Force, and our Founder, Ron Pelletier, who served in the U.S. Army Reserve. Veterans have the skills, training and experience needed to be successful in any technology role but especially in cybersecurity.
Skills veterans learned while in the service transition well to the corporate world. Their training is more focused and in-depth than a typical college education and tends to build discipline at a more reliable level. Service members on average change assignments every two to three years, allowing them to work in various aspects of a field and giving them a wide range of experience and flexibility. They also learn to work as part of a team and independently, which allows them to function in most corporate environments without issue. Layer on the fact that much of the veteran experience involves or has touchpoints with cybersecurity, and you have a winning combination for a great cybersecurity employee.
Historically, cybersecurity-specific education has not been offered at the university level. However, students with strong professional foundational skills such as project management, business and organizational skills, management skills and basic tech skills can often open the doors to cybersecurity. Those who serve in the military receive strong foundational training and the opportunity for focused and relevant cyber, risk or technology training, making them prime candidates for cybersecurity roles outside the military. Those who have both, such as veterans who achieved degrees while serving, are at an even better starting point.
Often the challenge arises of connecting with veterans to let them know of new roles available at a technology company. However, many established avenues are available to connect with them including specialty programs around disabled or injured veterans or special classification. Many agencies and programs have made online resources available to help attract and retain veterans. Below are a few that we’ve found useful:
- Online Resources
- Local bases often have programs that feed those exiting the military into the local workforce or even will work with remote employers.
- Cyber groups within the military often have liaisons who will talk to employers directly as well as through the listed programs above.
- Many universities have programs with military branches or veterans leveraging the educational reimbursement offered to attend during or after they serve. These universities often have job placement programs that can be filtered on your hiring preferences.
- Listing jobs where “military experience is a plus” often will help attract veterans.
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