If You’re Hiring for These Technical Skills, Veterans Are Your Best Bet

November 23, 2016

On Veterans Day, we kicked off a series of posts discussing the skills veterans possess that are highly valued by civilian employers, and the notion that veterans often must overcome misperceptions when pursuing their career after the military. Next, we want to continue the converstation by discussing the technical skills that set veterans apart from their non-veteran peers.

If you close your eyes and imagine someone in the military, you’re likely to imagine a stereotype you’ve seen in a movie or TV show. However, rather than charging into battle with a rifle in one hand and a canteen in the other like the characters in “Saving Private Ryan”, today’s front-line service members and the behind the scenes logisticians, intelligence analysts, human resource professionals, IT specialists, and more leverage advanced technology to accomplish their mission. Check out IT careers in the Navy, or STEM careers in the Army, for example.

Today, service members in the background are constantly leveraging technology like advanced targeting systems, intelligence analysis tools and databases, and cybersecurity operations. And those on the battlefield are armed with high-tech tools to communicate to attack aircraft above, request medical assets, request satellite imagery of a raid target or advanced weather forecasting data.

With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that when we looked at the business skills veterans possess over the average LinkedIn member, their technical skills rose to the top. Ask any tech company today and candidates with engineering, coding, security and software skills are always high on list, so vets should be well-suited for a transition into the tech world:

And, veterans are highly recommended individuals, specifically when it comes to their technical skills. Our research team identified some of the top recommendations veterans have received that coincide with the usefulness of their technical skills they acquired in the military:

By looking at the skills, our team also found the top jobs that are specifically looking for the technical skills veterans excel in. As you can see below, there is a lot of opportunity in the engineering field:

Professions where veterans’ skills are in high-demand:

1. Engineer Systems

Top jobs wanting that skill# of open jobsSalary (U.S. median)
System Engineer9,700+$88,000
Test Engineer7,800+$76,000
Safety Engineer350+$83,800

2. IT Security

Top jobs wanting that skill# of open jobsSalary (U.S. median)
Network Security Engineer500+$100,000
Security Consultant 1,350+$85,000
Security Engineer3,900+$100,000

3. Software Installation

Top jobs wanting that skill# of open jobsSalary (U.S. median)
Helpdesk Analyst350+$44,000
System Administrator5,600+$68,000
Datacenter Technician250+$50,000

4. Power Generation & Management

Top jobs wanting that skill# of open jobsSalary (U.S. median)
Electrical Engineer3,900+$80,000
Nuclear Engineer60+$78,600
Control System Engineer180+$90,000

5. Software Code Debugging

Top jobs wanting that skill# of open jobsSalary (U.S. median)
Firmware Engineer480+$93,500
Software Engineer66,000+
$94,000
Network Engineer5,100+$80,000

There are thousands of examples of veterans who have excelled in technology-specific roles once they left the military. One specific veteran I would like to highlight is Marcus Carey, a former Navy cryptographer who had the highest security clearance possible.

After the military, he naturally looked for cybersecurity work, but regularly confronted companies that were offering him low pay based on their poor understanding of his former military rank and not the potential of his skillset. In response, Marcus founded his own cybersecurity company that simulates attacks on clients’ networks. He is specifically using the technical skills he acquired from the military to make the web a safer place, and he’s employing others in the process.

Recruiters are are bombarded with thousands of resumes, emails and cover letters all day. I encourage you to think about Marcus and other similar veterans the next time you are looking for a candidate in a technical role. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to hire such high-quality talent.

To make the search easier, we also have the  new U.S. Military Veterans’ search filter on Recruiter that helps you identify the more than 2.2 million LinkedIn members who have served in the U.S. military. Overall, veterans are an active, engaged, and highly qualified talent pool for your company. Let’s honor their future together.

Methodology

To identify these stats, we started by looking at all members in the US with at least one skill on their profile along with the 1.1M Veterans currently employed in non-military occupations. We then looked at how the percent of members with each skill compared with veterans and non-veterans. For example, 18% of Veterans list 'Team Leadership' on their profile, but only 7% of all US LinkedIn members list the skill.

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