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IT Cert Help for Veterans

Call me old-fashioned, call me behind the times, call me late: I've still got our veterans and returning servicepeople on my mind even though Memorial Day was officially last weekend. Maybe it's just because I'm old enough to be fixated on Memorial Day as the last weekend in May, even if that doesn't include the necessary Monday. Whatever the cause for this memory mix-up, I'm pretty sure my target audience won't mind that I'm a week behind on the delivery, because the information is bound to be of interest to them anyway. In the following paragraphs, then, you'll find pointers to IT certification resources for vets and active duty personnel transitioning back to (or facing immanent) return to civilian employment.

Troops to Tech Careers (http://www.troopstotechcareers.org/veterans.aspx): CompTIA has a program that's intended to help veterans and their spouses obtain educational benefits (read: stipends and scholarships) to cover costs for education and certification.

The White House IT Training and Certification Partnership (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/04/29/fact-sheet-administration-partners-industry-get-service-members-credenti) is an umbrella offering that covers lots of offerings from cert sponsors and training companies alike.

US Dept of Veterans Affairs (http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/licensing_certification.asp) describes benefits available for training and certification to those eligible for the GI Bill.

HP offers  special discounts and access to veterans to its ExpertOne cert program, as described at http://www8.hp.com/hpnext/posts/certification-program-puts-veteran-it-expertise-work#.U4iWssdOWfA.

Microsoft has a program aimed at vets and transitioning military personnel called Elevate America Veterans (https://www.microsoft.com/about/corporatecitizenship/en-us/community-tools/job-skills/veterans/) that offers no-cost vouchers, information resources, an MOS to civilian skill mapping tool, and other low-cost/no-cost resources to help support training and certification.

Cisco offers information, tuition support, and access to Cisco IT Academy resources available at numerous US military installations as documented at http://csr.cisco.com/casestudy/white-house-veterans-it-training-and-certification-program. I blogged on this stuff last year about this time at http://www.pearsonitcertification.com/blogs/blog.aspx?uk=Cisco-Part-of-Joint-Task-Force-with-Feds-to-Smooth-Transition-for-Military-Back-to-Civilian-IT-Work.

The US Department of Labor has a PDF brochure on programs, benefits, scholarships, and special offers available to vets and transitioning military personnel at http://www.dol.gov/vets/programs/licert/licensing_and_certifications.pdf.

To help vets and those separating from the service to use their GI Bill benefits, most colleges and universities also have Veterans Benefits or Veterans Education organizations to work with veterans to put those benefits to work at their institutions. If you're interested in some particular school or another, be sure to inquire about help using the GI Bill or other similar programs and offerings.

There's lots of other great stuff out there but you have to be persistent and poke around patiently to dig up all the useful nuggets of information and offerings available. The more you look around, though, the more you'll find so be confident that your persistence will pay off! And do feel free to contact me with questions or comments. I'm happy to do my part in helping our vets and returning military at least assess their suitability for work in IT, if not also helping them find work in that patch!