Not surprisingly, the soft skills learned through military service are highly attractive to hiring managers. Resilience, determination, loyalty and discipline are just some of the notable skills that senior job seekers and employees often possess over their clerical counterparts. Now, more than ever, America’s top employers, including those in the tech industry, are focusing on the advantages veterans bring. These skills, combined with technical training, are helping veterans secure positions and start thriving careers in technology.
So how do veterans get the necessary technical training without the high costs of traditional pathways like a college degree?
That’s where NPower — a nonprofit that provides free technology training to veterans, military spouses, and youth from underserved communities — comes in. The program includes social services and job placement assistance with some of the major U.S. employers, including Citi, Accenture, and Northrop Grumman. The program helps veterans find great jobs with top employers.
The next NPower Technology Fundamentals course will start on February 6th. Applicants are encouraged to apply by January 31 to ensure sufficient time to complete the interview process. The program can be completed in less than five months and provides job placement assistance on the back end.
Veterans living in California, Texas, Maryland, New Jersey or Michigan are encouraged to apply. NPower operates in selected areas to provide community-based support and foster relationships with employment partners, agencies and mentors. The organization plans to expand in the future. Click here to learn more.
“I strive to be a savvy professional”
Benny CastilloMichel, a Navy veteran who graduated from NPower, considered his career options when he left the military. He was interested in technology and had been studying cryptography during his military service, but wasn’t sure where to start. He got a job as a barber and was searching online for ways to get technical training when he saw a note about NPower. He applied for and was accepted into NPower’s Technical Foundations Program.
“The mentors have been the most helpful during my time in the program,” CastilloMichel said. “Professional development has made me the savvy professional I strive to be.”
Shortly after completing NPower’s free tech program, CastilloMichel landed a tech support position at SpaceX.
Likewise, Celeste Barajas is looking to start over in technology and apply her experience as an Army mechanic to her new career. She wasn’t sure how to get the necessary technical training without paying for college. A chance conversation with a stranger led her to NPower when she was working as a minimum-wage security guard at a healthcare facility.
Barajas took NPower’s Technical Fundamentals course to start fulfilling her dream of working in robotics. NPower’s California placement team eventually landed her a job as a robot operator for Google Cloud partner Virtusa’s Everyday Robotics program.
Barajas says her experience with NPower has taught her far more than technical basics. “I did learn a lot about networking,” she noted. “I had to work on it, but seeing it now can open doors you didn’t even realize were there.”
Also offers courses in cloud computing, network security, etc.
For over two decades, NPower has been providing technical career training to veterans and youth in underserved communities. Veterans honorably discharged and currently residing in California, Texas, Maryland, New Jersey or Michigan may apply for the no-cost program. Classes combine virtual and in-person learning, with instructors training students in the fundamentals of technology. NPower also offers advanced courses in cloud computing and network security.
In addition to the opportunity to earn industry-recognized certifications, job placement assistance can be attractive. Many veterans and people with military backgrounds hope to use their training and special skills not only to find work but to start new careers in tech.
“Technology was a natural choice for veterans,” said Chris Starling, a retired Marine Corps colonel and executive director of NPower California. “Military personnel know how to follow instructions, be proactive and be punctual. They have an intuitive understanding of how to protect or defend terrain, which translates easily to defending systems or networks. Veterans have a lot to offer the tech industry. NPower provides a way to get started.”