Finding a tech or cyber security career after leaving the military is an exciting but daunting prospect. Encouragingly, there’s a wealth of cyber security jobs for veterans, and a need for quality applicants.
The military’s increased tech focus, deeply-ingrained security mindset and soft skills position veterans well for cyber and information security, risk or compliance roles. Here, we’ll discuss how to plan for and find tech and cybersecurity jobs after military service.
- Planning your new cyber career – where do I start?
Research tech roles, align them with your interests and existing knowledge, then address knowledge gaps. Understanding different role responsibilities will improve your confidence and marketability. Ex-military people are now sought after in the tech world due to their highly adaptable skill sets, problem solving and propensity for learning.
Be realistic: many veterans misguidedly apply for inappropriate jobs or training based on general interest and projected income rather than aptitude. Start with your immediate experience and strengths, and build incrementally.
Make a career plan based on your goals and life situation, setting milestones toward your ideal role. Starting your journey and progressing gradually is more important than finding the perfect immediately.
2. Looking for IT and cyber jobs – what resources are available?
Rather than starting a random job search, seek help from existing military-oriented organisations to expand your options:
- TechVets’ dynamic training opportunities and online veterans’ community are consistently useful resources for service leavers to enter cybersecurity and tech roles. They can help you close skill gaps, guiding your training and career path.
- LinkedIn is the leading online career network, alongside dedicated online groups and pages. Alongside diverse job opportunities, these networks show what others in your field are doing and can create unexpected connections.
- Military-specific recruiters, (aside from the TechVets jobs board) there are many UK-based recruitment companies, such as veteran-owned and operated recruiter Trident Search, that specialise in helping ex-military into cybersecurity roles and are well-connected with pro-military employers.
- IT and cyber jobs boards provide opportunities – plan your course before diving in, monitor postings constantly, and research companies to ensure they suit you.
- Service charities like the Forces Employment Charity provide veterans with employment support and appropriately curated roles. Different charities cater for military leavers in different circumstances.
- The Career Transition Partnership and your corps or Regimental Association may be a great jobs resource with strong connections that provide networking opportunities and links to relevant employers.
- Potential employers could help too. If you’ve compiled a list of companies, reach out to them for advice, opportunities or future work.
The importance of networking can’t be overstated. Communicating with and asking questions of people you work with can create future opportunities. Don’t expect an outcome from every interaction or directly ask connections for work – people like to feel useful, so start by asking for advice rather than favours.