In 2021, major cyberattacks hit large organizations worldwide and made the headlines. Last year alone, cyberattacks resulted in a loss of more than $4 billion in the United States. These types of attacks are predicted to increase in frequency in the coming years.
With this rising threat, information security analysts and cybersecurity specialists are in high demand. This presents an opportunity for rewarding employment, particularly for people looking to reskill and join the tech industry. For military personnel familiar with defense and have security clearance, the tech field may be especially appealing.
To have a fulfilling career in these in-demand fields, specialized skills and certifications are needed. For veterans and military members looking to upskill their current roles or activate civilian careers in tech, Divergence Academy offers cybersecurity and data science courses leading to a career path in these emerging fields.
Nearly 85 percent of Divergence Academy’s student and alumni population are from the military. Divergence Academy is a VET TEC Preferred Provider and accepts various funding sources from the military and the US Department of Veterans Affairs. As a VET TEC Preferred Provider, the school accepts funding, such as VRRAP, designed to help veterans pursue further studies.
Divergence Academy offers AI, cloud, cybersecurity, and data science programs that can help veterans and active military members start new tech careers.Get in touch with Divergence Academy.
What Is the Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program?
The Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP) is a new program that provides eligible veterans with up to 12 months of tuition fees and a monthly housing allowance. The program was enacted in March 2021 and is part of the stimulus package created to assist individuals and businesses with recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
VRRAP is designed to provide training for an associate degree, non-college degree, or certificate to help veterans transition into high-demand occupations. Computer and mathematical occupations including information security analysts are deemed high-demand occupations, as determined by the Department of Labor.
Divergence Academy is an approved VRRAP Educational Institution. This means that after an eligible veteran applies to Divergence Academy, the US Department of Veterans Affairs will pay the veteran’s tuition directly to the school.
It’s important to note that the educational institution gets full payment only after the veteran finds employment in their field of study. Divergence Academy welcomes the extra challenge this presents and focuses on helping all its students, including veterans, find fulfilling jobs after completing their courses.
How a Military Officer Upskilled with Divergence Academy
As mentioned, the majority of Divergence Academy’s students are from the military. Due to extensive experience working with this population, the school is familiar with their unique needs.
Wyatt Raymond is an army officer at Fort Sill, Oklahoma who is also a basic training unit executive officer. Wyatt completed Divergence Academy’s Net+ Online, which was created specifically for the Army’s COOL (Credentialing Opportunities Online) Program, also known as Credentialing Assistance (CA).
The Army’s COOL helps military personnel learn more about certifications and licenses related to their job. This program pays for courses, exams, and certifications that can lead to industry-recognized credentials in various occupations. A soldier can request funding for any credential listed on Army COOL.
Wyatt explained how he learned about Divergence Academy, “About a year ago, I was looking at options to set me up for my transition into the civilian sector. I was thinking of getting out of the military at that time. I called one of the career counselors I met here at Fort Sill. They pointed me in the right direction of signing up at Divergence Academy via the Army’s Credentialing Assistance Program, or COOL Program.”
“My undergraduate degree is in electrical and computer engineering. I had that background but as far as professional tech experience, I haven’t worked in tech. My professional experience has been as an Army officer, and that’s a lot of management. It seemed like a good way to get back towards the things I was doing in my undergraduate program,” he continued.
After completing Divergence Academy’s 40-hour Net+ Online course, Wyatt stated, “I thought it was a really good course. I thought the instructor was very good. I liked his videos. They were very thorough and did a good job of preparing me for the certification.” Through this course, Wyatt successfully obtained his CompTia Net+ Certification.
The CompTIA Net+ certification is vendor-neutral and often requested by employers as a general test of skills. Government and military contacts request the Net+ certification more than other types of certifications.
According to Wyatt, the Army COOL website is more of a database of available certificates. “It shows you what’s out there. Then there’s the Army IgnitED, which is the website used for credentialing assistance and funding. Those two websites work together to point soldiers in the right direction,” Wyatt said.
Wyatt advised aspiring students coming from the military: “The resources are there, just use them. Everybody—enlisted members and officers—has access to these resources. Tuition assistance and credentialing assistance have no downside.”
“The only downside is if you don’t end up getting the certificate, you need to pay the money back. Other than that, it’s free money waiting to be used. It’s definitely a time commitment, and it can be stressful, especially if you’re working full-time in the army. That can be crazy hours. However, if you know your schedule can handle it, don’t be afraid to sign up and use those resources to set you up,” he continued.
Wyatt initially planned to leave active duty last year, but his plans have since changed. “I put in for a branch transfer, also called a VTIP. I applied for a special functional area role, which is a network engineer. If I end up getting that role, I’ll probably be in the army for another three or four years because there’s a service obligation with accepting the transfer.”
“If I don’t get the transfer, I”m planning on transitioning to becoming a civilian next fall. I’m definitely looking at going back to Divergence and taking one of their full-time, online 10-week courses using the army’s Career Skills Program (CSP). One of those two things is in my future. I definitely want to do something in the technology domain, whether it be in the army or the civilian sector,” Wyatt said.
Whichever career path Wyatt takes, whether a new role as an army network engineer or becoming a civilian, his time at Divergence Academy has helped him get closer to his career goals.
How Divergence Academy Supports Students Until Employment
Divergence Academy works closely with all its students, including veterans and active military members, to ensure that they reach their professional goals. The school does this in several ways.
For one, learners have access to career coaches and student success advisors who specialize in working with veterans transitioning to civilian careers. Career coaches assist students with resume support, LinkedIn profile optimization, soft skills training, job search guidance, and practice interviews.
Such skills may be provided during weekly workshops or one-on-one sessions after attending a recorded virtual workshop. They ensure that students are fully prepared for the job search.
Divergence Academy also holds regular events such as workshops on career services, resume building, networking, and industry day Lunch and Learns. Lunch and Learns provide the opportunity for employers to meet directly and interact with Divergence Academy students and alumni. Students are invited to join and make the most out of these events.
The employer partner network of Divergence Academy has grown significantly in recent months, and the school works with different organizations and companies as an alternative source of talent. In particular, when a potential employer is looking to improve DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), the school offers them a diverse pool of skilled graduates, specifically veterans and military talent.
Divergence Academy considers job placement as its number one yardstick for success, and this shows in the full employment support they extend to all their students.
Start Your Tech Career with Divergence Academy
Divergence Academy is showing support to veterans and military members by providing specialized courses to give them the start they need to find new jobs in tech.
Whether you are a veteran, active member of the military, or a civilian, Divergence Academy offers a supportive learning environment that gets you on the path towards a fulfilling career in emerging technology.
If this sounds like something you are looking for, Divergence Academy may be the right school for you. Learn more about Divergence Academy’s work with the military and veterans, and start your application today.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.