The shift from military life to civilian life can be overwhelming for veterans. Although most say the transition is easy, one in four say that it was somewhat difficult.
According to Military.com, the difficulty a veteran encounters when looking for a civilian position is often caused by problems with skills translation. This is when a veteran cannot translate his military skills into terms that civilian employers can understand. The challenge can also be due to skills mismatch or when the veteran lacks the skills required by a specific position.
One way to help veterans find fulfilling jobs after leaving the military is to provide them with reskilling opportunities that can help them break into in-demand industries like tech. Unfortunately, reskilling through coding bootcamps or other programs cost time and money that many veterans may not have.
To help veterans transition to civilian life successfully, the US government provides numerous tuition and education benefits for military members. However, many veterans are unaware of or unfamiliar with how to use these benefits. They often don’t take advantage of such programs to help them reskill to land civilian jobs in tech. Veterans need guidance in learning about the resources available to them.
If you are a veteran or active member of the military, this article could help you as it highlights how you can make the most out of the benefits you can claim. With over 85 percent of its alumni and student population from the military, Divergence Academy knows what it takes to ensure the transition to civilian life is successful.
If you are a veteran or military member, Divergence Academy can help you make the most out of your education and training benefits.Learn more about Divergence Academy here.
Military Education Funding Options at Divergence Academy
Several funding options are available to veterans who want to pursue further training and education to prepare themselves for a civilian career in tech.
VRRAP (Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program)
VRRAP was passed in March 2021 and is part of the American Rescue Plan to assist individuals and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible veterans may receive up to 12 months of tuition and fees, plus a monthly housing allowance, based on Post-9/11 GI Bill rates.
Veterans eligible for VRRAP must meet all the following criteria:
- At least 22 years of age, but not older than 66 years
- Unemployed because of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Not eligible for GI Bill or VR&E benefits or have transferred these benefits to family members
- Not rated as totally disabled
- Not enrolled in a federal or state jobs program
- Not receiving unemployment benefits (including CARES Act benefits)
The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has agreements with a number of educational institutions that provide training and job placement outcomes to accept VRRAP.
The educational institution must meet the following requirements to be part of this program: be approved for the GI Bill or VET TEC, provide training for a high-demand occupation, and programs must not lead to a bachelor’s or graduate degree. Divergence Academy participates in VRRAP.
The VA pays for the veteran’s tuition and fees directly to the education institution. It is worth noting that the educational institution only gets full payment when the veteran finds employment in a related field within 180 days of completing the program. This important note means that the educational institution is incentivized to assist the veteran in finding gainful employment.
VR&E (Veteran Readiness and Employment)
VR&E services help veterans with job training, employment accommodations, resume writing and development, and job search coaching. Services also extend to helping veterans and service members start their own businesses or receive independent living services if needed.
Veterans who are interested in applying for VR&E benefits and services must meet all the following criteria:
- Did not receive a dishonorable discharge, and
- Have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10 percent from VA
Active service members may be eligible for VR&E benefits and services if they meet at least one of the following requirements:
- Have at least 20 percent or higher pre-discharge disability rating (memorandum rating) and will soon leave the military, or
- Waiting to be discharged because of a severe illness or injury that occurred while on active duty
VR&E services include:
- Post-secondary training at a college, vocational, technical, or business school
- On-the-job training (OJT), apprenticeships, and non-paid work experiences
- Professional or vocational counseling and rehabilitation for employment services
- Employment services like job training, resume creation, and other work-readiness support.
These are just several of the services VR&E offers eligible veterans. The VA accepts online applications and mail applications for VR&E benefits. Upon receiving the application, the VA will schedule an initial screening to evaluate if the applicant is entitled to VR&E benefits and services.
Divergence Academy accepts the Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) and the Vocational Rehab (Chapter 31) for its Cybersecurity Penetration Testing and Data Science courses. The GI bill assists students with school or job training.
Veterans and active-duty members of the military are eligible for this bill if they meet at least one of the criteria below:
- Served at least 90 days on active duty, on or after September 11, 2001, or
- Received a Purple Heart on or after September 11, 2001, honorably discharged, or
- Served for at least 30 continuous days on or after September 11, 2001, and honorably discharged with a service-connected disability, or
- Dependent child using benefits transferred by a qualifying veteran or service member
Eligible military members can receive up to 36 months of benefits, such as:
- Tuition and fees
- Housing allowance
- Up to $1,000 per school year for books and supplies
- $500 to relocate from a rural area to an urban area for school
The specific amount each military member received depends on which school they will attend, how many credits or training hours the program has, and how much active service was rendered since September 10, 2001. The exact amount will be computed by the VA based on a percentage of maximum benefit.
Veterans, active-duty members, and qualified family members can apply for benefits online, by mail, in person at a VA office, or they can also work directly with a school or bootcamp’s certifying official.
VET TEC (Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses)
This tuition and housing assistance program matches veterans with a training provider that can provide high-tech training and help them develop high-tech skills. Divergence Academy is a VET TEC Preferred Provider.
Veterans eligible for the VET TEC program must meet all the following criteria:
- Are not on active duty or are within 180 days of separating from active duty,
- Qualifies for VA education assistance under the GI Bill,
- Have at least one day of unexpired GI Bill entitlement, and
- Are accepted into a program by a VA-approved training provider.
Eligible veterans can receive:
- Tuition for a full-time high tech-training program
- Housing allowance during your training
VET TEC covers training in the following areas:
- Computer software
- Computer programming
- Data processing
- Information science
- Media applications
Data Science Immersive and Cybersecurity Professional Penetration Tester courses at Divergence Academy are eligible for VET TEC.
WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act)
WIOA is “designed to help job seekers secure the employment, education, training and support services necessary to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.”
This program supports job seekers in finding employment, education, and training. It also matches employers with skilled workers. Divergence Academy is a WIOA training provider in Texas.
To qualify for WIOA, the following criteria must be met:
- 18 years old or above
- Proficient in English
- Have a high school diploma or GED
After meeting these requirements, an applicant will need to check which participant program applies to them. This program is open to both veterans and civilians.
Job Opportunities for Veterans
When a veteran or military member decides to pursue further training and take full advantage of the numerous benefits available to them, they start on the path towards a fulfilling tech career.
There are several fulfilling career options open to bootcamp graduates, both veterans, and civilians. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that employment in computer and information technology occupations is expected to grow 13 percent from 2020 to 2030. The tech industry is projected to add about 667,600 new jobs. This shows that there are many career opportunities available for those who have trained in tech-specific programs.
Divergence Academy graduates, in particular, have landed in-demand jobs such as network engineer, penetration tester, DevOps engineer, security analyst, and Data & AI consultant, just to name a few.
Are You Ready for a New Career?
Although the transition from military life to civilian life can be challenging, there are several ways to smoothen it. Veterans and active-duty military members can, and should, take advantage of several programs and funding options that can help them start new and fulfilling careers in tech.
If you are ready to make the most out of the veteran and military benefits you are entitled to, visit Divergence Academy and see how you can start your new tech career as a top-level technology elite 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.