The U.S. military is as applauded as it is controversial. Following the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, as well as the ensuing wars, more and more young men and women rushed to join the ranks of the military. Not only was there affective motivation at play, but the benefits of this career track also scored rather highly, at least in comparison with many other sectors of the economy. The pay was good and so were the medical insurance plans. Yet, over one decade later, the United States is facing a relatively unique situation, in which those members of the military are transitioning back to the home front. Switching back from working in the army to post-military careers can be challenging for many, which is why we’ve come up with five fields former army personnel might want to consider in 2013.
This is perhaps the most logical choice among post-military careers in the United States. Police force recruiters are keen on hiring war veterans, mostly because the two jobs require similar qualities. Soldiers serve their country, while police officers for the same to their communities, the members of those communities and their rights. In some jurisdictions, being a war veteran actually grants the job candidate more points on the entrance exams. They are also occasionally allowed to stay on the force for a longer time, past retirement age, and benefit from numerous perks under the GI Bill.
A poll undertaken by SCORE, a nonprofit that has teamed up with the United States’ Small Business Administration, some 25 per cent of war veterans have either opened up their own companies, or are thinking of doing so. The entrepreneurial career track is perfect for former army staff, simply because it requires a lot of self-discipline. And that is one of the many virtues that good soldiers thrive on. As such, veterans often find it easier to have the patience and focus it needs to get a small business off the ground and see it through those delicate first few years.
It goes without saying that IT is a field that requires a high degree of specialization, but what makes it one of the best post-military careers is the fact that the US army is highly technologized. Its personnel has to learn how to work with some of the most modern IT devices and programs, which would make it easy for any army member to work in this field as a civilian. Also factor in that the Bureau of Labor Statistics with the US Department of Labor has data according to which the IT field is going to be one of the fastest growing on the market until 2014.
This might sound like a counter-intuitive choice amid other post-military careers, but it actually makes a lot of sense for a former army member to go into teaching. Working in the army often requires highly specialized scientific knowledge, which makes it perfect for retired servicemen to become teachers of math or other sciences. Teaching might not be the best-paying career track at the moment, but it comes with many other types of perks – consider the long holidays, as well as the chance to tutor students as a way of supplementing your income.
Federal Public Service
It might come as a surprise to learn that numerous retired army members head on down to Washington DC after they leave the force, in order to become public civil servants. In fact, this is the case simply because veterans are often preferred to civilians, when applying for certain positions in public office. To boot, Washington DC also has a great and vibrant former military community. 16 per cent of all public service positions are based in the nation’s capital. If you’ve left the army and decided to go looking for this kind of job, then you are almost guaranteed to find a former acquaintance from the army there.
Of course, post-military careers include many other options. In our view, the above are the best choices for this year (as well as for the coming few years probably), but they are certainly not the only ones. The best part about looking for a job after having left the army is that you’re coming away from the experience with an ample set of skills, which you can use in just about any other line of work.