As we go into a new year, you may be thinking about education opportunities and new career directions. For Veterans, the first thought that generally comes to mind for education is the GI Bill. However, what happens when the GI Bill money is all gone and you’re working in a job you don’t like? How can you pay for more education to try and change careers? Read on, and find options for training and education that don’t depend on the GI Bill. In fact, many of them are FREE! Note that many of these training areas are specialized technical areas offered by industry leaders in order to get prospective employees certified in needed skills.
Veterans Transition Support runs several free programs to prepare Veterans and transitioning Service Members for careers. VTS provides education opportunities for Veterans in a number of areas. These programs include LEAN certification, OSHA training (with 10 hour safety card), and Armed Security Officer training. You can find more information on their website.
VTS (above) sponsors professional development certifications through the Coursera platform. The courses offered through VTS are a specially curated subset of Coursera courses deliberately chosen to offer professional training and certification in skills that provide a benefit to Veterans. The courses include:
Six Sigma Yellow Belt and Green Belt
Google IT Support
Supply Chain Management
And dozens more! The courses are self-paced and come from leading universities. Whether you are looking for a new career or wanting to increase your knowledge for possible promotion, you may be able to find a course on the VTS Coursera catalog that can give you the extra training you need to accomplish those goals.
Syracuse University Institute for Veterans & Military Families (IMVF)
Syracuse operates a program known as Onward to Opportunity (O2O). This program provides free training for Veterans in Customer Service, Information Technology and Business Management. Current subjects include Information Security, Cloud Services, Networking, Data Science, and Project Management.
Veterans Program for Politics and Civic Engagement
This program is offered through the IVMF, the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and JPMorgan Chase & Company. The aim of the program is to train Veterans who are interested in pursuing a career in politics. The program covers such topics as fundraising, public communications, identifying mentors, and building your platform.
SPARK is offered through the IVMF program as a free six week course to help Veterans who are interested in Entrepreneurship. The 100% virtual training helps attendees test their business ideas and develop a foundation of skills to assist them in running a business. Some of the course information includes creating what people need, building demand, and delivering the promised product.
CyberVets USA is an industry led initiative through IVMF offering free training and certification in technical skills. Much of the training consists of cyber security and programming, offered by cybersecurity industry leaders Cisco and Fortinet.
For Veterans with emergency management responsibility, FEMA’s EMI offers free online courses along with certification for many subjects. These courses include Introduction to Hazardous Materials, Civil Rights and FEMA Disaster Assistance, and Public Information Officer Awareness to name just a few. Some of the courses may also be used for College credit. See the FEMA EMI website for more information.
IBM offers free skill building IT courses to help Veterans (and anyone) move into a new career or prepare for advancement in their current career. Their courses range from data analytics and blockchain to cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Google Skillshop includes free courses on Google Analytics, Youtube, Google Ads and several other Google specific platforms. The courses are designed for people to receive online training in Google products and tools to help succeed in their chosen career field. The courses yield Certifications in the various paths to show your mastery of the skillset.
Salesforce is one of the leaders in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. CRM encompasses technology to help a company manage its relationship with customers and potential customers. Salesforce Trailhead is the company’s training platform to get people certified in Salesforce and prove their expertise to current and/or future employers.
And there you have it. These 10 training opportunities encompass hundreds of different courses across a wide variety of skills. All of the training is free. Take the time to look through some of the coursework and decide if it would be beneficial for your current position, or if it’s time to look at a new career field.
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