Wednesday, May 1, 2013

White House Announces New IT Credentialing Program for Service Members

Monday marked the announcement of another veteran initiative by First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House Forum on Military Credentialing and Licensing. This new initiative, called the IT Training and Certification Partnership, is aimed at helping veterans more easily find jobs in the tech sector by completing training and earning industry-recognized IT certifications prior to their transition out of the military.

White House Fact Sheet on the Partnership estimates that about 161,000 service members would gain the necessary certifications for 12 high-demand technology professions, including computer programming, quality assurance, and information security. There will be 1.8 million openings in the targeted fields through the end of the decade, and these jobs will provide an average salary of $81,000+.

Service members often have the most up-to-date technological training but may lack the required certifications for civilian IT jobs. In addition to correcting this issue, the program will also allow veterans to fill in any gaps in their training required for employment in civilian positions.

Along with the announcement, the forum featured four round tables exploring ways to make it easier for service members to earn the civilian certifications and licenses required for jobs in emergency medical services, healthcare and transportation sectors, as well as ways to translate their military training into academic credit.

Among the companies supporting the program are Cisco, Microsoft, Oracle, and CompTIA. As an example of the type of support they are providing, CompTIA is donating vouchers for certification exams, such as CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Security+, to program participants.

A blog post on The Hill quotes Gene Sperling, the director of the National Economic Council, as calling the IT/military partnership "a triple win", saying it is a win for service members, a win for businesses, and a win for the economy. We agree. America’s military veterans possess world-class technological training, and a program such as this will enable them to put that knowledge to work in a rewarding civilian career.

To learn more about the Partnership, as well as the commitments other companies have made to it, please click here.

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