The field of military technology is a promising one for those who are able to embrace innovations in a complex, fast-paced industry. While there are plenty of paths into this sector outside of the military, it’s a strong career choice for veterans who want to build on the skills they developed during their years of service. In fact, many positions are ideal for veterans who have first-hand experience with the technology in the field and understand the practical challenges that may emerge.
Explore Options Early On
It may not be possible to plan out how and where you will spend your time on active duty, but you can set long-term goals to guide your decisions throughout your service. Establishing a desired trajectory before or during enlistment can make it easier to move towards relevant responsibilities later on. Some more advanced roles have strict academic requirements, so official grades and test scores can impact what opportunities may be available to you.
Pursue Responsibilities During Service
It’s very possible to spend your entire time in the military simply following the path of least resistance and performing assigned duties as expected. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, unless you are trying to fast-track your way to success when you’ve finished. Seizing learning opportunities, especially in valuable technical fields, requires you to take initiative and seek out these responsibilities whenever possible.
Leverage Veteran Educational Opportunities
While most veterans enjoy the standard educational benefits administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), there are plenty of other opportunities to look for in specific schools and locations. Some universities offer educational assistance for military personnel regardless of their branch of service, including veterans and active duty members.
Actively Network and Seek Internships
Networking is one of the most important, and often overlooked, way to jump-start your post-military career. Attending industry conferences, talking to people in the field and building a strong personal reputation with working professionals is extremely valuable. These connections are often the best way to find internships, build experience and eventually land a desirable job. Many schools incorporate internships into their curriculum, giving students one or more opportunities to gain hands-on experience before finishing their degree.
Military technology is a highly-advanced field and one that is always in a state of evolution. Game-changing developments emerge on a regular basis, so you should expect to keep learning and improving constantly to stay competitive in the job market.