More and more opportunities are being created for Veterans to get an edge in the job market when transitioning into civilian life. Certifications are an amazing training opportunity to break into a career, get ahead, or build your resume. These certificates can be especially valuable in career paths that do not require a degree. We compiled a list of certifications for jobs specifically tailored to Veterans!
Suggested read: 15 of the Top Work-From-Home Jobs in 2022 for Veterans & Spouses
Top Free Certifications for Jobs
Certificates for jobs will cost less than a four-year undergraduate program, but some can still run pretty expensive. Luckily, there are plenty of great quality certificates for free. Here are a few of the best certifications for jobs that won’t cost you a dime.
1. Cisco Veteran Program
Cisco’s Veteran Program is an all-encompassing course plan. You’ll not only have access to free training, but Cisco also acts as a bridge between you and potential employment opportunities. Cisco Networking Academy, CyberVetsUSA, and the Veteran Talent Incubation Program help connect you with the right people in your career field.
2. Hiring Our Heroes Salesforce Fellowship
Salesforce is one of the world’s largest Customer Relationship Management (CRM) companies. They focus on sales, customer service, marketing automation, and analytics. They partnered with Hiring our Heroes to allow Veterans, active-duty members, and military spouses to be a part of a 12-week fellowship. The fellowship includes training and certifications at no cost to you.
You’ll get matched with a host company and receive hands-on experience through on-the-job training. The program is 100% remote, and they host three cohorts each year.
3. USO Pathfinder® Transition Program
In partnership with Skillsoft, the USO Pathfinder Program is providing Veterans, active-duty servicemen, and their spouses access to a full library of career training tools and job certificates online. Skillsoft offers over 10,000 courses within their categories for Leadership Development & Business Skills, Compliance, and Technology & Development.
This program is available to active-duty members that are within 12 months of their discharge date. This is a great option for those looking into the financial, health, or manufacturing sector. You can apply directly on the USO website.
Certifications for IT Jobs
The Information and Technology industry is constantly growing and always searching for new talent to hire. A college degree is not always required to break into this career field, so certificates are a great show of skills.
There are many paths to choose from, including Digital Marketing, Digital Designer, Cyber Security, Cyber Risk Management, Software, Data Analytics, and much more.
You can also find many jobs in this field that don’t require you to be in the office full time. For those who desire to work from home, these are the best certificates for remote jobs.
4. FedVTE – Federal Virtual Training Environment
Run by the Department of Homeland Security, FedVTE provides free cybersecurity training for Veterans. Their courses are modeled after the NICE Framework and are broken into seven categories. Whether you’re already advanced in cyber tech knowledge or a beginner, there are classes for all skill sets.
You can register for an account through FedVTE to get started. It’s open to federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government employees, federal contractors, and U.S. military Veterans.
5. NPower Tech Fundamentals
The NPower Tech Fundamentals program is the best job certificate for those who want a broader education in IT. They have a selection of tracks exclusively available for Veterans.
The 16-week program is completely free and includes exposure to leading industry technologies, senior-level mentoring, employment readiness workshops, and job placement assistance.
There’s an in-person aspect required in addition to the online coursework. Make sure to check if these programs are available in your region to be able to fill the expected in-classroom period.
6. SANS VetSuccess Academy
The SANS VetSuccess Academy is a full-scholarship-based accelerated training program that awards a GIAC (Global Information Assurance Certification) in Cybersecurity upon completion.
The application process is very competitive, and you must be invited to each stage of the application. You’re eligible to apply if you are:
- A U.S. citizen or Green Card holder.
- A Veteran.
- Transitioning from active duty within six months at the time of applying.
- An active-duty military spouse.
- Have no prior experience within the IT sector.
A competitive application process can be a little intimidating, but this is one of the top programs to definitely consider. Check their website for the dates of the next cohort.
7. Act Now Education
Act Now Education is a community platform that provides over 40,000 resources for active duty, Veterans, reservists, National Guard, and Military Spouses at no cost to you. This is a great resource to use and see what options you have out there. One of the best resources they provide is a free Coursera License that will allow you to earn online certifications for jobs from top universities.
8. Allegiant Giving
Similar to Act Now Education, Allegiant Giving provides free Coursera subscriptions to get top certifications in project management, change management, business strategy, technology, and operations.
They have their own online educational platform, Patriot U, for professionals exiting the military and a partnership with SkillBridge. You can have the incredible opportunity to learn the basics of your new career field and grow your resume in one year or less.
9. Merivis Cohort
This cohort offers Salesforce technical training, a personal coach, and collaboration with fellow cohort members. Salesforce is one of the largest companies in its industry and is growing exponentially.
You could be well on your way to becoming a Salesforce professional through this program created for Veterans and military spouses. Look through their available courses for more information.
6-Month Certificate Programs
Want more specialized certifications for jobs? Longer certificate programs can lead to even higher-paying careers. Here are a few positions that you can get certified for within six months.
10. Personal Trainer
If you’re leaving the military in pretty great shape and fitness is a personal passion, becoming a personal trainer might be right up your alley. The average salary is $21.00 per hour, and with either high-paying clientele or by working for a high-paying organization, you can make well over $100 per session.
You can get certified in exercise science, health, or nutrition in three to six months. With a little research, you can find the perfect certification for you in person or online.
11. Medical Coder
Medical coders update patient records with standardized information needed for data management and billing purposes. They’re in high demand within the healthcare field to communicate medical content.
To become a medical coder, you need a high school diploma or a GED and an AAPC medical coding certification. You can easily travel and make upwards of $60,000. Some states have a higher average pay than others, but as your experience grows, so will your yearly salary.
Having military service on your resume is a great advantage to becoming a firefighter. With additional training or experience in emergency medical services, this job could be a perfect fit for you.
Once you’ve earned an emergency medical services certification and fire science training, you can make your transition into firefighting.
13. Real Estate Agent/Broker
Real estate agents can make upwards of six figures with the right experience and good clientele. To become a real estate agent, you only need a high school diploma or GED and a real estate license. Certifications depend on your state, but the licensing overall involves a set number of pre-licensing education hours and final exams. You can start your real estate career immediately after you receive your license and choose a broker to hold your license.
If you’d like to become your own broker, after a few years of being a licensed and active real estate agent, you can! You’ll complete a second set of pre-licensing education courses and a broker examination for your state.
14. Margin Department Supervisor
Margin Department Supervisors manage customer credit accounts within a company’s credit department. A financing degree isn’t necessary for this position, but you will undergo extensive training and shadowing. You can get certifications in finance or accounting online through your local university to boost your resume for this position.
GI-Bill and VA-Approved Online Certification Programs for Jobs
Recently, the Post-9/11 GI Bill was revised to include apprenticeship training and certain certificates. For non-college degree programs, the GI Bill will pay for all in-state tuition and fees at public trade schools and certificate programs. The Montgomery G.I. Bill and Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance may also make you eligible for non-college degree programs.
These can cover up to $25,000 per year at private and out-of-state institutions. If you’re a full-time student, you can get up to a $1,000 stipend for books and housing, but this GI Bill program isn’t only limited to personal education. It can be used for online and independent programs, and you may still be awarded a housing allowance of around 50% of the national average.
The VA also launched a License and Certification Reimbursement program for those using their G.I. Bill. The max reimbursement is $2,000 per exam, and you can receive benefits to retake an exam if you fail. If you’re eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance, or Montgomery G.I. Bill, you may also be eligible for reimbursement.
These benefits can be applied to a number of programs, like a Project Manager Certification, Information Certification, Real Estate License, or Medical Assistant Certification.
Find the Right Program for You
Make sure to do proper research when looking for a good job certificate that best suits you and your career aspirations. There are so many options for you to explore; we understand that it can get a little overwhelming.
Starting a new, fulfilling career with certifications for jobs will be worth it, and you have tons of resources at your disposal. Career assistance is there for those who need it, so reach out, plan out your next steps, and be as prepared as possible. You got this!