Active Duty Military Personnel Seek More Career Education and Training, New CompTIA Study Finds

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Majority of service members satisfied with current career progression, but realize the need to boost skills.

Washington, D.C., May 21, 2014 – Active duty military personnel overwhelmingly anticipate needing additional education and training to ensure career stability and growth, according to new research by CompTIA, the ICT Industry Trade Association.

While a majority of active duty personnel are generally satisfied with where they are in their careers, fewer than one in 10 are completely confident that their existing skill sets will sustain them throughout the remainder of their careers.

“Men and women in our armed forces have a clear understanding that life-long learning is essential for their career satisfaction, whether they continue in the military or move to the private sector,” said Elizabeth Hyman, executive vice president, public advocacy, CompTIA. “It’s our duty and responsibility as a nation to provide them with the resources and support necessary for ongoing career education, training and credentialing.”

CompTIA’s Military Career Path Study examines issues related to career planning and professional development for active duty military personnel and service members entering civilian life.

Four key factors stand out among possible options for improving training and education.

•    More time set aside for training.

•    More refresher training to reinforce past learning and stay current with skills.

•    More cross-training with other units or branches of the military.

•    More follow-up after training to ensure proper alignment with career goals.

Military personnel and veterans alike also see value in professional certifications as a means to validate skills and expertise, resulting in a stronger resume, more job opportunities and higher pay.

Active duty military personnel with staff management responsibilities also rate certifications as important or very important for a variety of reasons, including:

•    Testing after training to confirm knowledge gains (net 98 percent).

•    Setting a baseline of expertise among staff (92 percent).

•    Helping to provide career path guidance (90 percent).

Challenges Ahead

About one-quarter (27 percent) of active duty personnel anticipate future challenges in translating military skills and experience to civilian occupations. But they may be underestimating the challenges. Among veterans, 47 percent reported experiencing some degree of difficulty in this area. Similarly, nearly twice as many veterans claim a general challenge in finding a job that matches their skills and experience, compared to current military members anticipating the challenge.

“The soft hiring environment in the private sector over the past five years should be taken into consideration,” said Hyman. “But given the significant gap in perceptions, it may signal a need to better inform active duty military of the realities of transitioning to the civilian workforce.”

Gender Considerations

Men and women share similar views in many areas of career progression and job satisfaction. On the assessment of career progress versus expectations, the net of being exactly or very close to meeting career goals is identical (67 percent).

On the job satisfaction front, women are relatively more likely than men to desire an improved work/life balance. Men are more likely to seek greater access to new tools and technologies.

CompTIA’s Military Career Path Study is the result of a January 2014 online survey of 865 U.S. active duty military personnel and military veterans who now work in a civilian capacity.

This study and all CompTIA research are examples of how the association re-invests its resources to help ICT businesses expand and grow. The full report is available at no cost to CompTIA premier members. Visit www.comptia.org or contact research@comptia.org for details.

About CompTIA

CompTIA is the voice of the world’s information, communications and technology (ICT) industry. Its members are the companies at the forefront of innovation; and the professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organizations receive from their investments in technology. CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through its educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications, and public policy advocacy. For more information, visit CompTIA online and on , LinkedIn and .

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