There are over 500,000 unfilled roles in the technology sector.

TechRepublic’s Dan Patterson met with consulting company Sharp Decisions’ CEO Karen Ross to discuss how veterans can help fill the tech skills gap.

“The skill gap is actually not as great as what people think,” Ross said. However with the decline of H-1B visas, veterans are having difficulty finding appropriate work equivalent to what they were doing in the military.

The skills gap exists mostly in development and programming, she said. The issue is that employers don’t understand how to translate a veteran’s previous military operational specialty into a position that applies in the workplace.

“There is a huge disconnect,” Ross said. Because the military is very methodical and logical, when employers ask veterans to think abstractly, it’s not a way of thinking that they are used to, so there needs to be a retraining.

SEE: Three education options for veterans wanting to enter the software engineering world (TechRepublic)

“We need to give [veterans] the technical training and the understanding of what the civilian world is looking for,” Ross said.

Veterans need to be trained and deployed in cohorts, she added. “They are very familiar with working as a unit in squads. This allows them to adjust, and be a part of the civilian world,” Ross said.

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