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changing from military to civilian

By mcdowell ·
I'm currently in the arny with nine years experience in computer repair and upgrade,LANs, PC configuration, information security, helpdesk,and telecomunictions. I'll be leaving the army soon and was wondering with my experince what field should I be looking at. All my training is through the military or self taught.

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So true

by fernbowers In reply to TS Security Clearence

Joe is giving you great information!!
He is correct. In addition, they want to see
a college degree. Get working on your BA.
Go to www.strayer.edu. Take online classes.

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I did it!

by data-ware In reply to changing from military to ...

I retired with 20+ years from the military as a electronics specialist. I was trained on high tech weapons control systems, Data centers, radar control systems, A+, etc. We had to maintain all the computers that controlled these systems. And these computers are not your average $499.00 of the shelf computers. My experience and training in the military was my ticket in civilian life.I wasn't out a month and i landed a great job. I had a professional resume written before i left the military and it made a world of difference. I wrote my certs after i left the military, but they didn't get me the job. I was told that they would have hired me on my experience and training alone. So don't sell yourself short, military training is some of the best training you will find anywhere. Take the same approach you had in the military and apply it in civilian life and you will go a long way! Employers love people who can solve problems on their feet.

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Location is everything

by haydt1 In reply to changing from military to ...

I got out of the Navy in 93 with 9 yrs experience in computers and networking. I also had an active TS/SCI clearance. The IT market then was the same as now at least here in Pennsylvania. I found that nobody cared about the clearance and very few employers gave my military training the full weight it deserved.

How well you do will depend on where you choose to relocate and what the local supply and demand is for IT. I can say that PA is lousy with the exception of maybe the Camp Hill area in my opinion. Both in terms of pay scale and opportunity.

The other thing I had to get used to was working for people who no longer cared aboutt quality and only focus on quantity. It's all about money.

Good luck.

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Gotta agree with haydt1

by JohnBoyNC In reply to Location is everything

Retired in '94 as Navy E9 Electronics Tech. Location is the key. I retired in Eastern NC, near some great Marine Corps bases (for the medical bennies). Struggled to find decent paying job in that area, but got on with a startup ISP within a couple months of retirement. When the ISP was "acquired" in '99, went into contract IT work in RTP/Raleigh. The weekly 150 mile commute sucks, but the money's at least double what I can make around home. It's all a trade off. (and befoe you ask, the wife and I lived in 20 different houses/apartments in the Navy and she refuses to move again)

A current TS/SCI clearance is worth its weight in gold these days. Just do a Google. BUT, location, location is all important. It's not worth anything if you've retired to the Boonies.

Bottom line, you've got the training to do the job. Just carry the "whatever-it-takes" attitude that's been ingrained by the military with you. It's in VERY short supply out here.

Welcome aboard.

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Military Transition

by viennamicro In reply to changing from military to ...

I also transitioned from the military to civilian IT roles in 1990. I found that the federal agencies in my area refused to recognize any of my military training as directly job related. I received this notice on a Thursday. The following Monday I was at work in the offending agency as a contract trainer through the local community college)teaching federal employees how to do the job I wasn't qualified to perform.

I now work for a Fortune 50 corporation as an IT Specialist making considerably better income than any of the IT positions in the local (federal, state, county) government arena.

My recommendations to you:

- Get all the professional certifications you can while on active duty (MCSE, etc.).
- Get a college degree in IT. Even an Associates degree can help open doors. A Bachelor's degree is even better.
- Do use the services available now to transitioning militery personnel. Have a polished resume ready as soon as you can possibly do so.
- Use on-line job services such as Monster.com. Many HR folks are now using this source extensively, especially for IT jobs.
- Don't expect the civil service community to welcome you with open arms. Expect petty jealousy and commitment only to the minimum standards required by law. You'll make a much better living elsewhere in due time.
- Consider teaching if you have the credentials. It's a great way to make contacts in the community, stay in touch with current technology, and keep the bills paid. You may even find a long term career here.
- You've invested a significant part of your life in military service. Don't loose the potential retirement you can still earn. Many Reserve and Guard units will accept you into their fold immediately, even services (Army, Navy, Air Force) other than the one you are currently in. Most unit headquarters now have IT positions.

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Re: changing from military to civilian

by tnissen In reply to changing from military to ...

I was in the Air Force for 8 years as a "techie" and decided to get out during the .(dot)com boom in 2000. I was fortunate enough to have gotten out and employed prior to the decline. I would say there are still jobs out there although right now I think the market is saturated with "so called" IT people. There still is definitely a need for quality individuals who actually know what they are doing. The hard part will be to get your foot in the door. There are a lot of "old school" independent telephone companies and coops out there that need quality IT people. That's where I would start looking and if you know someone, that always helps as well. I cherish my 8 years of experience in the Air Force, it was very valuable but am very glad that I made the transistion. Best of luck to you in your search and in your transistion to civilian life.

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Your in a great position!!!!

by fernbowers In reply to changing from military to ...

Sounds like your in a great position. You have the skills necessary for the federal sector.
If you have a top secret security clearance, there is no reason or anything to stop you from
moving up.
Also, if no degree, begin work on that asap.
Government contract for Degree personel.

In any case forward your resume to me, I will submit it for two companies to get you going.
AT&T and Advance Concepts Corp.

My email is fernbowers@comcast.net

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Military experience a plus

by awagner In reply to changing from military to ...

I have stayed with government position since I left the Marine Corps in 1985. Find people who think like you and respect what you have done. Then prove to them their inclinations about you were correct with a good work ethic. Don't expect civilian life to mirror the military. It does not. Be a self starter and be the best that you can be. Semper Fi - Autumn Rose

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Military to Civilian

by jeff.lefever In reply to changing from military to ...

I made the same transition back in 1995 when I retired from the Army with twenty years and with less experience than you have in the field of computers. I went to college for an AA in Computer Science, this helps but the experience you have is invaluable. I would suggest that you have a good resume outlining all of your skills. judging from what experience you have now you could go on the market as a Network Engineer to begin with and then move to a network Administartor position. Cisco router skills are good to have an d some sort of Microsoft certification as IN an MCP to MCSA or later the MCSE for 2000 or 2003 schema. because of the military and having to go before promotion boards and the like it really refined my interviewing skills as military boards are far more stressful than a job interview. So you have alot going for you right out of the military. Be positive, have good resume, grab a couple of quick certs and then go hunting.

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Be confident and know your value

by T-Cally In reply to Military to Civilian

Well I hope you get to read this before you get out.
I had four years active in an admin field and now I?m 19 plus years Air Guard in communications which lead to my current 7 years in state service as IT.
The biggest thing in the mil to civil transfer was not understanding the market and not understanding your value. Don?t think your skills are lesser most IT people are self thought even if they have a degree. Experience can be in your favor but I?m not undermining educational degrees, but it more so depends on the company. In the war we accepted what was given to us, in the private sector you need to negotiate for your salary and the public sector usually have a set figure. Try monster.com and also DISA just hired a friend of mine to go to Germany as a civilian working on the red swith. He was released by MCI after 15 years of service and unfortunately his retirement fund was in the MCI scandal. Check the web and see what companies are paying for your skills in the area you plan to live. Send out resumes before getting out and this will help relieve the nervousness that you are probably feeling. If you have family you want to know about the medical benefits and how much it will cost you. Examine your take home pay and understand what it will take for you to maintain your current living style. Do this based on the state you plan to live in. The south is still cheaper to live. A lot of companies like ex-military people from an experienced/discipline point. There are a lot of corporations out there that you simply don?t know the name of because they don?t advertise. Once you pick the state you plan to live in, check the stocks for companies, and check the local library and news papers there to get a heads up. But I like places like monster becuase they are looking for you rather you for them "to some degree". Self confidence matters in the interviewing process. Good luck and believe in your self.

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