DOWNERS GROVE -- CompTIA, the non-profit association for the global IT industry, said its Troops to Tech Careers initiative has reached a new milestone in the number of military veterans certified in the skills that can lead to post-military careers in IT.
Some 16,000 veterans have earned nearly 22,000 CompTIA certifications between the launch of Troops to Tech Careers in October 2011 and Veteran's Day 2013. In the last year, the number of participants has doubled.
"Veteran's Day reminds us how important it is to support our nation's veterans as they transition from active duty to civilian life," said Todd Thibodeaux, president and chief executive officer, CompTIA. "Critical to this transition are creating opportunities for veterans to find meaningful employment in careers that offer long-term options for advancement and growth."
The IT industry is one in which veterans with the right mix of business, communication and technical skills can find rewarding careers.
During Q3 2013, there were 615,192 core IT job openings in the U.S., according to Burning Glass Technologies Labor Insights. This at a time when unemployment for post-9/11 veterans continues on an upward trend – 10.1 percent in September, compared to the nationwide unemployment rate of 7.2 percent.
"This is unfortunate, because veterans know what hard work is and frequently enter or re-enter the civilian workforce with sought-after skills," Thibodeaux noted. "We established Troops to Tech Careers to signal CompTIA's commitment to our veterans and encourage our members and the broader IT industry to join us in this effort."
Troops to Tech Careers offers veterans a way to hone their existing talents and fill in any gaps through training and certification in the IT skills most sought after by employers.
CompTIA Security+ is currently the most sought after certification among Troops to Tech Careers veterans, with some 9,700 earning the credential. CompTIA A+ is next, with 6,670 veterans certified; followed by CompTIA Network+ (4,490). Veterans have also attained certifications in project management, server technologies, green IT, Linux and storage.
CompTIA is a participant in the White House's IT Training and Certification Program, a public-private partnership that will enable thousands of service members to earn industry-recognized IT certifications before they transition from military service.
CompTIA also participates in the Department of Defense Information Assurance Program and contributes to the Wounded Warriors Project through its foundation, Creating IT Futures.