Post-service life can be a difficult and confusing time in someone’s life. After all, spending several years in military service is a different world than a typical civilian work day holds.
But by no means does that mean there are limited options for veterans to choose from career-wise. But even having options can make life confusing and difficult. There are so many directions to take, so which one is the right fit?
One option could be a career in network engineering, the people who keep the operational aspects of an organization afloat. They are responsible for monitoring network security, communication systems, perform maintenance on computer networks, and related tasks. They are critical to any information technology department and essential for keeping the workplace functional.
While there is no “perfect” job that is guaranteed to work for everyone, network engineering is just one of many career options that can be perfect the right veteran. Here are just a few different reasons why getting a network engineering job could be the right career for someone searching for a full-time career post-service.
You Already Have Applicable Skills for the Job
Military service has plenty of transferrable job skills to already put you at an advantage. The communication and problem-solving skills that are used in any branch of the military are necessary for network engineering jobs.
When applying for education programs and jobs, be sure to mention how your military experience makes you incredibly prepared for a technical career, maybe even more than someone who did not go through military service. Do not underestimate your abilities or undersell yourself on your resume or interviews: you have already had a significant amount of training, even if it is unorthodox.
Network Engineering Only Requires a Bachelor’s Degree
As opposed to other types of technical careers that require advanced studies, being a network engineer only requires a four-year degree. With so many resources for paying for college available to veterans, getting the degree at a low cost – or even no cost – is a great possibility.
Sometimes, work training programs are available for positions that are highly in demand, so many people can also skip getting a Bachelor’s degree and go straight to work. But generally speaking, a network engineer is expected to hold a bachelor’s degree in information science or computer science.
Don’t forget that college campuses have many opportunities and resources on hand to help you succeed, including career centers that can pair you with internships or job programs that can provide the training you will need outside of a traditional classroom.
Finding a Job Isn’t Impossible
One major concern for anyone entering an industry is job security and the availability of jobs in the first place. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth of a career in network engineering is growing at a normal rate of six percent, meaning finding a job in the field would not be a huge hassle. While job searching is never easy, it is certainly easier with steady employment opportunities available.
As a matter of fact, by the year 2026, there is projected to be a total of 415,300 network engineering jobs open all over the United States alone. One of those openings could be waiting for you.
Technology is Not Going to Go Away
Think about how many new things have been developed in the last decade because of technology. Love it or hate it, technology is evolving at a rapid pace every single day. Future jobs made by today’s technology are not even known yet, and being a part of the ever-expanding world made possible by it is pretty cool. It also means job security for long term goals, so someone interested in network engineering jobs would not have to worry about not having employment opportunities.
People in Network Engineering Careers Lead Satisfying Lives
Everyone wants a job where they experience fulfillment. The overall satisfaction in being a network engineer tends to be a positive one. According to CNN Money, network engineers have a high level of personal satisfaction with their careers due to quick recognition for their importance in the workplace and likelihood of promotions.
Network Engineering Pays Well
People tend to not want to admit that they are only in a career for the money, but there is no denying that it is not a perk in picking certain careers. Network engineering is both exciting and pays well, making the job a great choice for a post-service career. As of 2017, the average salary of a network engineer is listed at $87,950. The lowest network engineers made was averaged at $49,830 and the highest listed at $130,200. So if you want a job that is both hands-on and well-paying, look no further than network engineering.
Growth is Inevitable
Unlike some jobs where an employee can stay in one position for many years, a network engineer has plenty of opportunities to advance in their career. Network engineers are commonly promoted to computer network architects as well as computer and information systems managers. Network engineers may even work closely with Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) or become one in the future.
In order to find ways to further your career, network engineers can find the support of professional organizations such as the Association for Computer Machinery to find up-to-date information and career conventions that will help you gain new insights and career advice.
You Are Not Limited to One Place
Teachers teach in schools, business people work at businesses and offices, but network engineers can go anywhere. Network engineers can work anywhere with internet…which is almost everywhere.
The rapid growth of the internet has allowed for new opportunities. For network engineers, their careers grow as fast as the newly-installed internet modems that run our world. You can be a network engineer in a school, a place of business, big financial or insurance firms, and more. If one place is not fulfilling, you can easily move somewhere else. So while you may not be a world-traveler as a network engineer, you can definitely keep someone else’s world afloat.
The Skills from Network Engineering are Transferrable to Related Careers
Echoing the sentiment above, if you tend to be the type that gets bored from staying at the same place or even the same career, the skills needed to be a network engineer are applicable far and wide. Similar careers include being computer support analysts, electronic engineering, information security analysts, software and web developers, and many others.
Even if you would want to go to another career that is not as technically-focused, having advanced computer skills is impressive to many employers. Having technological literacy in the modern workplace can be hard to find, making you a competitive candidate for any job!
Network Engineering is a Hands-On Career
If staying in a cubicle is not for you, you do not have to worry about that with network engineering. While network engineers still have offices as their main hub, being called to different corners of a building – or a town – is common. You will be sent anywhere a machine is malfunctioning and have to be quick-thinking enough to solve the problem. If challenges excite you, this could be a viable job option.
You Get to Help Other People
If you enjoy the feeling of being needed, then a network engineering job could be a great option for you. But prepare to feel extremely needed at odd hours of the night, holidays, and weekends. Technology enjoys going out of service at times when people are in critical need of it, so being the helping hand in critical situations happens often. It may not be in the way a humanitarian approaches it, but it is no less important to sustaining a functional workplace.
There Are Opportunities to Further Serve Your Country
If you are still interested in serving your country after military service, a great way to do it is to find work within the federal, state, or local government. The emergence of more and more government involvement on the internet means that there need to be reliable people to be there when websites crash and Wi-Fi goes offline.
Government agencies use online forms and email daily, so without proper technical support, the very fabric of an agency could collapse. It might not involve being on the front lines, but that would not make a role as a network engineer in a government office any less important.
When trying to find government work, always check directly with job listings on their site or official government sites. Often times, the sites will save your application data so that you may apply to multiple jobs at once without the hassle.
Are you a veteran who got into a career of network engineering? Let us know what it is like for you and if you found all of the mentioned reasons to have a network engineering job to be true.